Should we really listen to others or trust our own instincts and do what we want?
May 12, 2009 1:47 AM   Subscribe

I think I care too much about what people say to me or about me

I think I care too much about what people think or say about me. I think I read into people's reactions too much instead of being able to judge my own feelings about things.

Recently my roommate has had an issue with me which she just brought to my attention even though we've been living for a month now. We were completely thinking different things about each other, she was trying to be cold to me and steer me away while I was trying to be friendly to her. Maybe the reason I was being friendly to her was because I thought she was quiet and shy. But then maybe also because I wanted to have some physical relationship.

We had a conversation about what was bothering her which was me being extremely inconsiderate about things and not doing things she had asked before, continually repeating that I just didn't get it. That I was socially unacceptable (Since I had asked her to play Truth or Dare one time). Since then I've been worrisome about being inconsiderate towards others, but looking back upon it; I know I am a considerate person even though she can't see it. Is that something I should worry about. I didn't even know what was bothering her. She would get upset about tiny little things and I would laugh because I thought it was so funny.

Is it strange to laugh when other people get upset about tiny little things?

She asked me to close the shower curtain after my showers (which I continually forgot) and I would laugh because I could hear her frustrated and groan when she would rip the shower curtain close. It almost got to the point where I was purposely leaving it open to enjoy her frazzled reaction.

My point is she got so upset over something so small, and so trivial. I know I should listen to her words and advice but how can I when the source is so trivial?

Is it best to try to ignore other people's reactions to things?
posted by weh546 to Human Relations (31 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Asking other people to change their behaviour almost never works.

It will likely only work if they see a benefit which they did not consider before.
posted by devnull at 1:51 AM on May 12, 2009

why are you living with this person? Is it just just an economic situation (i.e. to pay rent?) If she just wants a place to live it can be obnoxious to have some guy trying to hit on her all the time. If that's the case, back off.

Also, it sounds like your actual problem is the exact opposite of your question. In that you're not paying enough attention to people's reactions. It sounds like you're really irritating her. Just close the shower curtain.

And also talk to her and see what she would like you to do differently. If you're going to live with someone you have to deal with the fact that you're going to do things that irritate the other person. Over time those little annoyances will be triggered over and over again, and both people will get used to it and stop noticing it or their irritation will be amplified and it will drive them crazy.

Try to make an effort to stop doing the things that you know bug her. For example, the shower curtain. Maybe you could put a post-it note in the bathroom to remind you to close the curtain. Not only will that help you remember, but she'll know that you are trying to remember to do it.
posted by delmoi at 1:59 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Also don't laugh at people when they get upset.
posted by delmoi at 1:59 AM on May 12, 2009 [23 favorites]

Reading your question, it sounds like your problem is the opposite of being too concerned about others. Your roommate expressed some concerns; you "know you're considerate" and are thinking about ignoring her requests. Now I have no clue how you can "know" for sure that you are considerate -- you can believe that you are, but people often have different perceptions -- but laughing about things that upset someone isn't really the mark of someone who's considerate.

Look, you're living with this person and your actions are creating conflict and drama. Being contrarian and doing things to get a reaction can be cute in a 3 year old. However, it gets old *fast*, especially when the person doing it isn't a friend with whom you have a history of joking around but a roommate you have to deal with on a regular basis. Everyone has pet peeves and things they prefer (like the shower curtains). Now you don't have to cater to every one of her whims, but I'd argue that for reasonable requests, you are better off paying more attention to her views, as opposed to less.
posted by bsdfish at 2:26 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

I would laugh because I could hear her frustrated and groan
is not the same as
I think I care too much about what people say to me or about me
is not the same as
I wanted to have some physical relationship

Nearly everyone of us have some little foible, like wanting the shower curtain to be left pulled across (probably to avoid mold build up in the folds) and it's a nice thing, if it's not a big deal, to fit in with someone you're living with. Nearly everyone of us has some irritating habits or mannerism that other people often don't tell us about, just as a kindness, maybe like being reacting strangely to a request to play a game.

