This happened before
. Since then there have been multiple recurrences of shouting/aggressive talking, door-slamming, and general verbal and nonverbal weirdness. My other roommates are open to asking her to find somewhere else to live, but seem to be looking to me. We have a house meeting tonight and I was asked if I want to bring this up. I'm... uncomfortable and also in finals and then leaving for a number of weeks. What should I do, and how should I do it?
posted by c'mon sea legs to Human Relations (29 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Roommate shows anger in stomping, glaring, yelling ways, and gets angry about barely-predictable things. There are five of us in the house total, we're mostly a touchy-feely crowd. The ways Roommate expresses anger happen to be really stressful things for me personally and I'm particularly sensitive to them, but everyone (friends, visitors, roommates) who's around when they happen agrees that they're not okay; this isn't me making mountains out of molehills. They are also not just happening with me, but with at least one of my other roommates.
A few weeks ago, I was ready to move out. Roommate had slammed doors on a friend and I because she was angry, and freaked my friend out. Though I completely love my house otherwise, I was pretty done with that stress and started looking for other places to live. When I talked to my other roommate OtherRoommate, however, he basically said "if anyone's moving out, it's not going to be you," and that he's had his own stressful encounters. OtherRoommate tried to talk to Roommate about these encounters last week, but basically came away only with the understanding that she's extremely angry at him but without any solutions. Conversation with a third roommate indicates that she's also feeling tired of Roommate's stress, but less so than me and OtherRoommate. Our last roommate is almost never home/in town, so we haven't talked about this.
Since the incident a few weeks ago, Roommate and I have been avoiding one another save a few greetings and one time when Roommate tried to involve me in a dispute with OtherRoommate, which I declined to participate in. Though this is far from my ideal, I can live with this level of noninvolvement. This weekend, I was able to have people over without Roommate scolding me or slamming doors, which makes me wonder if Roommate is trying to be responsive to what we've talked about. What sucks is that if Roommate weren't so terse and occasionally unpredictably angry, I think we could be friends.
Now: We have a house meeting scheduled tonight. My two roommates who are also troubled by Roommate have basically said "If you want to broach the conversation of her finding somewhere else to live, we'll support you." I demurred, both because things haven't been as bad recently and because I'm a grad student in finals and don't have a lot of energy to devote to this. I'm also really uncomfortable being the instigator of this conversation: I know it will be hurtful and stressful and I can't wrap my head around how to have it without making all of us feel like shit. The holidays are coming and I'm essentially in finals and then gone for three weeks, so I won't be available for follow-up if any is needed. At the same time, this is a community house that values openness and flexibility, both of which seem to make Roommate unhappy and hence make Roommate make us unhappy.
The options as I see them:
a) Not start the conversation tonight in the house meeting, wait and see how the meeting goes, finish finals, travel, see if it's still necessary after I return.
b) Have the conversation tonight, ask Roommate to leave.
c) Have the conversation tonight, ask Roommate if she's happy and talk about the things that aren't making the rest of us happy.
d) Talk to Roommate one on one, again. I haven't done this yet because we've had multiple versions of this conversation and I don't think it will be productive.
e) Something else?
If a), how can we as a house determine when to ask someone to leave? If b) or c), how can I start this conversation and what should I say?
On my last question a lot of people expressed how much they'd dislike living in a community, co-op, hippieish kind of place like I live with house meetings and check-ins. That's fine, but I should be clear that the house is intentionally that way and that was clear to Roommate when she moved in. We're all on a year lease, but people have left before and gotten subletters without the landlord minding.