How to become more sensitive, stop saying the wrong thing?
September 22, 2018 2:39 AM   Subscribe

I feel like I often say the wrong thing. Things which (when I think about how it would feel to be on the receiving end) I later realise would be hurtful. I don't mean to hurt, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm failing to put enough effort into considering other people's feelings, and maybe that makes me a bad person. I'm looking for practical advice on how to be better (e.g. I'm unsure if it's feasible to take 5 seconds before I say literally anything), and also, I guess, some sort of comfort (because right now I am feeling like I don't really deserve to be in human society).

The background to this particular incident is this. I am in London, with a low budget for rent, and a desperation to avoid soulless living-with-rotating-cast-of-stranger flats. It seems like every room I've gone for has many people interested, so I haven't been having much luck (until very recently). I was living in one of those miserable agency flats, and my contract ended before I could find somewhere else. The guy I was dating (and honestly, it had only been about 3 months) suggested I stay with him (my alternative solution had been - maybe naively - to get an AirBnB). He's lucky enough to live in a flat owned by his parents. He does have a flatmate, J, who is the son of his parents' friends. He also has another occasional flatmate, R, who is a friend of his, but doesn't really live in London - she just gives him money towards utilities whenever she stays.
Here are some of the things I've got wrong in the last little while:
* when she arrived to stay, she put some vegan food in the fridge. I'm trying to be "more vegan", but I'm not vegan. I asked, "Oh, are you vegan?" She told me she wasn't (she's lactose-intolerant). Apparently (she tells me) when she said this, I said "Oh," in a dismissive kind of way (I don't think I intended to be dismissive). And then at some point (can't remember if same conversation) I said, "I aspire to be vegan." She experienced this as being kind of patronising and self-elevating (because I "aspire" to that as if towards being a better person).
* I had a cooking disaster I was quite embarrassed about - was trying to cook split peas, but they wouldn't soften, and they filled the house with a bad smell. R was teasing me about it, and I was feeling v self-conscious. So eventually bf and I were going to throw them out. When we walked out of the bedroom where we'd been chatting and I smelled the smell, I just felt really embarrassed and didn't want to face R about it again. So I said to bf, "could *you* throw them out, please." Later R mentioned the split peas and I said, "we threw them out", and she was like, "no, *we* threw them out." Apparently she'd had involvement with the throwing-out process, which I hadn't known about. This was a problem because she feels like I hide behind taking responsibility (in this incident and a couple of others) by using "we". I don't *think* this is accurate; I think my thought process behind the "we" was that if I had said "bf threw them out", it would sound as if he'd decided to do that unilaterally without my agreement.
* R is a junior doctor and was applying for jobs. My bf is also a junior doc in the same specialty, and had previously said to me that "they're so desperate they'll give anyone with a pulse a job". She mentioned the applying process, and I said, "bf says [as above]". It was meant to be encouraging (as in, "you shouldn't have too much trouble!"), but was hurtful.
* I had a bike I needed to get rid of. I'd bought it second-hand a year ago for £170 (including two puncture-resistant tyres worth £30 each), and used it only a few times (maybe ten at most). R wanted to get a new road bike, and offered to take my bike to the shop to trade it in and get a bit of money back. I had asked a bike reselling shop earlier that day what they would give for it, and they had said £20-40, which was really disappointing to me. And when she came back from the shop with £50, I was really grateful to her for going to that effort, and I did thank her, but I also said something about being disappointed about not being able to get more. Ugh, just kicking myself for this.
* She took me to a restaurant for lunch a few days ago (trying to be friendly). The way she described this later was that I didn't offer to even pay half. When I said that I had offered to pay, and that she'd said, "it's on me", she said that I'd waited so long to offer (and the waitress was standing there waiting) that she'd been embarrassed and felt she had no alternative. (I don't remember this, and I was genuine about my offer to pay, although I may have been uncertain about whether offering was polite.) Similarly, she went out to a coffee shop, suggesting that she get something for me, and bought a coffee for herself and a hot chocolate for me. She mentioned that I hadn't offered to pay for that either, and it was as if I expected her to pay for me. (I don't remember thinking about offering to pay on that occasion; I guess I saw it as her wanting to give me something, so didn't think about money. I should have thought about it, I know.)
* PDAs with bf. I don't honestly think I've gone overboard with this. I've put my head on his shoulder in front of her and I've rubbed his arm. Maybe cuddled up to him a bit. I can't remember what else, but I guess I thought I was fairly aware about *not* behaving that way - maybe not. I did find it a little unfair that she would describe it as "practically having sex on the sofa". Because, no. She also said she's spent plenty of time around couples, and never seen anything like this. Which, well, I don't know what to think here.
* R has mentioned that J is uncomfortable being around the PDAs, and also that the flat is currently so messy and dirty it makes him uncomfortable and feel oppressed. I didn't know any of this until she mentioned it. I know that there is more *stuff* in the flat since I got here, including in public spaces. But I don't think I've made the flat dirtier. I do leave bowls in the sink soaking, waiting to be washed, but I'm not the only one who does that, and thought it was fine.

