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when saying sorry just makes things worse


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I find that when some people say sorry, it just makes me feel worse, either angry or upset or something in between. I just can't work out why I end up feeling the way I do...

For instance, my housemate is very lazy, reluctant and disorganised when it comes to housework. I know this about her, and we have an informal arrangement that in return for me doing most of the housework, I pay less for the power/phone expenses (which works out okay because I'm a student and have f all money).

But just because I do the majority of the housework, I feel it's no excuse for her to be a total slob and leave her crap out everywhere, rubbish on the floor, food scraps out on the kitchen bench and plates/cups left all over the place. I've brought this up with her endlessly and she is always, sincerely, sorry. To the point where I get pissed off just hearing her say "oh sorry" for everything...why say sorry if you never make the effort to stop doing the crap that you're apologising for?

I feel like it makes me look like some cleaning nazi or anal retentive bitch, like I'm being unreasonable. Like I'm the uncool housemate who asks everyone to keep the music down during the party because they're trying to study. At the moment she's got her boyfriend and another friend staying with us temporarily and I said to her this morning, seeing as there's now 4 adults and a kid living here, could we all please make the effort to tidy up after ourselves? and typically she blurts out with "oh I'm so sorry!"...and I said I don't want to hear you say sorry, I know you're sorry, I just want people to think (ie. think about the mess they are leaving before they leave the room).

And now I'm here in my room, on the verge of tears because I feel like they all think I'm being some uptight bitch, and i just don't think it's fair. And I'm thinking how it's not just this situation (because I'm moving out in a couple of months anyway) it's just that I've always felt like this whenever I've had to stick up for myself and someone has said "I'm sorry" it's just made me feel bad for "making" them feel bad and having to apologise.

It's ridiculous. And a large part of it is that as a kid I learnt that everyone else's feelings were more important than mine. Most of the time I was made to feel bad for even having feelings so no wonder I grew into someone who has trouble dealing with anything to do with emotions. I am trying to work out my emotional issues, but it's so frustrating and sometimes feels like a lost cause. I just makes me want to withdraw from people even more...

Thanks for reading my big old rant. I'm off to re-read The Hunger Games...should make me feel a bit better.

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It sounds like a bad fit, tidy v slob always ends up bad. Personally, I'm a bit of a slob, but I make damn sure that it doesn't impact anyone but me, my room is like a bomb went off but you'll never see me leave a dish in the living room.

It's a shame that you've been put in a position where you have to feel like the bad guy, I hope thing get better for you soon.

Also, damn good books.

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You aren't asking for something unreasonable, and you aren't anal. People who share living space should do a small amount of picking up, and dirty dishes belong in the kitchen, not on the coffee table. Dirty clothes go into a hamper or basket, not strewn around the living room. I'm glad this will be over in a few months because it doesn't sound like a good situation for you.

I think it is understandable that you don't want to live in a pig sty. Or a tip, as Titania would say! Stick to your guns or you will end up cleaning up the messes left by 3 people.


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Thanks for the replies...I feel more validated now! The funny thing is, I'm not even close to being a neat freak or anything, especially when I'm having a bad run MI-wise...but like there are things like just having respect for common spaces. I'm very glad I'll be moving out in the near future, it's just not a good space for me for a lot of reasons right now.

I also think it pisses me off more because I feel like some people just say sorry as an automatic response, but they don't really take in the message at all. I wasn't asking her to be sorry, I was asking her to be a bit more considerate in the future. So giving me an apology but not listening to what I actually said can feel like a kick in the guts. It's like if the library rang me up to tell me my books are overdue, it's all well and good if I say 'oh sorry bout that' but it means eff all if I never actually get around to returning the overdue books, or if I send back the overdue notices with an apology and a drawing of a little sad face, but still can't be bothered to actually return the books.

At least I can vent here MLOL (maniacal laugh out loud)

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