Hate is definitely not the correct word for this article, at least not in my case, but sometimes, especially when you live with someone, you start looking for excuses to dislike them, and the great thing is, you almost always find the excuses you were looking for. The same is probably true for racism, sexism, and really any other type of blind prejudice. You simply start finding reasons to dislike a person, or a group of people, which are mostly baseless. The problem is, even when you know this, it’s almost impossible to avoid it.
Why must it be like this? It is as if one, perhaps legitimate, reason you had to dislike someone, becomes that small rip in your jeans. You know, the kind of rip that every once in a while gets a little bit bigger; One thing is definite, it never gets smaller. It might start out with something really small, as most rips do: a pet peeve you have, that your roommates constantly violate. In my case that is probably something like doing the dishes. If my roommates leave a sink full of dishes sitting there for days on end, it drives me crazy. Then, after we both get sick of waiting each other out, I wind up doing them myself, and then I am spiteful toward them for having let me.
The question is though, who’s fault is this? Are they simply less tidy people then I, and therefore they are in no rush to do the dishes? Are they leaving them there because they expect me to do them, and the reason they sat there for four days is my own fault for not doing them? But how can it be my job to do their dishes? Did they cook a meal for me? Did I ask them cook for me? If not, does that still make it my responsibility?
This is the thought process, for me at least.
So then, regardless of the outcome of the thought process, you wind up spiteful toward your roommate about their lack of tidiness. You can also be sure that they have some similar issue with something you do. You both decide to hide it from the other, as to not be a “pain in the ass” roommate.
This is when the fabrication occurs. That one small issue becomes five small issues. After that, you start nit picking them about everything they do. This all happens in your head, of course, as you still haven’t decided to talk to them about it, nor have they to you. At this point every little tiny thing gets under your skin, and you start to hate people who are your friends.
If you have a girlfriend or wife living with you, chances are, she agrees with you. Maybe you have other friends who are in agreement with some of your opinions. This is when things get even more tricky. You find yourself shit-talking your friends and coming up with even more stuff that bothers you, the more you talk about it.
When its all said and done, you and your spouse are no different than the KKK, except instead of hating an entire race, you hate your roommates, for no good reason. You feed off each others pet peeves, you find more things that annoy you, even the smallest things. You can be sure that your roommates are doing the same thing in reference to you.
What causes this downward spiral of hateful behavior? Stubbornness is probably the easiest thing to blame, especially in the case of roommates. What about in the case of extreme racists though? I would think it is the same. Blinded by their own unwillingness to see beyond the reasons they have fabricated inside their own heads to become hateful toward someone else. Feeding off of each other.
So what to do? What is the recourse? I suppose the correct answer is, approach them. If you have issues with your roommates, approach them. If you hate everyone of a certain race, try to actually get to know a member of that race. I think when confronted face to face, and given a chance to let your fabricated misgivings go for a short while, you can find that most of them were petty, and that given the chance to air them, you realize that, and don’t even wind up talking about it. The most serious issues come up as topics, the more minor ones just fade away as if they weren’t even there.
I have a feeling that my approach is wrong, I simply do my best to ignore it. I convince myself that things do not bother me as much as they clearly do, and I do not choose to talk about it. I ignore that little rip in my jeans, but I know in the back of mind that it still continues to grow.
One day, I will be a bigger person, and decide to talk to my roommates, as I hope anyone else in a similar situation would do the same.