She summed most of this up by telling me that I should try to be more aware that other people have feelings too.
She also mentioned that often the rudest, bluntest people are the most sensitive to being personally attacked / teased. I *am* pretty sensitive to being attacked or teased - the contexts were a) she was challenging me about veganism in a way that she said later that she herself likes to be challenged, but which my bf (who was there) felt was really quite a harsh attack in the *way* she did it, more than the words used, b) her teasing me about the split peas - she said it was only teasing, but tbh I felt very self-conscious about the attempted vegan food that wasn't working out, and the smell through the whole house, in the context of feeling like I was already upsetting her in some way I didn't understand. I don't think it was really just teasing though; she did think it was a pretty inconsiderate thing to do, to let the smell happen like that, and I think that came across in the teasing.

I honestly don't know what to do. I'm feeling like I'm a rubbish person. I'm feeling like I should break up with bf because he doesn't deserve to be with someone who trails discomfort and havoc through his friendships - he deserves someone who brings peace and light and joy, and who his friends love and feel comfortable around. I'm feeling like maybe I'm just pathologically insensitive and unconcerned about others' feelings. Maybe there's something broken about the bit of me that should be able to very automatically be aware of how hurtful something I'm about to say might be.

I have been told before "you have no filter" "you're quite intense". I know some people have thought I'm weird.

I've worried that I'm on the autistic spectrum - I don't know, but I don't think so. I did grow up in quite strange circumstances that weren't conducive to good, normal social interactions.

So far I've come up with the idea of taking 5 seconds every time I'm about to say anything to someone I don't know really well, and think about how that person will receive it. I don't know, though, if conversations really allow for pauses that long. And I'd prefer to be spontaneous and natural and not always anxious about what I'm saying.

I've also thought of being quiet more. This would probably be a good idea. If I do this, though, I need to know how to strike a balance such that I don't look like I'm hiding something, and so I can still maybe let people know they might be interested in knowing me. (I have attempted asking people questions about themselves, but I tend to end up asking question after question and making people feel like they are being grilled - I have often tended to treat conversations like a way to get information I want, as opposed to like a dance. I'm trying to work on this, but not sure I'm there yet.)

I'm wondering how to be authentic in conversation while still having a filter that catches things, and how to be sensitive to other people, and how to remember to do both of these things *in the moment*. I want to have a filter. I want to be kind. I want to be thoughtful. I don't know if I'm kind. I don't know if I think enough about others' feelings.
Also, what is a good way, in this context, of taking what someone says on board, and trying to explain where you were coming from and take ownership of what you did without making excuses for yourself? I said something about not trying to excuse myself, but knowing that I do tend to have foot-in-mouth syndrome. But I also know that saying that sounds like I am asking to be excused (I'm no longer even sure if that's what I really am asking), whereas I know it's actually my responsibility to not upset people. But what if I just seem to keep upsetting people?
Are there social skills training programs for adults?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Based on what you've written here, R sounds like one of those prickly, manipulative people who get off on undermining other people who they read as being manipulable. My guess is that she likes her life setup the way it was without you in it, for whatever reason, and now you're in it and she doesn't like it as much (maybe you living in space that she sees as hers, maybe your closeness with your boyfriend taking up social interaction space that she sees as hers, who knows).

None of the things you've done or said around her sound like the terrible social mistakes you're making them out to be here - they all seem fairly minor, but there's a pattern of her being weird and gaslighty about stuff (the bit about her paying for lunch totally reads as gaslighting to me).

