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Question
Posted by: Sue | 2012/05/04

Roommate horrors

Hi Doc,

I have a problem that might seem small but it''s starting to consume my every thought. I share a place with this lovely lady. I enjoy her company and she is a nice person.
The problem is she breaks everything in our flat. Every evening when I come home I just have to check everything to see if it''s still in order. She broke plugs, the toilet seat, door knob to her room, tiles in the kitchen, two chairs, plates. She does not have good explanations as to what happened, her stories just don''t tie up. On top of everything she always leaves things lying around everywhere. She is older than me so I would think that she will be a bit careful with things. She seems to have bad luck with things or something. The worst thing is she does not fix or replace any of them, so they are still broken, I just have to deal with it. I nag her about her finding a handyman to come and help but she hasn''t and gives me excusses. Maybe I am too obsessed with things being in order but I think if you have a roommate you should always be considerate of her/him. What do you think Doc? Am I being silly and petty? I really don''t want to move out.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I think the correct scientific term for such a person, is a Klutz ?
Seriously, this sounds way above the average for even a naturally clumsy person. Could there be problems with drink or drugs, making her more clumsy and less likely to remember what she has done or caused ? You do have to gently confront her and get her to face facts - either she brings a poltergeist home with her,. or she is causing an unreasonable amount of damage, which she must arrange to have fixed. You're talking about real, concrete damage, not merely being messy or untidy. You're not being obsessive in being concerned about this. Damage must be avoided and fixed when it occurs. Messiness, as Maria suggests, can be negotiated - she can be as messay as she pleases in her own room, but not in shared areas. Sometimes a person who has lived on their own for too long, just doesn't think of other inhabitants of a shared space.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2012/05/04

I agree with you, she should be more careful and replace the stuff she breaks. Is the flat rented? In whose name is it? Perhaps you can get the landlord to do an inspection and insist that the broken tiles, toilet etc. gets fixed. In terms of leaving things lying around, some people (including me) are like that and it doesn''t bother them. I suggest you try and reach a compromise... maybe she can commit to tidying up all her stuff three times a week and you can put up with it the rest of the time?

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/05/04

I think the correct scientific term for such a person, is a Klutz ?
Seriously, this sounds way above the average for even a naturally clumsy person. Could there be problems with drink or drugs, making her more clumsy and less likely to remember what she has done or caused ? You do have to gently confront her and get her to face facts - either she brings a poltergeist home with her,. or she is causing an unreasonable amount of damage, which she must arrange to have fixed. You're talking about real, concrete damage, not merely being messy or untidy. You're not being obsessive in being concerned about this. Damage must be avoided and fixed when it occurs. Messiness, as Maria suggests, can be negotiated - she can be as messay as she pleases in her own room, but not in shared areas. Sometimes a person who has lived on their own for too long, just doesn't think of other inhabitants of a shared space.

Reply to cybershrink

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