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Flatmate problems

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:06 am
by kitian
Firstly, I am 31 and live in a house share with my husband. I know we are both a bit too old to be house sharing, but are trying to save as much as possible on rent so that we can afford to buy a house in the near future.

We live with 4 other people - a guy (let's call him Dave) a girl, and a couple. The couple is relatively new to the house. The rest of us have been living there since May last year.

The 2 original housemates have never been very friendly - from the day we moved in and introduced ourselves, they looked surprised that we had even bothered to go and introduce ourselves, and gave one word answers when we tried to make conversation. Dave in particular has always been a bit hostile. It mainly boils down to things like disputes over whether we should get a cleaner (we didn't want one because we are clean and tidy and trying to save money). All in all, it hasn't been a friendly house, nobody's been very social (either with us or with each other) but it's been ok for saving money.

Then a new couple moved in who were a lot more friendly. They suggested going out some time, so we then organised where to go and when. That was fine, but then we noticed that Dave was becoming really friendly with them too, along with the other girl, and we got the impression that he was bad-mouthing us to them. Then one evening, we were in our room, and noticed that they all went out to the pub together, including Dave's girlfriend. We were really hurt about this because it seemed like an organised thing with absolutely everybody invited except us. I had even seen some of them, individually, in the kitchen previously, and nobody had mentioned it. I also don't think it was a spontaneous trip out because everyone works different hours and when I saw some them in the kitchen, they had looked more dressed up than usual, as if they were planning on going out later.

Anyway, on advice from my family, we asked them a few days later where they went and that we would have liked to have come. They sort of edged out of it and said sure, next time.

Now it's just been Christmas so people have been away. Then last night, Dave came upstairs and knocked on our door (we live on a floor with just the other couple). We opened it and Dave said 'oh sorry, wrong room'. He then knocked on the other couple's door and started talking about their plans for tomorrow, (he is evidently going out with them somewhere, and he said he has something else planned with them for the evening).

I may be being crazy, but it seems like he did it on purpose. He's knocked on our door, for us, on numerous occasions. There's only 5 rooms in the house, and there's only 2 rooms on our floor. IT's like he wanted us to hear, again, that he's going out with them without us.

I know I shouldn't care about petty housemate things like this, and I plan to move out and move on. I'm also at a different stage of life to these guys and don't like crazy night out and drinking, but it still hurts. Recently when I go to the kitchen to cook, I feel anxious in case they are down there, because it's starting to feel like a kind of gang that we're not in; where they hang out and laugh and joke in the kitchen, but we're never invited in on that.

I just wanted some advice on how to deal with this issue. Either mentally, just focusing on the future and getting out of there, or how to approach things with the flatmates.

We don't have a lot of friends in the area, as we are not from there, so that's accentuating the issue. We would have loved to have had friendly housemates, and we did try, and for some reason we have been kicked out the group. Hopefully we will move out and make friends elsewhere, but how can we get through this temporarily?

Re: Flatmate problems

Posted: Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:35 pm
by stephie2
I would call a house meeting and let them know how you feel and ask if anything has happened for them to treat you this way. Unless you confront the situation it is highly unlikely that things are going to change.

Re: Flatmate problems

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:25 pm
by boulding
I don’t think these people are particularly nice from the way they treated you from day one. They seemed to have taken against you because you are “different.” You are hardworking, sensible, clean and tidy and are saving for the future. They live for the moment, spend hard earned money on drink and are lazy enough want to pay someone else to clean up after them. Any wonder there is a culture clash.
I’m not sure it’s worth wasting two seconds worth of time on them. Keep yourself to yourself, be polite and pleasant when you see them and just regard them as the price you have to pay for the nice home you hope to have one day soon.

Of course you could try reciprocity. This is a powerful psychological tool that works on the idea that people are uncomfortable with a disconnect between their cognitive thinking and their actions. ie if they have accepted something from you they won’t slag you off behind your back. So get baking some cupcakes and offer them round or maybe come home with a nice bottle of wine and share it or send a card when there is a birthday or other cause to celebrate. It may seem like currying favour with the playground bullies but it can have dramatic results.