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Lonely, unlikeable, not much to look forward to

  • 04-01-2021 10:14pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    28yo male, finance job (currently WFH due to covid), rent house with two friends.

    On paper I have a good life and everything is going well. In my head, though, I feel like everything is falling to pieces, things I used to enjoy are diminishing, being replaced with nothing and there’s little prospect of future joy.

    Some is covid fatigue which is probably universal now - repetitive, not much to look forward to etc, enjoyed the Xmas break but now it’s Jan and work (which will be manic) is looming.

    My group of friends has always been small - never really bothered me. However now it’s slowly diminishing in size (friends getting in serious relationships etc.). Guess it’s normal for my age. I’m single, again didn’t used to bother me but maybe it’s getting tougher.

    I like the lads I live with. One of them I would have considered my ‘closest’ friend (known each other years, went travelling together for months just prior to covid and got on well). A few weeks ago, I overhead him talking about me to his GF in his room. I know I shouldn’t have - but I stopped to listen. He was ranting about how much I bothered him, how he can’t appreciate any nice deed I do for him since I’m clearly not being genuine. (A grandparent recently died and he had to attend funeral. As he wouldn’t be back from funeral until late that night I picked up food for him in supermarket and text him to say I left it in fridge. This was the text he was referring to but otherwise I don’t know the context. I’m assuming it isn’t this isolated incident which has bothered him. He replied to text at the time saying he he really appreciated it, saved him a lot of time etc. ).

    I am a bit floored by this. His behaviour to me hasn’t changed at all (still quite friendly - we are all WFH so have lunch together. In the evenings/weekends his GF is nearly always over so don’t get much one to one time.) Can’t really chat to him since I wasn’t supposed to hear. He started going out with his GF a few months ago and sometimes I think she didn’t warm to me, but both always acted friendly to me (and I thought I did).

    I’ve never been the most popular guy but I always thought at least I have these close friends. I am truly gutted to have heard this - the same day he buried a grandparent, and somehow I upset him further. I must be a terrible person. I think I knew I wasn’t the most personable guy but I didn’t think I grated people either.

    I get the house situation is a bit intense - we are all there 24/7 living, WFH’ing and eating. This probably amplifies things. He’s constantly there, his GF is there every weekend and many evenings, they constantly see me. It’s been a few weeks since I overhead this but I can’t forget it, I feel a bit broken. I always thought my intentions were good but I’m doubting everything now. Bit ashamed at how much I care really - sadly friends drift apart all the time, but this sounds like I sledgehammered it rather than drifting...

    Not sure what I’m looking for here. There’s just nobody to talk to - I don’t have many close friends, some I do have are mutual with him and restrictions means it’s hard to get any space from the situation.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,016 ✭✭✭Blush_01


    Do you think maybe he was upset and frustrated and didn't actually mean what he said, but rather that he was venting his other emotions on the day of his grandparent's funeral? Would that be in character for him?

    I'm not making apologies for what he said, it was clearly unkind, I'm rather giving a different perspective.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,996 ✭✭✭✭gozunda


    Take a mental break from your housemate. Do some online courses. Go for walks. Learn a language. But more importantantly be kind to yourself. You can never live in other peoples heads. Let them come back to you if they are genuine. But don't stress it if they turn out to be not.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 3,022 Mod ✭✭✭✭wiggle16


    I'm really sorry to read that you're feeling this way. You're honestly after striking the heart of out me with that post. If I could I'd give you a hug.

    I'm not making excuses for that lad, that is a sh*tty thing to hear and it would floor anyone. I'd impress upon you, though, that what he said is not a reflection on you at all:

    It's not clear from your post if this happened shortly after the grandfather's funeral or not, but if so it's quite likely that had a big part to play in his tirade. People act in all sorts of weird ways when they're grieving and can carry on very out of character - when you add to that the fact that you're all housebound and have to tolerate one another's presence 24/7, it's possible that what you heard was a combination of pent up frustration and skewed thinking generated by grief. It doesn't necessarily mean that it's how he really thinks of you. I could well be wrong, you're the only person who can really say whether or not that played a part in it, but it's something you should consider. Usually, people aren't this two faced without arousing suspicion in others, and since having food in the fridge for him like you did was a very thoughtful, decent thing to do it doesn't really make sense that he would be that angry about it unless his thinking was skewed by grief. Otherwise I'd be at a loss to explain how someone could be resentful of that.

