It's really not our jobs to take on the social shortcomings of our peers, but some people really want to try and make it our responsibility. What would you do if your socially inept roommate started treating you like you owed them attention?
u/throwawaymooselock told us his story:
My [23M] socially awkward roommate [25?M] is starting to creep me out - moving is not an option
Transferred to new school, moved to new apartment complex on campus, meant for students. Not a dorm but similar (random roommate that is also a student). I'm on a one year lease that started in August, changing rooms is not an option. Luckily I have my own room with a bathroom and everything, but there is a shared living space with a kitchen.
Posted about this earlier, has gotten worse. Summary of the weird shit my new roommate did that I mentioned in that post:
- First time I meet him, he invites me on a trip to Vegas within 15 minutes of meeting him. After that he started asking me a bunch of really weird/creepy questions about how to talk to women and how to get them to hook up with you
2. First day of me moving in he insists that I throw a party on Friday. I told him I don't want to, but he carries on acting as if this hypothetical party is actually thing, keeps on asking me about the plans and who I'm going to invite. I had to tell him 4 or 5 times that I'm not throwing a party. After that he insisted that I "at least invite 3 girls over."
3. Sometimes I hear him through the walls loudly talking to himself. One time I heard him shouting the same phrase over and over again for about an hour (no idea what he was saying, different language). Also, in general he has no social awareness and is super awkward to talk to.
4. Every Friday and Saturday night when I come home he is still up just sitting on the couch drinking alone, and every time he basically starts interrogating me on what I was doing that night. Not in a friendly way asking about how my night was, he sounds like a cop talking to a suspect, "what were you doing tonight!?" , and he keeps pressing for details.
Anyway last night he just went way over the top. I came home at around 130 AM and it was the same drill of him interrogating me about my night. I was clearly annoyed by him and not really answering, but I think he's pretty much just completely clueless. After that he started begging me come downtown with him just to walk around and "talk to girls." I had to tell him no 20+ times but he just wouldn't shut up about it, and would act all sad everytime I said no. He even told me that he would only go if I came with him. After repeatedly telling him no over and over again, he started to just make shit up to try to convince me to go with him. His lies were just so nonsensical and contradictory, I don't know how he actually expected me to believe this stupid BS.
Anyway, at first I just thought this guy was socially awkward and annoying, but now he is actually starting to creep me out. Any advice for dealing with people like this ? Keep in mind that I'm on a one year lease, I'm stuck being this guy's roommate for another year, there's no way around that. I just have to figure out a way to deal with this guy.
TL;DR: new roommate is socially awkward, annoying, and really creepy. Moving is not an option. Help.
Here was some of the advice he got.
As long as switching roommates is 100% not an option (and I highly encourage you to beat that dead horse on whether that's the case), here are a couple things you could try. Note: all my suggestions really suck for you but since your roommate isn't going to change his ways, you unfortunately will have to change yours.
1.) ALWAYS keep your door locked to your room. When you sleep, when studying, when you leave. I'm not saying your roommate will necessarily do something weird but you want to protect your safe space as much as possible. If you don't have the key to your door to lock from the outside, ask your landlord. If you can't lock it from the outside, see what external locking options are available, install when your roommate isn't around, and just uninstall/patch the door to get security back.
2.) Get a mini fridge and hot plate (if allowed) or microwave/toaster oven for your room. In a college town you can probably find these things keep cheap on college Facebook pages or Craigslist. Eliminate the need to linger in shared spaces as much as possible.
3.) Don't invite friends over. You don't want your roommate trying to latch onto your friend group like he's done to you.
4.) Try to learn his schedule to avoid him. Don't obviously be a stalker about it but take note of when he comes and goes so you can get a feeling of what night's you can walk in casually without worrying about him and what nights you might want to hang longer at a friend's
5.) Freeze him out. Sounds like you're doing this already by clearly telling him no. That's awesome. Continue with that and keep interactions very surface. Don't talk really about what's up with you and then bounce as soon as you can. If he follows you, say yo dude really gotta study and stop engaging till he gets bored.
Honestly, writing this out I feel like this sounds kinda extreme. Maybe others will support less ride or die methods, including yourself. But whatever you do, just try your best to focus on you and your studies. Good luck!
First : Do not engage. You are no contact beyond civilities with this man now. If he starts interrogating you when you go home, say you are tired and need to go to bed now. Ignore everything he says after that, just go into your room, close the door. Get yourself a lock, if you don't have one already, so you can be absolutely sure he doesn't follow you or go there when you are not home.
No shared meals. No talking. You say good morning and good night and that's it. If he talks to you, you are busy and need to study alone in your room. If he talks to you whilst you are in a shared space and you can't leave (e.g. because you are cooking in the shared kitchen), you need to concentrate on your task and can't talk. Ignore him. You don't answer his questions about where you went or what you did. Remove him from your social media.
ANY information and interaction will further whatever delusions he has about you being his friend or wingman or partner in his quest of getting laid or doing other weird shit. It will get worse the more you engage.