Here's some rules of thumb to make living with people a bit easier.
1. Don't come onto them. No, seriously, even if you're hot for each other, your other roommates are going to have to deal with this, or, one day you'll break up and have to find new accommodation. Also, people deserve to be able to come home and not be pestered sexually.
2. If it's no trouble to accommodate a roommate and helps to keep a common area clean and/or tidy, don't laugh when they get frustrated that you forget.
3. Just because something is small to you doesn't mean it's small to someone else.
4. Calling someone's beliefs trivial because they're not the same as yours is not exactly spending too much time on caring what they think. You could instead believe them when they say they feel strongly about something, and act accordingly.
posted by b33j at 2:26 AM on May 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

She would get upset about tiny little things and I would laugh because I thought it was so funny.

There are just some people who should not be roommates. You two are in some weird, vicious cycle that will probably only get worst. Make a change if you can.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:39 AM on May 12, 2009

Try to make her really happy.
Can you?
posted by mitocan at 3:02 AM on May 12, 2009

You sound solipsistic, which usually equates to being a dick. That is, if people can't see it, you're not being considerate.
posted by rhizome at 3:04 AM on May 12, 2009 [9 favorites]

which was me being extremely inconsiderate about things and not doing things she had asked before, continually repeating that I just didn't get it. That I was socially unacceptable

Are you sure she meant 'socially unacceptable' and not anti-social? Being extremely inconsiderate and not understanding what others are bothered by are symptoms of anti-social personality disorders. These are serious mental disorders characterized mainly by a lack of empathy--an inability to understand the motivations and emotional states of other people.

If you don't want to appear criminally insane, you should pay more attentions to other peoples reactions to things. And start caring more and stop caring less.
posted by Osmanthus at 3:16 AM on May 12, 2009

Yeah, I definitely agree with all here who have said you actually think too little about what other people think, rather than too, it is not best to ignore what other people think, at least not in situations like this.

When living with another person who is not a family member, you both will have conflicting views of how the house should be kept and of course these views will clash sometimes - stuff like the shower curtain being left open may seem trivial to you but to her obviously it is a big thing...rather than worrying about how seemingly trivial it is, just try and be considerate and accommodate it - it really does not effect you at all but obviously makes a difference to her. Then you can reasonably expect her to accommodate whatever little things you need done...and chances are she will. Then you are most of the way there to having a civil relationship with her.

Also - why why why are you trying to sleep with your roommate? That is pretty much like trying to sleep with a co-worker. Oh sure at the time it will be fun, but afterwards it will be awkward and there is a good chance your living situation will completely turn to shit. Is it really worth pursuing something like that? Especially since she doesn't seem interested so you will have to put a whole lotta time and effort into it.
posted by sartre08 at 3:29 AM on May 12, 2009

And just in case it helps, closing the shower curtain keeps it from getting all black with mold.
posted by rhizome at 3:42 AM on May 12, 2009

You wanted to fuck her and ignored her cold and clear signs that she had no interest in that. She finally gets it through your head - got to the point where I was purposely leaving it open to enjoy her frazzled reaction. - and then you decide to drop your "panty charming" act and now feel you have the right to inflict even more of your bullshit onto her?

Grow up. Acting like this will not ever lead to you getting laid. Ever.
She sounds way more patient with this crap than I even can be. If you snap the fuck out of it you might still have time to salvage some kind of healthy roommate/friend relationship.
posted by mu~ha~ha~ha~har at 4:17 AM on May 12, 2009 [5 favorites]

Laughing when someone is upset or doing things to make them upset is a horrible, childing thing to do. It shows a complete lack of respect for the person. If you had a reason for not closing the shower curtain then you could try to talk to her about it, but since it's such a small thing to do to make someone happy, just do it! Really, no use in being a jerk about it.

