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Was I out of line to send this text?

  • 21-08-2020 11:22am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    I'd like to start by saying I know this is quite a trivial issue, but it's something that's just been on my mind.

    I live with a girl (let's call her Jane) and we get on great. Recently a new girl moved in (Sarah).
    Sarah has been here two months. She's more likely to spend time in her room than come to the sitting room with Jane and I, and is probably a little less sociable than us, but that's fine of course. Jane and I have always been very welcoming and we're pretty easygoing.

    The issue is, Sarah has two big bags of unpacked kitchen utensils in the kitchen since she moved in. They're just sitting on the kitchen table. I'm not a clean freak but I'm not a fan of clutter and neither is Jane. I considered just putting them away for her but there's not much space for them and when she first moved in she said she'd accumulated a lot of stuff and she herself said "I think I'll need to get a trolley or stand for my kitchen stuff."

    (As a side note, Sarah doesn't contribute much to general house duties. She doesn't put out the bins, empty the dishwasher, she'll sit in the pitch black sitting room and say she was too lazy to put on the lamp... etc...)

    The other morning I was cleaning the kitchen and thought to myself "Those bags are going nowhere and it's driving me mad."

    So I text Sarah and said I'd noticed she hadn't had a chance to unpack her kitchen bits and I can't find room for them, so would she mind if I popped them outside her room for her to sort through?

    That was almost a week ago and she read it and never replied. I haven't seen her since because we've both been away or when I've been home she's been in her room. I find it very odd to just not respond to a text like that.

    My housemate Jane said it was a rude text to send and I shouldn't have done it, but I thought I was just being honest. Jane is now anxious because she feels there's tension but I can't understand why there should be.

    Was I out of line?

    (Also, when she didn't reply I didn't bring the stuff up to her room. So they're still sitting on the kitchen table.)


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Comments

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    It is more than reasonable to have even waited that long - two bags sitting on the table for 2 months would drive me crazy.
    If she hasn't replied in a week, then I'd be moving them and reclaiming the kitchen table.

    As for the other household jobs, probably good to set things straight about those, too, at this stage, before it becomes the norm to not pitch in.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    not one bit out of order, that's very inconsiderate behaviour


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,268 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard


    The text in itself wasn't rude, but you really should have just said it to her directly. Sending a text was a bit passive aggressive, and it just gave her the opportunity to ignore it, as you've discovered.


  • Registered Users Posts: 939 ✭✭✭bitofabind


    Knock on her door and have the conversation. Avoiding each other and tiptoeing around each other is where the Chinese whispers and needless tension and weirdness starts.

    I'd knock into her with a smile on my face, "hey, I know you haven't had time to deal with your kitchen stuff yet. I'd like to use the table so do you mind if I move them away? Maybe I could leave them in (X place) until you've had time to unpack?"


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,192 ✭✭✭Tork


    This is the sort of issue that can only be solved by a face to face conversation. Texts are fine for certain things but when it comes to a problem like this, the only answer is a conversation. Texts won't work, nor will post-it notes or dropping hints. As has just been suggested, I'd drop the stuff to her door and knock on it for a friendly chat.

    It looks like it's time to have a clear the air house meeting anyway. Maybe Sarah doesn't know what you're expecting her to do as a member of the household? You can never assume that anybody thinks the same as you do. Communication is key. Or you could just ask her to leave?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    OP here!

    Thanks for the replies. I don't think it was a passive aggressive move because the text was worded quite nicely and I even explained I would no problem put the stuff away for her if we weren't limited on space. (Which she herself acknowledged when she moved in).

    However, I can see how a text might be seen as passive aggressive. It should have been said in person.

    I agree a friendly chat is the best way to go, but considering the topic has been raised and she's decided to ignore it, won't asking her for a chat about it seem even more pushy/passive aggressive?

