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nirrti_rachelle
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07 Sep 2011, 8:46 pm

I am sitting in the lounge at my university's student center. Right now, students are speaking, laughing and running around at full volume. They're so loud not only can people on campus hear them, people across town can probably hear. This is one thing I could never understand about NTs. They absolutely love being loud, doing loud things, and listening to loud things.

When I was little and my mother would take me to see the fireworks, I was so stunned from all the noise I couldn't even look at the fireworks. The other little kids in kindergarten just enjoyed it when a police officer visited our school......and showed off the sirens on his squad vehicle. It terrified me. People play music or go to night clubs or concerts where the volume is so loud it makes the insides of the ears numb.....and they absolutely love it. I just wanted to get hold of a pair of earplugs asap when I've gone to them.

What is it I'm supposed to be missing? Is noise relaxing to people? Does it cause a reaction in the brain like a dopamine rush? Because whatever their brain's reaction is, it's apparently the exact opposite in mine.


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To7m
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07 Sep 2011, 9:24 pm

While I don't have problems with noise loudness, I always get concerned when I'm in a room full of people with very loud noises that someone else might be being tortured by it, and I wonder why the people making the noise don't automatically empathize with people that might be in this situation...
I find loud heavy metal through headphones calms me sometimes, but I don't get anything from most other loud noises. Maybe it's a social thing; people make loud noises to fit in with other people also making loud noises, and try to gain attention/authority by making slightly louder noises.
It's also possible that you have really good hearing, so other environments may sound unnecessarily loud, whereas the people there might claim it's a suitable volume.
Prolonged exposure to night-club level volumes would probably drive me insane a bit (due to not being able to hear myself think) so I carry earplugs wherever I go.



Australien
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07 Sep 2011, 9:34 pm

I hate loud noise as opposed to all loud sound. I am defining noise as being sound extraneous to the signal i intend to hear; so I like loud concerts (if I like the music, obviously), but I have problems with the sort of environment you describe at university, and I was terrified of sirens, explosives, etc as a child.



mori_pastel
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07 Sep 2011, 10:43 pm

To7m wrote:
I find loud heavy metal through headphones calms me sometimes, but I don't get anything from most other loud noises.


Same here, except I'm more into instrumental and electronic stuff. For me, it's like the patterns in the music can actually calm my brain down. When I get stressed, it's like my brain just turns into a huge, chaotic, rapid-motion kid's crayon scribble. But if I listen to something familiar that's powerful and set at a high volume, the music is like a river that comes and drags my brain's chaotic pattern, beating it up and smoothing it out until all that's left is the pattern of the music. It probably doesn't hurt that I maybe have some kind of synesthesia that makes me kind of see-feel sound.

I'm OK with loud sounds that I'm in control of. Loud music in my car? Perfectly OK. Using power tools? Perfectly OK. Etc, etc. But I can't stand the crowd-noises either. I keep my ipod on me at all times because it's the only way I can sit in my own university's student center or cafeteria.

Human voices are incredibly unpredictable. You never know when somebody's going to yell or sneeze or laugh or even be completely silent. There's no pattern to it, and I think that's why I find it so hard to handle when it's background noise.

I think the reason that NTs find loud crowd noises to generally be enjoyable might have something to do with how Aspies are said to have a "fight or flight" response to other people. I remember reading somewhere that "where NTs see safety in numbers, we see threat." I would assume that for an NT, hearing the noises of other people is a comfort on a subconscious level. Maybe some kind of survival instinct left over in our genes? Something connected to being pack-animals, or whatever the appropriate word would be. Whereas Aspies ended up with the lone-wolf gene, so we don't find that subconscious comfort.



MakaylaTheAspie
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07 Sep 2011, 11:45 pm

I was a wreck when I was younger. Even the slightest sound set me off. Now I've dulled my ears a little bit with rock music and High School, so it's all good now (sort of).


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08 Sep 2011, 5:49 am

NTs seem to love the noise of loud motorbikes and cars. My 10-year-old cousin is obsessed with those nice cars like Ferraris, (he calls them ''beasts''), and when his mate's older brother draw up in one, it was so loud that I had to step away. When he went, my cousin was all like, ''oh my god I love that car!'' and I was like, ''but it's so loud. Don't that put you off?'' and he was all like, ''no! It makes it even better!''

OK - you've learnt something else here: that NTs can have obsessions.


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identity
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08 Sep 2011, 7:09 am

I think I have always found loud noise difficult. If it doesn't completely overwhelm me it drains me. Also if there are a lot of different noises (even if not particularly loud) at one time I seem to find hard.



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08 Sep 2011, 9:37 am

I was recently at Busch Gardens theme park, and experienced the same sound issue. Typically, theme parks play music around the walkways and such that is typically background music to set the mood and ambiance of the theme they are making. I emphasize the word background. At Walt Disney world parks, this was fine, so was Kings Dominion, another local park to me. Busch Gardens however had the sound playing at what I would say is almost concert loudness. Granted, the music was played through high-fidelity music, and it was good music (I liked The plantets, Mars, the Bringer of War by Holst being played at the Escape from Pompeii ride) but there was no escape from the music! If There was no place to sit for a moment of retreat from the music. To add to the issue, people had to shout to communicate over loud music, which further added to the stress level of the situation. Normally, I like amusement parks, but by the evening, I was severely fatigued, and my wife had a pounding headache. We did not feel like riding any rides.