There's a quote in this Russian book called "Crimson Sails" by Alexandr Grim that pretty much says "if a rich person has a lot of money to give away and it won't hurt him anything to do it, but the person he gives money to is poor, it'll make a world of difference to the poor person and won't harm the rich person, so just do it!" It pretty much says what I said above, if you can do a simple thing to make someone else's day better without it affecting you negatively, then just do it, why the heck not?! I try to live my life that way.

Also, asking to play truth or dare with a roommate? If it's not a social event where a lot of people are playing and you're asking one-on-one... CREEPY!!!

It is best to NOT ignore people's reactions if they are being reasonable, which it looks like your roommate is.

If you cared about what people thought of you (like your post says) then you would care about this and try to consider other people's feelings, and it doesn't seem like you're doing that.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 5:22 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

As others are alluding, I don't think your problem is caring too much about what other people say about you. I think your problem is with respecting your roomate's boundaries and your lack of willingness to comply with what are completely reasonable requests for someone to make when two people are sharing space. It sounds like you two are in for a long year.
posted by The Straightener at 5:56 AM on May 12, 2009

Is it strange to laugh when other people get upset about tiny little things?

More creepy than strange.

My point is she got so upset over something so small, and so trivial. I know I should listen to her words and advice but how can I when the source is so trivial?

It's not trivial to her, far from it.

Is it best to try to ignore other people's reactions to things?

No, this is how we get a long with each other, and in extreme cases survive. So best to understand other peoples reactions, and learn to attenuate your actions accordingly.
posted by mattoxic at 6:04 AM on May 12, 2009

It sounds like you guys simply aren't compatible as roommates (and probably not as anything else). You are way overthinking this.

For the record, whenever I have a "this certain thing must be done every time this happens" principle, I try never to force it onto anyone else. It's my business, my preference. If it was so important to me that the shower curtain be closed after each use that I would go close it after someone else's shower, I'd make sure that I was able to do so with nothing but joy in my heart. In other words, you may not "get it," but she doesn't "get it" either. Which is why you can pretty much chalk all this up to being an incompatible roommate situation and just try to choose better next time.
posted by hermitosis at 6:33 AM on May 12, 2009 [4 favorites]

hermitosis, want to be roommates? I have your same principle but I've had so few roommates who do.

OP, you sound a bit creepy. Anyone who purposely does trivial things that annoy their roommate simply for the enjoyment of "frazzling" them WHILE ALSO TRYING TO GET IN THEIR PANTS is a jackass, plain and simple.

If your question is how to stop caring what other people think of you, you're doing a pretty good job of it. If your real question is how not to feel hurt that my roommate ignored my sexual advance, and now I'm being a dick in general about things that I know bug her, and my living situation has become uncomfortable, what do I do? Well, read through all of these responses again. Don't shit where you eat. Treat people like you'd like to be treated. Make sacrifices for the sake of living with another person--shut the shower curtain or pay rent by yourself. I think you'll find that people's opinions of you will skyrocket. And if they still don't like you, then it's their problem. Right now, it's definitely yours.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:39 AM on May 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

Your behaviour is the equivalent of pulling a girl's hair in elementary school to get her attention. Stop it.
posted by Xany at 6:48 AM on May 12, 2009 [4 favorites]

... I would laugh because I could hear her frustrated and groan when she would rip the shower curtain close ... I was purposely leaving it open to enjoy her frazzled reaction.

... so trivial. I know I should listen to her words and advice but how can I when the source is so trivial?

Sounds like you're being a jerk, and you should worry about what people think of you.

posted by General Tonic at 6:53 AM on May 12, 2009

"Is it strange to laugh when other people get upset about tiny little things?"
" It almost got to the point where I was purposely leaving it open to enjoy her frazzled reaction."
" I know I should listen to her... but how can I when the source is so trivial?"

If what you say accurately reflects what you think -- and I'm not completely confident you're being earnest here -- I don't think at this point you have the right to define yourself as "considerate." You describe yourself as what the rest of us would call "an asshole."