    It's such a trivial matter but it's crazy how much these things can bother you. It's my mam's birthday tomorrow evening and I'm having her over for dinner and all I can think is where are these bloody bags going to go?!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,374 ✭✭✭Airyfairy12


    I think it was out of line, it sounds like all the other stuff is bothering you, the not emptying the dishwasher, taking the bins out etc, but youre focusing on her bag of kitchen utensils and sending passive aggressive texts.
    All you had to do was organise a meeting with your two housemates, communicate and discuss sharing the cleaning duties. Maybe the three of you could have wrote up a cleaning rota or something.
    As for her bag of items, sounds like theres not allot of space for her to put her things, could you try to accommodate this in some way?

    She's definitely wrong for leaving clutter and not sharing responsibility of household cleaning but your handling of it was, in my view, passive aggressive and immature and will no doubt create tension in the house.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,449 ✭✭✭✭pwurple


    Oh a housemate scrap.... tricky one.

    If she keeps herself to herself in the room, and is antisocial, it's hard to bring these up, I know.

    But , when you send a text like that completely out of the blue, without context, people invent their own context. And depending on their personality, that reaction can range from 'oh yeah, glad they mentioned that, forgot all about it', to "those complete biatches, moaning about me behind my back, i hate them all"


  • Registered Users Posts: 179 ✭✭AustinLostin


    No you were not out of line - sounds like she has made nearly zero effort since she moved in.

    If she is not around much, I think sending a text was fine. She should really be attempting to be more social if she wants to live in a house share - even if its at the initial phase of moving in just to break the ice.

    With regard to there being tension - just forget about that, if you act/think like there is tension - there will be, if you don't there won't be.

    Oh and if she is comfortable leaving stuff around for months in common areas - the bags won't be the end of it.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 15,409 Mod ✭✭✭✭woodchuck


    OP I don't think you were out of line, but as already mentioned, these things are better done face-to-face instead of by text.
    galgal411 wrote: »
    I agree a friendly chat is the best way to go, but considering the topic has been raised and she's decided to ignore it, won't asking her for a chat about it seem even more pushy/passive aggressive?

    You don't ASK to chat about it... you just, chat about it!
    galgal411 wrote: »
    It's such a trivial matter but it's crazy how much these things can bother you. It's my mam's birthday tomorrow evening and I'm having her over for dinner and all I can think is where are these bloody bags going to go?!

    This is the perfect excuse to bring it up so! "Hey, my Mam is coming over tomorrow and I'm cooking her a special dinner for her birthday. Would you mind keeping these things in your room for now as I need the space to cook?" Assuming she agrees, I'd also follow up with a "Great, thanks a million, I'll just pop them into your room now then if that's ok". Just so they don't get left there by her after she has agreed... which sounds likely.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,192 ✭✭✭Tork


    This is why it's important to learn how to be assertive and to nip things in the bud. It doesn't mean that you have to be a bitch or overly pushy. Knowing when to ask and when to tell (in a nice but firm way) is a skill that comes to many of us in time. As Woodchuck has suggested, your mum coming over to visit is the ideal opportunity to rid of that clutter from the kitchen. I'd push the envelope a bit further and say "I'm going to pop them into your room if that's OK?". Or knock on her door when she's there, have the bags in my hand and say "I'm going to leave these here with you now. Mum's coming around tomorrow and I'm doing a cleanup in the kitchen".


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,341 ✭✭✭tara73


    OP, you seem like a level headed person and she seems like some weirdo, so honestly, don't blame yourself here. I lived in house shares and it always amazes me how common this type of ignorant people are.

    At this stage I would just put her stuff whereever there's space and doesn't disturb. Honestly, why tiptoeing around people with social issues, it's not worth it, speaking from experience, it's just draining yourself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,374 ✭✭✭Airyfairy12


    tara73 wrote: »
    OP, you seem like a level headed person and she seems like some weirdo, so honestly, don't blame yourself here. I lived in house shares and it always amazes me how common this type of ignorant people are.

    At this stage I would just put her stuff whereever there's space and doesn't disturb. Honestly, why tiptoeing around people with social issues, it's not worth it, speaking from experience, it's just draining yourself.