    Either way though:
    I always thought my intentions were good but I’m doubting everything now
    I don't believe the above. OP you sound like a very thoughtful, considerate person and a very good friend - I think you know full well your intentions towards others are good, they can hardly be otherwise, and while you're saying you're unlikeable and you grate on people I think you know deep down that that just isn't true. When you're thinking to yourself "I didn't know I grated on people, I was foolish to think I didn't, I must be very unlikeable, I wonder how many people really feel that way about me" - I know that there is another train of thought in your head prodding away that says "How though?? I'm nice to everyone and I try to do right by everyone, so why would someone think otherwise?", but that you're just not listening to it. You need to. Maybe it doesn't say that verbatim but there is something pushing back - because those negative thoughts are his thoughts, not yours. You've heard something very hurtful from someone you didn't expect to hear it from - that would floor anyone and make them doubt themselves, and that's how his attitude has ended up in your head. He is wrong. He is wrong about you and he was wrong to say it. I think deep down you do know that.

    I know that might sound like a load of waffle but it really isn't, because you went from having one set of thoughts about yourself to having another purely on account of something he said. You know you are not a bad person and you know he's wrong. It wouldn't have floored you to hear it otherwise. It's a reflection on him, entirely: it's just a matter of whether it's a reflection on how he really is as a person or a reflection on his grief/mindset at the time.

    It's an awful thing to feel lonely even when you're surrounded by people, I do know how you feel. But you're not going to be happy in your own company if this is how you're thinking of yourself. The idea that you're unlikeable is a falsehood - your circle of friends might be small but they're still your friends, and they're your friends because they must enjoy your company. People don't tend to stick around people they don't like.

    I do think you should talk to him about it, though I can't decide if talking about it right now is a good idea or not, in case it starts a row you can't get away from on account of living together. But I think, if you haven't done so already, that you need to pick up the phone to someone and tell them what happened - even if it's one of your parents, depending on your relationship with them. It might help you to actually hear someone tell you how absurd it is to be angry at someone for ensuring they had something to eat after a tough day. He either wasn't thinking straight when he said it or he's an arsehole - I really think you will feel much better after hearing that out loud.

    I don't have a lot of practical advice to offer, but make sure you're getting enough fresh air and outdoor daylight, even if that just means walking around the corner and back five times. Obviously though, there's more to how you're feeling than just this incident, and exacerbated by covid to boot. Please have a look at the links below, I'd strongly encourage you to engage with one of the services listed.

    https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2058097864

    https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=89677352&postcount=2

    The one thing to remember is that these situations, being covid housebound and how you are feeling, will pass. They are temporary - of indeterminate duration, but temporary. They will pass.

    Please mind yourself OP.


  • Registered Users Posts: 930 ✭✭✭TheadoreT


    First of all are you absolutely certain they were talking about you? Was your name referenced? And if a common name could it have been some family or extended family member with the same one? Was there anything absolutely specific said that it couldn't have been anyone else?

    But even if so I think you'd be surprised how much mindless bitching a lot of people do about everyone in their lives. Do you find he does that about others when alone with you? There's a saying: "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people". Its may well be all he has to fill silence voids with his girlfriend. I probably wouldn't take it too personally.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,797 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith


    I wonder about the start of the conversation OP, ie the bit you missed. To say you're clearly not being genuine suggests to me he heard something or possibly overheard something to put things into what he thought was perspective. Could you not say to him you were passing his room, heard your name in anger and just heard that snippet?

    He's made a huge leap using your text and getting the food as not genuine. It's a miscommunication/misunderstanding some where on his part.

    You know your intentions were good and as Wiggle said, if someone took what you did badly that's absolutely on them. It has no reflection on you or the kind thing you did.

    If he is a close friend, rather than have it linger, think about talking to him.

    Although you'd want to be a robot not to be hurt by what you overheard, don't use it as a reason to label yourself unlikeable with not much to look forward to. You seem genuinely sound and a really decent friend. Living in rented accommodation with housemates during covid has to be a massive challenge. Even though you guys sound great with each other, silly things are bound to touch a nerve at some point.

    Don't beat yourself up because some one took your kind gesture badly.


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  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,176 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx


    You would not be human if you weren't hurt by hearing something like that. Especially from someone you are close to.