Second: Talk to your housing department. Try to find a way to swap houses. There must be emergency protocol in place. Press until they give you that, even if they tell you they can't move you at first. State that you feel unsafe, creeped out, and extremely uncomfortable. If they don't give an immediate response, call after a few days, remind them of your case. If worse comes to worst, threaten to inform student newspapers, the student union, the person you are talking to's superior, a complaints department. Let the person you are talking to give you their name so you can threaten a personalised complaint directly against them, that will motivate them more. Stay calm and civil throughout even threats of complaints.
Third: Rule 1 should already cover that you don't talk to this man about women and girls, but Rule 3 also says that no female human walks into your flat from now on unless you can be absolutely, 100%, beyond a shadow of a doubt be certain that he is not there for the entire duration of her stay, EVEN if you will be with her for its entirety. For you, he is a creep and makes you feel uncomfortable. For women, this kind of man is an actual danger. He is what assault is made of. Do NOT get any woman into his vicinity, since you WILL be risking her safety and well-being.
Best of luck. You seem like a lovely, considerate fellow and the fact that his creepiness, especially the parts of it directed against women, cause you to want to stand up to him really means a lot to me as a woman.
I have worked for housing similar to what you are in. They ALWAYS have at least a few rooms available in case of emergency situations that require a tenant to get away from a situation. If you press enough and talk to someone high up enough you will be able to move it is just a matter of getting past the screen of lower branch staff that don't have any power or knowledge to help you. Most of them have no idea these rooms exist and have been told everything is full.
Keep trying and until that comes through go with no contact. I wouldn't acknowledge their existence with the behavior he is exhibiting. If you can, wear headphones whenever you leave and enter and in any common areas.
I scrolled through this whole thread at didn't see this posted once: OP if you feel that your roommate has serious mental health issues that are not addressed (and it sounds like he does) you can call the non-emergency police number and they can come out and do a welfare check.
Also, many schools offer legal services for students, so I would check that out as a possible resource.
You just have to out weird him so he starts avoiding you. Never break eye contact and always have a smile full of teeth on your face. Periodically lean in and sniff him. Tell him you want to know what he looks like on the inside. Mumble nonsense when you speak to him but slip in weird sh*t like "slippery" and "beautiful".
Dude. Get out. Even if you have to pay. It's just not worth it. I hate to say it and hopefully I'm just being paranoid, but this guy could physically hurt you. He sounds just unhinged and desperate enough to possibly become violent. You can google a bunch of news articles about creepos who have murdered their roommates. Maybe I've read one too many, but I think it's better to get out before he gets worse.
I know this isn't something that is easy to...not too obviously bring up, but he needs a therapist. If he engages with you, bring up that you've been thinking of selling a therapist or maybe that your glad a friend you have has started seeing one. Maybe your campus has a councilor or perhaps there's a local mental health center. Idk it's a hard one. But don't irritate or engage them when they say/do crazy things as much as possible, but when he does normal positive things, respond positively. Idk man best if luck.
I would ask if they did a background check on him. They might tell you it's ironclad, but if you say you feel unsafe with this stranger they placed you with and you're thinking of getting the police involved I'm almost positive they'll be rushing to help you with this situation. They don't want any lawsuits.
I only got through most of the comments, but it appeared as though only /u/silsool actually knows how to adult. If you absolutely can not get out of the lease and move elsewhere, have you thought about just being honest and talking to this guy about this? Maybe he just can't ever be socially normal and you'll have to resort to hiding from him, but maybe he's never been told he's not socially normal. My sister-in-law is like this. A lot of her behaviours are reminiscent of 4-year olds everywhere, and because her parents enable this behaviour she has never learned that it is socially inappropriate (if my husband and I try, she runs crying to the other room and her mother consoles her... and we're made out to be the bad guys.)
It's not your responsibility to parent this dude, but it is your responsibility to ensure your living space is a comfortable one. You don't need to have a dramatic sit-down discussion with him, just do what silsool has already suggested. Every time he starts with his BS tell him it's socially inappropriate, this is why he can't get girls to talk to him, he creeps you out which is why you don't want to be near him. Then just stop engaging completely for the rest of the night. You also need to stop rewarding his behaviour. Do not tell him anything about your life. Stop repeating no like a broken record. One 'no' then freeze him. If he doesn't get it after a week, then it's appropriate to completely freeze him out; which means don't even say the word no to him. One week is more than enough time for even a socially inappropriate normalperson to get it.
The other completely sensible adult thing to do, which has been mentioned, is to lock your door. If this guy is inappropriate verbally, I can guarantee you is already inappropriate physically... as in stealthily going through your shit.
I once had a roommate much like yours, that I had to live with, and I was too immature to handle it in an adult way. My living situation would have been greatly improved if I had adulted instead of hiding myself in my room.
There is some really great advice here but unless I missed it I would recommend keep mace and some sort of weapon close by in your room. Also, periodically check the smoke detectors and make you have a fire extinguisher or two. Particularly.one in your room. I know this may seem weird but his behavior reminds me of a friend who had a roommate exactly like this. His behavior escalated until he had a full on psychotic break and became very violent and dangerous to the point where the guy was threatening friends life. He could just be a major creep, of course but its better to be safe than sorry until you figure out a way to get away from this guy.