    That's a bit harsh to call her a weirdo!


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    I think it was out of line, it sounds like all the other stuff is bothering you, the not emptying the dishwasher, taking the bins out etc, but youre focusing on her bag of kitchen utensils and sending passive aggressive texts.
    All you had to do was organise a meeting with your two housemates, communicate and discuss sharing the cleaning duties. Maybe the three of you could have wrote up a cleaning rota or something.
    As for her bag of items, sounds like theres not allot of space for her to put her things, could you try to accommodate this in some way?

    She's definitely wrong for leaving clutter and not sharing responsibility of household cleaning but your handling of it was, in my view, passive aggressive and immature and will no doubt create tension in the house.

    Jeez, relax.

    This girl moved in last, the house already had kitchen utensils so the stuff in the bag for 2 months isn't needed. As evidenced by the fact they are sitting in the bag, on the table.... For 2 months.

    It's absolutely ridiculous for someone to dump a bag on a shared kitchen table for 2 months and not realise they were being rude. Put it away in your room.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,647 ✭✭✭✭punisher5112


    On the light note.... Get Philips hue or similar, you can control all the lights with your phone... No more sitting in the dark


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,061 ✭✭✭leggo


    I see it SLIGHTLY differently. I’ve just moved into a new place myself with housemates that have been living there a good while, so the place is kinda setup the way it’s been for years and they’re happy with it. As far as the kitchen goes, they cleared some space for me but still it sounds similar to you as in there was not much space available.

    Now my situation is going to naturally work itself out in the next few weeks as another of the housemates is moving out which will reset things considerably, but if that wasn’t the case I’d be extremely frustrated while also finding it awkward and difficult to ask them to change the life they’ve become used to. But OP you say ‘there’s not much space available’, which can also be interpreted as ‘we haven’t made much space available to her’. I’d be willing to bet, being in a similar situation, this is a passive aggressive move from her to encourage you guys to make some space for her to put her stuff (which is an equally bad move on her part for the record).

    The reality is OP that a working houseshare situation requires compromise and communication on all sides so everyone’s needs are at least somewhat taken care of and the sacrifices everyone makes are evenly distributed (ie if you can have your own utensils in the kitchen, so can they, but if they can’t you shouldn’t be able to either). If you see this person as someone to share the rent with rather than to share your home with, you’re going to run into this situation. However if you want a situation that’s going to work medium/long-term, the answer is to accommodate this person’s needs and maybe give up a few of your own too. If you just leave their bags outside their door, there’s a good chance they’ll take it as a ‘**** you, we’re not making space for your stuff’ and you’ll create a toxic living situation. That’s way worse than having to just move some of your own stuff and adjust to share more fairly, and you’d be used to any adjustments needed within a couple weeks tbh. Whereas if you approach it from a perspective of ‘let’s see how we can try fit as much of your stuff as possible in’ angle, the new housemate will be much more obliging and it’ll create a happier home for everyone in the long run.

    What I did in an old flatshare where I was the ‘tenured’ housemate and had stuff the way I liked it, for example of a solution, was chip in with the others on a shelving unit for their stuff but didn’t use it myself. So they had all this extra space and were happy, while I’d shared the financial burden, which ended up being just €50 or so each and was a small price to pay for a peaceful home.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,385 ✭✭✭lainey_d_123


    That's a bit harsh to call her a weirdo!

    I mean, not really. She thought it was OK to dump stuff on a communal table for 2 months and then totally ignore a text asking her to move it. It's extremely weird and extremely rude. She sounds like an absolute child.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,341 ✭✭✭tara73


    I mean, not really. She thought it was OK to dump stuff on a communal table for 2 months and then totally ignore a text asking her to move it. It's extremely weird and extremely rude. She sounds like an absolute child.


    and not to forget she hasn't done any cleaning or other bits in the communal areas in the house, leaving it for her flatmates to do.