I can usually enjoy the loud music at concerts because it is harmonious music being played through a professional sound system, but even then after a few hours the loud music can be fatiguing, but by then, the concert is usually over. At the amusement park, this was going on all day, for the 12 hours we were in the park...FAIL!



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08 Sep 2011, 9:44 am

mori_pastel wrote:
I think the reason that NTs find loud crowd noises to generally be enjoyable might have something to do with how Aspies are said to have a "fight or flight" response to other people. I remember reading somewhere that "where NTs see safety in numbers, we see threat." I would assume that for an NT, hearing the noises of other people is a comfort on a subconscious level. Maybe some kind of survival instinct left over in our genes? Something connected to being pack-animals, or whatever the appropriate word would be. Whereas Aspies ended up with the lone-wolf gene, so we don't find that subconscious comfort.


That is a very plausible explanation. I am NT and get twitchy and uncomfortable if I go a long time (>4 or 5 hours while awake) without hearing a human voice. I have never been camping alone or in any secluded place alone and wouldn't want to. I've traveled alone quite a bit but only in cities. I find the sound of human voices soothing even when I don't understand the language. Many NT people have a similar need for the background noise of human voices and will put on the radio or TV when alone just to hear the voices while they go about their work.

I think your idea that this triggers a "you are surrounded by the pack" safety feeling is spot on.



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08 Sep 2011, 10:26 am

I agree Janissy!

We have a guy working in our warehouse sorting boxes and stuff, and normally, it's really quiet back there...just the white noise of the air conditioner running. He's occasionally taken a little transistor radio with him while he does his work. His radio has a tinny little speaker on it, and it's very hard to understand anything that goes through it, especially once it reverberates through the big room. He keeps it on a rant radio channel that all talk. I asked him how he can stand listening to it. His reply was "I thought you liked what these guys talk about" While, I do, I replied to him "Yea, but how can you even understand what they are even saying on that terrible sounding radio" he answered me saying "Yea, but I just keep it on because I need to hear someone talking even if I can't always understand them."



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08 Sep 2011, 11:45 am

I always feel a bit disorientated when I first walk into a noisy environment with lots of loud music playing and lots of things going on, but after a while my ears get tuned in to it and it becomes a background noise.


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nirrti_rachelle
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08 Sep 2011, 7:53 pm

Janissy wrote:
I am NT and get twitchy and uncomfortable if I go a long time (>4 or 5 hours while awake) without hearing a human voice. I have never been camping alone or in any secluded place alone and wouldn't want to. I've traveled alone quite a bit but only in cities. I find the sound of human voices soothing even when I don't understand the language. Many NT people have a similar need for the background noise of human voices and will put on the radio or TV when alone just to hear the voices while they go about their work.


That is so interesting. I've always wondered why people get anxious if they are alone for long periods of time. I find human voices intrusive rather than comforting most of the time, like they are invading my territory.

At the student center on campus, there is an outdoor patio dining area I loved. It was so relaxing to sit outdoors in the sun and fresh air. This semester, the university decided to install speakers on the patio playing oldies music and sitting there makes me feel frazzled rather than relaxed now.


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08 Sep 2011, 8:22 pm

Janissy wrote:
That is a very plausible explanation. I am NT and get twitchy and uncomfortable if I go a long time (>4 or 5 hours while awake) without hearing a human voice. I have never been camping alone or in any secluded place alone and wouldn't want to. I've traveled alone quite a bit but only in cities. I find the sound of human voices soothing even when I don't understand the language. Many NT people have a similar need for the background noise of human voices and will put on the radio or TV when alone just to hear the voices while they go about their work.

I think your idea that this triggers a "you are surrounded by the pack" safety feeling is spot on.


This is interesting. I've gone for days straight without hearing another human voice and I've been fine. I do turn on the TV or radio for background noise, but I found running fans achieves the same goal for me - I just need enough sound to overwhelm the ambient noises around me. I often find human voices to be disruptive and nerve-wracking, and intrusive like the above poster.

Often when people talk or laugh near me, it puts me on edge.



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09 Sep 2011, 2:42 am

I am not so bad with noise that I expect, if I am at a fireworks display (I always go to professionally run ones) then I expect there to be noise so it isn't so bad.

Contrast this to being in a quiet room like a library and a car backfires from somewhere and suddenly my entire vision is bathed in white...

It is just a case of separating what I expect with what I don't.



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09 Sep 2011, 4:58 am

I'm sensitive when it comes to resting or sleeping and I hear my sister or mother loudly talking when watching his show. I have trouble with going into the restroom and I have to take a s**t real bad with my mother and her friends talking. And I also do this when her friends aren't there either. I put the bath fan so I can keep the peace all to myself.



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09 Sep 2011, 9:10 am

Fireworks don't worry me. They used to as a small child, but I grew out of that when I was about 11 or 12, and never been afraid of them since.

I don't see how I'm not afraid of fireworks, because if I went to a place where dogs were kept, and they were barking loudly, I would not like it one bit. I would be jumping and my ears would be hurting. Yet fireworks don't make me jump nor hurt my ears - even the rockets don't. Weird?


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