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I rent a room in a large shared house. There have been some problems (see all my other questions) but last night I felt a line was crossed into disrespectful. Two weeks ago I heard music coming from someone's room at 2am so I knocked on their door. There was no reply. I sent them a text message asking if they could use headphones and there was no reply. Just yesterday this person out of the blue started yelling at me saying she felt targeted by me because I hadn't asked if it was anyone else. I said it sounded like the music had been coming from her room and she said I could've sent the whole group (we have a Messenger group chat) instead of just texting her.

I'm very confused by this. 1) how should I reply when someone's yelling at me? I would have liked to have used the kitchen but should I just go back to my room? 2) how should I treat the specific situation? It's very reasonable to ask someone to turn down music at 2am (and what confuses me even more is told me she has a job that starts at 8am). We are in very close living arrangement and things could get very ugly fast.

She said she wants a roommate meeting, which I think would be a good idea. But I'm guessing I should address the issue of her randomly yelling at me before the meeting? What words should I use?

Everyone is in their 20s and most people and international people who don't speak a common language as their first tongue (everyone speaks English but it seems that most people prefer not to, even in common areas when other's are around).

I'm very bad in these types of situations and am confused. This roommate I actually felt closest to because she speaks English the most.

closed as off-topic by sphennings, Clay07g, user8671, baldPrussian, PeterJens May 16 '18 at 19:44

  • This question does not appear to be about interpersonal skills, within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Please limit yourself to 1 question per post. Bear in mind that questions asking "what should I do?" are considered off topic for this site, so are questions asking about phrasing. If you edit this to ask about one specific question, it's likely that it will remain open. – sphennings May 16 '18 at 15:40
  • We really can't tell you what to say when you're being yelled at. That's way too general. We also can't tell you how to deal with this situation (if someone thinks of an answer, it will just be opinion). I'm sorry, I don't think this question is a good fit for SE – Clay07g May 16 '18 at 15:40
  • @bighouse Have you considered the possibility that it was not actually her playing the music? – Onyz May 16 '18 at 18:33
  • @Onyz she said it wasn't her though I'm confused why she would be so mad over a simple mistake. btw she's probably lying as I could hear the music from her door. – bighouse May 17 '18 at 7:31
  • @bighouse She could potentially be mad, if it wasn't her, if you'd waken her up with your knocking and then she couldn't get back to sleep due to the music. (Hence why she'd mention her wake-up time) – Onyz May 17 '18 at 11:32
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I'll try to offer some advice regarding the yelling. I do sometimes yell, which I'm not proud of. When I do, it's usually because I feel powerless or misunderstood——like I'm desperate to make the other person aware of some injustice that has befallen me. Usually they committed the supposed injustice totally accidentally, or it has nothing to do with them. This makes the person feel bad/angry, instead of being sympathetic to my injustices, which makes this an unproductive way to communicate.

The only way to to handle a yelling person in the moment is to apologize for the way you made them feel and amicably de-escalate the situation. Only once they calm down can you make any constructive progress.

Back to your roommate. I have limited information here, but it seems pretty unreasonable the way she yelled at you. It really doesn't make sense to me. People never don't make sense though. There is more to her situation than what appears at face value. There is a logical explanation for her behavior, and the best thing to do is try to figure out the underlying reason. Be warned that she might not even know her reasons yet. Talking it out with her will likely help her introspect and find out why she mistreated you. Be there for her. You have no idea what her day was like prior to that moment. She might have had an extremely stressful day. If she pours out her troubles on you, then you have succeeded. She will likely notice the contrast in your behavior to hers and apologize naturally. It probably doesn't feel natural to be nurturing and understanding of your roommate after she yelled at you. But she is not going to be receptive until she gets the attention she needs. She just wants to be heard. The hard part will be to shift the focus on her to and let her be heard before you try to get an apology.

If she doesn't apologize naturally, you do need to make it clear that her hostile behavior is unacceptable and you won't tolerate it in the future. Don't be too brusque about this, or you'll spoil the progress you've made. Focus on how her yelling made you feel, rather than belittling her immaturity. Emphasize that when she feels that way, she doesn't need to yell because you're her friend and you'll be there for her. Yelling will only make everyone feel worse. People should open up to their friends, not lash out at them. Again, don't do this until after she has calmed down, or else she'll just be increasingly defensive.

Hope this helps!

  • Thanks this is a really good explanation. I tried and it didn't work but I feel that I tried my best...I think my apology came off insincere, because it was as I have a right to ask someone to be quiet at 2am. Also I said sorry several times and she kept saying I wasn't being upfront or something. – bighouse May 17 '18 at 7:32

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