Monday, December 27, 2010

My roommate is a BITCH!

Question:  Me and my college friends are renting a house from our school for the semester and we all decided to do this because we started off as really close friends. I get along with most of the girls but there is just one that has been irritating me so much lately! I find myself getting annoyed at everything she does, she constantly gets in other people's business, snaps at others for no reason, is just a bitch in general... the list goes on. While my other roommates feel the same way, they are all friendly and fake to her because they're afraid of confrontation. Sorry, but I'm not like that!

So yesterday, my roommate left some books out on the couch in our living room.  When I went to go watch TV, I moved them to the side. She saw me do this and completely blew up at me, saying I was selfish and to leave her things alone. One thing led to another and we were screaming at each other.  My other roommate had to pull me away. Now, my roommates want me to apologize to her... ME! When I've done nothing wrong! She was the one who left her books there, and she was the one who started arguing with me. The way I see it, she was lucky that I kept it to yelling and not going further than that. Help, I don't know what to do with my roommates because it seems like they all turned against me and are on her side all of a sudden when I've done nothing wrong! (Boston, MA)

Social Shrink: Roommate drama is always tricky - these are the people you live with so whether you like it or not, you have to deal with it.  Especially since you guys started off as friends and it seems the rest of your roommates want you all to get along. While you say she is the one that started your most recent fight (which seems very much true in the incident you described), you still need to take accountability for your part in the argument and the events leading up to it. Let's take away your roommate for now and concentrate on you. If you decide you do not want to be friends with her at all, you still are living with her and will be for some time. Your other roommates are also living there and by hating her, you are making it more awkward for all of them. 

When this last incident happened, yes, she did leave her books there and started arguing with you first, but you also continued to partake in the arguing. If you had to be pulled away from the situation, then I'm sure you also said things to her that you shouldn't have, even if she said hurtful words first. 

Screaming hurtful words to someone is never the best way to deal with a person you do not like. You two don't have to be best friends but you do have to tolerate each other for yourselves and your roommates. At least be courteous to her when you see her around, ask her if those books are hers that were on the couch, and ask if you can move them. The next time she becomes hostile towards you, instead of reacting in a negative way, walk away, calm down, and ask to speak to her like an adult. If you don't feel comfortable with that, maybe ask another roommate to sit in and mediate. We have all angry emotions that need to be let out but sometimes we'll say things that we can't take back, so in the future, you should find a healthy outlet to vent instead of attacking.

Should you apologize? Not necessarily. If you take a look at what you've done and still feel adamant that you are not sorry, then you shouldn't apologize to her. However, I do suggest you at least sit down and talk to her, let her know why you argued back and how you were feeling, and again, see if another roommate(s) can mediate. Maybe you will get an apology from her or the reasons why she's been acting the way she has.  Maybe she doesn't know how to express herself or things have been going on with her that she doesn't want to share. Maybe she needs to look at herself and see what she's done. In any case, we are all responsible for our own actions and the things we say/do. Instead of focusing on what she's done wrong, focus on what you did and what you can do better.  Acknowledge what you did wrong in the situation and be the bigger person.  You will feel better as a roommate and a friend, even if your roommate doesn't respond the same way.