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Travelling tortoise

Man up or gtfo

8 posts in this topic

It's time to rant. 

I live with a good friend who is very different in the way of viewing the world. Over the last few years he has become very rigid and, in my opinion, close minded to many ideas. New concepts or ways of doing things are quickly discarded if they are not obviously better than the current situation.
For the last couple of years I have been trying to actualize and it's hard. Changing myself is becoming  one of the hardest things I have ever tried to do. I want all the help I can to make my life as 'sharp' as I can make it. That also means getting support from my environment, my home for one. My ideal would be to continually improve, change and experiment with my place of living in order to learn what the best environment would be for the person I want to become. this pushes me to improve my home, to keep it clean, making sure it's good for me. However, and this is where problems start to arise. my roommate does not have his drive in the same direction. I would almost say he aims in the opposite direction. His actions are regularly oriented at avoidance of responsibilities and cheap pleasure seeking distraction. Where I would read a book in quiet or actively do something around the house he would be watching Netflix with food wrappers on the floor next to him. We have confirmed, through many conversations, that there is a solid difference in interests and apparent values between us. 

I have been reading books like Jocko Willink's Extreme ownership, and Jack Donovan's The way of men & A more complete beast. These books push me to take on responsibility and express the values that I deem important. This is often difficult as you might know yourself, but I'm convinced this makes me stronger. However, this also forces me to relentlessly take ownership of the house, my house. ( in the spirit of the Jungian King archetype )

So if I would see the kitchen in a mess, I would think: 'would i want my kitchen to look like that?' and the answer would usually be 'no', or whatever the answer is makes me do the thing that needs to be done. And this gives a huge boost in confidence and trust in myself. It feels really good to take care of your kingdom and set it in order. The problem is that I have someone else living in the kingdom. My roommate. And he does not put this same effort in the house. My clean kitchen? Dirty at the end of the day, until I clean it again. Now this is doable , but after some time though, it starts to itch. I started to build resentment towards my roommate: 'He could live in my clean castle without making the sacrifice of caring for it?'  The thought 'It's not fair', or 'he doesn't deserve it' keeps coming back to me...

I hope you can see the problem I have here; wanting to take ownership of whatever presents itself to me, but having to carry someone who doesn't appreciate or even recognize the efforts, but still enjoys the benefits for free.

From the one hand I feel like i'm being petty and this is something I have to work trough an be a king for anyone in the kingdom, even if it means having this draining archetypal leech attached. This would be a good challenge for growth, but sometimes it just feels like a too heavy load. Not only facing myself in actually DOING the work but also doing it selflessly.... On the other hand I've thought about moving out into a studio just for me, but the logistics of this idea are difficult to pull off because of my education schedule and my financial situation as a student. Moreover, It feels like running away from the situation, it feels like I could learn so much from this period and grow as a person if I can handle it smartly.

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I sympathize with you. 

But you can't do anything in this situation. 

You will have to clean and tolerate the leech. 

Maybe if that person sees you cleaning everyday, his conscience might wake up some day and he might own his share of the responsibility. 

Sucks I know.  But can't help this.

Dont lose your money over getting a studio. Just be here as long as you don't finish. 

And do whatever you can to keep the place clean. 

And don't think about that person. He can't be fixed. 


Create your own life system. 

Preety preety

And then my dear, you can take a bath in suds. 

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Have you tried honest communication and allowing your vulnerability to show up in this conversation? This often makes it easier for the other person to feel empathy, which in turn makes it easier to negotiate and reach some kind of agreement.

It's way different to hear something like: "I'm sick of cleaning everything and your laziness" than to hear something like: "I'd like for us both to find a way to feel better at home and it's really important for me that our shared spaces are as clean as possible."

Since you aren't living alone, you will have to make some concessions, because he never will do things exactly like you would do them, let alone have the same way of viewing life as you. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't express your needs. It means that you will have to negotiate and see if you can reach a mutual agreement that is OK for both. 

You can't change him, but you can work on communication and find a solution.

If this isn't possible, you may have to find a place where you can have things your way. Sometimes this is the best you can do for your well-being. However, if you end up in some kind of relationship and start living with your partner, you'll probably face similar situations, unless you find someone who is exactly on the same page as you are, which is highly unlikely. 

Lastly, I would inspect if there's something deeper that's being triggered by your room mate. You said "it's not fair", "he doesn't deserve it". Is this something you've felt more often? The feeling of people not treating you in a fair way? 

Good luck with this, it's not an easy situation but you will learn a lot. 

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Sounds like a toxic person for you.  I would be resentful too.  Now you know.  I hope you are able to find more compatible roommates or a studio next go around.  I like having my studio, and have become really quite happy about literally having 100% responsibility about how it looks.  I've seen cohabitations that are very tidy and peaceful, but I think this takes a lot of work and requires people to have already matured and stabilized significantly.

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In Non-violent communication, we would teach not to use blaming language, but to confidently speak your emotional experience. "When you leave wrappers laying around, and when you leave dishes in the sink, I am overcome with anxiety and annoyance.  I need a clean living environment in order to feel at ease, happy, and respected.  Can you please help me come up with a solution so that resentment doesn't build over this?"

Try your hardest to avoid calling him a leech, but do tell him what behaviors are creating you so much distress.

Edited by h inandout

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This has been good.

Thank you all for the comments, it's nice to have some third party eyes on the situation. Even though I could never describe 100% how I feel and what the predicament exactly is, it is very nice and reassuring to read your replies. I've also talked to a good friend and unloaded my situation upon him which really helped put it all out 'in front of me' and I feel like there is some emotional resolve now.

My current view on the situation is to keep living together and focus on clear, courageous and confident communication. Resentment builds when anger is left unaddressed. I'm going to try and say exactly what is going on on my end of the universe in a non-violent way, thanks @h inandout & @Farnaby. I also feel like I currently regress into petty behavior from time to time, at which point my festering resentment will come to the surface and really explode. I know I'm doing better when this becomes less both in frequency and intensity.

I don't know what the best way to 'systematically' do this would be, but I think I'm going to start by reading different books. The way of men & A more complete beast by Jack Donovan are quite 'radical' books in the sense that they push me to conquer and have it my way. Instead, I'm gonna try and find some books that talk about things less testosterone related. Courage to be Disliked by Fumitake Koga for one, is a book that really helped me 'disconnect' from my roommate and focus more on what I could do for the situation and for him as a friend. Any and all book suggestions are VERY welcome at this point.

I might make a thread in the future asking how one could do this or just asking for advice. For now, I'm going to give it another go. Thanks again for the comments, every single one actually helped me a lot and gave me some perspective on things.

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He's here to remind you how quickly you can be turned away from love^_^

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