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Day 10 Hiding My Emotions

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Laudisco, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. Laudisco

    Laudisco Well known member

    I realised that I often hide my emotions, in various ways. I frequently hide anger and frustration with my housemate, as often she seems to overlook basic tasks around the house such as emptying the bin, buying toilet paper, or cleaning up after herself in the kitchen.

    I've realised that I need to find a better way of dealing with this situation and being more assertive. Unfortunately she has health issues herself, and struggles with severe insomnia, so part of me feels like I can't really blame her. She also has a very dreamy, distractible personality - and most likely has adult ADD. (She has admitted that she and her father have many adult ADD traits, and I can attest to her distractibility! I thought I was bad until I got to know her…lol)

    Also, my housemate hates confrontation and lived in Africa for many years, where she learned to primarily use indirect communication styles. I feel like this is passive aggressive, yet she has explained that indirect communication (sometimes even bordering on manipulation) is common in Ethiopia, where she and her family lived for a quite a long time.

    Complicating that is the fact that my housemate is quite comfortable being in a messy, chaotic environment. She does go through fits and starts where she will suddenly start organising or cleaning everything in a particular area, but it seems to be more out of compulsion than any balanced routine of keeping things clean and organised. This makes life more confusing and unpredictable, but I try to bear with her and understand that this is often her way of responding to stress and tiredness.

    Anyway, I decided to write a "feeling letter" to express my emotions, and I realised that I had a lot of negative emotions that had more to do with my family of origin, negative experiences of bullying at school, and other issues - rather than the situation at hand. Another complicated factor is that housemate was first my friend, before becoming my housemate, and I don't want to jeopardise the friendship.
  2. Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021)

    Walt Oleksy (RIP 2021) Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've had roommates and most of them were slobs and so were their friends they invited over.
    And I like things neat and clean.

    With your housemate, you just have to live with the fact that you are different about neatness and cleanliness.
    I had very good friends with three children whose house was always a mess, especially the kitchen.
    I tried to keep the kitchen clean, but gave up.

    I think you've figured out how to live with your housemate... bear with her more "casual" living style
    and figure that she has her own TMS stresses so she doesn't want confrontation.

    I had a roommate for 7 years and we got along well because we both lived by the rule that
    we would respect the other's right to be irrational.
    Laudisco likes this.
  3. Laudisco

    Laudisco Well known member

    Thanks for sharing Walt! It's good to get another perspective on the situation. I agree that sometimes we just have to accept that other people have different standards, and it will only cause endless friction if I attempt to force them to meet my expectations.

    Nevertheless, I have found that sometimes it works if I ask her to go buy something (e.g. milk or toilet paper) or specifically ask her to do a task now and then (for instance helping to water the garden). However, I try not to do it too often, as she is pretty independent and doesn't like being controlled.

    I know that when I lived at home it was very stressful being around my stepmum who forced me to comply with her cleanliness standards, and I felt bad as she got angry when I would forget things. I can understand her feelings a bit more now, but I would hate to do the same thing to someone else!
    Judith likes this.

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