Flatmate hanging around the house

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thrifty++
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Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by thrifty++ » Sun Oct 23, 2016 1:57 am

My flatmate has been moping about the house quite a bit. Weekends or public holidays lately she has not been leaving the house even for ten minutes. It really bugs me. Its like an invasion of my privacy and it feels inconsiderate. I think I give her space since I am out on a regular basis. It also seems slovenly and unhygienic which bugs me too. I even invited her out to go for a nice walk as it was sunny and hot and she declined in favour of doing nothing. I was thinking of saying something. Does this sound reasonable? What are ideas around approaching it?
Last edited by thrifty++ on Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Olaz
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Re: Flatmate moping around the house

Post by Olaz » Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:15 am

I somehow interpreted the title as "my flatmate has been mopping around the house."

:).

Maybe she's depressed?
Last edited by Olaz on Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

thrifty++
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Re: Flatmate moping around the house

Post by thrifty++ » Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:16 am

Maybe she is depressed. Or she might just be lazy. Either way it still quite annoys me. lol

7Wannabe5
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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:22 am

Well, the first rule of thumb that applies is that you can't fix other people. The second rule-of-thumb that applies to this particular forum is that you will save a ton of money over the course of your life if you learn how to take care of yourself both in the presence of others and absent the presence of others.

A number of years ago, a friend of mine, who often rented out space in his house to others, made the observation that often when people want to be alone, they are hoping to engage in a vice, or something they believe to be a vice, out of the notice of others. I don't think this is entirely true, but in the interest of personal growth, you may want to consider making a list of the activities that you feel like you could better engage in if your flatmate gave you more "space." For instance, if you want to wander around the flat in your underwear while gnawing on a block of processed cheese food, and you are not entirely comfortable doing this in the presence of other, you might want to work on feeling more comfortable in your body, and improving your dietary habits. Perhaps, if you were to wander around the flat in a relaxed state of nudity while eating a bowl of freshly fermented sauerkraut, your flat mate might feel the urge to go take a walk.

Also, for every problem there is also an opposite problem. For instance, my sister/housemate is likely a bit irked with me at times because my behavior is more at the end of just using the apartment we share as a closet, but that is only because she has a bad back, 3 poorly trained dogs and she dumped all the men she was dating. So when she says something like "Will you help me move my piano this afternoon." and then I tell her I am going on a trip with my boyfriend, and she says something pissy and rude like "You are a useless twat." , I am likely to reply that it is not my fault that she is too lazy to spend 5 minutes on the internet getting a new boyfriend to help her with manual labor. And then she has to admit that is true, but then I also have to concede that the last time she did that, although it was nice that he helped her steam-clean the carpets, it was annoying when he came into the kitchen and asked me "What's cooking?" like there was even a remote possibility that I was going to feed him.

thrifty++
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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by thrifty++ » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:46 am

7Wannabe5 wrote: A number of years ago, a friend of mine, who often rented out space in his house to others, made the observation that often when people want to be alone, they are hoping to engage in a vice, or something they believe to be a vice, out of the notice of others. I don't think this is entirely true, but in the interest of personal growth, you may want to consider making a list of the activities that you feel like you could better engage in if your flatmate gave you more "space." For instance, if you want to wander around the flat in your underwear while gnawing on a block of processed cheese food, and you are not entirely comfortable doing this in the presence of other, you might want to work on feeling more comfortable in your body, and improving your dietary habits. Perhaps, if you were to wander around the flat in a relaxed state of nudity while eating a bowl of freshly fermented sauerkraut, your flat mate might feel the urge to go take a walk.
haha I like this. The notion I should just do what I want as though no one was here. Maybe I will give that a crack. My favourite though is loud music lol

Not sure its about needing to exert a vice for me its just more about privacy and solitude. Sometimes I dont want to have to see or talk to anyone or have them see me.

Did
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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by Did » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:08 am

Flatemate blues hey. If they shit you maybe tell them your sister/brother needs a place to stay and sorry but they have to leave. I've done that. Otherwise best tip is to lead your own lives.

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by thrifty++ » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:13 am

@did. Oh wow thats harsh lol. I will probably just let her know it bugs me if it continues and ask her to spend some time out of the apartment more for the sake of my privacy. And if it then still continues ask her to move out citing the same reason.

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:29 am

thrifty++ said: Not sure its about needing to exert a vice for me its just more about privacy and solitude. Sometimes I dont want to have to see or talk to anyone or have them see me.
Right. I'm suggesting that you examine this pressure. For instance, do you have difficulty politely requesting that another person refrain from engaging you in conversation while you are trying to read? One good method for determining whether you are creating social pressure internally is to ask yourself if the other person has literally made a request of you or straight-forwardly denied a request that you made. Also, it is always better to frame differences in the form of personal preferences rather than deviations from normalcy. For instance, I would recommend that you say something like "It would be my preference that you spent more time away from the flat, so I could have more time to myself." rather than something like "I am worried about your personal hygiene. Don't you think you ought to get out more often?"

slsdly
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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by slsdly » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:36 am

Why the change in the behaviour? Have you asked how she is feeling? I'm not saying become her psychiatrist but all I've read is why you are unhappy with the situation. That's just my approach anyways. I haven't been good friends with all of my roommates, but I at least like to be "sort of" friends. It may be a bit of understanding will get you further than ultimatums.