I recommend you scale way, way back on your interactions with her - don't get her to sell bikes for you, don't get into positions where she can put you down or make you feel bad or like you did something socially inept. She has power to maintain and currently she's maintaining it by painting her interactions with you in a very negative light when what you've done doesn't sound anywhere near terrible enough to warrant that reaction.

The whole thing about her saying J hates PDAs and being around you when you're doing that also reads as a big red flag to me; I've also known manipulative people try to manipulate others by telling them how other people in their social group "really feel" about the person they're manipulating. Don't believe anything about how J feels unless you hear it from J directly, this sounds like first-order shit-stirring rather than real problems that you need to deal with.

For what it's worth, I don't know a lot of people who are genuinely empathetic who also go around saying things like "you should be aware that other people have feelings too" - I tend to see that kind of behaviour more in people who feel like they're entitled to have their own needs & wants met 100% of the time at the expense of the people around them. Genuinely empathetic people would give you the benefit of the doubt in minorly awkward social situations, rather than making a big deal about how terrible and awkward you are to the people around them.

Summary: R feels threatened by having you around for reasons we can only guess at and she's behaving like this to try and maintain her own power balance/knock you down in the eyes of the other people in the group. Become like a rock that doesn't give a fuck about what she thinks, own your own space and relationship and right to be there and say stuff and cook food and use bowls and make smells, all of that stuff is normal when it comes to living with other people (and she doesn't. even. really. live there.). Scale back on your interactions, be polite and neutral and don't give her anything to shit-talk you about, and definitely don't get into any situations where she has additional power over you, like doing you favours or paying for stuff for you.
posted by terretu at 3:26 AM on September 22, 2018 [53 favorites]

You sound totally normal and actually more considerate than most people. I get the strong impression that R regards you as an interloper and will basically take anything you say the wrong way, and jump at any chance to establish some sort of dominance. She sounds awful, to be honest. She seems to regard your boyfriend as her property, and to resent your mere existence. It's a shame he doesn't seem to stand up for you.

This situation would reduce any sensitive, kind and thoughtful person to a nervous wreck, as it's doing to you. R is the weird one, not you. The misunderstandings you describe are par for the course, except that I get a feeling that R does not have basic goodwill towards you. She has no business giving you "advice". I hope she'll be gone soon.

Please don't try to change yourself because of this weird person with their weird agenda. Also, do you have any friends or family you could spend some time with soon? You need a dose of reassurance and validation.
posted by Grunyon at 3:29 AM on September 22, 2018 [12 favorites]

You're being bullied and then gaslit about it. R is being a shit and then telling you you're being a shit. My gut says she has a thing for your boyfriend and is hoping to drive you away. Don't let her. Also, pay attention to whether your boyfriend is sticking up for you- he should be. You're definitely not the problem in any of the situations you describe; you actually sound quite nice.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:30 AM on September 22, 2018 [28 favorites]

To be honest, R is the one who sounds like a jerk here and she's gaslighting you into think you're some rude monster. That's just the vibe I'm getting, especially when she's calling that super light "PDA" as practically having sex. She's policing your tone when calling you out for not saying "oh" correctly. And dumping all the blame on you for a messy apartment even though you're only as messy as everyone else.

I think she's the one feeling attacked constantly so she's projecting that onto you. I don't think there's a possible way for you to have a good conversation with her because it sounds like she views everything as a competition between you two. Maybe she has feelings for your boyfriend? Or maybe she is just competitive with other women in general. It's hard to know for sure without more information.

You frame this question as you being offensive and hurting people's feelings, but all the examples seem to be about R. Do you offend others often, or is it just her? Either way, none of what you described would come even close to making you a bad person or suggesting you need social training.
posted by blackzinfandel at 3:31 AM on September 22, 2018 [6 favorites]

Every interaction you describe is just a bit of awkwardness in my book, and absolutely nothing pathological or intense or even hurtful! You sound like a normal adult trying to hash out relationships with other adults. Nothing here is evidence of you being a rubbish person, it's all just examples of you enduring moments of social anxiety and not gracefully pirouetting through them (which is entirely unreasonable to expect!) and maybe, maybe being over-worried about other people's theoretical feelings about you.

