Nosey housemate

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Nosey housemate

Postby Mmms » Sun May 22, 2011 4:54 pm

Hello, I am a female who is 28, going on 29. I am a student, though I dont think that should make a difference.

I moved away to a brand new city last september, where i knew no one. I couldn't afford an apartment by myself. So when I was looking at accommodation, my options were either a student house where I didn't know anyone. I didn't fancy this option as I didn't fancy sharing with a bunch of rowdy 18 year olds. So I answered an add in the paper, as there was a room available to rent. I went and saw the room, met the other two housemates. One of them is in his 30's. He's deaf and a nice lad. The other is in her 40's and is a nightmare.

Since I moved in she has been far too nosey and been trying to mother me the second i moved in. I am a quite person who enjoys my space. When i moved in i thought, i would get some freedom. I do, but hell, the questions i get.

Probably one of the worst was after the christmas, I did a pregnancy test as my period was late. When it came to dumping the stick, i threw into into the bin in my bedroom until the bin was full. I tied the bag and disposed of it in the wheelie bin. It was the cardboard box, i was recycling. Its not something I want anyone to see, even in the bin so i wrapped it in two brown paper bags. They weren't even big bags. Think of a clean, brown chipper bag. So i dumped it. The next day, she quizzed me on the pregnancy test. Yes, she went through the bins. Even if she accidently threw something out, it couldn't hardly look exactly what i had. And it was not her place to quiz me. I was caught on the spot, and said ah sure, you'll have that. Think it killed her that i didn't tell her.

A few times when im making breakfast or dinner she will check under the lid to see what's in it. I remember the first day i was poaching eggs, she came in and asked me what was in the pot. Herself being nosey, i knew she wanted me to tell her exactly what was in it, so i told her, breakfast. No, wasn't good enough. She had to know exactly what was in it. She lifted the lid herself. Another time i was making pasta. The pasta was in the pot for no more that 3 minutes. It didn't need anyone checking on it. She stirred my pasta. I didnt ask her to make my dinner and here she is taking over.

When i was wasing my clothes and have them on the clothes line to dry. If there's any sign of rain at all, she will tell me to bring in my clothes. Now i couldn't give a monkey's, if they are out on the line for a week to dry, I dont need to be told what to do. I always tell her, they're fine outside. Then she tells me, it looks like rain and my answer once again, ah sure, you'll have that.

I had a guy over a few times in my room. And yes she has asked me everything about him. The first time I had him over, she saw his car parked outside, so she knew. As she was leaving early the next morning (friday morning) for the weekend. I didn't see her until the tuesday after and she quizzed me on him. 4 days after, long after i had forgotten about him. She had us married almost, asking when im seeing him next. I feel as if i cant have anyone over now. I hate the questions that follows.

During the college year, I had work experience once a week in a town that is about 40 miles away. I had to get the bus. Relying on buses, there was going to be some times where il miss it. And sure enough the first time i missed the bus, i had to wait two hours again for the next bus. So i was 2hours late coming home. After getting up at 6 o clock in the morning, i didn't arrive home until 9pm. I was tired, so i went straight to bed. I didn't even see her and i didnt want to see either cause i knew il be quizzed. Got up the day after and went to college. Didn't see her until 8.30 pm. Sure enough, what does she ask me, why was i 2 hours late the previous night?

When i go out with friends, she will ask me the day after everything. Who im with, where i went, right down to what i had for dinner and drinks. And even once, how come i didnt tell her i was going out.

I mentioned once when i first moved in that i would like to find work. Well that never happened and im glad it didnt as i had so much college work. Since february or march, she has been asking me non stop, did i find work for the summer. Of course i'd like to work and i have been searching for months. But she wants to know everything about my job hunt, where im looking, who i rang. I wanted her to shut up once so i told i was going on the dole. Boy, she was not happy, telling me i need work. After a stressful year, i will be happy on the dole. Im still living of savings so im stressed. I dont need to be told i need work.
Because she volunteers a few times a week, she has even tried getting me to do the exact same thing as herself. She does something where she calls to people that needs to talk. Thats something i wont like so there's no point. I like volunteering, i have in the past volunteered at animal shelter's. But with the college workload, it wasn't possible during the year.

I don't need to be quizzed about everything in my life. Why is she trying to mother me? Ahhhh, i do look 23 but even if i was 23, im still capable of minding myself. I told her before she wasn't my mother. And then she puts me onto a guilt trip telling me she cant have kids. Thats not my fault.

A few weeks ago, I had the chance of meeting her partner who she told me before was 43. 14 years older than me. Well she told me he was picking her up on such a day and the time. Well i was out of there. I didn't want to meet "daddy". Well anyway, i didnt want to meet him as i was terrified a complete stranger was going to walk into my life and then start acting liking my father. She asked me, the day after he called, how come I left without seeing him. I told her i was meeting friends which was a complete lie.

My own mother doesn't even quiz me like this. This is killing me. As she is so nosey, i spend alot of my time in my room. She has even asked me, what do i do all day in my room. She doesn't understand how i can actually have stuff to do.

Its such a nice house, cheap bills, close to college. I have spent most of time studying in my room. It was easy to avoid her. She also spends the weekend at her partner's place, so that was some freedom.