Being considerate would mean actually behaving in a considerate manner which is more or less the opposite of trivializing your roommate's concerns. Perhaps it should be pointed out to you that wanting to be thought of as considerate and actually being a considerate person are in fact two different things.
posted by majick at 7:24 AM on May 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

Accidentally forgetting to close the shower curtain (or some other small slight) is not inconsiderate. An overreaction to something like that should be politely ignored, yes, and chalked up to little roommate foibles, for the sake of keeping the drama to a minimum.

Doing little things like this to purposely antagonize a roommate is very inconsiderate.

Laughing when someone is upset is very inconsiderate, even when they're upset over something small. If you really think it's something she shouldn't be upset about, why would you do something to upset her more? Because that's what you're doing when you do that.

Making unwanted advances toward your roommate is way beyond inconsiderate. She has a right to feel safe and comfortable in her own home. To imagine a male roommate I don't know well hitting on me less than a month into living together? It actually sounds really frightening to me. She's certainly not overreacting to that. If anything she's cut you quite a bit of slack. Be thankful for that and go out of your way to never, ever put her in that kind of position again. Stay out of her personal space, both in a physical sense and in how you talk to her.

And I agree with hermitosis--you're not compatible as roommates. Choose better next time.
posted by lampoil at 7:27 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

I think Xany has it...but what I haven't read above...if you can you need to move out I think. From your description of your actions you ARE socially unacceptable. You moved in. You said you tried to be friendly and she was cold...but you betray that by saying you wanted to sleep with her. So you didn't try to be friendly, you tried to "woo" her. She got it, wasn't interested, and so you took her as "cold" when in fact she was just making signals clear.

Socially unacceptable point 1: You didn't get the signals that she's just not that into you.

Next you describe how, while still wanting to sleep with her, you do things to intentionally torment her. Xany is dead on, this is 1st grade playground flirtation...getting her attention by being a shit. I'm guessing from this that you may not have a lot of experience with members of the opposite sex.

Socially unacceptable point 2: Your experience in wooing females equates to being a dick.

But finally you post "I think I care too much about what people say to me or about me" but the entire post is how you DON'T care. You post how you KNOW you are considerate, so your question isn't do you care too much, it is (or should be) how can you better portray yourself to others so you are more well liked, and perhaps one step would be doing small things, like closing the shower curtain. But you don't even know that's what the question should be.

Socially unacceptable point 3: You are completely lacking in self-awareness and self-realization.

I also looked at your previous MeFi questions. There's this one which shows

Socially unacceptable point 4: You don't relate to others well. You try to tell this "really funny" (but isn't) story and don't get why people aren't rolling with laughter.

Then there's this one where you show

Socially unacceptable point 5, where you built up this one small incident in your mind until it was a major catastrophe and feel that "I feel that it's something the entire kitchen staff looks down upon me by", again showing as above that you don't have a realistic viewpoint of how you act in the world.

Unless your roommate is a saint, you've wrecked any chance at even a civil relationship now. Move out.

Even if you stay, give up the fantasy of sleeping with her. Even if it might have happened when you first met, your actions have proven you to be a self-centered dick. It's not gonna happen. Stop thinking about it.

Finally, start caring MORE about what people say. If people say you're acting like a dick, start changing your behaviors due to it. Don't think that you are considerate (you obviously AREN'T or you'd close the freaking shower curtain), LISTEN to see if people describe you as considerate. Until you are able to reconcile your inflated sense of self-worth with the way others seem to see you, you will continue to be the center of your own universe and offputting to anyone who tries to befriend you let alone more than befriend you.

However given that you seem to still be in school or of school age, I wouldn't let these facts cause you further neurosis, it's part of the maturing process to figure out how to act like an adult. But dude, START acting like an adult.
posted by arniec at 7:49 AM on May 12, 2009 [9 favorites]

I'm sorry but I am not sure about your conception of consideration in the context of your situation. One of the dimensions of the idea of consideration is giving due weight and concern to the feelings of others, to empathize, not necessarily agree, with their values, sense of decency and boundaries. The fact that you discount your roommates vexation over what you designate as trivial is a problem and displays inconsideration on your part.