R sounds like an annoying person who likes to hurt people. She doesn't sound the least bit empathetic at all. If you had framed this question slightly differently we would all be telling you that R is into your bf and that you need to talk to him about this in clear and simple language and get his support to establish boundaries with R. Alternatively, it's too complicated and you don't deserve to sort through their mess, dump the bf and be rid of R forever. Regardless, you've made this question about you and not your relationship.

Stand up for yourself. Become comfortable making mistakes. This is hard! But there are ways to practice making mistakes in safer environments. Like, an art or theater class, where you're free to try new things without being punished for trying. Or maybe you could try more cooking - nobody, even the finest chefs in the world or the most wonderful grandmas with the biggest families, makes no mistakes when cooking. As you get used to making mistakes in something that's obviously unfamiliar to you, you'll be able to take those experiences and apply them to things you expect yourself to be adept at but are not - like conversational impasses or weird jealous roommates.

Steer clear of R. She has no good intentions.
posted by Mizu at 3:36 AM on September 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

Yep. I also thought the person complaining was making things up to manipulate you. I literally could not imagine how this conversation came about, such that this person had the temerity to tell you all of that in such detail. I had trouble tracking the letters for people, but she/he is a monster and 95% of that seemed entirely made up on their part. Seriously.

- Vacuum, clean, scrub the flat. Organize your stuff. Just do it. Think of it as an exorcism ritual.

- Stay away from the roommates, get your own life.

- KEEP YOUR BOYFRIEND WHO SOUNDS FINE, but don’t talk to him about his friends or roommates. Cultivate your relationship and have fun together.

- Yeah, the more I think about it, this female roommate you keep mentioning seems like she’s trying to shame you into moving out. Since she’s rarely around, be happy. Avoid her when she is around.

- Always pay your way everywhere now that you are an adult. Period.

- The roommates are worried they’ll lose their sweet deal when you and BF get more serious and want the flat to yourselves. You’re probably not on the spectrum.

- I totally suspect I’m on the spectrum, too. I suggest that you get a serious practice going, something that includes exercise, heavy breathing, and some sort of meditative state and a positive mental script. I adore kundalini yoga for this, I used to hike near my house and do a guided meditation with headphones at the top. Spin class if the teacher says lots of positive things and doesn’t play music with angry lyrics, martial arts, maybe try a climbing gym? You get the idea. You need something you can do that will elevate your thinking and physically make you feel better, plus is something you can turn to almost anytime. It can become the scaffolding to build your life on, now you won’t need to depend on anyone but yourself to feel better because you have your own tools to help yourself. Becoming self-realized is awesome and a little like having a superhero identity you wear on the inside. Get a practice. Try different things until you find the one that sticks.

- If in doubt, vacuum and clean the bathroom. A+ moving around helps, plus a cleaner environment tends to clean up your thinking, too.

You’re going to be fine. You didn’t do anything wrong. Get a practice. Hold your head up high.
posted by jbenben at 4:45 AM on September 22, 2018 [6 favorites]

Agree that R sounds manipulative and that nothing you've described sounds as bad as she's making it out to be. I also agree that it sounds like she is trying to undermine you and may have a thing for your boyfriend. Or she may just not like you living there for whatever reason.

The advice to avoid her as much as possible, and never let her be in a position of power (through favors or paying for you) is solid. She sounds practiced at manipulating people, and it is important to remember that she is not on your side, even if she plays nice for a while.

I'm not internet diagnosing anyone, but you may find it helpful to google the "gray rock" method for dealing with narcissists. Essentially you only give them the most bland, uninteresting interaction so that they don't have anything to sink their manipulative hooks into.
posted by jeoc at 6:03 AM on September 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

Nthing this. All your examples of what a jerk you supposedly are involve the same person interpreting your tone, appealing to others’ authority and offering criticism based on their or others’ reported feelings. This is an R problem, not a You problem.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 6:16 AM on September 22, 2018 [6 favorites]

Has anyone but R ever complained about your insensitivity? Have you had any concerns about being on the spectrum before this situation with R came up?

I'm guessing not. I mean, we all can work on being better people and it's a worthy goal. But whatever is going on with R I highly doubt that you're going to make her okay with you by changing your behavior.

