• Quote of the Day
    "Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life;
    not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens."
    Kahlil Gibran, posted by David Baxter

JDog

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
19
Points
1
Ok, here's the reason I'm up right now at 4:36 in the morning. Let me start at the beginning....

I've been living with my roommates for nearing a year now. I have 3 of them, with 2 of them being my actual cousins (son's of my dad's brother). For the most part we get along just fine. Occasionally though, we have a dispute, but certainly nothing big, and usually is resolved right away.

Anyway, last night I get home from being out, and find a pair of boxer shorts laying on my pillow. These same shorts had been laying in the living room for a few days and no one wanted to claim them. Just so you know, we're not complete slobs (we're college students :) and have lots of different people in and out of the place).

I grab the shorts and walk out to the living room and ask those in the living room who put it on my pillow. One of my cousins answers and said, "I thought they were yours". I didn't say anything after that and just tossed them down on the ground.

An hour or so later, he left the house. So, out of principle, I went and grabbed them where they were laying on the living room floor and threw them onto his pillow. I'd say that was about 4 or so hours ago that I did this.

It's just past 4:30 now and the reason I'm awake now, is because my cousin just got home. He found the shorts laying on his pillow and opened my bedroom door and threw them onto my pillow, or onto my head actually while I was sleeping.

I jumped up, picked them up and ran to his room and threw them into his room before he closed his own door. We started a yelling match, where he essentially was asking why I did that in the first place. I was essentially saying that I did it because he didn't respect me, and give me the consideration I deserve by putting those shorts on my pillow. He went on to say that i shouldn't take things so personally. I responded that it's the principle of the situation, that you don't throw dirty boxers onto someone's pillow. We almost began trading blows but luckily we didn't.

So, I'm laying in bed right now with adrenalin running through my veins. I know we have to talk about this tomorrow when we see each other. I don't want things to go any worse than they had tonight, and I don't expect them to either.

One reason this situation is important to me, is that this seems to be a theme in this side of my families life, disregard to common consideration of others. Not intentionally, but out of simply not thinking.

Right now, i'm planning on just 'sticking to my guns', in that as roommates, we have sort of unspoken contract to respect one another. Whether the action was done as a mistake or not, there is no excuse for throwing dirty boxers you 'THINK' are someone's, onto their pillow.

Any suggestions?
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2006
Messages
5,390
Points
36
i find it is a lot more effective to get your point across to someone when you calmly tell them what they did upset you, and why, and ask them to next time please not do so. although now things have escalated, so you need to defuse the situation.

i think rather than getting into a pattern of yelling and both of you getting defensive, when you speak with him, maybe even apologize for your behaviour last night, but that it really upset you, that you realize maybe this wasn't the best approach, but that you would appreciate it if in the future he would not put dirty boxers on your pillow.

key is to stay calm, don't get defensive, even if he does. just keep re-stating your point. "i understand that you feel x, but i'd rather you didn't do y, because it made me feel z."
 

Daniel

Forum Supporter
MVP
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
21,140
Points
113
I agree with ladybug about using "I" statements. I learned about that in a college course.

there is no excuse for throwing dirty boxers you 'THINK' are someone's, onto their pillow.
I think you had a logic breakdown and took things out of proportion, possibly because you were getting frustrated with having to deal with yet another roommate issue. Even though you say there is no excuse for that behavior, you did the same thing to him (which is normally seen as retaliation rather than as a method of edification). Honestly, I start to cringe when other guys talk about doing things "out of principle." Even if I was really germ phobic, I would just wash the pillow case, inform the roommate about the unwanted behavior, and move on.


One reason this situation is important to me, is that this seems to be a theme in this side of my families life, disregard to common consideration of others. Not intentionally, but out of simply not thinking.

At least in my experience, it's easier to feel respected by people, especially fun-loving college students, if you are having fun and doing things with them.

Right now, i'm planning on just 'sticking to my guns', in that as roommates, we have sort of unspoken contract to respect one another.

Certainly, I don't think you have to worry about boxers being on your pillow in the future. So I would take the high road just for your own sake.

Maybe I've watched too many episodes of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood as a child, but I would try to move on, forgiving and forgetting without seeking an apology. As ladybug says, a good way to diffuse any remaining tension is for you to aplogize for your escalation of the conflict.

Another way to communicate that you are moving on and not stuck in the blame game is to invite him to see a movie with you or do something else together.
 
Last edited:

ThatLady

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2004
Messages
4,104
Points
36
To tell you the truth, JDog, this sound like an argument between two ten-year-olds, instead of a disagreement between two college students. We're all capable of regressing to childish behaviors if we don't conciously make an effort, at times of stress, not to do so. Sounds like the efforts failed this time. It happens.

Cut yourself some slack and cut your cousin some slack. He shouldn't have put the underwear on your pillow, that's true enough. However, once you took the underwear into the living room and made it clear they weren't yours, that's where things SHOULD have stopped. Once you retrieved the underwear and put them on your cousin's pillow the disagreement escalated its descent into childish behavior.

In my opinion, you need to admit to yourself that your reaction (putting the underwear on your cousin's pillow) was just as childish as his having placed the underwear on your pillow in the first place. Neither of you are in a position to point the finger of blame at the other, since neither of you behaved as adults. If you can admit that to yourselves, and to each other, I think you can probably count on difficulties being resolved a lot more smoothly in future.
 

JDog

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
19
Points
1
Thanks for the input everyone.

I want things to work out between him and I whether he believes it or not. I'm not sure I just want to say "I'm sorry. It was my fault it went this far", and leave it at that. I am willing to admit my fault, but I think it reasonable that he in turn agrees to being more considerate in the future. In other words, I don't want this to be completely one-sided, with me being the only one appologizing or recognizing fault.

So, what I think i'm going to do, is appologize for my childish actions. And then say that I would like him to to be more careful in the future.
 

Daniel

Forum Supporter
MVP
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
21,140
Points
113
In other words, I don't want this to be completely one-sided...

I saw that coming :) My personality is to avoid conflict, so I really am very biased. Since I think he got the message already that you didn't like what he did, I wouldn't worry about anything being one-sided. I think anything you say now should just reduce tension and improve your relationship with your roommate. The better you guys get along, the more he will respect you (if he's like most people).
 

JDog

Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2006
Messages
19
Points
1
I saw that coming :) My personality is to avoid conflict, so I really am very biased. Since I think he got the message already that you didn't like what he did, I wouldn't worry about anything being one-sided. I think anything you say now should just reduce tension and improve your relationship with your roommate. The better you guys get along, the more he will respect you (if he's like most people).

Heh, yeah, you bring up some good points.

I do want to be liked by other people...,but I also want to stand up for myself. And, I guess I stood up for myself, but I never got the validation I really wanted. Whether I get validation from him or not, like you said, "I think he got the message already". Since I care about this relationship, and don't want to lost him as a friend, (we haven't spoken yet) so when I see him again I'm just going to appologize for acting like a child, and then ask him to be a little more careful next time he tosses something into my room. And leave it at that.
 

Top Bottom