Problems with roommate!

South Africa
July 12, 2011 8:31am CST
So I just wanted to share with the MyLotters - I am having some problems with my roommate at the moment! She has been a really good friend of mine for a long time but I guess things change when you start living with someone.. Anyway, I recently went home to see my family for a few weeks and my roommate stayed behind in our flat. when I got back to the flat, I found that she had completely changed our living room - she had painted the walls, got new furniture, put up new paintings and everything! Now I am really angry with her because I like the way our living room was before, and I'm angry that she didn't even wait until I came home so we could make changes together if there were changes to be made! How do you feel about this situation? How would you react?
4 people like this
17 responses
@Althafk (172)
• India
12 Jul 11
She could have informed you through the phone that she wanna paint the rooms.Some people are like this just dont share things,but will be very much good and pure in heart. Any way,You are lucky she has just painted your rooms and brought some good furnitures to your room,what more thats with her cash.This is better news to be happy :-)Go and tell her friendly that dont be like this in future and never do this again and dont broke the friendship.
2 people like this
• Philippines
13 Jul 11
Right Althafk, good advice! :)
1 person likes this
• South Africa
13 Jul 11
Thanks for this advice - maybe I am simply overreacting a bit and should look on this as a positive thing that my roommate was trying to do for me.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jul 11
Oh wow! I definitely see why you are angry. I am not sure how I would react to this. I would certainly have something to say though since the flat is half yours. I just left a bad roommate situation so I am not sure I am the one to respond here, but I don't like the fact that she did this while you were gone and neglected to say something about it. It was inconsiderate in a way. If she is your friend she must have known how you would feel. Then again, is it any chance maybe she wanted to surprise you and do something for you? I mean that could have been what she wanted to convey. If you guys have been friends for a while then most likely she wasn't going after upsetting you or trying to rock the boat in any way. Ask her what was her motive for doing this. Nothing corrects a situation like communication. You guys should be able to talk about this without things getting out of hand. I think you should talk to her about it and see what she says before you get too angry. Usually things can get corrected this way.
2 people like this
• South Africa
12 Jul 11
Yes - what you are saying is really true! I think that she probably was just trying to surprise me. She's the kind of person who gets very bored with things staying the same for any amount of time whereas I'm happy to let things be if I like them - so I think she just got bored with what the house looked like and wanted a bit of a change. i would have just appreciated it if she had discussed things with me first though!! Oh well, its a matter of just getting used to the new look of my house and maybe adding a few things of my own as well!
2 people like this
• United States
12 Jul 11
Great attitude!! Things don't always have to end negatively. My roommate wanted to control me and that just was not going to work. I am too controlling myself, but I keep my control tactics to myself.
2 people like this
• Canada
12 Jul 11
You're so right that things change when you start living with someone. This is why I'm hugely in favor of having a proper lease and conditions to cover major things that could occur between roommates. I know it's too late now for the living room - but you could create an agreement that stipulates that no one can make major changes to the flat without the others consent. You can include other conditions such as having guests or significant others staying over (or moving in!), division of expenses, etc. Everyone thinks that friends don't need to take formal steps like written agreements but then, when something goes wrong, there's no easy way to find resolution Friends don't stay friends long if there is too much tension and disagreement. By the way, after reading all the responses, good for you on taking the high road and finding a positive view of the new living room
1 person likes this
• South Africa
13 Jul 11
This is really an excellent idea. You're right - I definitely didn't think to make any formal agreements because she is such a good friend of mine, and you don't think of things like that between friends. But it would have made a huge amount of difference if there was something written that discouraged making big changes without the permission of both roommates. Because as it stands, neither of us have the right to be angry because we never really spoke about not being able to make big changes! So I will definitely think of doing this for the future - thanks for the advice!
1 person likes this
• Canada
13 Jul 11
I get accused a lot of being "too formal," bouncybug, but I really believe there are situations where it's called for... any time there is money or business involved, it's just easier in the long-run to make formal, written agreements. It actually takes the pressure off everyone involved. Thank you so much for the kindness of best response, too... very nice of you So, are you totally ok with the new living room now? I imagine it helps if you both have similar tastes!