I googled Gray Rock based on jeoc's answer - it sounds pretty good. I'd also consider scheduling events to keep super busy and out of the house as much as possible whenever she was in town. That way even if you do see her you don't really have time to engage with drama "Gotta run I have yoga/art workshop/hiking/volunteering/a thing to get to, bye."
posted by bunderful at 6:21 AM on September 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

Single most important thing I learned from years spent in shared houses is that friction starts in the kitchen.

Nobody likes walking into a kitchen with intent to cook, only to be confronted with a pile of other people's festy old leavings mouldering in the sink. And yes, everybody does this but that doesn't make it fine.

When I'm cooking I clean up as I go, and I have a bright-line personal rule about not putting stuff in the sink to soak unless I'm actually in the room and working at or near the sink and will definitely remember to finish washing it before leaving the room. If other people have left a bunch of stuff soaking, then as well as cleaning up what I've used myself I'll generally wash two of the soaking items and move them to the drying rack. Consistently dealing with all of everybody else's mess rapidly devolves into becoming the resident housework martyr which is a shitty thing to be, but washing one or two extra things while the hot water's running anyway contributes to harmony at negligible personal cost.

Moving anything of yours that you possibly can out of public areas and into your own room will tend to reduce disharmony as well, as will running the vac around the place about a third as often as you think it needs to be done.

Of all the things you mentioned in your question, those are the only ones I'd be bothering to do anything about. I don't think you're saying the wrong things. You might just be saying things to the wrong person: reads to me like dealing with R calls for less speech and more smiling and waving.
posted by flabdablet at 7:03 AM on September 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

It sounds to me (as to others) that the problem isn't you, it's R. She's doing that thing where someone pretends they want to be your friend but then subtly criticizes and undermines you, all in the guise of wanting to help you be a "better person." Ugh.

So from now on: pull way back on your interactions with her. Smile and be polite but have as little to do with her otherwise as possible.

And EVERY TIME she criticizes you, as yourself what kind of pleasure she's getting out of cutting you down. Reframe it. It's not you, it's her.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:40 AM on September 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

Yeah, the only one of these that I would have cocked an eyebrow at was the line about how "they'll give anyone a job"; you can see how this reads as insulting to someone who apparently isn't getting offers thrown at her. The rest are well within the bounds of normal.

Most of this sounds to me like this lady is either a really prickly, difficult person or just doesn't like having you around. I didn't understand if you're paying rent, and if your presence in the flat raises the total number of people who generally live there? Even if you do pay and are replacing another person, if she feels like she didn't have a say in having you live there, it'd be easy to see why she'd resent your very presence.
posted by fingersandtoes at 9:43 AM on September 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

R is a junior doctor and was applying for jobs. My bf is also a junior doc in the same specialty, and had previously said to me that "they're so desperate they'll give anyone with a pulse a job". She mentioned the applying process, and I said, "bf says [as above]". It was meant to be encouraging (as in, "you shouldn't have too much trouble!"), but was hurtful.

this is the ONLY rude thing in that whole long list. and yes, it does come over as mean, but it is also completely plausible as an accidental slip and anyone who didn't already have some grudge against you would believe you when you said you didn't mean it that way.

the rest of it is R not liking you and being a dick about it. continue to respond politely but don't dwell on any of it. you can't make her like you and you don't need her to. behave well because you want to be a well-behaved person, not because you need other people to not be annoyed.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:45 AM on September 22, 2018 [7 favorites]

On another note: If you're worried about saying the wrong thing to people in general, two thoughts:

1. Almost everyone can tell the difference between someone who is a kind person but sometimes tactless or awkward and someone who is intentionally unkind. (For instance, you are giving R the benefit of the doubt out of insecurity, but most people would be like "R is an asshole".) If you are a kind person generally, the worst that will happen is that people will think you're a little tactless. I've been the tactless person and I've been the suave person, and no one hated me when I was awkward and I don't hate people when they're awkward.

2. Worrying about your behavior and feeling insecure take up a lot of processing power. When I was younger and more insecure (and just like you, used to obsess over tiny nuances of my behavior and used to fall victim to the Rs of the world) my brain was always whirring away about my behavior and I had trouble being focused in conversation. Now that I am not as insecure, I have way more brain space and find it much, much easier to say the right thing. I used to think that I was just bad at having conversations, when really I was super distracted all the time, not actually bad at them.

R is making things worse for you partly because you're having to think about her awful behavior, doubt yourself all the time, etc. This takes away from your ability to focus on conversations.

