When living with others, what are unreasonable requests?
October 2, 2013 7:36 PM Subscribe
And what to do when someone blows up at you for what you believe to be a reasonable request.
posted by eq21 to human relations (52 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I just moved in to a place about a month ago. I didn't have much time, so I picked a place I wouldn't have picked if I had more time. To find the place, I wrote a couple paragraph long craigslist ad detailing that I need a QUIET place to sleep. I sleep with earplugs and a box fan (sometimes 2), so I don't think this is too much to ask. I've lived at about 6 other places and I've only had a few problems with noise control. The times I did have problems were people who moved in after me and who I didn't really get to know before hand.
I live with 3 other people, a couple and an owner of the house.
I was woken up a few times because of the roommates not closing doors quietly during that period of light sleep right as I'm going to bed. I mentioned it to 2 of the 3 roommates (2 of of them are a couple) and I thought that would be the end of it. I didn't get a chance to mention it to the boyfriend of the girl, but said to myself that I would the next time it was an issue.
A week or two pass and I noticed it happen a couple times but I didn't want to bother them while them might be, hmm, having sex or whatever. I kept forgeting to mention it and then the night before last they did it twice, so I got up when I was sleeping, knocked on the bathroom door and said annoyed “Please don't slam the door while I'm sleeping, Thank you”. I realize I probably sounded bitchy, but I was ½ asleep and annoyed. . 10 minutes later someone did it again so I got up again to complain and they were gone. I was pissed so I slammed my door (even though I doubt they were asleep.)
When I came home after college the next day, I decided I wanted to just have a cool convo before bed just reminding them to “close the door quietly” and that I'm a light sleeper and have a lot of school to do, ect. I wanted to do it out in the open when I wasn't pissed and to apologize for the previous night. I also hadn't really talked to the boyfriend about it at all (except the sudden “please be quiet” last night), so I wanted to be sure he knew about it.
So, a little before bed as they were wrapping up their TV watching, I came into the kitchen and mentioned it and the girlfriend went off on me “OK, you just need to chill You've mentioned this like 3 times already! “ and I said back, calmly (since I didn't understand where her anger came from) “I know I mentioned it a few times, but I wouldn't be mentioning it again if it wasn't a problem” . She then went on a tirade about how I woke her up on Saturday going in and out the front door. I would have been more quiet if she had mentioned it to me earlier as I did have to let the cat in and out several times and the owner really needs to put grese on the door. I didn't realize she could hear it, though, since her bedroom doesn't share the wall of the front door. I responded back calmly, “You can just tell me if you have a problem, I'm cool.” since I LOVE resolving things out in the open. Then she started saying “The only time it happened was last night” and then something along the lines of “You live with 3 other people. We were here first, and you want us to change for you!” She stormed off into the bathroom and slammed the door.
Her boyfriend was there in the hallway and we had a reasonable discussion. He mentioned how I might be an unreasonably a light sleeper and I mentioned how that was the main thing I mentioned when I moved in so a sorta expected a quiet environment to sleep in. I understood what he meant by having to compromise, but I did mention that I had earplugs and 2 box fans running and I could still hear it and how I had lived at 6 other places and only had a problem with one other (drunk) roommate. I apologized for the previous night and said I wasn't trying to be a bitch about it, just trying to get it out in the open without making it an issue.
Suddenly the girlfriend came out and was saying “Just shut up! Just shut up!” and then her and the boyfriend went in their room. Is this how living with females is? I never had a sister.
The thing is, I wasn't really directing the question to her. I was really saying it to the boyfriend. I wasn't looking in his direction, though, because I was putting some trash away and the girl came yelling at me before I could really get to level-headed discussion. I wanted to mention it before I got resentful about it and to say it calmly because of sorta saying it madly the night before in my 1/2 asleepness.
Anyhow, I realize it might be annoying to ask for something for what it appears to be the 3rd time, but if it wasn't still a problem I wouldn't need to mention it. Was I really being unreasonable? I've only lived there a month and I don't really get in the way of things. I keep things clean and am gone most of the day. I say hi and make a little chit chat, but we don't really talk all that much. I let them have free reign of the TV and am usually in my room or the kitchen preparing meals. I did break a picture frame of the owner, but I will fix it when I get some wood glue.