    However, you are taking from one overheard snippet of conversation from a grieving person, that you are unlikeable. Absolutely not. You sound like a very thoughtful person.

    Cut him some slack, given the circumstances. I know it's almost impossible currently to get space from people that you live with. And lots of us are spending more time in our own heads than usual too.

    For the moment, put it to one side. Try to distract yourself with some new challenge. Maybe some running or similar, something you haven't tried before, but always meant to get around to. In time, you may be able to chat this out with him, but now might not be the time.

    You probably are feeling quite stressed and anxious right now, and that has led to some catastrophising on your part. Very understandable. There's a couple of good suggestions in the attached article about how to break that habit, or even to recognise it, for what it is.

    https://metro.co.uk/2018/02/15/what-is-catastrophising-and-how-can-we-stop-doing-it-7306459/

    There's also some helpful stuff online about getting through this crap time that we find ourselves in.

    https://www2.hse.ie/wellbeing/mental-health/covid-19/minding-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html

    Mind yourself.


  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    If the girlfriend hasn't warmed to you then that could be part of it too.

    I've lived in flatshares where a partner of a flatmate openly resented us being there. Most would in time move out and live together but sometimes they were a bit more entitled. With one couple it was like the boyfriend seemed to view us as invading their privacy and displayed some behaviour that I can only describe as kind of territory-marking. Since we paid the rent and he didn't, he soon got put straight. But for a while he and our flatmate probably bitched the height out of us, and certainly did after we had a word with them.

    You sound thoughtful and kind, and those are wonderful qualities in anyone. If you feel like you could say something to your flatmate, I think you should. If not, then you should probably put it down to a general (unfair) rant that came about from being in covid lockdown together and his recent bereavement.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,142 ✭✭✭Katgurl


    Ah OP,

    I also want to give you a hug. I don't have much to add to the excellent posts above but please please please do not let this overheard out of context snippet change your opinion of yourself!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 632 ✭✭✭Sorry about that


    This would bother anyone, especially when you had no sense of any problem up till when you overheard your housemate. I'd be really upset, and I generally don't worry much about what people think.

    I don't believe he meant it for a second; you'd have picked up on a vibe before now. Most likely he was upset over the grandparent's death and was just giving out about nothing, rather than admitting he was sad.

    Another slant is how the girlfriend is there a lot.
    You're obviously very tolerant of that, and he might feel a bit guilty about it. Nobody likes to feel guilty, so he could be creating a scenario in his head where you've done something wrong, just to make himself feel better about how much she's there.

    While it's pointless to try and get into someone's head, it's no harm thinking what could be behind it. It's not you though; it's probably their (currently) undying love for each other, and starlit dreams of it just being the two of them in the whole wide world. It's not you, I promise.
    Just don't bother your head doing anything nice for him in future; he blew it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,208 ✭✭✭Batgurl


    Going off the first section of your post OP, I think you know yourself that it’s time to expand your social circle again. It’s only going to get smaller as you get older and people are only going to start becoming more unavailable so it’s worth investing in yourself and your social life now by getting a bigger and more varied group of friends.

    I agree with all the other posters, I really don’t think your housemate meant it but we all know what a pressure cooker 2020 has been and spending 24/7 with someone is bound to cause friction, especially when you throw grief into the mix.


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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Have you considered talking with a gp? It sounds like depression to me.

    You don't sound like a bad person to me but you need to also realise, we all gripe and no one gets along completely. Even married couples have pet hates about each other and they are supposedly the person to spend your entire life with 24/7!

    Tou don't mention clubs, sports, etc. Even going to watch an amateur team gets you out of the house. What interests do you have?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,910 ✭✭✭begbysback


    Give your mate a break op, I’m living on my own and wfh, and I’m starting to get on me own nerves.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 30,651 Mod ✭✭✭✭Faith


    Aw OP, what an absolutely awful thing to overhear! I really feel for you.

    One thing that has been niggling at me is, why does he not believe you’re being genuine? How long has he thought this? I wouldn’t live with and go travel with someone I didn’t like, so it makes me wonder what changed for him. Could his girlfriend have possibly turned him against you, or could he himself have overheard something out of context?