This is not about whether your are considerate or your roommate's overreation. It appears to me that you have developed a deep physical attraction for your roommate, but those feelings are not being reciprocated. Since she has not expressed an interest in providing you with intimate details of her life or a willingness to engage in physical play(her rejection of participating in a game of truth or dare), her reticence to indulge your overtures of friendship, are starting to gnaw at you. In retaliation you continually provoke her by not closing the shower curtain and God knows what else. This sounds like a classic case of passive-aggressive behavior.

Your living arrangement sounds like a matter of convenience, and although it does provide the opportunity for much more than that, at this point that is all your roommate considers it to be. In your mind, one month of co-habitation should be a sufficient condition for greater intimacy, but this is not the case for everyone, especially your roomy. If anything your actions and attitude are making the case for your roommates distance and if you're not careful, I suspect she will be out of your room and out of your life at the first percieved opportunity.

That said you have taken the first step towards correcting the situation by posting. To start fixing the situation accept your roommates boundaries. Don't push for intimacy and a closer relationship, instead operate within her zone of comfort and keep it courteous and civil. And for goodness sake keep the shower curtain close. In the end you may gain a new friend if nothing else.
posted by TheFilteredMind at 8:42 AM on May 12, 2009

Moving out and seeing a therapist would be your best bet. Having looked over your previous questions, I suspect this might be of use to you:

Online Asperger's Syndrome test

Hope this helps!
posted by aquafortis at 8:43 AM on May 12, 2009

Ditto everyone who has pointed out that your behavior (and your defense of your behavior) makes you sound more creepy and assholish than anything else.

It sounds like you have no consideration for anyone else's feelings ... I really do think that suggestions that you see a mental health professional aren't just hysteria in this case. There's no nice way to say it -- you've got some issues. You make yourself sound completely antisocial and out of touch with the rest of humanity.

Is it strange to laugh when other people get upset about tiny little things?

YES. It is a very strange reaction. Obviously if they are upset, it's not a tiny little thing to THEM.

I know I should listen to her words and advice but how can I when the source is so trivial?

The "source" as in your roommate or the example of the shower curtain? If you mean the former, that is a huge red flag that there is something very wrong with you. If you mean the latter, you are just inconsiderate...she's obviously pissed about the shower curtain because if you don't leave it open, all the wetness from the shower marinates and grows mold and mildew. It doesn't sound like her reaction has been to throw crazy tantrums about it ... if she keeps asking you, and you never listen, it's perfectly normal for her to be a little testy about it or to groan when she goes into the bathroom. How hard is it to leave the shower curtain opened up?

Is it best to try to ignore other people's reactions to things?

Not if you ever want to have friends or even civil relationships with anybody ever.
posted by tastybrains at 8:58 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

It sounds like you're really concerned about how she behaves towards you. That's quite different than caring what she thinks about you. Consider the two following statements:

"I should close the shower curtain after showering because it upsets my roommate and I want her to be happy."


"I should close the shower curtain after showering because it upsets my roommate and she behaves coldly towards me afterwards."

One statement reflects how your behavior affects other people, the other reflects how your behavior affects you.
posted by electroboy at 9:05 AM on May 12, 2009

I think people in this thread might need to back down a bit.

Reading people is hard. You sound a lot like a relative of mine, who has a really hard time reading social signals. This doesn't sound like "jackass wants to fuck her roommate and laugh at her" behavior. It sounds like personality spectrum / autism kind of stuff. You don't mention that in your post. However, IF that's the case -- and if this is an ongoing problem with people not your roommate (if other people react weirdly as well), I'd suggest the following:

1) Keep in mind that everyone has different "comfort zones" -- a zone of personal "safe" space that should be sacred. Assume it's wider than you think it is. What's appropriate for you may be weird to someone else -- and if in doubt, you're better off closing the shower curtain.