@choybel (5042)
• Philippines
12 Jul 11
I know I wouldn't mind any positive change especially if it doesn't involve my cash. It could have been a surprise meant for you. I still get why you are upset, as I would probably also be, knowing that I, too must have my say on things that should happen or change inside my place. Anyway, I hope you would settle this issue in a calm manner. You could probably tell her how you felt about it at first and then say, nonetheless that it was a good change but remind her always to inform you on changes that should be done within your place. Good luck!
2 people like this
• South Africa
12 Jul 11
Thanks for the advice choybel! yes, we have managed to sort it out ok and the new room does look fine, it was just a bit of a shock to come home and expect to see something and then it was something completely different! I did tell her how I felt though and I think it will all be fine now - I would just appreciate it if she would have discussed things like this with me first before doing them!
2 people like this
@toniganzon (72279)
• Philippines
13 Jul 11
I was once like you, getting mad when major changes were made and i wasn't consulted at all. But now i just look at it as an effort made on the part of my friend in making our home comfortable to live in. But if she would ask me to pay for half of what she spent, now that would really make me mad coz i never wanted to change it anyway. But is she spent for everything, then i guess i just have to be thankful Maybe she just wanted to give you a surprise!
2 people like this
• South Africa
13 Jul 11
Thanks toniganzon - yes, you seem to have similar ideas to some of the other people who responded, and you do all have a point! Seeing as I didn't have to pay for it I guess I shouldn't be complaining!
1 person likes this
@thatgirl13 (7294)
• South Korea
12 Jul 11
That is exactly the reason why I don't wanna live in with a close friend. I know living together and seeing the face all the time and stuffs like that can break the friendship. I have heard of it so much and I'm afraid to move in with my friend. Anyway about what happened to your room, I think it's best to just leave it the way it is coz what has been done has been done. Just tell her that she should have consulted it with you rather than making changes of her own and next time whenever we do anything that has to do with the room, let's talk and decide instead of just doing without consulting one of us.
2 people like this
• South Africa
13 Jul 11
Yes thatgirl, you are right indeed. Living with a good friend can definitely have its pros and cons! Maybe that is why things like this start to get irritating - I guess its not the action itself that is annoying, but its the fact that it seems as if she thinks that this flat is only hers and isn't thinking that it also belongs to me! But yes, its better to just move on from this now and focus on preventing similar things from happening in the future!
1 person likes this
@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
13 Jul 11
hi bouncybug wow that was a bit overstepping things but it depends on hopw it looks to me,I mean if I loved the colors she chose and the new furniture I would be thrilled as this was done by her for free to me and i did not have to s hell out any money.but of course if I disliked the colors and the furniture then I guess I would be angry too.However maybe she felt she was doing you a surprise gift and that you would really enjoy the change. I would not get too upset with her as she did all the work.lol lol lol
• South Africa
13 Jul 11
Yes, you're right. I think the problem for me is that the new decorations weren't to my taste at all, but were rather completely her taste. anyway, I am starting to get used to it now so I guess I am seeing the more positive side!
@arunmails (3011)
• India
13 Jul 11
Oh this is the thing which you deal it in nice manner. Because, you both are roommates. Roommates should live like a family. If one among you does any wrong, the other must apologize or just leave it as it is. These type of things can create a strong relationship. But, instead if you are fighting for silly reasons, you will not find any time to love your roommate.
• South Africa
14 Jul 11
Yes arunmails, you are absolutely right. I think living with someone else is all about compromise and trying to look over the silly things and focus on the bigger issues. I was just a little upset because I felt that she wasn't compromising in the same way - she just made the changes that she wanted to make without thinking about how I would feel about it!
@yspmyl (3435)
• Malaysia
13 Jul 11
Hi! Why would you need to get angry when someone spent money our of their own pocket to decorate the room and make it nicer. When staying with someone you will need to accept the good and bad of your roommate, or else you will be hard to stay together for a long time. It is a good experience to stay with someone who having a different background and thinking, and from there you will learn how to adapt to the environment. So, just accept what ever that are good unless it is a bad things.
• South Africa
14 Jul 11
Ok, I do see your point. All that I was saying in my discussion was that it would have been nice for her to consult with me about the changes, seeing as we live together jointly I feel that we should make decisions jointly as well! But yes, I don't think she was trying to upset me and she just felt like a change. And you're right, you do need to learn to live with both the good and the bad parts of a roommate!
@SIMPLYD (90722)
• Philippines
13 Jul 11
Well, of course if i were in your shoes, i will be a bit offended because she didn't inform me about it. However, since it's her money she spent, well i will be happy, because she had our room have a new look. At least, i didn't spend a dime, yet we have a newly painted room with new furniture.