    I think it would be worth talking to him to try and resolve this, because it will eat you up otherwise. You could start off with something like “Hey, John, look this is really awkward but I overheard you saying to Mary that you don’t believe I’m genuine in my intentions. I’m really upset at the thought I might have done something to make you feel like this, because it isn’t the truth at all. Could we chat and try to figure out what’s gone wrong between us?”


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,018 ✭✭✭Rubberchikken


    You might need to talk with him if it continues to bother you.
    If he's a good friend he'll understand.
    It could be, like the others said, something he was just getting off his chest after his grandparent's funeral. It might be someone else he's talking about.

    You sound like a good friend, caring and thoughtful so rather than let it eat away at you try to talk with him.

    The other thing it might be is some influence from the gf. New people into a group can bring their own baggage.

    Good luck


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,294 ✭✭✭santana75


    Just to clarify something.......are you 100% certain he was talking about you, did he mention you by name?
    OP you have to be sure about this otherwise it's highly possible you got the wrong end of the stick.


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


    Hi all - thanks for the really kind responses. It’s been weeks since this happened and I haven’t said a word about it so verbalising and reading responses has been incredibly helpful at organising my thoughts.

    To clarify - yes 100% sure it was referencing me - name & exact text wording mentioned. Clearly the issue was not the food but something I did (or didn’t?) prior.
    He said something like - (read out message I sent) ‘find it hard to appreciate it when he does things like this”. GF responded with ‘can’t believe he sent that message, actually enrages me, who does he think he is’. She mentioned she’d cook dinner for him the next night and he said ‘thanks - I can appreciate that as at least you’re genuine’.

    Completely get & agree I should cut him slack given circumstances, and in general he’s found covid lockdowns quite tough (more so than I as he’s more outgoing). Neither of them have been unpleasant to me either

    Think it was just the corresponding wave of negative self thoughts that bothered me. I didn’t suspect it at all so it knocked me for six. Paranoia, second guessing and ruminating on things seem to pop into my brain when idle - so I note all the suggestions about keeping busy, definitely something I’ll be sure to stay on top of.

    Somehow I would have rathered he said ‘FYI when you did XYZ it bothered me’ but to say nothing, to just not bother trying to repair it. Both of us are not good talkers though (as you might have guessed!). Friends drift apart all the time, but this was a long friendship and one I valued. Somehow living with someone who thinks of me that way and seeing them all the time feels more lonely than if I was by myself.

    I’ll be ok though. Not sure if I’ll talk to him about it - I have no idea what it relates to and worried we’d just get frosty or defensive trying to assign reasons to stuff. I think it could be related to the GF as it wasn’t an issue travelling (it was just the 2 of us - although we were constantly meeting people so not exactly lockdown). Maybe I’ll just say something like ‘hey, just thought we’ve drifted a bit in past few weeks - sorry if I’ve done anything’ but not mention anything about overhearing or specifics.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 3,022 Mod ✭✭✭✭wiggle16


    I think it's safe to say then that previous posters were right about the girlfriend stirring sh*t so. A good partner would tell him to cop on, not rile him up further about a harmless text. I could cut him some slack if he was grieving, but she wasn't so she should have known better.

    If you're going to say anything to him I would tell him the truth and what you heard. I think being coy and tiptoeing around it will only leave you feeling worse. If you say "hey, just thought we’ve drifted a bit in past few weeks - sorry if I’ve done anything" he's either going to say no you haven't done anything or he'll ask what you mean, which you won't be able to explain because, as you say, his behaviour towards you doesn't seem any different. Whatever it is he was angry about, he kept it to himself, so I don't think he's going to volunteer it now.

    Even if you're coy about it and he does say "well actually, I was really p*ssed off at you a few weeks ago because of XYZ", then the conversation is eventually going to make its way towards what you overheard. These things always have a way of coming out in coversations like these and when they do they come out arseways.

    It's up to you of course, like others I think you do need to talk about it but I think if you're going to say something, be up front about it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,185 ✭✭✭Dark Phoenix


    OP, I think list of us have said things about people - friends / family members / colleagues - that we needed to get off our chest to vent but didn’t mean at heart and would be mortified if the subject overheard.
    Sadly in your case you over heard- been there. It’s awful as it triggers a brutal self assessment and paranoia kicks in and the stress is caused by the fact that you can’t admit to hearing it either.
    Covid has created melting pots in so many house holds and it’s normal that as a result tempers flare, you are all in closer and more frequent proximity during a stressful time. Some space is probably in order and it’s important to head out for some exercise and head space as much as you can as too much time in close confines would drive anyone mad.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,797 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith


    He said something like - (read out message I sent) ‘find it hard to appreciate it when he does things like this”. GF responded with ‘can’t believe he sent that message, actually enrages me, who does he think he is’. She mentioned she’d cook dinner for him the next night and he said ‘thanks - I can appreciate that as at least you’re genuine’.

