Why do people keep trying to talk to me when I’m wearing headphones?

It happens all the time. I’ll be sitting there minding my own business listening to music when some dipshit walks up and starts flapping their gums at me. Then I’m forced to take out my earbud and say “What?” It’s almost always never anything interesting or important, and I’m usually forced into a one-sided conversation about something I don’t actually care about, where I have to feign interest and most of my replies consist of “Oh wow” and “Hmm, cool”.

95% of the stuff other people seem to talk about consists of sports, politics, gossip, or their kids. I don’t care about sports, your political opinions are usually just regurgitated crap, gossip is for women and young children, and fuck your stupid kids (not literally though). None of that necessitates taking off my headphones. I care infinitely more about the Billy Joel song I’m listening to than I do the Philadelphia Eagles or Donald Trump or what your coworker said or whatever dumb shit your kids did. Get the hell away from me and don’t bother me.

What’s even worse is when these people approach you when your back is turned and begin having full blown verbal diarrhea. I don’t hear a word you’re saying, dude. Then they’ll get indignant and offended because you didn’t respond to whatever bullshit they were spewing. Bitch, you see these earbuds in my ears, right? Do you think I’m wearing them as a fashion statement or something? I had one guy tap me angrily on the shoulder and demand to know why I was ignoring him. Who the hell do you think you are? Don’t fucking touch me, asshole.

People will say it’s me who’s the asshole for wearing headphones, and counter with alarmist tales of people wearing headphones who got killed because they weren’t paying attention to their surroundings and couldn’t hear the warnings people were trying to give them. This is bullshit, because someone who’s that oblivious to their surroundings probably won’t pay any mind to someone yelling to get their attention. One example I saw being used was the story about a helicopter falling on some guy listening to his iPod back in 2008. What a ridiculous example to use. The odds of a helicopter falling on my head are exactly 0.0000000000000000000001%. This amounts to jack shit. I’d have a better chance of coming home one day to find Scarlett Johansson, Tarja Turunen, Amy Lee, and Camila Mendes waiting to fuck me senseless while Iron Maiden and Megadeth are putting on a concert in my front lawn. If I die from a helicopter falling on my head, then that’s divine intervention from God himself, and me wearing headphones had absolutely no standing on things.

If I’m walking around with headphones on, of course I’m going to be minding my surroundings. I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t. Unless you’re Kuro from Under Ninja or Predator, you’re not going to sneak up on me. It’s not hard to give a glance around while you’re walking. I don’t need to hear when I can see. Anyone who isn’t aware of someone approaching them or a vehicle about to hit them most likely wouldn’t be paying attention to their surroundings anyway, headphones or not. And as I said in my other article, those people deserve what they get.

At my old job, I wore headphones while I worked. It was amazing how many people would walk up to me and immediately begin talking as if I didn’t even have the earbuds in. Eventually I stopped taking them out, and just stood there watching the person prattle away at me until I thought they were done. Then I’d say loudly “I didn’t hear a single word you just said, I have headphones in.” I would take them out, then make the idiot repeat themselves. After a while most people got the hint and only talked to me when they saw I didn’t have the headphones in. Others took such umbrage at this that they stopped talking to me altogether, and a small group of people continued to talk to me with headphones in anyway, then get snarky when I didn’t reply. A few people even decided to start playing a game where they purposely got me to take my headphones off just to irritate me. I won this game by simply not taking my headphones off for those people whenever they tried to talk to me.

I understand that sometimes you have to get someone’s attention for valid reasons. There’s a proper way to do this, and that way is entering my line of sight and waving to get my attention, or making a gesture like you’re removing headphones. If I have my back turned, it’s okay to lightly tap me on the shoulder. What’s not okay is grabbing my arm and shaking me, in fact, that’s a great way to get punched. You also have no right to get angry with me if you start talking to me when you see I have headphones in and I ask you to repeat yourself.

Now leave me the hell alone and let me enjoy my music in peace.

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By Angry_Jerk

The CEO/Editor-in-chief of AJnet, and the current king of internet ranting. Hailing from the fine village of Northeast Philadelphia, AJ has been creating content on the internet for over 15 years. None of it has really been funny or entertaining, but he keeps trying anyway. When he’s not creating new articles for the site, he can be found hitting the weights, watching anime, or playing retro video games.