@SIMPLYD (90722)
• Philippines
15 Jul 11
So what happened to the old furniture? If it is yours, then you can very well use it again, should she decide to leave you. But as for now, just try to enjoy the new room and furniture. Cross the bridge when you get to it, as the saying goes.
• South Africa
14 Jul 11
Yes, I guess you're right - but the problem is that I preferred the old furniture! Also there is a little bit of a question about what will happen now when we move out - because she bought all this furniture it will rightly belong to her but then I will be left with no furniture at all! Thats why i think it is better to make decisions jointly when you are living together with someone.
@nurseclare (2209)
• Philippines
13 Jul 11
Oh, I'll probably get angry with her, smae as what you. She didn'y bother asking me as if she's the only person living in the flat. She doen't ahve any respect at all, she didn't texted you or give a call. But I hope you could patch up things really soon, I know yuo guys are so close and you wont throw everything just for the paint and the new furniture. Maybe she's trying her best to please you and want's you to be surprised. just think of it in a positive way. :) Cheer up!
• Philippines
27 Jul 11
Good to hear that from you. So how are you with your roommate now?I hope everything is fine. Don't worry she spent her own money...hahah!Her lost....lol
• South Africa
14 Jul 11
Thanks nurseclare! I am glad that someone is also seeing my side of the story - every one who commented seemed to have thought that I shouldn't be angry, but it was just the disregard that upset me because it was like it was only her flat, and not mine at all! But I am looking at it in a positive way now!
@jdex_143 (1093)
• Philippines
13 Jul 11
Gosh.. I would definitely feel the same way as you. If that will ever happen to me, I would also get mad at her. She should've called you and asked you regarding the changes she wanted with your place before doing anything. It's as if she owns the place. She should've asked your permission. I hope you could settle that with your friend because it's not easy to hate a roommate whom you will see most of the time and you feel some hatred to her. :)
• South Africa
14 Jul 11
Yes, exactly - that is all the I would have wanted, a phone call to say that she wanted to change things and ask if that was ok with me! Don't worry, I don't hate her. I guess it is inevitable to have arguments with the person you live with sometimes, it can't always be good and easy! But we will definitely get through this and stay close friends :)
• Philippines
13 Jul 11
i never had a roommate at all so i don't know if i can give a good opinion about your case. but here's the thing, the fact that you share expenses for the flat means you have to consult each other prior to making changes, however small it is. i think what she did is not respectful, i would feel upset if that ever happens to me. or maybe, you shared too much closeness that she thought you wouldn't mind at all if she did some redecorating. whatever it is, she is your roommate and it wont feel nice if you hold grudges to each other. sort things out, talk about the issue and compromise that it wont happen again :)
• South Africa
13 Jul 11
Yes - from what I have heard after discussing it with my room mate I think that because we are such good friends she did it because she thought that I wouldn't mind at all. I know that she did not do this with bad intentions so I'm no longer angry with her - it was just initially a bit of a shock! But I won't hold a grudge for this, and she has promised that it won't happen again! So I am happy :)
• Philippines
28 Jul 11
If i were you, ofcourse i will angry to my roommate because she/he has no right to change things or even acquire some furnitures/appliances to display in my flat.
@KrauseHome (36448)
• United States
13 Jul 11
Wow!! I would be very upset if someone was to do this to me. Especially since my husband and I own this house. We have had interesting experiences ourselves from Renting to someone, or sharing with them. Some have even tried to take over our house, and think anything goes. Personally I would be wondering if she was not trying to figure out a way to have this place be hers?
@flzmlady (418)
• China
13 Jul 11
well, what would I do? I regard this private change of living room aa totally no-respect sign for me. You two share the living room, right? then she has no right to change it wholely, at least not your part. I will talk to her and negotiate about that.
@thetis74 (1525)
13 Jul 11
It would have been okay if she was sure that you would like the alterations. The problem is you don't and that really is a problem because people have different tastes and since their are two people living in the same flat she should have talked to you about it. It is a place where you will rest and relax and it is very important that you are loving the ambiance to help you live with it contently. I would also get angry unless if the alterations is exceptionally better than before and done by a professional. But even if she was an expert, she still should have spoken to you about it even just for "respect's" sake.