General Question

Nullo's avatar

Any suggestions for kicking a whistling habit?

Asked by Nullo (21939points) January 17th, 2011

I whistle. A lot. Sometimes I don’t even realize that I’ve started whistling – I’ll take stock and realize that, hey, I’ve been whistling for the last who knows how long.
Anyway, I’ve got the folks and about half of my co-workers asking me at various intervals to knock it off. I haven’t cared, which I think is part of the problem.

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22 Answers

bob_'s avatar

Would you be okay with trading it for a bubble gum habit?

YARNLADY's avatar

Choice a more desirable set of whistle tunes.

joni1977's avatar

Maybe start by wearing something on your lips to distract you like a clear, sheer lipgloss?? When you feel it on your lips, you may be less prone to puckering up to whistle. Think about it.

iphigeneia's avatar

I think your family and co-workers need to be a bit more insistent! Make them pinch you whenever they catch you whistling.

Or make your lips really dry, to make it harder to produce a sound.

deni's avatar

ASSHOLES. I’m like that too. My brother is always telling me to stop and I’m like “what? I was whistling?” then I start up again without even thinking, then I realize and laugh and laugh. But I never stop, because it’s pleasant and people who complain should be happy thats all they have to complain about.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t know what will work, but I commend you for trying. Maybe you could just cultivate a heightened self-awareness: what I am doing right now?

I used to share an office with a guy who whistled constantly and who also sniffled and snuffled and refused to accept discreet offers of tissues made in the desperate hope that he would blow his nose once in a while. It was almost impossible to concentrate in that room. He drove me crazy. I spent my working hours trying to write computer programs while on the verge of frustrated tears and would go home in a murderous mood every night. I guess that makes me an asshole.

Gum snapping would not be an improvement.

Rarebear's avatar

Record yourself.

Bellatrix's avatar

A big chunk of caramel. Bit hard to whistle while trying to chew caramel. Won’t be good for your teeth or waistline though :-)

Afos22's avatar

Try humming instead.

Cruiser's avatar

Wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it each time you catch yourself doing it. Should cure you in a week or less. Seriously. If that doesn’t work, chew oyster crackers.

Rhodentette's avatar

I guess the first thing you need to do is start caring that people around you find this habit annoying. If you considered that, you might be more inclined to try change your habit consciously.

If that’s not possible, ask the people who are affected by this habit to help you out by pointing it out every time your whistling annoys them. Ask them to be consistent about it so that you get the same kind of reinforcement every time you whistle.

Otherwise chewing something might help. Gum is a good one as long as you don’t snap it. And it comes in sugar free versions.

Seelix's avatar

Chew gum and wear a rubber band to snap on your wrist for when a whistle sneaks through.

stratman37's avatar

@Cruiser – or he could put that rubber band around his head, and in between his lips. making hip look like Joan Rivers. that way it would be nearly impossible to form the lips for whistling. Plus everyone would leave him alone ‘cause, ya know, he looks like Joan Rivers!

lemming's avatar

I whistle too! But I love when people whistle, I’m not being sexist but men are usually alot better at it than women for some reason. It’s a happy thing to do. Don’t try and stop. You should get a budgie, they’d love it!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Spend more time at the library…
You could take up the harmonica like I did.The bonus is that you also get to inhale.;)

ashek1's avatar

Harmonica and flute are good options go for them, other time just have bubblegum, mint etc.

Nullo's avatar

Thank you all for your suggestions.

@lucillelucillelucille You can’t whistle backwards?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Nullo Why,yes I can,but it sounds more like a broken teakettle.Might as well stick a harmonica in it!

Nullo's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Try sticking to lower notes. The tuning ought to remain the same.
It’s been a while since I’ve had a harmonica. Who makes a good one these days?

ashek1's avatar

Hohner..but somehow i find flutes easier to play and it just like whistling..

kebier's avatar

I would say use “self-talk” to quit. Say something to yourself like I don’t have to whistle, it is just a nervous habit I can break. Maybe look up cognitive behavior therapy suggestions for self-talk suggestions to help you quit. It seems like it might be a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (behavior). I have been silently counting to myself the number of letters in words for years and one day I heard something on tv that made me realize I have a form of OCD. The person on tv said you can talk yourself out of it. I can’t recall the exact words they said to say to yourself, something like “I don’t have to do this I can stop, it is just a habit and one I can break and I can occupy my mind with other things”.

My dad moved in with me and he whistles almost all day long a soft “shw, shw, shw” type whistle and I found it makes me nervous and I end up getting short with him. I don’t want to be that way so I asked him to stop but he hasn’t yet. Now I say to him, “dad, you are doing it again, can you please stop?” Now I am thinking it might be ocd and maybe that is where I got my nervous habit of counting (to myself thank goodness).

barbbarb's avatar

I’m answering your question 5 years after the event, so I do hope you’ve managed to kick your habit. I too think it may be a form of obsessive compulsive disorder. The reason I am on this site is that I live next door to a cafe where the washing up man compulsively whistles – literally from 8am until 3pm. My window is next to his window and his whistling makes it very hard for me to work, as I work from home. I’ve even moved my work desk into my bedroom to get away from him but I can still hear him. I’ve been at the point of tears on some days as it is intensely distracting. I once put my head through his window and said: “Excuse me, your whistling is making it incredibly difficult for me to work, and write and concentrate.” He looked very confused. He stopped whistling for 5 minutes but then it started up again. He does not whistle proper tunes, but just this strange long whistling sound, until he runs out of air. And then the same sound starts all over again. It’s so bad I even went to see if I could rent somewhere else as I’ve now been putting up with it for about 8 months. I am pretty sure that he has no idea how long he whistles for. I am sure he doesn’t even realise he is doing it. Hence his confusion when I mentioned the whistling to him. Once I saw him outside on the street on a weekend and he was walking along inanely whistling all down the street. It’s obsessive compulsive behaviour for certain. Perhaps google ‘obsessive compulsive whistling’ as it is an actual behaviour and you can get help from a psychologist/doctor to help you stop doing it. I think increasing your own awareness about when you start doing it, is the first step. If you recorded yourself over a period of time, I think you would be amazed how often you whistle. Good luck.

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