This article is long overdue. I promise you reader, that I will try my best to make it matter to your own situation. Here goes nothing…..
Conflict comes to everyone, whether you are kind-hearted or aggressive in nature. The difference between a soft persona and one settling into patterns of warfare is not the amount of conflict or the intensity of conflict, but the way they respond to and resolve conflict. You will figure out how differently the characters in this article respond to conflict and how that affected the conflict itself; for better or for worse.
So my current roomate and I have been having a conflict for the longest time possible. Let’s call him Thothilla! Like Godzilla! I am funny.
I found a very cheap and convenient basement-apartment to live in, it was like I had found a jewel in the sand. From the time I moved in, having found him already residing in the basement-apartment, he seemed to be accepting and receptive of the new arrangements I had brought to the apartment. I need to mention that in his reign, the apartment was crudely empty but his prison bed, a reading table, a plate, a metallic cup and a spoon (prison-like, not so?). As much as these factors spiked my suspiscions, they never put me out of ease. I had hopes of making him my friend. Boy was I in for a ride!
I placed a couch in the lounge and settled in, a flat screen for entertainment and portable speakers for when we’d have parties, because you know, we are lively people. At first he seemed fine with it but in time, the way I filled up the space didn’t settle well with him and at least two complaints started popping up here and there. At one point in time, during a much-needed sit-down with him, he raised his voice at me, as if to remind me that he was there first and had the utmost right of attorney to how things went down. Well, it is safe to say that that was when my reception went out the door. As much as I have tried to reason with him, I’d rather be caught dead than giving him a second of my attention.
His ego had a big play for sure, so did mine. From the little I know of him, his fringy self had lived through 2 sets of roomates, all who had left the apartment and him living alone until I came around. No wonder the apartment was empty. And by then, the sentiment that he was lord and ruler of the rented abode had lodged in his rudimentary brain. I don’t entertain such immaturity. Not this time either.
I transformed from a friendly upbeat persona to the deaf mute that never cared whether he was home or not. I like loud music, it’s inspiring, don’t judge me. And I had developed a craving for it whenever I was home. Evidently, his complaints became even more rampant. And nobody ever tells you, but it is way easier, blissful infact to ignore the person with whom you are in conflict. I have heard him curse me from time to time and my response was a chuckle, which drove him crazy.
In the sumer, I fostered a couple of kittens from the animal shelter for weight-gain, after requesting permission from the landlord of course. When he saw them, his reaction was, “Why wasn’t I informed there would be kittens in the apartment?” I wanted to tell him that he doesn’t own the place and if I didn’t want to tell him, I didn’t have to. But I smiled and walked away.
He uttered and muttered at everything I did, whether it had to do with how long I used the bathroom or how much I used the flat screen. I grew wiery. Out of wit, I asked him not to talk to me ever again since that had failed to yield any substantial results. I told him he was was left with the option of sending his complaints to the landlord as he had always done, instead of shouting at me when I was still receptive. I knew this was the only way to distance myself from his irrationality while, the whole time, sharing the space with him. I could tolerate that.
A few tense days later, he approached my flat screen in an attempt to damage it since it was making noise for him. Where a kind request could have sufficed, he opted for vandalism and voilence. I stood upto him and dared him to touch me before he could touch my screen, we both knew where that would end. He walked away in silent mutter of gujarati curses, it was the funniest scene ever.
Later, he came home with new Sony speakers, the kind they use when a new store opens on the boulevard. I am sure they took out his savings. *chuckle* He opened his door wide and blasted the boom out of boombastic, Shaggy never sounded so good. I like the tune so I was twerking the whole time. I knew deep down that he didn’t buy them because he likes loud music, it was definitely out of spite. And indeed when my landlord asked him to turn it down, he gave me as an excuse claiming he had bought them to teach me a lesson. The grand question was, “If I liked loud music, what are the cahnces that I will be disturbed by louder music?”
I do not have an idea what Thothilla’s plans are and I don’t plan on finding out but in my opinion, to which I am entitled, he needed to stop caring for every single thing I did in the apartment, he needed to stop giving me so much purpose in his daily life. The same way I wouldn’t lift a finger if he decided to crack his skull in the bathtub. It is the least pretentious way of living, the free-est way of enduring a conflict. Needless to say, when necessary, confrontation is key: mild and agrressive alternatively. The only key being respectful approach, which I failed to get from the beginning; so why give it or expect it! Another grand question!
At the base of it all, it takes as much strength to hold back a response whenever one feels disrespected, I can testify to that. I believe that I have found the best response to endless ruffles and conflicts in common shared living households. If communication alongside respectful approach doesn’t work, phase out and stop paying attention. It is working so far for me.