How do I be an adult?
February 3, 2008 8:05 PM Subscribe
How do I calm down and stop being constantly annoyed at an obnoxious, but ultimately harmless roommate? I treat him poorly, and though he's no bag of sunshine he's still a human being.
posted by anonymous to human relations (31 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I (and the rest of my roommates) find one of my roommates, "Joe", tremendously annoying. We got along well before we lived together, but that was when I didn't realize that his charming, friendly personality hid an arrogant prick. He's a braggart, he exaggerates his accomplishments (often blatantly lying about them), demands to be the center of attention of every conversation, is an incorrigible know-it-all, a hypocrite, and has issues with passive-aggressiveness. Basically, he's enough of an jerk that I really don't like hanging out with him or having conversations with him, for fear it will turn into another Joe Show.
He's really not a terrible roommate or a terrible guy, though. He picks up his stuff, he cleans, he follows house rules, and when we asked him to stop holding crazy parties where he filled the house with people nobody knew, he did. He doesn't get drunk and punch things, he's helpful, and he can be pretty hilarious (like I said, he's charming and friendly). And I feel for him, because he's used to be the center of attention and people worshiping him, and we won't do it because we think he's full of shit. I also think various events in his life may mean his self-esteem is not at the greatest point right now, and that contributes to his bragging, but he's got the arrogant face on so often it's really hard to tell if that's the case.
But I let all the bad qualities get to me and treat him poorly as a result. I snap at him over petty stuff, I'm not sympathetic enough towards his problems, and I'm not as friendly as I am towards my other roommates. And worst of all, whenever we have house activities--going out to dinner, bars, whatever--we exclude him. Not actively saying he can't come, but we don't invite him or even let him know it's happening until after the fact. I feel fucking terrible about this, because it's such a high-school move and he's gotta know it's going on, but honestly none of us really want spend time with him, and when I do invite him he goes into all out Attention Whore mode and annoys the crap out of everyone. My other roommates and my friends tell me not to worry about my behavior. But I want to be a better person than this.
So, what are your techniques for calming yourself down so you can treat someone you don't particularly like or respect politely and compassionately? In the past limiting interaction time has saved me, so there was plenty of time in between to calm down and remember their humanity. But since I live with the guy and bad juju builds up quick. There's only a couple months left on the lease--not enough time to be worth moving out, but enough that it is worth me learning to not be such a bitch towards him.