Manners stipulate that chewing with your mouth closed is appropriate. One should chew small bites so they can chew smoothly and not show the world their food.
Despite the expectation of manners, some people still tend to chew with their mouths open. Why is that? Here are some reasons I found.
Why Do People Chew With Their Mouths Open?
1. Natural Feel
Manners say one thing but that doesn’t always feel natural to people. Yes, attempting to use manners is good for us.
There is some level of respect for others that leads us to say you should chew with your mouth closed. The truth is that it feels natural to chew with it open.
Opening your mouth gives you a stronger bite and makes chewing easier in that way. The natural formation to open to chew puts some power behind your bite.
This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons people chew with their mouths open. It’s not that they want to have bad manners but rather that it feels so natural to them.
2. Mouth Breathers
Ideally, everyone has the capacity to breathe through their nose. But if we’re being honest, that’s not the case.
Realistically, mouth breathing is a bad habit and it can lead to side effects. However, we must consider that many people don’t even realize this is happening.
Of course, a person chewing with their mouth open might just be trying to breathe. This again points to not a lack of manners but a much deeper issue at play.
There are things people can do to combat this but it may be something they face for the rest of their lives.
3. Weak Muscles
Some people suffer from a disorder known as muscular dystrophy. This can happen in the jaw but also in other parts of the body.
Someone who is chewing with their mouth open might simply be struggling with muscles that are not strong enough to chew with their mouth closed.
We often look at them with disdain and irritation. However, we should try to be more understanding. It’s possible they can’t do much to stop it.
That person you’re annoyed with might just be struggling to chew their food because their jaw is weak.
4. Lack Of Manners
There can be underlying issues much like the ones we’ve shared here. However, there are times when chewing with your mouth open is truly a lack of manners.
The truth is that not everyone is taught manners. Some people simply don’t care about manners. It’s rather unfortunate but it is a huge problem.
We can try to be understanding of the issues that make chewing with your mouth closed a challenge. However, when it’s just a lack of manners, it’s far more frustrating.
You can often tell when manners are the issue. These people tend to chew sloppily with no intent to even try to choose quietly or carefully.
5. To Be Annoying
Of course, there will always be those people who do things because they know it irritates people. You have those friends, right?
It’s the guy or gal that thinks provoking your annoyance is hilarious. They are big jokesters. They know manners but they also know how to press your buttons.
This type of person won’t do it all the time. They will do it at random just to see if they can manage to get a reaction out of you.
The thing is that if you react, they win. It’s a game to them and you’re the source of their thrills. If you know this to be true, just look away!
6. Distracted Eating
It’s easy to get distracted. Things like chewing with your mouth closed come naturally to some people. Others have to work at it.
A person who has to work on it could easily lose focus when there are distractions. It’s not that they don’t want to have manners but that they turned their attention elsewhere.
In this case, just try to remember to have some grace. They aren’t trying to be rude.
7. Maybe They Enjoy “See Food”
You’ve heard the term “see food”. When you were a kid, you probably played this prank on others. The common line is “do you like seafood?”
When the person responds you open your mouth wide and show them the food inside.
Perhaps the person chewing with their mouth open is a big fan of “see food”. They also might be confused and think you’re a fan.
To learn more, you can also read our posts on why it is rude to eat with your mouth open, why it is rude to put elbows on the table, and why slurping is rude.
Chewing with your mouth open is so often simply thought of as bad manners. While that can be the case, there could be underlying reasons as well.
Practice manners the best that you can. If someone else is chewing with their mouth open, try to give them a bit of grace, you never know if it’s manners or something else.