    You have to say something to him. Absolutely the girlfriend is stirring it. He sounds hurt by something he's been told you did, so at least in a twisted way you know the friendship is sincere. None of this is on you or a reflection of who you are at all, so don't use it as a basis to view yourself. You've done nothing wrong.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,176 Mod ✭✭✭✭HildaOgdenx


    X151 wrote: »
    Hi all - thanks for the really kind responses. It’s been weeks since this happened and I haven’t said a word about it so verbalising and reading responses has been incredibly helpful at organising my thoughts.


    Completely get & agree I should cut him slack given circumstances, and in general he’s found covid lockdowns quite tough (more so than I as he’s more outgoing). Neither of them have been unpleasant to me either

    Think it was just the corresponding wave of negative self thoughts that bothered me. I didn’t suspect it at all so it knocked me for six. Paranoia, second guessing and ruminating on things seem to pop into my brain when idle - so I note all the suggestions about keeping busy, definitely something I’ll be sure to stay on top of.

    I’ll be ok though. Not sure if I’ll talk to him about it - I have no idea what it relates to and worried we’d just get frosty or defensive trying to assign reasons to stuff. I think it could be related to the GF as it wasn’t an issue travelling (it was just the 2 of us - although we were constantly meeting people so not exactly lockdown). Maybe I’ll just say something like ‘hey, just thought we’ve drifted a bit in past few weeks - sorry if I’ve done anything’ but not mention anything about overhearing or specifics.

    Keep working on letting go of negative thoughts.
    Rumination is usually unhelpful because we tend to dwell on negative stuff, and get caught in a spiral of anxiety. Some people find it helpful to say something to themselves like 'not now' when they find the same anxious thoughts starting over.

    As I and others have said, this is no reflection on you. You sound like a thoughtful and nice person.

    We are all in closer proximity to housemates / family for longer spells of time, in the current circumstances, and that has tried the patience of most of us at some time.

    Not sure if the girlfriend will be living in the house, during lockdown, but either way, focus on yourself, and keeping healthy with regular exercise, good meals, and breaks from work. Do everything as normal, don't feel you have to stay out of their way,(if she is there). Use common areas, kitchen, sitting room, as normal and so forth.

    If you feel you would like to clear the air, by all means, do. It's slightly tricky because it's something you overheard. I suppose another way of looking at it might be that it shows he isn't all that genuine, or sincere, if he thanked you, to your face, and said something different behind your back. So maybe it's him that should be feeling bad about this.

    Above all else, mind yourself.


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  • Administrators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 25,947 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Neyite


    I'd a feeling that it was the girlfriend, I've seen it happen all too often where flatmates who get along very well have issues shortly after the arrival of a new partner on the scene.

    What I would do is just...stop. Stop being thoughtful and kind for him. Be his flatmate, be friendly as you would be with a colleague, but right now any thing that you and he might talk about is all getting fed back to someone who's getting territorial with him.

    As for their relationship, what you describe about them being in each other's pockets is fairly standard. And around that three month mark is when you usually have stuck with someone long enough to see that they've no obvious red flags, gotten to know them a bit better, likely fallen for each other and often that translates into one or both thinking that this could have potential to be a serious relationship so thoughts turn to moving in together at some point in the future. It might be that she's keen to be officially living together and by pushing you out of the picture it helps achieve that.

    If she's showing pushy or manipulative traits this soon, and trying to alienate him from his friends, I've seen it go two ways - first scenario it crashes and burns fairly quickly if the person is loyal to their friends, or if they go along with it, it gets serious with the person being slowly cut off from their friends and/family.

