[Voices of ASMR] What triggers ASMR in the real world?

Based on your ASMR experiences…

Explain what triggers ASMR for you in the real world, include details like:

  • Are you triggered by voices? sounds? sights? touches? smells? other?
  • Which of the above trigger types is the strongest for you?
  • What real world situations trigger your ASMR the strongest?
  • Do your immediate surroundings make a difference?
  • Is the sensation similar or different from ASMR triggered by a video or audio recording?

Scroll down and share your answers in the Comments section.

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59 thoughts on “[Voices of ASMR] What triggers ASMR in the real world?

  1. I have experienced this (human purring) all of my life. Am 61 now. It happens to me when I watch a child drawing a picture, singing, or reading to me. Also, it sometimes happens when I am interacting with animals and insects (I am a wild life re-habber, biologist, and beekeeper). The sensation appears to happen from visually focusing on someone or something, like warm and loving thoughts, or hearing certain tones, octaves, or music. I also feel the sensation when I think of other people – their thoughts, feelings, and the powerful connections we share. My theory is that it is from an ancient genetic trait, and is not a learned response. I have never known anyone else who has experienced this, but know it is completely ‘normal’ for me. I have not watched any videos about it, and haven’t any desire to do so. It is 100% real for me, and I am very happy and thankful to find out that I am not the only person in the world with this ability. Thank you everyone for coming forward.

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  2. I get it from listening to someone, often a salesperson, explain or demonstrate something to me. It is always one on one. They are doing almost all the talking. I am mostly a passive observer. Eg: last time I got it was buying a steam mop. The guy was calm and knowledgeable and really took the time to explain all the functions and different models. Pretty banal stuff, but it got me buzzing. The other trigger for me is listening to someone hum / sing as they work. I’ve had a couple of colleagues who do this. Depending on who it is I can either find it irritating or asmring
    I have never experienced it from videos. I wish I could.

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    • I can relate! I have an obese coworker and every day he eats his lunch at his desk and he breathes loudly through his nose as it is, and hearing that loud breathing while he’s eating always triggers an ASMR response for me!

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  3. I am triggered only when I am able to watch someone mid-thought. Normally a person’s train of thought runs too fast for you to watch it, and your brain is left picking up the last word, or they are merely repeating a thought they have already had previously, but occasionally, a person pauses and is left pondering something new while they speak, and my brain is able to fully process all the words that have come before and is left in anticipation of the next word to come. Where is their train of thought heading? Knowing full well the person thinking doesn’t know that either. In most instances, the stimulus is auditory, as in a lecture hall listening to a professor. In these instances, the professor is usually speaking in his or her second language, and perhaps searching for a word to describe what they are thinking. One memorable instance involved watching my niece draw with a crayon. Rather than scribbling or drawing hastily, each of her strokes were deliberate and painstakingly considered, and the ASMR mounted as I awaited her decision as to her next stroke.

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  4. I am mostly triggered by voices, and sometimes touch or sound. The touch and sound are mostly limited to getting a haircut, if the demeanor of the hairstylist is calm and attentive. The fingers running through my hair and the slight tugging, plus the sound of scissors cutting right around my ears.
    The strongest trigger is definitely voices, and fairly often the person has an accent. It happens in situations where I feel I’m being given personal attention, and the person’s tone and demeanor are caring, instructive, professional, and/or role playing (when I was younger, such as how children act as adults when they are playing). Some specific examples I can recall: advice from doctor with Vietnamese accent; stranger with Hispanic accent in a gift shop asking my opinion on which keychain he should buy; coworker detailing the method and spices he used to make a recipe; playing “house” or “restaurant” with my cousins as a child; classmate in 3rd grade drawing on the blackboard and instructing the class on how to do something we had just learned in math; attentive and accomodating hostess with accent at Chinese restaurant.
    If my immediate surroundings are too noisy or hectic it is distracting and thus hard or impossible to experience ASMR.
    The sensation is similar to ASMR triggered by a recording, but I think that the more “natural” responses that I get from the real world tend to be longer in duration because I am not distracted by the sometimes artificial feeling of watching a video so it is easier to focus.

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  5. -Are you triggered by voices? sounds? sights? touches? smells? other?
    I am triggered by a wide range of things. All of the above can trigger it in addition to memories and what i can only describe as “imagined memories”. “imagined memories” are when I see something, example: a piece of artwork, and I imagine myself as the artist/participant/maker/on-looker/ect. if I focus on imagining how the artwork or whatever it may be came into existence, I can usually trigger my asmr. I can also trigger it by focusing on an old memory in which I was very happy, and by remembering very specific details like subtle sights, sounds and touches, I experience tingles.

    -Which of the above trigger types is the strongest for you?
    Thus far, all by itself, sound is the strongest. But when I combine sight, sound, and “imagined memory” I get a completely incomparable experience.

    -What real world situations trigger your ASMR the strongest?
    Having my hair brushed/played with or my scalp massaged, also back rubs/scratches and going through an “imagined memory”

    -Do your immediate surroundings make a difference?
    Yes. If the area around me is hectic in any way, people rushing around or the TV on too loud for example, I have a difficult if not impossible time of experiencing ASMR. If the area is calm and relaxed, my ASMR often triggers with little to no extra focus, almost without me noticing until the tingles have started.

    -Is the sensation similar or different from ASMR triggered by a video or audio recording?
    I think it’s a bit different. The euphoric feeling is about the same but the actual physical sensation of it is a bit different. I feel the actual tingles more often when watching videos and listening to recorded audio, but i think it has to do with the fact that I listen through head phones so it’s literally right in my ear. I’ve never asked anyone to whisper in my ear for any extended period of time so I can’t say for sure if I would have the same reaction to a real-life whisper or not haha

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