So You Want to Be the Passive Aggressive Roommate?
It’s a dirty job, but it wouldn’t have to be if everyone would just do their own dishes.
By Gabriela Hernandez, Kansas State University
Everyone knows and hates the roommate who leaves reminder Post-Its and sends annoying mass texts about dishes in the sink.
Some might know her as the most passive aggressive person in the world, or maybe just Miki. While her snotty remarks are more annoying than Hillary Clinton’s nasally voice, she only has the best intentions in mind and just wants to make sure the house is tidy for everyone to enjoy.
Unfortunately, these guardians of the hearth are not born with the knowledge of passive-aggression—it must be passed down, from generation to generation, preferably on a Dry Erase board in the kitchen with a smiley face.
Because college generations come and go every year, the transmittance of this sacred information is incredibly valuable but fraught with danger. If even one class leaves college without sending a healthy cadre of passive-aggressive graduates out into the world, who will remind everyone to throw away old leftovers without ever actually throwing them out themselves?
So, for anyone who’s ever felt passive aggressive but didn’t know where to start, here’s a step by step guide to smugly bringing out the best in others, like a recipe passed down from parent to child. You’re welcome.
Establish solid communication
Communication is the most essential component of any relationship. The best way to get a message out is to send mass texts whenever you find anything wrong in your room or apartment.
If someone left the milk out on the counter, text all your roommates and let them know that someone left the milk out on the counter. Don’t leave out any details.
Include the exact time that you found it and on which counter it was placed. Include the fat percentage of the milk, as that can often incriminate the culprit.
If texts aren’t getting through to them, it’s always good to go old school. Everyone appreciates a sweet letter or handwritten note, so pick up your brightest sticky note and Sharpie to let your roommate know that the lights need to be turned off during the daytime.
Sometimes people might struggle with reading, so it’s always important to adapt to the circumstances. If your roommate is still not doing what you tell her, try talking to her. Backhanded compliments and sarcasm are ALWAYS the most productive forms of communication.
Feel free to get creative. “Wow, you actually showered today so the house doesn’t totally stink!” As long as you have a smile on your face, she can’t take your words personally.
Keep your thing safe
Label everything. From your personal belongings in the bathroom, to every single apple and orange in the fridge. If you don’t, your inconsiderate roommate may feel the liberty to take your food and eat it when she forgets to go grocery shopping.
If she doesn’t get the hint, and you suspect that she might be using one too many drops of your expensive shampoo, the best way to catch her is to leave all your things at a certain angle. If you take a shower and realize that your body wash isn’t pointing north at 36º, then you know that someone has been using your stuff.
Feel free to send a mass text expressing your concern for the lack of respect in your home. Whoever coined the phrase “out of sight, out of mind,” obviously had a shitty roommate back in college.
Hide all your food and alcohol. If your roommate doesn’t even know about your Nutella stash or that you buy Tito’s Vodka instead of Burnett’s, then there is a 0 percent chance that she will think about taking one or five shots.
Actions speak louder than words
If your roommate is still being a complete asshole and won’t pick up on your subtle hints, then you need to stop telling her what living with her is like and just show her.
Don’t take out the trash when it stinks up your entire apartment. If anything, make the smell worse. Buy cans of tuna and let them rot, then throw them out in the trash and let the stink take over.
Do not, I repeat, do not do the dishes when they’re piling up in the sink. If she won’t do her dishes then don’t cave either. Leave your laundry in the drier for days or even weeks.
If you’re hungry and your roommate has a huge bag of chips and you have some queso, feel free to take half the bag and don’t look back. Nothing tastes sweeter than revenge, not even the chocolate you’re taking from her room later.
When she finally sends you a text about borrowing her clothes and not cleaning up after yourself, don’t respond.
Ignore, avoid and forget
If all else fails and you can’t make her understand that she’s an immature, sloppy person, then it’s finally time to ignore her all together. You need to be the adult here and just avoid her at all costs.
Avoiding conflict is always the way to go. You tried sending her subliminal messages and she obviously didn’t understand them, so all you can do now is nothing.
If she tries to talk to you, pretend you didn’t hear. Better yet, wear earphones at all times when you’re at home together so that you always have an excuse for not answering her dumb questions.
Don’t invite her to wine nights or dollar nights with all your friends, because if she doesn’t respect you, she probably won’t respect your friends either. If she asks why you didn’t tell her about the rager you threw at your place, make clear eye contact and say “I thought you knew,” then walk away.
Make sure you complain to others about her all the time. You score extra brownie points if she’s in the room and you’re a loud whisperer.
Last but not least, always roll your eyes at her when she talks or just stare at her blankly, they both do the trick.
Move the hell out
If you really can’t stand to live with that troll, then just move out as soon as you can. Someone else can deal with her mess. You’ve done all you can do at this point.
You tried communicating, hiding your things, giving her a taste of her own medicine and even ignoring her, yet she still manages to wake you up when she comes home with a rando at 2 am on a Tuesday night. Don’t deal with her shit anymore and just leave.
You don’t deserve to be treated that way in your own home and she doesn’t deserve to have someone in her life who can’t stand her.