My roommate and a close friend have been having some issues since COVID starting. I have a more conservative view of certain risks. One is that she wants her boyfriend to come over. He works in a hospital, so he can never truly be quarantined. Whenever we have a discussion she steamrolls over me when I talk about health concerns with how she feels. How can I convey how I feel without resorting to yelling back? It's like she doesn't hear what I am saying. This is a tool I am lacking with people who have that type of personality. I feel like this situation I need to figure out because I am sure I will encounter it again.
I'm addressing this to Angelica and everyone at Asking Jude... There's an aspect of this 'ask' that I find fascinating. Even before the current pandemic, how are young people dealing with housing, as they are getting started with work or how they are dealing with housing as, say, they live off-campus? I know from experience that sharing an apartment can be at best problematic or tricky when I did not know one or more roommates beforehand. Emily Applegate does not talk about how she found the place where she lives and I don't think I should be asking her to talk about that. I hope there is a resolution to her dilemma...
Ouch. Yes this definitely sounds like a friend caring more about her wants than other people’s needs, which is selfish. This is coming from someone who had to wait three months to see her boyfriend during COVID; it was HARD. But she needs to understand that your needs and safety matter, too. If someone as impatient as myself can do it, so can she.
Please remember that you’re allowed to get angry and frustrated with her. She’s willing to potentially endanger you and your roommate! It looks like your friend is the kind of person who has to learn things the hard way, so here’s what I suggest. It’s time to put your foot down with her and be blunt; she’s wasted your time and patience, so she doesn’t get the luxury of you being sensitive here.
“Friend, listen, I understand you want to see your bf. I know it must be hard to not see him, but understand that he absolutely cannot come over. He works in a hospital. There is still a pandemic going on. It is simply too risky. He’s not setting foot in here, period.”
She’ll probably whine or try to shout you down or verbally attack you, but that’s where you hold your hand up and say, “Enough. I’m tired of you steamrolling me. If you don’t like it, go live with him.” I highly suggest you get your roommate on board here, too, because she’ll definitely try to persuade both of you to get what she wants. Leave the room, break eye contact, tell her “no,” do whatever it takes to signal that the conversation is over and you are NOT arguing with her. Treat her like a toddler throwing a tantrum if you have to; she’ll learn that actions have consequences. If she gets offended over it, tell her that as long as she acts like a child, she’ll get treated like one.
The only thing that worries me is that she’ll go meet up with him in public or at his house, and then come home and risk infecting you two. If she does that, hand her your hospital bills. Tell her she can’t come home until she properly quarantines or gets the test results. (Those should be hard to fake). She’s not allowed to endanger your and your roommate’s health. I wouldn’t be surprised if she isn’t able to see him at all and that’s why she’s so desperate to have him over. Sounds like it’s not your problem.
I found some articles for you to learn more about how to deal with steamrolling people:
These are more diplomatic ways of handling such rude people, so keep these in your back pocket. Friend sounds pretty self-absorbed, so these articles should help you learn how to navigate such people.
I’m sorry you have to deal with this drama :( (as if quarantine life isn’t hard enough without it). I hope that you and your roommate can talk some sense into your friend or at least won’t have to deal with her steamrolling and tantrums anymore. Maybe this’ll force her to learn some manners. Stay safe!
Hi there, Emily! We just relayed your submission to Angelica. She'll answer it shortly! Thank you for supporting us.
Hey, Emily! This is a dilemma that I am glad that I don't have to deal with -- as I live like a recluse. You say that "It's like she doesn't hear what I am saying." Then I wonder whether your roommate will only learn when something bad happens in this situation. One of my axioms is that I try to learn from the experiences I go through, because it is inevitable that I will acquire wisdom and, with wisdom, I will learn to make the right decisions. This is another way of saying "I learn the hard way.' I don't know anything about the physical setting, the physical dimensions of where you live. Are you able to go somewhere when your roommate and boyfriend are together? Have you had a one-on-one conversation with your roommate about this? Your roommate sounds like she has her mind made up. Have you thought about finding a place that you can move to? I think you're going to need some luck regarding this situation...