Social Advice Thread

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by keltena, Aug 2, 2019.

  1. Alexand

    Alexand Rhymes with &

    Hey, it’s me…back at it again with a more general social question this time.

    …How do you talk to your roommates??

    Right now I’ve got one roommate, with two more who should arrive on September 1st. I’ve been rooming with my current roommate for about a year, and it’s been okay - I stay out of her way, and she stays out of mine, more or less.

    But actually, there are a lot of things that she does in the kitchen and common areas that really annoy me. (Most of them are…disagreements in food disposal, I guess? I’m maybe overly sensitive to Rotting Food Smell, so I really prefer for all food waste to be either in a closed garbage bin or down the garbage disposal at all times...) I’ve just been putting up with those things because I thought she was leaving at the end of the summer. Well…it turns out that she’s renewed her lease after all...

    But how do I bring all this stuff up now?? I’m sure she has her own list of complaints about me that she could fire back with if I came to her with my own. And like…we’ve never talked. I don’t even know how to pronounce her name (and the internet gave me conflicting information on that, so thanks for nothing, Youtube). And if I’m the one who brings it up, then I’m the unfun one with the stick up my ass. But like…I really want something about this situation to change.

    There has to be some way to talk to roommates, right??
     
  2. KingdomByTheSea

    KingdomByTheSea Well-Known Member

    It's reasonable to bring up concerns at any time, no matter how long you've been living together. Since you have new roommates moving in soon, that might be a good way to frame it - "Before the new roommates move in, I'd like to talk about kitchen expectations." If you two are sometimes in the shared areas of the house together, you could just grab her then and ask if she has time for a quick conversation. Otherwise you could text her, if you have her cell number.
     
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  3. sirsparklepants

    sirsparklepants *cries in sports*

    Do you have a whiteboard or other such device in the common area? Write her a note that says "hey! With the lease renewal I'd really like to sit down and go over house rules with you so I can make sure we're both happy with our arrangement, especially with new occupants on the way" or something of the like. If you don't have a whiteboard - something I greatly recommend for happy roommate arrangements, by the way, it's great for chore schedules and things of that nature - use a magnet to attach a paper note to the fridge. You could also text. Then set up a date and time and just... talk. Maybe come with a list of bullet points, and be prepared to compromise on some things. If your roommate can act like an adult, she'll take this as an opportunity to have a more harmonious living environment. I've had probably ten roommates before I could afford to live alone and only one of them ever took a "hey we need to talk about our living situation and chore schedule" badly. People may not follow up exactly how you'd like, but you've at least had the talk.

    Also it's perfectly normal to be in a situation a while before saying something. I've definitely had lengths of of eight months or more before I've said something about a thing that drives me crazy. Sometimes you want to wait to see if you can tolerate something or if it's a temporary situation.
     
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  4. Gee

    Gee the mail never fails

    I have new hard floor cleaner to do tile cleaning in my apartment with. Share wall with neighbor. Am concern they will angry yell because of intermittent noise (can only handle vacuum sound every now and then so it takes a long time to floors). Should I say anything to them beforehand? The only room which wall we share is my kitchen/ their bathroom and hallway. I don't want angry neighbors :( if they did this I'd be driven crazy
     
  5. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    yeah, give them a heads up that your floor cleaner is pretty noisy, and ask if there's times that are off limits to do it. don't ask their permission to clean your floors, you don't owe them veto power. but give them the opportunity to say like, "i do a skype call every day at 5, don't make the noise between 5 and 7."
     
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  6. keltena

    keltena Probably Exists

    Minor question for anyone with retail experience: Is there a best time to specify to a cashier that I don't need a plastic bag? I feel kind of rude talking at them while they're already busy with ringing me up, but there isn't usually a natural pause before they start bagging, so I'm never sure what to do. (I'm aware this is probably a very nitpicky thing to stress about, but I figured there's no harm in asking.)
     
  7. hyrax

    hyrax we'll ride 'till the planets collide

    i've only worked retail in small shops, not grocery stores or supermarkets, but i also am a person who tries to minimize the number of plastic bags entering my life whenever possible. i usually say it as or just after they scan the thing, so they can hand it to me or set it down instead of bagging it. cashiers here at least frequently start conversations while they're ringing things up, so i don't think it's a problem to talk to them while they're scanning.
     
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  8. idiomie

    idiomie I, A Shark Apologist

    when is it socially appropriate to complaint to your upstairs neighbor about the stomping?

    we've lived here nine months, and we're on the second floor of a three floor apartment complex. we try to be conscientious of our downstairs neighbor (no complaints yet), and understanding of the fact that we're pretty sure upstairs has two smols (one who we think is the stomping culprit, and the other who we hear crying sometimes)

    having been a smol in an apartment complex, and someone who could be referred to as "stompy" still, we haven't said anything yet but the stomping is just... it's summer, and the stomping is worse (because child is no longer in school?) and it is. very very frustrating, and on migraine days actual hell

    but we've also lived here for nine months, and i noticed the stomping on literally the first night i spent here - have we like... waited too long? for it to be appropriate to complain?

    i also don't even know what the protocol here is - i've lived places that wanted you to try and work it out with your neighbor first, and places where you were only "allowed" to talk to management and i have no idea what the rules are here. what do?
     
  9. sirsparklepants

    sirsparklepants *cries in sports*

    When I was a smol and we had a condo, my mom had a lot of talks with me about "quiet feet", so chances are, the parent(s) probably have some awareness of the problem and won't be taken aback if you come to them. Also it's very natural to wait to see if the problem will resolve before bringing it to someone, so no, it's not too late. A polite talk with upstairs is perfectly appropriate, and dropping your migraines in may be something you want to do. How much they can do about a stompy kid varies, but it may be possible to work out some sort of quiet hour with them or something of the sort.