    Right now your flatmate is leaning towards the latter by joining in the bitch-fest with her. I would not be one bit surprised if she has flatmate /lease issues in a few months and nowhere to go except your place and engineer officially moving in.
    I've been in this exact position where a flatmate and best friend turned against me not long after she got a new boyfriend. It was an awful atmosphere in the house until she moved out and I literally did nothing wrong except her boyfriend didn't like me. I couldn't fix what I didn't cause. She became barely civil with me for months and cut contact with me the day she moved out. They are married with kids now, and about 10 years ago she messaged me on FB but to be honest, I'd no interest in resuming a friendship. It was probably more painful than a relationship break up for me, and took me a long time to get over it.

    It could be that his bereavement and grief are at play here and the reason he's not seeing you for the good friend that you are. So I really hope your flatmate comes to his senses soon.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,263 ✭✭✭robbiezero


    X151 wrote: »
    Hi all - thanks for the really kind responses. It’s been weeks since this happened and I haven’t said a word about it so verbalising and reading responses has been incredibly helpful at organising my thoughts.

    To clarify - yes 100% sure it was referencing me - name & exact text wording mentioned. Clearly the issue was not the food but something I did (or didn’t?) prior.
    He said something like - (read out message I sent) ‘find it hard to appreciate it when he does things like this”. GF responded with ‘can’t believe he sent that message, actually enrages me, who does he think he is’. She mentioned she’d cook dinner for him the next night and he said ‘thanks - I can appreciate that as at least you’re genuine’.



    Baffled as to how a text telling him you picked up food for him in the shop and left it in the fridge leads to the above conversation.
    There must be some more context to it.

    Like
    I got some food for you in the shop and left it in the fridge

    leads to
    can’t believe he sent that message, actually enrages me, who does he think he is


  • Registered Users Posts: 939 ✭✭✭bitofabind


    Hi OP. Sorry for the hardship you've been having recently. I think we've all been the victim of big emotions throughout this pandemic and it's good to remember that that's completely OK and normal. This is hard. And equally, they are only feelings. They don't have to drive your actions or result in any negative stories about who you are or what you're worth.

    A good lesson to get to grips with in life is that not everyone will like you, and that is also OK and normal. I consider myself a pretty decent, upstanding person but lord have I ticked off people along the way and rubbed some up the wrong way simple for existing and that's just the way it is. It certainly doesn't mean I'm unlikeable. It usually is about some internal wound or issue they have, or it's not and I'm just not their cup of tea and sure that's grand. Can't win em all.

    Try to be careful of the stories you tell yourself as they are major drivers for your self-esteem, anxiety and general mental health. Describing yourself as "unlikeable" because of a bizarre comment from a flatmate following an act of kindness is not a logical conclusion. The answer is probably more complicated than that, he's grieving and being egged on by a toxic girlfriend. Not your business. Use the information to give yourself some distance, lower your expectations with this person as he doesn't seem to care about you the way you thought he did. Hard to live with such a person, but doable. Create boundaries, seek support from people you trust, adopt a polite-but-distant approach when you're near him or his girlfriend in future.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,194 ✭✭✭Tork


    bitofabind wrote: »
    Try to be careful of the stories you tell yourself as they are major drivers for your self-esteem, anxiety, and general mental health. Describing yourself as "unlikeable" because of a bizarre comment from a flatmate following an act of kindness is not a logical conclusion.

    I couldn't agree with you more on this point. You sound like a lovely guy who has been let down badly by his friend. To an extent, I know how you feel. When I was in my early 20's, I heard back something unkind that was said about me. I was very hurt, even though it wasn't a friend who made the comments but a colleague. Like in this case, there was a grain of truth to what was said but wrapped around it were untruths. I remember my mum comforting me and saying nice motherly things like "May he die roaring :D" At least I had my mum to talk to because I'd have driven myself half-mad with the comments running around and around in my head.

    We're living through really difficult times and I'm sure I'm not the only one who isn't enjoying January very much this year. It's a bit of a depressing month at the best of times. Most of the things that help cheer us up have been taken away from us because of Covid-19. Covid has also cooped us up in our homes, wrecked some people's relationships, made some domestic situations very trying, and also made others very lonely. It also took away from us the pressure release that was going to work and meeting other people. I wonder would you be saying all these awful things about yourself if you weren't stuck at home with this guy and your thoughts?

