Breaking the cycle

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anita 8 months, 1 week ago.

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    I’m currently in a state of emotion where I feel like I’m reliving old trauma with new people.

    My roommates are terrible at being clean, and it’s juxtaposed against my need for cleanliness. I’ve brought it up to them a few different times and it continues to seem that they don’t listen, because it’s still a mess. It’s a small space and the height of summer. We live on the ground floor. Bugs are a major fear of mine.

    I’m hesitant to come off really hostile about it, given we just spoke about it last night and i offered to clean up that instance, while having said that there needs to be a standard set and followed. I don’t want to or feel like cleaning up  after other people, especially grown people.

    A part of me, the passive part, has been making dealing with this situation very difficult, and it feeds this really painful cycle of self-loathing and anger that does nothing beneficial for anyone involved, myself especially.

    I need guidance and help. I want to break this cycle and be able to speak freely about my feelings, and stop being afraid of confrontation and having to tell people off.



    Unfortunate there is not try only do. Meaning learning how to speak freely requires you do it

    It might help to understand what’s behind your fear of speaking freely – fear of judgment, wanting to belong, accepted, loved…. And you can work on mastering your stories – insuring you aren’t projecting your fears and such onto those you wish to speak freely with. As well as creating safe space in which to talk… I would recommend the book ‘crucial conversations’ as a guide.

    Or you if you want to do something right now detach your sense of self from any outcome that speaking freely might result. Can you be ok speaking freely and accepting that those you wish to convince might not agree on keeping the place clean?

    If they chose not to clean you have choices

    • clean up after them,
    • find somewhere else to live
    • Get used to living in a dump
    • continue to try to convince them you are right and take on the role of mother.


    Dear Pip:

    Before and until we learn the very valuable skill of assertiveness, we are either passive or aggressive, moving on the spectrum between the two, experiencing great internal turmoil. Acting assertively is a learned behavior that takes learning and practice. It also takes courage because there is distress in asserting, fear.

    Sometimes, more often than I wish it were so, even when you are assertive, people will not cooperate and then you may have to leave those people and the situation you are in. But being assertive will increase- by a lot- your chances of having better circumstances in life, and it will reduce, by a lot, your internal turmoil.

    Do let me know, if you will, what you know about assertiveness and what would be the assertive way to communicate with your roommates regarding the lack of cleanliness in the shared apartment?



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