It annoys me when my roommates have done that too. However, it is mostly in my head. They aren't actually doing anything which prevents me from doing exactly what I want.

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by thrifty++ » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:14 pm

slsdly wrote:Why the change in the behaviour? Have you asked how she is feeling? I'm not saying become her psychiatrist but all I've read is why you are unhappy with the situation. That's just my approach anyways. I haven't been good friends with all of my roommates, but I at least like to be "sort of" friends. It may be a bit of understanding will get you further than ultimatums.
I know I could do something like that, but I dont want to. I just want her to get her shit together. That might not be hugely compassionate but I dont care. In terms of what has changed, she has only been here for 3 months. Most of her time is spent at work. However lately she has had less work and more leisure time, so that is why she is home more. Since moving in she has only ever had one leisure outing which I did not take her to and she enjoyed herself. The rest of any time outside of the apartment is for work and that is the only reason ever. So I dont suspect she is depressed TBH. I think more that she is lazy and a boring person and lacks curiosity or motivation. Harsh but I think that is what is going on.

I am getting more and more irritated by her laziness. She used the dryer yesterday because she was too lazy to hang washing out. I have also had to remind her about cleaning lately. And her breath stinks often and she appears unclean. These sorts of things bother me more when someone is always home than if they are out more often. I know this all sounds harsh but I am getting angry. It feels like there is a festering unclean cyst in my home. She had better clean up her act or she will get the boot!

slsdly
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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by slsdly » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:56 pm

Now that you've painted a more complete picture, I am inclined to agree with you. Maybe something to screen for next time you live with someone :). That said, nobody is going to be perfect. My own roommate is very lazy on the cleaning side -- I do most of it. But I would say he is otherwise a pretty generous person, so he makes up for it in other ways. Try to think about the things they do that you actually like (if anything) when you are confronted with the awful.

thrifty++
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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by thrifty++ » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:03 pm

Hmm I guess on the positive side she is quiet, tidy in the communal spaces ("tidy" being removal of her visible mess but not "clean" as in does not sanitise things or keep up with her fortnightly clean involving a proper sanitisation of the space), she pays her rent and bills on time, and she does not have friends over. The last couple of flatmates I had possessed those attributes but were also clean, active, left the house often and were interesting to talk to. Maybe I have been spoiled.
Yeah I did not screen as well as I could have done.

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by henrik » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:28 am

When you agreed to her moving in, did you actually tell her that she will be expected to leave the house regularly on weekends, sanitise things and spaces, and not use the dryer? All of these strike me as your preferences, which might well be reasonable but not necessarily intuituve to someone else.

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by thrifty++ » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:06 pm

henrik wrote:When you agreed to her moving in, did you actually tell her that she will be expected to leave the house regularly on weekends, sanitise things and spaces, and not use the dryer? All of these strike me as your preferences, which might well be reasonable but not necessarily intuituve to someone else.
No. I did say however that I was expecting a flatmate who is busy and active though, to avoid this sort of problem, it said that in the advert too, so she should be aware I do not like people moping around at home all the time. Didnt talk about the other stuff but the place was immaculately clean and sanitised when she came to view the place.

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by henrik » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:42 pm

I suggest you talk to her about your conditions then. Passive-agressively expecting someone to comply with rules they are not aware of is probably not a very effective way to go about this.

People have different priorities and preferences. I probably wouldn't be able to tell a sanitised place from an unsanitised one, but I do know that if a landlord told me I'm expected to get involved in regular fortnightly sanitising activites, I'd rather go find a difference place, which of course in your situation would have solved the problem in the first place.
Also, might it be that you're not that different and she's just moping around because she can't wait for *you* to get out more and give her some alone time?

This is absolutely not to criticise your preferences or expectations, the point is just that you need to make them clear if you expect someone else to honour them.

I definitely understand the need for privacy issue. I've even almost managed to convince my 5-year-old daughter that my need for her to be somewhere else every once in a while doesn't make me be bad parent:)

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by thrifty++ » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:50 pm

henrik wrote:I suggest you talk to her about your conditions then. Passive-agressively expecting someone to comply with rules they are not aware of is probably not a very effective way to go about this.
Yep agree. I will need to say something. I have already spoken to about expectations around sanitising. Not so much about going out more often though, but I will do so.
henrik wrote:Also, might it be that you're not that different and she's just moping around because she can't wait for *you* to get out more and give her some alone time?
If she does it would be quite rediculous as I am always out. I also go away for work some weeks. On the rare occassions I am at home I dont want someone there all the time. If she is not at work she absolutely never goes out for any reason, except to grab some groceries, or on a few occassions I have taken her out and one occassion she went out for a walk of her own initiative.

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by CS » Sat Oct 29, 2016 1:37 pm

Definitely you need to communicate with the flatmate. If I paid money to share a place, my expectation would be that I could stay 24/7/52 weeks a year if I felt like it. And there would be a pro-rated refund of rent if not! If you were screening someone like me, and stated your preference (for that is all it is) up front, I would have walked. Problem solved!