    I'm in two minds about how you deal with him. I'm more inclined to fall on the side of saying something to him - "I couldn't help but hear you say....." because these comments are going to forever be there between you anyway, festering. No matter what happens in the future, you will never ever forget those unkind words. Even accepting that he might've been grieving or playing to the gallery, there was no need for him to say things like that. You might be able to forgive him but those words will stay with you for a very long time. I think the girlfriend being in the mix will change your friendship with him anyway and he'll probably drift away from you. Even if you don't say anything to him, I agree with the advice to distance yourself from him. Be a pleasant housemate but leave it at that. He probably won't notice anyway with this girlfriend on the scene.

    Someone said up-thread that you need to increase your social circle and I agree with them. It isn't easy or possible to do it at the moment but it won't be like this forever. Start having a think about some interests you have outside of work or things you'd like to try. Look into joining something that will bring you into regular contact with other people and lead you to getting to know some new faces.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,172 ✭✭✭cannotlogin


    Without any context, it's very hard to fully understand it but please put any thought that "you must be a terrible person" out of your head. It was such a lovely gesture that no terrible person would consider such a kind act.


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


    Hi all, once again thank you for the lovely responses. Yes emotions (of everyone) definitely heightened due to lockdown.
    It has helped a lot to read that I shouldn’t hold a negative view of myself as a result of someone else’s opinion. My thoughts were driving me a bit crazy/paranoid.

    Neyite wrote: »
    ...so thoughts turn to moving in together at some point in the future. It might be that she's keen to be officially living together and by pushing you out of the picture it helps achieve that.
    ...
    I would not be one bit surprised if she has flatmate /lease issues in a few months and nowhere to go except your place and engineer officially moving in.

    Quoting this as it struck a chord - over the past few weeks her presence in the house has become a lot more frequent for various reasons - getting frustrated at her own housemates (for noise / cleanliness etc.). She stayed over all last week as was upset leaving her family after Xmas. This week she’s staying over all week (in fairness my friend did give us heads up) as her housemates are all teachers and haven’t returned from Xmas break, and she didn’t want to be in house alone as a neighbouring property got burgled over Christmas.

    I don’t mind too much but it’s made it a bit hard to get space from the situation - we are all WFH (with her WFH in the kitchen).

    I hadn’t linked this to what I overhead about me but thinking about it & reading the above - it’s possible it may stem from her so something to be aware of.

    I’ll follow the advice of being courteous but certainly will be careful about anything I say. If it does stem from her, I’m leaning towards not bringing anything up in conversation. Ideally the air would be cleared and we’d all move on - but perhaps he’d say something that would upset me again, or it is coming from her and it might be too late to change anyone’s opinion at this point. In any case, at least I know where I stand. It’s also possible he’s moved on from it and the storm rages only in my head, so I shouldn’t do anything too dramatic.

    Thanks again for the help/advice - really appreciate the time taken.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 3,022 Mod ✭✭✭✭wiggle16


    Ah here, the pair of them are taking the piss a bit, she's basically living with yous. Under the current circumstances it would be hard to bring up, I'm a big believer in picking your battles, but you and your other housemate are being very accommodating in having her there all the time, to say the least. Your mate is sounding like more and more of a f*ckin dope each time we hear about him, to be honest.

    I mean she's staying for another week because she doesn't want to be on her own... so why can't her devoted boyfriend spend a few nights in hers? Why is it your place all the time?
    And this is after already staying for a week because... she was upset at leaving her family after xmas - everybody has to do this FFS!

    What will next week's reason be?

    I think Neyite and others are correct and she's kneading her paws towards moving in with him. I think you and your other housemate need to be on guard with that. I certainly wouldn't be happy to be living with a couple when that's not the set up I signed the lease for.

    Sorry if I am picking that up all wrong, I don't want to be creating an issue for you, but it sounds like your mate is being a lovestruck dope on strings and now Missy is marking her territory. You're completely right, I'd be careful not to bring her up if you do decide to talk to him about it.


  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,797 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith


    If all her housemates haven't come back, why not stay at hers? They'd have a place to themselves?


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,176 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes


    IMO you sound like you are just surrounded by assholes. Don't think its about you. Its about them.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 313 ✭✭araic88


    The toxic girlfriend is WFH in your kitchen?? She needs to f**k off pretty quickly!
    You need to tell your mate that you're not happy with her being there so much (him giving you the heads up is not enough). If he stays at hers for a while it could give you the space you need, that everyone needs at the moment!
    If her housemates are teachers, they probably won't be back for a while.


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