Situational armor

I heard two related stories today about the effects of RSS (repeated song syndrome). If you are putting a show at a festival, or work in an amusement park, the odds are that you will end up hearing the same song or musical motif over and over again.

When you are in in this kind of situation, you develop a kind of tolerance for the incessantly repeating tune. You somehow manage to shut it out rather than become progressively more irritated by it.

But if you then hear the tune outside the show or festival, it can drive you completely crazy. My theory is that the mind develops a kind of situational armor to protect it against mental irritants.

Your situational armor is effective as long as you are in the environment where you originally encountered the mental irritant. But when you are outside that environment, you are no longer wearing that armor, and the feeling of irritation comes roaring back.

This is only a theory.

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