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:13 pm

I am wondering where the line is drawn between personal preference and common courtesies.
I would have thought that most people would not be happy with having an unhygienic person hanging around in a shared home for days on end without leaving for 10 minutes to give the other flatmates some privacy. To me it seems like a common courtesy not requiring a conversation prior to them deciding to move in. It seems something that goes without saying. I would have thought saying you want someone busy and active would have signaled that this behavior was likely to be front of mind. Similarly, smashing loud music while others are at home, seems to be in breach of common courtesies, which is something I very much like to do. Despite her saying nothing to me about this, or even that she likes a quiet home space or living environment, when she came for an interview I refrain from doing so out of consideration for her.

slsdly
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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by slsdly » Sat Oct 29, 2016 8:30 pm

I think we all want different things, and as much sympathy as I have for your situation, I am pretty sure we would murder each other if we lived together :). If I want privacy, I close my bedroom door. Loud music? Ugh, tasteless. I have tended to do most of the cleaning and that doesn't bother me, although from what you have stated, I feel like you have a much higher bar than me. Sanitize the bathroom, particularly sink and toilet, and kitchen counters/stove top regularly? Sure. The whole apartment? Yeah, that's not happening. Unless sweeping and putting things away is sanitizing.

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by RealPerson » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:35 pm

CS wrote:Definitely you need to communicate with the flatmate. If I paid money to share a place, my expectation would be that I could stay 24/7/52 weeks a year if I felt like it. And there would be a pro-rated refund of rent if not! If you were screening someone like me, and stated your preference (for that is all it is) up front, I would have walked. Problem solved!
+1. I assume that I can be in a place I rent 24/7. If that is not the case, that needs to be clearly discussed AHEAD of signing an agreement. If you never discussed this before the flatmate moving in, I can't imagine you bringing this up after the fact.

Also, what exactly do you mean by sanitizing the apartment?

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by thrifty++ » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:49 pm

@Realperson by sanitising I mean scrubbing and wiping areas like the kitchen, bathroom and floors with cleaning disinfectant once a week. I am a little surprised a few people have expressed a view that it is expected to occupy a place 24/7 for days on end without leaving for so much as ten minutes. Would you really be ok with it if someone was doing this in your place? What would make this behaviour more acceptable and more of a personal preference and requiring of pre-move in discussion than other typical flatmate annoyances?

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by jacob » Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:05 am

It's hard to comment without knowing all the details. "Busy and active" means different things to different people and may not necessarily mean leaving the house. What you're describing sounds like a typical homebody and presuming that "busy and active" (see #9) implies leaving the house might be perceived as slightly insulting. At this point, I have no solutions other than taking [this life lesson] into account when vetting the next flatmate. Seek long haul truck drivers, oil rig workers, pilots, traveling salesmen, etc. OTOH, I also understand an introvert's need for some alone-time.

Your sanitizing schedule is a bit on the vigorous side of things, meaning I wouldn't naturally expect the random person to fall in sync with it. To put in other words, if you were paying someone else to scrub a 2-person house on a weekly basis, you'd be a really good customer :mrgreen: (I have a couple of family members in the business so I know what's "average"). When I've lived with others, the system that worked best used a sheet of paper (displayed in a prominent place) that had a list of EXACTLY what needed to be done at the top (e.g. scrub sink with bleach, windex on windows, wipe down counters 1 and 2, ...) followed by a list with dates (week ..., 25, 26, 27, ...) and a place for people to sign their name. One rotten apple spoils the bunch meaning as soon as anyone starts slipping, many will use it as an excuse not to put in effort either.

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:28 am

CS wrote:If I paid money to share a place, my expectation would be that I could stay 24/7/52 weeks a year if I felt like it.
Agreed, the flatmate is not doing anything wrong by being there.
thrifty++ wrote:I am a little surprised a few people have expressed a view that it is expected to occupy a place 24/7 for days on end without leaving for so much as ten minutes. Would you really be ok with it if someone was doing this in your place? What would make this behaviour more acceptable and more of a personal preference and requiring of pre-move in discussion than other typical flatmate annoyances?
This is not a behavior; she is not actually doing anything other than existing in the space. If that's your problem, it sounds like you shouldn't have flatmates. The thing is, if she's paying rent then it's her place too.

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by Annemarie » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:34 am

I can understand the need for being alone in the apartment but simply staying in your own home (and it is her home) can never be an invasion of someone else's privacy. So of course it is not something you can take up with her, as it is absolutely none of your business.

Wrt cleaning I suggest you try to bring it up, but be aware that your cleaning routines probably aren't considered standard by very many people. Being part of a cleaning schedule is of course expected when you share an apartment, but people have very different ideas of what "normal cleaning" is (not to mention the frequency!), so it really should be discussed upfront before agreeing on sharing a apartment.

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Re: Flatmate hanging around the house

Post by JamesR » Tue Nov 01, 2016 5:59 pm

@thrifty++

I guess now that you've discovered your roommate is a homebody you can just change your perception of that.. Just act as if she wasn't home, and be true to your normal at-home behaviour.

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