I’ve been having some emotional issues with my current roommates and I’m starting to think it’s myself and not them that’s the cause of it. When it comes to them, I don’t really consider their feelings or I just blow off the fact that they may actually care about me. When asking other people about the situations, they say that I’ve been acting in the right, although some others say that it’s just me being a horrible person. Examples that are easy to come by: They don’t tend to eat oatmeal or canned food (we are a household below the poverty line) and so I tend to eat those. I get talked too for that and told that I’m just eating everything. I was also responsible for cleaning the house in place of rent. To the best of my knowledge I was cleaning well but I wasn’t as some stuff happened. When I asked them about it, the answer was that I should have come to them about the cleaning instead of them telling me what is wrong. I’m unsure if I’m suffering from something that is undiagnosed or if I am just living the ordinary life and the other people around me are having the issues, it’s all so confusing. Though I do know that whenever I go to have a talk with them as a household, I always picture the worst case scenario in my head — I know it’s not healthy and it’s usually never the case, though it always seems to happen. (age 28, from Canada)
I don’t think you are describing a problem that would be “diagnosable” in the medical or psychological sense. I think you are describing a typical situation that occurs with new roommates. You also stated that this is your first year of college. Adjusting to new situations like this can be very difficult and communication issues are quite common. Most of us have lived with our families our entire lives and it takes a great deal of effort to understand the wishes and habits of folks in a new living situation, and because you live together, it’s hard to escape.
Although it can sometimes be helpful to ask others for advice, it is usually best to go to the source. Rather than asking other friends who is right or wrong, or allowing yourself to imagine the “worst case scenario,” just speak openly and honestly to your roommates on a regular basis. I would suggest coming up with a mutually agreeable time to have a weekly house meeting so that everyone can touch base about how things are going. Also, try to always lead with positives rather than a negatives. Hope things improve soon.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts