I want to tell you some very real things which I have been going through for the past 3.5 years.
This is about my insufficient communication skills, and inability to be properly aware of the anger in me
I want to work through the process and see what kind of conclusion I draw
But I can already tell you that I do not come out as the "winner".
In fact, no one does.
The jackas...roomate I live with does not come out of this looking good
Neither does the third roommate who was pretty sure he was going to have to stop a fight.
Do you want to know how it started and why I am the biggest jackass in the entire story?
If you said: yes and YES
I'll make sure I don't disappoint you on this one
Three and half years ago I moved into a room with my best friend and another guy from Venezuela.
The first argument I ever had with the third guy was because he was taking 45 minute showers
At first, I could not believe it. After the 4th time or so, I decided to time his showers.
He was taking 45 minutes
Berlin the etiquette of shared flats:
The most important rule is to be cautious with the use of hot water and heat.
That is because they are very expensive and end up as shared costs at the end of the year.
It's common knowledge that you use the bathroom for no longer than 10 min.
Several times I had to knock on the door because my GF had to pee and could not wait another 30 minutes...
There was no shame on his face either of those times...it was more like, WE were bothering him...
I kept asking myself: "WHAT is he saying with those actions?"
So one day I went up to him and asked: (probably quite annoyed)
"How long are you taking in the shower?"
And just like someone who has been waiting to get that specific question asked, he said (righteously) :
And I think to myself: "He knows? As in, he knows it precisely? Then why is he doing it?"
Now I am really annoyed and I ask him: "Do you know how expensive the hot water is in Germany?"
Of course, he doesn't know, but even more righteously he answers:
"This is how I have always done it in Berlin and people have always complained."
"But that is how I do it."
So now I am really confused. Because not only did he know what he was doing, he also had the issue before. (obviously)
And his tone of voice seem to imply that this was some sort of retribution for something unfair??
At this point, I realize I do not know, how expensive it actually is.
I go online and look at some formulas and do a rough calculation which lands me in something like 600 to 800€ extra a year
600€ is twice what a normal person uses per year
One of the reasons it is in such poor taste to use the hot water in that manner
Is because everyone has to pay those expenses together, including the heat.
You pay a monthly estimate which the electric company calculates based on normal people needs.
Me? I am in the middle of a bad relationship, a REALLY bad one. And I have my own share of betrayal and idiots to deal with...now this?
Low and behold, we get the yearly cut and it's north of 600€. Out of which he had to pay about 345€
The rest was sent to a previous person, who also took showers like she was in a spa...
After that, he reduced the time to about 30 min.
I take very short showers, often with cold water (even in winter), which means I UNDER spend.
The fact that we are not getting bills at the end of the year has to do with the how the other two people use the services.
We could be getting money back, instead, I am paying for his hot showers...
So, I am angry.
That same attitude comes to the aspect of cleaning the house.
He purposely does the absolute minimum based on some victim logic he made up in his head...
He concluded that since I work from the house and he spends most of his time outside, he should clean only the minimum.
Except I work more than 120 hours and THEN I also, work at home all the time and THEN I still clean the house.
"But you are always working in your room when I come home..." He said
"Yes, you idiot, because it is the only thing I do. But I am out of the house as much or more than you"
So I decided to use him to nurture a good amount of righteous anger myself
I can tell you that it is INCREDIBLY easy to look like a responsible and hard working person when compared to this guy...
"The story of how I ended up owning 1700€ to him"
About two years ago, my laptop died in the middle of a consulting project and I needed a new PC fast.
I had less than zero money, but my parents were willing to lend me the money. But there was a problem with the transaction.
By that time I was in a better relationship to this guy, and since he has a steady job at a big company,
I asked if he could lend me money for about three days, that I would transfer it back
I did not. That same week I got a letter from the IRS, plus large company expenses and the money vanished from my account
The projects did not work out and paid about a 10th of what it "should have"...
The business I was starting went to shit, then my relationship exploded and over the next six months I collapsed completely.
I can not tell you how much I HATE owning money to people, especially to this person in particular.
That has been a humbling experience to say the least.
If I had put 100% of my focus on paying him, I would have done that already, but why would I?
"Who pays me for the hours I put at cleaning the house and keeping the thing habitable?"
"Why should I sacrifice time which I could be putting on building my own company, just to pay him?"
All very good ways to justify my anger.
I am aware of how many times I blinded myself and allowed a weakminded person to betray me.
It is me who is to blame for being so naive.
Maybe my anger and all seems unjustified, but maybe it isn't...that is not the issue at hand though
The issue is: "In what way was I a complete and utter idiot, and how could I have handled this better?"
I could have not used him as an easy target for the anger and resentment from my last relationship.
I could have realized that he does not represent all of the other people in my life who tried to take advantage by playing dumb
I could have talked, instead of poisoning myself with all the anger that I almost unleashed on him.
I could have, and I will, start to train an actual fighting sport in order channel those impulses
Because that would give me a much better idea of what I could have done to him and put some sense into my idiot head.
I'll end this story by saying something which all men should be aware of: (it's something I heard and which I now understand)
When he admitted that he was doing all these things on purpose and then taunted me to get physical,
He was not brave, but a complete and utter coward. And he also broke a sacred rule among men:
Arguments between men and women are VERY different to those among men.
We know there is a line which you never cross, because beyond that line you HAVE to fight.
For example: I can not call your mother a whore and not expect to get punched.
The threat of physical confrontation is what keeps the relationships among men in line and healthy
What he did was taunt me and then threat to call the police on me or to sue me if I touched him.
Which really baffled me, because we were standing FIRMLY on that place in which you have to fight
He crossed that line because he knew he could abuse the fact that we live in a society that has rules
But my intention was not to sucker punch him, but to actually go to the park and settle the damn thing.
You can not say the things which take the argument ACROSS the line of civility and then say you will call the police...?
So, all the while we are having this argument I am not really listening to him, but I am carefully watching my anger and thoughts
And just when I felt that rage was going to blind me... I said: "Alright, I can't argue anymore, because I will hurt you." and I left.
It's the second time we get to the point where the line was crossed, and nothing happened.
I told him today that I am tired of acting like his mother. But he doesn't get it, because...if he did, he wouldn't do it.
People who let their character get weak, like he did, carry a lot of resentment inside, which they hide under the "nice guy" facade.
I see through that, because I KNOW that the nice guy act leads to being resentful, because people are walking over you all the time.
I have worked with thousands of different people in the service industry and the "nice guy" is often quite resentful...
And it doesn't matter how deep they try to bury that aggression, because it comes out and makes them lazy and unmotivated.