Also, doing things to address your anxiety/insecurity/stress levels like jbenben recommends will probably help restore some processing power to you, and you'll find it easier to handle conversations in general.

You're not a terrible person - a terrible person would be rude intentionally and would not care. (Like R!) You weren't rude - in a couple of your examples, someone could conceivably take what you said out of context and be a little offended, but that's not really your fault.

Also - seriously, I think that AFAB people and women are socialized to worry too much about the finer nuances of what we say. Not that one should be rude all the time, but we are taught to spend so much time and energy policing ourselves over very small stuff. (Men don't get taught that being even a tiny bit rude is the end of the world.) We spend energy on worrying about being perfectly polite when we could use that energy to meet our own needs or to make change in the world.

I'm not saying that you should just be rude (except to R!) but ask yourself this: What terrible, world-destroying thing would happen if you were a little abrupt with someone? If you did occasionally say something in casual conversation that accidentally made someone feel just a tiny bit judged? Can't they manage their own feelings just a tiny bit? Why must you always police yourself to avoid even very slightly accidentally making someone feel like you were a tiny bit brusque? What if you used all that brain space to study, or to do a hobby, or to do something political?

If you are accidentally a little bit impolite to someone, you can apologize (if the opportunity presents itself) and move on. Feel a little bad, make a note to do differently in the future and forget it. Your life is precious. Don't get pushed by patriarchy into spending all your time micro-managing your every word for fear of being a bad person. There are lots of terrible people in the world - it's a trick of the devil to make the rest of us feel that we're bad for just, like, making a smart remark now and then.

(Also, when someone has a little cooking disaster - as happens to all of us from time to time - a mature, gracious person ignores it. Only someone raised by horrible Tory wolves makes a big deal out of it.)
posted by Frowner at 9:54 AM on September 22, 2018 [15 favorites]

Whatever you are doing, and maybe some of it is a little off (like the comment about hiring anyone with a pulse), R sounds like she is much more insensitive, but writes it off as just 'teasing'. She sounds like the kind of insufferable person that I try to avoid, avoid, avoid, and a hypocrite to boot. This may be making too much of an assumption but she also sounds like she is a bit territorial around your boyfriend.

So, reflect on this if you like and of course we can all try to be more sensitive, but don't take this all upon yourself.
posted by thereader at 12:58 PM on September 22, 2018

Yikes. You can't be so shatteringly insecure about split peas. Its the kind of thing that makes bullies target you. They see your weak spots and it enrages them. You don't need to break up with your boyfriend. You just need some confidence.

How to get it:
Are you paying rent or "staying" at your boyfriends place? If you're not paying rent, start, and pay it on time.

Have a cleaning routine. Like others said, immediately clean up after yourself in the kitchen. Mop the front entry way 1x a week. Take out the garbage 1x a week. Whatever.

Now you know how R is about money. She is never going to want to pay for you. Never. You seem to feel like the poor cousin here, but R is stressed about money too. Maybe her utilities contribution will go up now that you're there? Maybe the apartment is more crowded and she wants to pay less? Maybe she can't find as good a deal anywhere else and feels both insecure about her finances and entitled to preserving her domain? Well, not on you. We've all got problems. Jeez.

I've read a lot of questions here where someone in the UK feels so guilty for owning a flat they cannot bring themselves to ask their friends/ roommates for proper contributions. Cultural class guilt and/or inability to discuss money openly? I don't know how to address the cultural issue, but I would say 1) Know your value. You do that by paying rent. 2) Add value. Do that by cleaning.

R is a bit toxic. No need to be friends with her out of the apartment, or engage her in favors. She really shouldn't be criticizing you this way. She has no right and has overstepped boundaries. Again, maybe this is class guilt and the preferred illusion that this is a shared home, like a family set up, and not a series of transactions between friends. Well if I had a family member treat me like that I would still think they are a b-word with bad boundaries, but with a random drop-in roommate I would be flabbergasted and never speak to her again. She needs to get out of your face.

As for the couch cuddling, this is why people don't like living with couples. But that doesn't mean the couple breaks up or you leave or you stop holding hands, etc. That means the roommates adjust to the couple, generally.

Also yeah, work on your confidence. I like jbenben's advice to exercise. It helps.
posted by charlielxxv at 2:08 PM on September 22, 2018

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