Months ago, I came across the following interesting problem by someone:
Am I allergic to the smell of mint?
Every time I smell mint I get a headache, watery eyes and I cough and sneeze a lot, and my throat will sometimes burn.
Someone that sits near me at work is always chewing very strong mint gum and it makes me ill. She seriously chews a new gum every half hour.
Is it allergies or just an intolerance for mint? I am scheduled for an allergy test in 6 weeks.
My take on this is:
We can be allergic to anything basically. But we can reduce our allergic reaction to things but letting go and do not take in what other people are doing.
The more we are annoyed with the person, the more the allergy reaction happens- perhaps we may subconsciously associate the item with that person so each time we are in contact with the item, it triggers an allergic reaction.
For example, in the past I seriously believe I was allergic to perfume- it literally gives me headache. The problem started with this annoying guy in my office who used to wear the strongest (but expensively branded) perfume. We did not see eye to eye at work and I’d had no respect for his principles (sometimes people can resort to anything to get what they want- even at the expense of other’s ricebowls). Each day he comes and leave the office, he had to pass by my place. And with that it would be followed by either Dior, Channel, Calvin Klein or whatever expensive brand that he was using. Each time I am near him (in meetings, assignments), it would literally give me a headache. He uses various brands of expensive perfume- so somehow, any type of perfume starts giving me a headache.
At first I also thought I was allergic to perfume. And in a way, I may have convinced myself that I was. So when I was travelling in train and someone walked into a packed train with perfume, my headache (and the anger) would build up. By the time I leave the train 10 or 15 minutes later, I would be in a foul mood because I would have developed a massive headache by then.
So each time someone comes with perfume, I would brace myself to ‘the headache’.
Till one day, a colleague who was close to me also started wearing perfume. She was doing it to feel good about herself. And I find myself finding reasons to be annoyed with her- because, as she was seating near me, I was angry with her and thought she had purposely put on perfume to just annoy me (of course, she didn’t as she was not even aware of my alleged allergies). After an angry outburst, she was hurt by the words I’ve used. But because of me, she had to give up her love of perfume and stop using it just not to upset me. She was (and still is) a dear friend and I’ve hated the way I’ve treated her.
It was then I suspect the issue was not due to allergy, but because of my inner annoyance at myself. Could it be inner rage that I’ve chosen not to address but that I am directing towards others? Perhaps I was finding excuses to just ‘attack’ people. And at innocent people.
Anyway, that happened years ago, in which after quiting the job, I’ve learned to work with my own inner issues. It was not pleasant- to have to face and accept my own flaws. But I’ve worked through them.
Now, when people are wearing perfume, I sort of let go and ignore it. The headaches have since stopped with regards to perfume.
The sufferer replied to say that she agreed with me, because she did happen to find the woman (who was chewing mint) incredibly annoying…