    Dump the stuff in front of her door and see what happens. Also hang up a cleaning rota in the kitchen with things when/ from who of you three to do. Let her know there's this cleaning rota now and she's expected to stick with it!


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,192 ✭✭✭Tork


    I'd make a point of handing the utensils to her, while she's in her room, rather than leaving them outside. She might leave them there. I'd do it in a manner similar to what you'd do if the postman had just left in a parcel for her and you were passing it on to her. Pleasant but in no doubt that the utensils are going into her room.

    Ye need a rota though and a household meeting. Who's paying for the bins and the cleaning things?


  • Registered Users Posts: 511 ✭✭✭boomshakalaka


    i think the 3 of you should have a "family meeting" where you all sit around the table and lay out how you see this living together thing working. Lay out the "houserules" and assign responsibilities.

    She may not be as social, but she still lives there and needs to share the responsibilities - as do you and your friend.

    This can be a friendly conversation where you all express what you need from the house and each other, write it down and then agree to it as a group.

    If you don't do this all of you will live in a space of "assumption" and I can guarantee your assumptions of each other will all be different. Ye need to get on the same page by talking it out.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 69 ✭✭BettyBoo2011


    Dial Hard wrote: »
    The text in itself wasn't rude, but you really should have just said it to her directly. Sending a text was a bit passive aggressive, and it just gave her the opportunity to ignore it, as you've discovered.


    I would agree with this. I have learnt the hard way over the years things said in text or email get taken up often far more sensitively and spil into unnecessary issues... think espec when living together. Think just say to her face something mild like hope my text didn’t offend you and it’s no problem either way as at end of the day life is too short to create issues over something which you rightly describe yourself as fairly trivial.

    Hope all smooths our quickly


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,088 ✭✭✭stevek93


    OP are you living in shared accommodation? Make a roster for days when people have to clean take the bins out etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,671 ✭✭✭✭Dtp1979


    On the light note.... Get Philips hue or similar, you can control all the lights with your phone... No more sitting in the dark

    Or get off your lazy hole and turn on the light switch.
    As for not responding to a clear text message from a person you’re living with, yes, she is a total weirdo


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,374 ✭✭✭Airyfairy12


    Jeez, relax.

    This girl moved in last, the house already had kitchen utensils so the stuff in the bag for 2 months isn't needed. As evidenced by the fact they are sitting in the bag, on the table.... For 2 months.

    It's absolutely ridiculous for someone to dump a bag on a shared kitchen table for 2 months and not realise they were being rude. Put it away in your room.

    I am relaxed thanks!

    I agree it's not ideal, that said theres ways of dealing with annoyances and difficult people, being passive aggressive, tiptoeing about, lying or worse still being nasty to the girl and calling her a weirdo as some comments here have labelled her, just seems like an awful lot of stress and drama to deal with something so small.
    As problems go its really not a big deal and could easily be handled with a quick chat about communal areas of the house and everyone keeping clutter/ personal items ect to their own private spaces. Job done and no feelings hurt.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,341 ✭✭✭tara73


    I am relaxed thanks!

    I agree it's not ideal, that said theres ways of dealing with annoyances and difficult people, being passive aggressive, tiptoeing about, lying or worse still being nasty to the girl and calling her a weirdo as some comments here have labelled her, just seems like an awful lot of stress and drama to deal with something so small.
    As problems go its really not a big deal and could easily be handled with a quick chat about communal areas of the house and everyone keeping clutter/ personal items ect to their own private spaces. Job done and no feelings hurt.


    reading your posts I think you don't have any experience with those people and living with them under one roof, otherwise you also wouldn't call it 'something so small'. This things and behaviour are not small issues, although they might seem to some people, mostly those who never experienced it in house shares.

    Because it's the home, the place where you should feel comfortable. And you don't feeel comfortable anymore, coming home from a stressful day the next stress starts. Having such an antisocial person living with you is not 'a small thing', it effects your day to day usual life if you can never be sure what strangeness will happen next. And I guarantee this thing will not be the last one.

