• Keeping Friends

Sticky college roommates

Published: February 2, 2014 | Last Updated: February 2, 2014 By | 2 Replies Continue Reading
How do you handle sticky college roommates who want to be more friendly than you would like?

QUESTION

Hi,

I feel confused. I am in my second year of college and I live on campus. I am a people person, and I make friends easily. In the past year and a half, I have grown close with many people in my dorm. I started hanging out with two people in particular. These two are very much alike and are now roommates. They do not make friends easily and are very introverted people.

The problems started about a year ago when they would ask me to come into their room, instead of our dorm common room. This increased in frequency until they were pleading to have me stay there every night. I was able to get out of that situation by simply saying no, and I started to hang out with a new group of people.

Now, these same two people have been inviting themselves along, and most recently have began to put down al most everything I say or like. Due to the fact that we live in the same small building, I feel it is impossible to get out of the situation. I believe these friendships are  becoming toxic, and don’t want it to cause problems with other people who live here. They continuously apologize, or act like nothing is wrong and are sweet again the next time I see them. I don’t know how to handle this situation.

Signed, Misty

ANSWER

Dear Misty,

You’re right to be concerned about handling this situation kindly and tactfully since you live in the same small building as these women and don’t want to create a negative living situation for yourself of others in your dorm.

It sounds like these two people look up to you and see you as a role model but you no longer feel the same affinity for them, especially since they’ve become critical. Since they don’t pick up on your cues that you don’t want to spend as much time with them, you’re going to have to be more direct and set firm boundaries with them. You’ll have to set clear limits on your interactions and stick to them.

When they insult or put you down, tell them. “When you say X, I feel like you’re being overly critical and it makes me want to spend time with other friends who are more positive and encouraging.” or “When you say that, I feel like I don’t want to hang out any more.”

Next time they call you to come to their room, you can say no, suggest you meet in a common area for a certain amount of time, or just say that you’ve got other plans if you do. Be as honest as you can, lying rarely works out.

If they invite themselves along to an open activity, say you’ll see them there instead of going together and circulate among your other friends, still being friendly as you would be to other acquaintances. If they invite themselves to a party they weren’t invited to, have them snag their own invitation from the host.

Good luck!

Signed, *Amy Feld


*Amy Feld, PhD, MSW has trained and worked as a child psychologist.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this or any other post is intended to substitute for medical, psychiatric or clinical diagnosis/treatment. Rather, all posts are written as the type of advice that one friend might give to another.

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Category: KEEPING FRIENDS

Comments (2)

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  1. Marisa says:

    I agree. Avoid them as much as possible, do not speak of them or acknowledge them unless you absolutely must. Then keep it polite, cool and brief. They are angry you want others friends and to live your own life.

  2. Lauren says:

    Two’s company, three’s a crowd. They are putting you down because they are both trying to punish you for trying to break away from them last year. This can feel overwhelming. (two against one….the combined force is greater than the sum of the equal parts).

    This continuous put down of everything you say or like, and then the constant apologizing and the “making nice”, actually is a form of harassment. They are trying to get back at you, because you tried to break away from them earlier.

    I can imagine the two of them talking about you behind your back , and coming up with ways to hurt you (and to control you through this negative behavior).

    My my advise is to, stay away from them. Don’t entertain them, just make an excuse and get away from them. As you are in the same campus, you don’t really want to create a bad atmosphere, so just make your excuses, and spend time with other people. I know that your don’t want to cause a scene, but you don’t have to be too nice to them, or put up with their rudeness.

    There is no rule of social comportment that says you must be accommodating and really nice to people who treat you badly. Just make it your mission to avoid them, and to spend time with other friends and acquaintances. All the best to you, Lauren

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