We’ve all been there at some point in our lives: being forced to spend time with someone we’d much rather like to see only when under the influence of alcohol. That one (or more) person in you life that you want so badly to hold their head under water… And doesn’t life just always have a fucked up way of making sure that at some point in our lives we have to LIVE with one of those mother fuckers? Well, if you’re anything like me, that has happened to you SEVERAL times, hell, you might even be doing it now! So, here’s how you avoid assault/homicide/arson charges until things change.
- Identify what drives that prick: Since you are living with them, you should have a good idea of what is important to them and what isn’t; do they like organization and order? Do they hate cats? Can’t miss their favorite soap opera? Determine what they hold dear, what annoys them, embarrasses them, their pet peeves.. Basically, learn what makes them who they are. It may feel like you’re pulling your own teeth out by devoting time to them, but it’s important, trust me.
- Determine what lines you can and CAN’T cross: This is obvious, but not so obvious. If this person is a roommate then clearly you have more options than say, your mom or in-laws. Or maybe you do? Everyone’s situation is different, and it deserves careful consideration. Is this person living with you a point of authority? Related? Although it is generally much better (and easier) to leave than it is to convince someone else to leave, that may not be an option. So find out what consequences you are willing to live with if you have to convince them to leave. What power do they have? And their friends? And their family?
- Try to make friends: People are funny creatures; sometimes when we get to know people better we find out why they’re such shitheads. In the course of getting to know your enemy, they may become a friend for the simple fact that you understand them. Don’t rule it out, and keep an open mind. Closed minds don’t learn, and remember, you get more bees with honey than vinegar. try to find things you have in common, and importantly, ask them questions. Not invasion questions like, “So why is you mom in prison, again?” but more general ones that allow them to talk about themselves. It’s like hostage negotiation: keep them talking. If that doesn’t work, and you find out you are dealing with a hardened breed of asshole then..
- Avoid them: Can’t be friends? Can’t even be amicable? Next best is to just avoid their asses. Take 5 minutes to think about what times they come and go. Think about their usual schedule. Then, find something better to do while they are awake or in your area. If you can, stay away from places they like. Think of them as a shitty kitty that doesn’t like ANYONE. Just steer clear of that beast until living circumstances change. if you cross paths, don’t speak, use one word answers and avoid eye contact. Make them feel like they are nothing more than a lamp in the room; nothing to be noticed or even acknowledged. Exercise, meet up with friends, find new ones, go have sex, go drinking, do whatever to get you away from shitty kitty. If that is too much, or your schedule won’t allow it then…
- Convince them to find greener pastures: Unfortunately, this is not an option for everyone, in particular, people for whom “shitty kitty” is mom or dad. I’ll make a separate article on that, ’cause that’s a whole different animal. But if the dick you are dealing with is a mere roommate or the like, then you may very well be able to get them to see that your relationship is healthier at a distance. Think of all the things you learned about them earlier and use them. Push their buttons in subtle, annoying ways AND NOT in obvious and open ways. That’s important. Many assholes get stubborn when they are confronted or feel as if someone is trying to push them out. So again, be subtle. You want to create a psychologically discomforting environment for them in your shared household. You want them to literally feel uneasy when thinking about coming to your dwelling. This is a powerful and sometimes difficult thing to do, as you have to walk the fine line between keeping them uneasy and pissing them off. (thus tipping your hand and revealing your plot) How to do this? Take a page from any experienced interrogator:
A: Keep them sleepy/tired
B: Keep them cold/hot (whichever one they aren’t used to or like)
C: Keep them hungry
If at all possible, do all of the above. Not only can this easily be subtle, but these things are some of the most psychologically invasive and manipulative when used against someone. Play music, or turn on lights when they are asleep. Drop things to startle them awake. Move their keys to disorient them. Poke a hole in their favorite meals (or leave them out) so they spoil. Turn up the AC, or heat. You get the picture. Do subtle things like this, and in a short amount of time, they will be looking for options out. Just make sure that option isn’t to get YOU out, and in short time, you’ll be free and clear of that douchebag!