How to pass crash course in roommate communication
October 5, 2009 12:18 PM Subscribe
How can I ask my roomate to discuss her frustrations with me directly, instead of telling everyone but me?
posted by Keysig to Human Relations (22 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
My roommate, “Regina," and I are both females in our late twenties, and I moved in only a few weeks ago. I am not super great at making conversation, but try to be friendly, keep up with housekeeping, and not offend anyone with my living habits. Regina alternates between caring and not.
The situation worsened when Regina had her friends over, when her extremely outgoing friend pestered me to hang out with them. Her friend kept asking me about my family background, and other random “what’s your favorite ___” questions.
With previous roommates, I’ve tried to respect their space so I wouldn’t get on their nerves, only to have their friends loudly say, “Is that the hermit?” So I thought this might be a good way to start off.
Regina didn’t think so, and as soon as they left, got on the phone to discuss how awkward I was, and how she can’t stand me, while we were still in the same room. Apparently, I’m not doing enough housecleaning, either.
I want to make this great apartment location work out, and I am too busy to focus on finding someplace new, so it would be great if we could at least keep it civil for a while.
So my question is, do I have the right to tell her this is not okay, that this made me uncomfortable, and I would like her to stop? I'm unsure about this because it is her home too, so she can say whatever she likes in it, but I think she should tell me if she has a problem. Or must I suck it up and try to not mind?
I also need to let her know I'm tone-deaf when it comes to reading people, so I don't know what I'm doing wrong unless she tells me. As much as I know that is truly the issue for me, that conversation is always uncomfortable, so I'm not looking forward to it. What is a minimally painful way to say I am not-a-people-person, and therefore can not read her mind?
I am dreading having to face Regina & Co., even in passing, again--any other advice for dealing with losing face and moving on?