16 answers

Loud Gum-chewing

This might seem random- but it is getting to me and I need advice!
My coworker chews gum most of the day. I should say that she is a great friend and I really love her dearly. She sits right next to me and moving is not an option. She chews her gum with her mouth wide open and it is REALLY loud. It is so distracting that I cannot concentrate and it irritates me to the point that I have to get up from my desk sometimes and walk around. We have a radio in our area and I ask her to turn it on all the time to try to drown out the chewing, but it does not help.
So, how do I deal with this? How do I bring it up without offending or hurting her feelings and without sounding bitchy? I have tried to find ways to work it in as a joke, but I think it would seem really awkward. Any thoughts??

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I feel for you, really. It is SO annoying and it makes it impossible to concentrate. Even worse at work when you have to get work done right next to her! I once had a coworker sit next to me and eat her lunch really loudly at her desk. I always had to walk around the office, go to the bathroom, get a glass of water, etc until she was finished. Can you mention something to the management about creating a no-gum policy in the office? It really should be in place to begin with. Good luck! Let us know what happens.

2 moms found this helpful

Can you make a joke about it? My dad always chewed gum and when it got annoying, we'd ask "gum good"? With a smile. I've started this with my husband since he's always gnawing on nicotine gum.

2 moms found this helpful

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This is probably my biggest pet peeve of all time and I think I married the loudest chewer of them all! Oh my word! I actually disagree with Sue H. I don't think you are a bad friend because your friend has a quirk that makes you crazy. None of us are perfect. I am certainly not going to divorce my husband over it. LOL When I can't stand his chewing I will gently say "your gum sure is talking loud today!" and he gets the hint. It is a tough one though because it can be awkward and embarrassing. I would just try to keep the matter light and in a fun/joking sort of way bring it up to her sometime or invest in some ear plugs and tell her that the general office noise keeps you from concentrating at your best. Good luck!
A.

3 moms found this helpful

You don't have to come across as bitchy. Just simply say, 'I'm sorry, but the sound of your loud gum chewing is driving me nutty.' Laugh a little, then say, 'could you please tone it down a bit?' If she gets upset, then she is not the good friend you think she is.

3 moms found this helpful

Since this loud chewer is a woman, there is no way for you, another woman, to say something without coming across bitchy. I think this site has proven that. =)

So, wear headphones. Start chomping your gum like she does. Or, turn that volume up even louder. If she asks why, you may just have to suck it up and be that b word and tell her - " I can't concentrate!"

Or, tell her you were on mamasource and they were talking about this woman who chews her gum really loud. Can you imagine?!

3 moms found this helpful

I feel for you, really. It is SO annoying and it makes it impossible to concentrate. Even worse at work when you have to get work done right next to her! I once had a coworker sit next to me and eat her lunch really loudly at her desk. I always had to walk around the office, go to the bathroom, get a glass of water, etc until she was finished. Can you mention something to the management about creating a no-gum policy in the office? It really should be in place to begin with. Good luck! Let us know what happens.

2 moms found this helpful

Lol @ baby doos mama! Leave an anonymous note "once knew cow that chewed like you"!

2 moms found this helpful

HATE gum chewers who do this. We are not gum chewers for this reason. My daughter has maybe had gum like 5 times in her life. I used to work with a dear girl (I'm still friends with her 20 years later). Same thing - sat right next to her. She cracked the gum unconciously. One day I very nicely pulled her aside and said - Kathy, you know I love you like a sister. You're one of the sweetest people I know but if I hear you crack that gum one more time or hear you chewing it, I'm going to strangle you. Please, please chew with your mouth closed. She would forget once in a while and I'd just give her the "look", she'd take the gum and put it on her nose like the teachers in school used to do years ago. She genuinely felt badly that she had this habit. Nobody else had the guts to tell her and I think she was grateful that I had. Say it in a nice way and just let her know that you love her, but the noise is driving you crazy. I honestly don't like the joking thing - my MIL does that. She thinks if you say something in a joking manner than anything you say is OK - it's not. Be truthful but kind. She may thank you for it.

2 moms found this helpful

Can you make a joke about it? My dad always chewed gum and when it got annoying, we'd ask "gum good"? With a smile. I've started this with my husband since he's always gnawing on nicotine gum.

2 moms found this helpful

WOW! That's the #1 thing I HATE! My sister in law chews gum and when she does she makes noises and a "popping" noise, it irratates the heck out of me to the point where I- at times lol- feel like smacking her! Don't get me wrong, I love my sis-in law and enjoy her company but I was always taught that while eating-chewing anything to NOT make a noise and to NOT chew with my mouth open, yuck! I would jokingly say something to her like "gosh! can you chew any louder, I can't concentrate!" and see what she'll say, keep throwing hints to her or just be honest and tell her that it bothers you. I'm sure some of your other co-workes have noticed it too! If it were me, I would just tell her that I can't focus on my work from the distraction of her chewing gum....Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

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