    I actually advice OP to get rid of her. As said, it's not worth your emotional wellbeing and energy to deal with such behaviour when you come home and want and need to relax.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,374 ✭✭✭Airyfairy12


    tara73 wrote: »
    reading your posts I think you don't have any experience with those people and living with them under one roof, otherwise you also wouldn't call it 'something so small'. This things and behaviour are not small issues, although they might seem to some people, mostly those who never experienced it in house shares.

    Because it's the home, the place where you should feel comfortable. And you don't feeel comfortable anymore, coming home from a stressful day the next stress starts. Having such an antisocial person living with you is not 'a small thing', it effects your day to day usual life if you can never be sure what strangeness will happen next. And I guarantee this thing will not be the last one.

    I actually advice OP to get rid of her. As said, it's not worth your emotional wellbeing and energy to deal with such behaviour when you come home and want and need to relax.

    I have lived with plenty of difficult people, including couples who took over the living room and left their filthy dishes and pots on the kitchen counter for weeks at a time. It's really common and if you don't learn how to handle it assertively, it will continue to happen. It might not be quite so easy for the housemates to ask her to leave, they might need the help with paying rent, it may not be their choice who moves in, you nor I know the circumstances.
    In my experience, most issues can be sorted with a friendly but firm talk with the housemate causing problems, if it persisted id ask them to leave if I had the right to and if not, id contact the landlord.


  • Registered Users Posts: 619 ✭✭✭Meeoow


    Sounds like the housemate is depressed.
    Sitting in the dark, not bothering to put on the light. Not tidying her stuff away. Isolating herself in her room.
    I don't think shes lazy or malicious.
    I think you should have a word with her about clearing her stuff away. And invite her down to join yourselves in the evenings. She might appreciate it more than the text.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,341 ✭✭✭tara73


    In my experience, most issues can be sorted with a friendly but firm talk with the housemate causing problems, if it persisted id ask them to leave if I had the right to and if not, id contact the landlord.


    not in my experience. some might make an effort at first but fall back pretty quickly to their old habits.

    and it's different with this girl anyway, she hasn't even reacted to the text, so she would miraculiously change her attitude after the housemates talk and all would be happy clappy? Dream on.

    Anyway OP, you can try, more for yourself I would say, to talk to her in person, have a 'family meeting' or however you want to call it :rolleyes: with all three of you (I suspect she will not show up anyway and it will be a chore to get her to respond to it), that you can say you did everything and gave her a chance. But I don't think it will lead anywhere with her, as said, I don't think she will show up, so wasted energy from your side again.

    Poster above mentioned she could be depressed or has other mental issues, I believe this is the case. But it's not something you as housemates can help her with.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,061 ✭✭✭leggo


    There’s a lot of hysterics and very little empathy going around here. The housemate is not ‘causing problems’. It’s not like they’re having parties, making noise keeping everyone awake at night or bringing dodgy strangers back constantly. They left a bag on a table, didn’t turn the light on once when they were there by themselves and aren’t pulling their weight cleaning. A bit of perspective like.

    It’s a good shout to say they may be depressed or maybe even a bit lost. I remember once moving into a new place with two people who were very close and the first couple of weeks there I felt a bit lost, alone, wondering if I’d made the wrong decision etc. Now I ended up forcing myself to make an effort and it turned out great, but not everyone is good at that. I still think OP approaching it from the standpoint of trying to compromise/engage her rather than drawing a line in the sand is the way to go. OP you haven’t done anything wrong but also see yourself as the person in the advantageous position here: you’ve lived there longer and are more settled, you’re close with the other housemate, you’re probably the stronger person right now who’s better able to cross the divide. You have to live with this person, the solution that ends most harmoniously is always the best one until you’ve exhausted every possible option.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,546 ✭✭✭rock22


    Why is there no room for HER utensils., Surely , if you are all sharing together then it is up to you and your other housemate to remove some of your kitchen stuff to make room for hers .

    Or am I missing something here?


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