2) Instead of trying to leap into deep conversations (i.e. playing truth or dare?) practice making small talk. Ask her how her day is. Chat up the weather. Don't worry about "making friends" or "being close." If she doesn't want to talk, that's OK too! Think of it as "small talk" - and the stakes will be a lot lower.

I actually can't stress the "small talk" angle hard enough -- ESPECIALLY for intimate situations like roommates. If this is hard, think of it as a habit to develop. (my brother had PDD, and he literally practiced this for YEARS. He's now really good about talking about the weather -- and much better than I am at navigating awkward social conversations) To reiterate: think of it as a skill to work on, not as an inborn quality. "Today I'm going to make light conversation with three people" -- "Today I'm going to work on having a normal (not-stressful) conversation with my roommate about something other than our shitty living situation"

Practice this over and over again.

3) Be honest with her. If you say something that upsets her, don't laugh -- take her feelings seriously. Apologize if necessary - tell her that you misunderstood -- let her know that sometimes you have a hard time reading people. If she's a reasonable person, she'll get that she needs to cut you a little bit of slack -- and hopefully will do so. Don't worry about it if she doesn't want to be your friend. Ultimately, it's not about you -- it's not a reflection on whether you're "considerate" or whether she's "short-tempered" -- sometimes people just don't get along. It's cool.

4) Respect her feelings and her space. Otherwise, you'll never know what those boundaries are, and you'll keep inadvertently crossing them.

5) Remember that this is about practicing behavior, not being "good" or "considerate" -- it's OK if you get it wrong, but really make an effort to acknowledge (and respect) the way she feels. If she's a reasonable person (and it sounds like she is) she'll reciprocate by doing the same.
posted by puckish at 9:22 AM on May 12, 2009 [3 favorites]

In this question you appear to have no regard whatsoever for your roommate's feelings - and that's why people have been quite critical of you in this thread. But in your previous questions, how people viewed you, and being well thought of, seemed to verge on an obsession for you. I think you're veering between two poles. The heading you've chosen for this post - Should we really listen to others or trust our own instincts and do what we want? - seems to me to illustrate this imbalanced approach. It seems like you can't decide whether people's opinion of you is either all-important or completely non-important.

The truth is, you should really listen to others and trust your own instincts. Being a social animal means negotiating the space between what you want and what other people want, between how you feel and how they feel. In this case, to live happily with a roommate means sometimes accommodating their wishes. It does not mean that your every behaviour is designed with them in mind.

For what it's worth, this stuff doesn't come easily to a lot of people. Pretty much everyone commenting here will have had at least one really bad roommate experience, and lots of bad interpersonal experiences. Puckish is right - it takes practice.
posted by tiny crocodile at 10:05 AM on May 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Based solely on your admittedly one-sided description of events, I think there's a real possibility that you are, in fact, an asshole. Forgetting to do something your roommate wants you to do is pretty normal, especially since you think it's trivial. Laughing when she bugs out about it might be a bad sign, or it might just be a not uncommon, though somewhat inappropriate, response to uncomfortable confrontation. But actually enjoying her frazzled reaction - that seems like a warning sign. And given that your instinct is to feel sorry for yourself and tell yourself that you actually care too much about what other people think, I think there is strong evidence for a preliminary armchair diagnosis of "asshole." No - It is not best to try to ignore other people's reactions to things. Ignoring other people's reactions to things is the hallmark of assholes everywhere.

If you do decide to go that route, though, you will likely want a cover. Arguably the most popular asshole cover story is that you are just "keeping it real," and "being honest."

On the plus side, there is considerable anecdotal evidence to the effect that assholes are often very popular with the ladies. You might want to consider forgoing the cover story altogether and just tell your roommate that you might actually be an asshole. If she is right for you, this might actually persuade her to reconsider you romantically. If not, at least you won't have to close the damn shower curtain anymore.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:45 AM on May 12, 2009 [4 favorites]

I think in your case, you need to pay more attention to people's reactions to you and give them serious consideration. That was not the answer I was expecting to provide until I read the "more inside."