I know the answer to my problem, move out. I am in the process of applying for the dole, so this is my only proof of address since i moved here. I cant move right away. It'll be another few more weeks. It's not to bad as she has been sick since april and has spent all of her time at her partner's house. She had a hysterectomy. I cant believe, im thinking, good enough for her, as its freedom for me.

She is due back here this evening, where i haven't seen her since the beginning of april. I did receive some text messages from her asking me has she mail. I have tried to be polite and tell her when there is mail. But as soon as i answer, the next nosy message comes through. Where i just ignore it.

I know i cant avoid her when she's back, but she's going to be quizzing me. I want to be polite, so please, what do i say to her?
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Re: Nosey housemate

Postby ILoveChristmas » Mon May 23, 2011 4:31 pm

For me the only thing she's done that's overtly out of the ordinary is the bin issue.

How she came to know there was a pregnancy test box in the bin we can't know. Maybe she did look in your bin bags, maybe she threw something in and your bag ripped and she saw it, or maybe she untied a bag to put something else in it rather than throw it in loose. What i'm saying is that she may have looked through your bin bags - which is what you seem to be suggesting she did - but she may not have.

When it comes to her being nosey, i'm afraid I don't really see anything wrong with her reminding you it's raining outside, or taking an interest in what you're having for dinner, or asking who's coming to the house. Yes, you have a right to live your own life, and yes, you're entitled to privacy but you're living in a shared house and while that's the case, ultimately, it's not private.

If i'm to be honest i'd say it was more your issue than hers. I don't mean to offend you when I say that, but when she asks you what you're making and you bluntly reply "breakfast", more or less refusing to tell her what you're making, that's not her being nosey, that's you verging on being rude. I accept that she didn't need to lift the lid on your pot, but for me that's more a 'if you want to be that way i'll look myself' reaction.

I'm sure there will be others who will respond to your post and see things your way, but i'm afraid I don't.

If you want to live your life in isolation while you share, then really your only option is to share with professionals who are too busy most of the time and too tired the rest to make conversation with you, or look in your pots.
Christmas to a child is the first terrible proof that to travel hopefully is better than to arrive. - Stephen Fry.

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel. — Steve Furtick
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Re: Nosey housemate

Postby mrswibble » Mon May 23, 2011 8:31 pm

Whilst at uni I lived with one particular person who made me feel very uncomfortable with her intimidating behaviour, and I think I can appreciate where you are coming from. First of all, I completely understand why you are feeling so frustrated and trapped by your flat mate's behaviour, especially with regards to her finding the pregnancy test. Even if she did find it by accident, it certainly wasn't any of her business and she had no right to bring this up with you as a subject up for discussion. From an emotional perspective I think I would feel the same.

In order to change how I approach a situation I find the best thing to do is step back. We cannot change what has happened in the past, only how we approach the future. So, how can you change the way you approach her in the future? My Dad is very controlling, and one of his quirks that used to drive me to distraction was every time we went to a restaurant he would always eat food off my plate (asking for some first and not waiting for a response), and whenever I went back to his he would always imperiously declare he wanted a cup of tea and expect to be waited on. So now whenever we go out for a meal I always offer him food off of my plate straight away and whenever we go back to his I immediately offer to make him a cup of tea. Now I am not annoyed by him trying to be in control, because I control the situation, and he feels in control because he's getting what he wants. The only person you can control in any situation is you, and not her, so change the way you approach her, even if it's in a small way. Maybe if she's coming in the kitchen when you're making breakfast you can say "What are you having for breakfast today? I'm having poached eggs", she gets the information she wants without having to ask for it, and you don't feel she is wearing you down and trying to wheedle it out of you. Set aside a few minutes each day when you get in to give her some information of your day, information that is not important to you, such as if you were busy, if you went out for lunch, and any small points that may be bland but fill up time. Ditto if you go out of an evening. With regards to a boyfriend or male friend, maybe a brief intro before retiring to the bedroom for some privacy. It seems that the less info you give the more she wants to know, so giving her a little info should help her back off a little.

I realise it may feel a little frustrating at first, especially as she has been acting in an inappropriate manner, but if you stick to your guns I am sure it will help, it took me a little while, but it has worked!

Lots of luck to you - not that you need it!

Feel free to PM me if you would like to.
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Re: Nosey housemate

Postby brendo » Wed May 25, 2011 1:39 am

To be honest, I agree with ILC. I've lived with loads of various people in many different houses so I'm well aware of how annoying it is to live with a nightmare of a house mate. But your house mate seems more helpful than nosey to me.

Its sounds to me like she is just trying to make conversation most of the time. As you are house mates, all you have in common is the household and your comings and goings so what else can she chat about? If you're a private person then she probably doesn't know much about you outside of day to day running of the house. I think she just wants a friendly atmosphere in the house and this is her way of doing that.

It seems she is one of these people who confuse interrogation with conversation. I have a load of relatives with the same issue and the best way I deal with them is to start the conversation myself and to dominate the chit chat as much as possible. Talk about something you've read in the paper that day - an issue that annoys or interests you and get her to chat about that for awhile. Discuss topics that are less personal to you so that you can both have a conversation without it turning into a 'where you going/what you eating/how's the job hunt' discussion. That's easier said than done though. But its definitely worth a try.

Now that she's back in the house, make polite but light conversation with her and maybe tell her that you don't want to be rude, but as it's exam time, you are under a lot of stress and likely to be grumpy so you need space to yourself for the next few weeks. After that, you can decide if you want to move out or not.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein
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