Help me remain calm when talking to annoying flatmate!
June 3, 2012 8:54 PM Subscribe
Flatmate filter: I'm planning on having a calm discussion with one of my flatmates this weekend about some issues I know she has about the house, but that haven't been discussed in the open. I would like tips on remaining calm and collected in the moment.
posted by mooza to Human Relations (16 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I have two flatmates, one is an absolute dream and I love her, we get on famously. The other is much more...particular, shall we say, and Good Flattie and I both feel the same way about Weird Flatmate.
WF, just to summarise, is prone to random bad moods, huffiness, is judgey about house stuff yet doesn't contribute and when engaging in small talk with her, tends to unload about her stressful life, job, in a complaining and negative way that gives you no room to either counsel her in a practical or positive way. It's the type of unloading that just passes stress onto others rather than neutralises it. She is the type of person who gets put out if she feels she hasn't got to use as much of the salt and pepper as the rest of us. The resulting household is one that is anxious and egg-shelly when she is around, and glorious when she is not, but we are at the point where the shadow of her bad vibe lingers.
WF feels more comfortable with GF than me, and unloaded on GF about some issues she had with me, regarding various house things and living approaches that I will ultimately never agree with her on. Mostly importantly she thinks I don't like her, that we don't have to be best friends but it would be nice if I was civil. There's other stuff as well that I won't go into but it's all along the same times.
To be clear, I AM TOTALLY CIVIL, nice and cheerful even. But she is perceptive in that I definitely have been withdrawing from dealing with her day to day except for brief small talk, mostly because I find the unloading and the negative thoughts stressful and time consuming. Not to diminish her experience, but we all have stress and hard times and need to protect ourselves from any more of it. GF has a more giving heart and gives WF more time, but also feels the fatigue of it.
I intend on having a gentle discussion about this to clear the air, and also because I find it difficult to live in a house where someone gets huffy at me and GF for no reason other than they are having a bad day, or have drunk too much, or has low blood sugar.
I feel fortified that what I have to say is valid, but I'm worried that when I talk to her I will either:
1. Lose it and yell at her
2. Forget all the good points I wanted to bring up
3. Clam up
She just rang me about nothing and I didn't answer because I suddenly freaked out and got super anxious. I really want to be calm and collected, and not have a shaky voice.
I'm not a fan of confrontation but I have done it in the past where I've felt certain and strong and well informed and I while I feel the same in this situation, I think maybe I'm mostly worried about (1), because I really, really don't like WF's vibe and it makes me aggravated.
Ideally, we'd ask her to leave, but GF just wants everyone to get along and I'll do it for her sake and y'know, it could be worse.
So how can I remain calm and not give her any fodder to complain for feel like a victim?