to be annoyed with new lodger?(14 Posts)
I'm perfectly happy to hear that I am - this is more of a rant to prevent me exploding at him and looking for help in dealing with personality clash.
Basically, a friend of my husband has just finished Uni. He was a mature student, got a First, did a lot of work experiences, and was all excited about moving on to a new adult life. He just needed to move out of his old place into a place closer to the industries he wants to work in. We happen to live in that area and have a spare room, and have previously gotten along fine, so we arranged together for him to lodge here while he looks for a proper job and a better place to live (that doesn't involve three kids and a pregnant lady).
Cue him actually being here. He isn't a bad lad, but I'm just finding some things so entirely grating. For starters, he hasn't been looking for work. He's applied for three jobs, then basically put his feet up. He also hasn't got a suit - he went shopping for one but then decided they all made him look funny and hasn't gone back out to find one. His lack of effort towards finding a job amazes, and his complaining that he needs to get into a better routine/better sleeping hours is getting on my nerves because he just isn't doing it.
The more grating thing though is that he's pretty much always hanging around us. I expected him, from knowing him before and from specifically discussing him being a lodger, was him to keep mostly to himself, maybe do hobby things with my husband in the evening. But no, he comes in to the living room in the morning and often in the afternoon and early evening, doesn't say a word when he enters the room, and just sits there with us. It's quite creepy having a 27 year old man just walk into the room silently and watch Shaun the Sheep with three kids and make no effort to say hi or engage with the adults in the room. I feel like I'm in a fish bowl sometimes because sometimes he comes in, not a word to anyone, and just watches us talk. When we try to bring him in and he does talk, it's to abruptly change the conversation at hand - my husband and I were discussing an issue a building local to my husband's parents were having (it's sinking because of the mines below it) and lodger goes on a 3 minute quote from Monty Python. As funny as Monty Python can be, it wasn't really appropriate to the conversation at hand. For someone so well educated, his scope of conversations seem to be very slim (he's fine with hobbies, games, most tv, but anything about real life seems to stump him).
The worst thing right now is the laughing. He laughs at everything, at the most inappropriate stuff too. It's like he can't stand lulls in conversation so has to fill it in with laughter. I just want to snap at him when he does it sometimes, especially when he does it at the kids. The kids don't understand why he's laughing and so get quite confused. I just want him to go through one normal conversation without laughing. I don't remember this awkwardness before.
I just want him to act like an adult and to try harder to get a job, but he seems to have acted like an adult when in Uni and now has gone into student mode. I'm really annoyed, but am quite glad to have written out on here for feedback rather than exploded at him which is what I want to do right now.
He sounds nervous and much younger than 27. Has he got friends nearby? You're almost describing someone suffering from stress & depression. I think you need to either help him get a life together locally, or boot him out. Perhaps both? Get started on the life, then give him a three-week ultimatum?
It is fairly normal for a rent-paying lodger to grate on the family, but your situation is a bit complicated by his being a friend. Hope you manage to deal with it before that stops being true!
Poor you - sometimes you just don't know someone til you live with them. Time to sit down & discuss his move out date. Students often work well to deadlines
YANBU - I find that living with any adult other than DP is difficult, having lived with various DPs family members over the years (SIL used to smoke inside and put her cigarettes out in my house plants )
Are you or DH able to talk to him about protected family time etc or ask him if he is struggling to adjust to RL after leaving uni. Could be that hs confidence has been knocked and he is a bit down?
I sympathise OP, i have a workmate who sounds very similar (the unexplained laughter, the random and confusing quotes), but at least i can go home to get away from him!
I suggest you give him a moving date (1 month?) and help him to look for a new place to stay. This might take the stress off you if you know the end is in sight, and you might still come out of this as friends. Good luck!
Hmm, I was thinking depression-ish too.
He's spent three (plus?) years at Uni, presumably working his arse off if he got a first, so probably living a very structured life. Suddenly he's cast adrift and it doesn't sound like he's coping at all well.
He's your DH's friend primarily - could you prime him to take his friend out for a pint and have a 'Talk'? (the pub is to have it on neutral ground so that he might open up more.)
OP when you say he is 'lodging' I presume he is paying you?
If so, I'm afraid I think YABU. I have been a paying lodger before now and I tried to be sensitive about 'family time', i.e. going up to my bedroom when the lady I lived with had family over, not monopolising the kitchen and bathroom.
But fundamentally, I was paying for the exclusive use of a bedroom + access to communal areas of the house. I (and I suspect your lodger) wouldn't want to sit upstairs in a bedroom during the morning and only emerge for 2-3 hours at a time. Really no offence, but you sound rather begrudging. Would you want to live in a house where you felt you couldn't just come downstairs and sit and read a book/ watch tv with the others?
I think you should negotiate a moving-out date, because this arrangement is obviously annoying you and is not fair on him.
Do you think he could have Asperger's? Was he a friend of DH before you met, or did they work together before he went to Uni? Basically, does your DH think he has always had problems with social relationships? If not, then it could be depression.
I suppose someone needs to help him to structure his days and his job-search but not sure it should be you!
Yep, Asperger's. I think he will have to be told to move as he won't feel any bad vibes.
Thank you everyone for your comments. I will talk to my husband on how we can help him, see if he's spotting the signs of depression or knows about previous problems with social relationships that I may not be aware of since they were mates first.
RevoltingPeasant He is paying a mates' rate. And it's not so much him being in these spaces that's bothering me, but him just sitting there, not saying anything when he enters the rooms or leaves the room, just watching us or the TV, and only willing to talk about certain topics. If we talk about his hobbies or interests, we're fine, but if we try to talk about local events or the news, he kinda blanks on us until he can get it back to something that interests him. If he came in, said hello, and I felt I could talk to him about anything in general, it would be fine, but I can't - it's his interests, silence, or awkward laughing while other people talk. But you are right in that I may be more begrudging than I thought and I will think about that. It may be the difference between my lodging and his - when I lodged, I pretty much did stay in my room unless I was out or helping the family/actively doing something with them that we'd agreed to earlier and I unfairly expected him to do similar (or at least to be out more in job hunting). Just walking into their living room in silence, sitting, then walking back out again without acknowledging anyone is quite foreign to me, but may be what he's used to.
Well good for you for at least considering even if you think I am wrong
Actually when you put it like that, I am inclined to agree with Mandy. The fact that he is quite academic might fit with that too, I think?
It's quite possible, again not something I had considered prior to posting on here. I guess I went for the face value of him losing momentum to work since all he did for his degree, but now that the depression and Aspergers' has been mentioned it seems almost obvious (as well as your mention of me sounding begrudging, I must check myself to not come across that way to him and see if I am more than I thought I was). The problem is now how to go about helping him - the only way I can see is through my husband as others have said.
Aspergers' is a definite possibility here/ over strong canabis use, her does still need to get a job and leave I like the idea of giving him a deadline, (just make something up about needing to decorate or something) good luck
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