    As for involving management I've never lived in a complex where they don't want you to talk with your neighbors first, and ime it's generally considered rude to go straight over their heads without giving them a chance to resolve the problem.
     
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  10. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    i've been Mister Stompy myself, and i appreciated when neighbors came directly to me about it.
     
  11. WolffyLuna

    WolffyLuna Active Member

    There is a person I know from tumblr, and while I think the idea of 'mutuals' being a coherent descriptor of online relationships a bit silly, 'mutuals' is the best description for our relationship. We've talked about [shared fandom] in the reblogs of eachothers posts, and occaisionally infodump about [shared fandom] in each other's discord DMs.

    This person has occasionally posted screenshots on their tumblr from a [shared fandom] discord server. Would it be polite/appropriate to ask if an invite to that server is possible?
     
  12. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    ask if it’s a general fandom thing or just their friends, and if it’s for the fandom at large, could you get an invite please? that gives them a polite out if they don’t want to give out invites.
     
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  13. keltena

    keltena Probably Exists

    Does anyone have advice on how to Give Other People A Chance To Talk For Once™? I have ADHD+autism and I've had problems with dominating conversations/interrupting/rambling for years. It's incredibly embarrassing and I feel really bad about it, but I've had trouble effectively correcting it, and in part that's because I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do instead of talking too much. Sometimes I try to hold my tongue more, but end up feeling like I'm hampering the conversation for the other person/people by not engaging enough, and it's very difficult for me to find a mode between "staying out of the conversation" and "dominating the conversation" without spending all my brainpower on monitoring myself.

    For a particular example I'm stuck on: in classroom settings, I often end up being the person who thinks ahead to the answer of a question fastest and/or the person least reluctant to speak in general. That means that if I choose not to speak up sometimes, the result is often not someone else speaking, but awkward crickets until someone else is coaxed into speaking. I can deal with that when it's the class being asked by the teacher, but I have no idea what to do in "work on this in groups or pairs" situations where students are supposed to solve problems collaboratively. I absolutely don't want to either talk over others or answer everything before they can, but people are usually somewhat shy and reticent in those situations, and I feel like a huge jerk if I just arbitrarily don't volunteer half the answers I know in the hopes that someone else will speak up. It feels like either I'm talking over everyone, or I'm doing this weird condescending thing where I try to coax people through the work like I think I'm their teacher instead of collaborating with them, and I have no idea what a good solution would be.

    help :psyduck:
     
  14. sirsparklepants

    sirsparklepants *cries in sports*

    Being the first to speak isn't always bad, sometimes it can break the ice so other people feel more comfortable speaking up. What I would do is, if you feel the urge to speak up, do so, but leave a little pause every two or three sentences, or at the natural conclusion of an idea, which is generally understood as a place where other people can jump in if so inclined, but you can move on from and speak more if no one does. This will take practice, but here's an example or two.

    "If we're going to do group work, I think it would make the most sense to split the project up into these sections (list them, then pause for input)"

    "Yeah, I really thought that x event in the book was interesting because (two or three reasons)." (pause to let someone else comment) "I also liked y!"
     
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  15. vuatson

    vuatson [delurks]

    I’ve found that working more questions into my dialogue works. even tacking “I dunno, what do you think?” or similar onto the end of statements really helps soften the Wall Of Opinion. unfortunately that often means playing dumb a little, so you’ll have to judge whether that’s worth it for the sake of getting your whole group engaged in the project or making whoever you’re talking to feel valued.

    that, uh, sounds more assholish than it actually is. basically questions are always a good way to grease the rails of social interaction, because people like to feel like their input is wanted. and you want them to share their input, even if it’s only for social rather than practical reasons.

    when it comes to that thing of coaxing someone through the work, try acting excited, like you’ve just figured it out and you want to share! always make sure they actually want help, or at least are open to it, or you’ll get nowhere. don’t intro with decisive “you’re doing it wrong” statements. smile a lot. essentially try to come off as “excitable nerd” rather than “bossy know-it-all.”

    grain of salt for all this, it’s just the tactics that have worked for me in the past.
     
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  16. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    I agree with both intentional pauses and intentional questions! I'm not adhd but I also get super uncomfortable with the "nobody wants to talk" awkward silences, so I perfected offering an idea and then asking a specific other person by name, "(name), what do you think?" and that can be good at getting the conversion ball moving.
     
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  17. jacktrash

    jacktrash spherical sockbox

    something that’s worked for me pretty often is giving part of the info, and then the equivalent of “amirite??” directed at someone who isn’t the most reluctant one in the group. of course, i’m not in school, but it works well in gaming groups, for instance. i still tend to end up playing the ‘leader’, but it keeps me from railroading the other players.

    say we want to infiltrate an enemy base and we don’t know what’s in it. i know if i say nothing we’ll either charge in like morons, or get distracted by ooc chatter and spend the whole session memeing. i could just declare to the gm that we’re going to send micro drones to map the vents while we hack satellites, since that’s what we’ll probably end up doing. but it’d be dickish. and the other players aren’t stupid! they just don’t get a thrill out of going for the tactical jugular like i do.

    so what i’d say is something to get the conversation focused in a useful direction, like, “we need a lot more intel before we go in, that’s for sure. those micro drones are pretty cheap to 3-d print, right?”

    now the others aren’t swimming in a sea of infinite distractions, they’ve got something to respond to, and the brainstorming can proceed. they’ll have ideas i never would have come up with. i just had to get us on the same page.
     
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