I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you don't realize what a huge asshole you've been. Others have covered why it's a terrible idea to laugh when someone is upset, even if it's trivial, and why if you were a considerate person, you'd just close the shower curtain.

Since this one thing bothers me in particular, I want to get into your wanting to have sex with your roommate. Please consider the following:

- It can already be awkward for a girl to have a male roommate. It can be scary, even. It's even scarier if he doesn't seem to have any respect for your boundaries and is creeping you out by asking you to do things like play truth or dare. Speaking for myself, at least, it would be a nightmare for me to have a male roommate that, from the get-go, kept treating me like a sexual object. That he wouldn't even think it's okay to ask me to play truth or dare would make me livid, because I sure as hell would not have sent any signals that it was okay. Doesn't sound like this girl did either.

- You've only lived together for a month. During this time you have laughed at her when she is upset, purposely ignored her requests to be good roommate because you think it's funny, and ignored her very obvious signals that she does not want to have friendly conversations with you (probably because you're creeping her out and she doesn't want you to get any ideas).

I'm going to have to be blunt here because I want you to understand: that's the sort of behavior women call "pathetic" and "creepy." In that case, you do need to care what other people think of you, and you need to not do these things.

Just because a female lives in the same house with you does NOT mean you have a right to hassle her with sexual innuendos. Even if you had a male roommate who clearly wanted to be left alone, you should just leave him alone instead of telling yourself he's just shy. If people want to talk to you, they will, and if they don't want to, why that is is none of your business. It's a bit deluded of you to watch this girl being cold to you and think, "Oh, I just need to try harder." Hindsight is 20/20, I suppose. Learn from this.

I'm not saying you can never flirt with a female roommate. It would be a different story if she seemed receptive to your friendliness and you started out with some light flirting to gauge her reaction to it. It would also be a different story if you actually had any respect for her as a person, instead of laughing at her and purposely not doing the things she asks you to do. If I had some guy creeping me out and disrespecting me and my boundaries, and then he had the gall to ask me to play truth or dare, I would seriously backhand him at that point. She is absolutely right when she says that behavior is "socially unacceptable." It would only be acceptable if she had shown any interest in you whatsoever, instead of the exact opposite. You should consider yourself lucky she had the patience to sit down and talk to you.

However, I would recommend that you (in particular) don't flirt with a female roommate as a general rule, since you don't seem to be good at reading obvious disinterest. The stress it can place on her, and the awkwardness that can poison the living relationship, really isn't worth it. If you wanna sleep with someone, look for people who aren't trapped in a lease with you. I mean this as gently as possible, but leave the flirting-with-roommates to people who are good at reading other people; it's too delicate a situation to manage if you don't know what you're doing.
posted by Nattie at 11:02 AM on May 12, 2009 [8 favorites]

Response by poster: Thank you all for your responses. I realize how horribly I was coming off to her. But it is definitely not as bad as it seems because I was being aware of her problems, at least the best that I could. I do know now that I should have paid more attention to my living situation and not have been as self-centered.

Also, how do I know that she's not extremely similar to me. I think it's ridiculous that she turned me off after the first day we met, after I had taken her out for drinks on St. Patty's day, and that all of this is coming up one month later. I feel that it might have been handled differently if it wasn't so secretive.

I guess I am the type of person that can't help by try to make the situation a little more relaxed and easy going (I myself am a fairly easygoing guy).

Anyways, all of your comments enticed me to pick up a Joel Osteen book and begin reading Become a better you. The book is extremely humbling. I know I am not good at reading into girls and making them feel comfortable. Truth be told, I'm not sure where to start of going about doing so. I've had some really good girl friends but that's all where they seem to stay without ever going anywhere.

Maybe I am extremely socially awkward and am completely naive about it. However though, I love people, and I love talking to people and listening to people's stories they have to tell. Maybe I am quiet but in the same respects I hope I come across as a good guy and someone who is polite and honest.

While I wrote this first web blog, I was a little tipsy and venting, that's kind of what happens when you write things in a journal.
posted by weh546 at 11:57 PM on May 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

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