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I'm usually good at this sort of stuff but I don't know how to handle this situation. I'll start from the beginning.


Backstory

About 2-3 years ago, a good friend of mine, Henry, stole a grinder from another "friend" of his and gave it to me. I didn't want it at first but he convinced me to take it as he was "only going to throw it away" because he wouldn't be able to use it in front of the other "friend". Not being directly involved with this situation or the other "friend", I then took the grinder and used it myself for the next year and a half.

Fast forward to about 6-9 months ago, Henry and his "friend" are no longer friends and he decides he wants this grinder back. Now, Henry has been a really great friend to me and although I thought that asking for a gift back is pretty damn rude, I decided I'd give it back to him and buy myself a new grinder. I ended up buying the same model, which cost me €45.

It didn't bother me to buy a new one because I had plenty of money at that time. It did bother me that he asked for it back, but because Henry can be quite confrontational at times, I decided that arguing about how I felt wasn't worth it and it'd be all forgotten about shortly after.

Up until now, there was no issue. I had my grinder, and Henry had his. However, Henry decided to swap the top compartment of his grinder with mine - initially, this was just as a prank, but when I asked for the top part of mine back, he told me that he thinks it's fair that he keeps it because he gave me the grinder to use all that time ago. I mentioned to him how most people don't usually return things they get as gifts and that it was nice of me to even give it back. "F*** ***" was the response to that.


The problem

Now, I don't care about money, and the functionality of the grinder is identical, so as far as practical impact goes, it really doesn't make a difference for me. However, I can't help but feel completely disrespected from all this. I didn't want the grinder in the first place, and if he had told me the day he gave it to me that he was just going to ask for it back later, and try take a part of my new grinder as tax, I wouldn't have taken it - why would I make a deal with little to no benefit to me?

Regardless, this feels similar to entrapment and that is not okay with me. I'm losing out here and I've done nothing wrong.

The other important factors are that I do a lot with Henry. We both live in the same locality and attend the same college an hour and a half away. We're also living together for this year of college. He organized the house to live in and as I don't drive he's my only way of travelling up and down from college each week. This also saves me a phenomenal amount of money as public transport in my country is extremely expensive and unreliable, especially when living rural. This puts him somewhat in a position of power over me.


Solution

This is where I need some advice.

  1. I want to tell him how scummy and selfish I think it was of him to request what I thought was a gift back from me simply because it suited him best, and then stealing a part of my grinder and trying to pass it off as tax for something I had thought was over already. This will almost certainly end with him telling me about how he does so much for me, then him telling me to f*** off. I would then have to deal with an awkward house and pay 60% of my income on travel. Not the best outcome IMO.
  2. I say nothing, bottle it up and hope that this bottle doesn't overflow.
  3. An option where I can get my point across and not risk losing a friend or having an argument.

I'm probably going to go with option 2, because it creates the least hassle for me - but being in a position like this is grinding away at me and making me feel powerless - enough to the point I've come to ask the internet for help!

What's the right thing to do?


More info

Just to clear some stuff up:

  1. Accommodation in my country is very, very difficult to get. There is a national housing crisis right now and students are some of the worst affected. The idea of being able to secure, let alone afford, a one-bedroom apartment is out of the question.
  2. Getting a car is pretty much out of the question too. Although I have almost obtained my full license, the price of insurance for a first time driver in my country is in excess of €3000 - not including the price of a car. It is simply not clever at this point in time to spend my entire savings on one.
  3. I don't drink or smoke. I just vaporize cannabis. This makes the habit very cheap for me.

closed as off-topic by Ælis, avazula, sphennings, Negotiate, Rob Nov 16 '18 at 14:16

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Asking "What should I do?" is off topic. - Questions should ask for help achieving a specific goal. Your question is asking for personal advice on "what to do" without defining a goal; this is too subjective. Edit your question to explain what you hope to achieve and how you would like to interact with the others involved." – Ælis, avazula, sphennings, Negotiate, Rob
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    The grinder is a herbal grinder, for anyone wondering. – Dough John Oct 20 '17 at 16:45
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    So Henry stole it from a friend, passed it on to you and when they weren't friends anymore, Henry wanted it back from you, but only to keep it for himself? What about the friend he stole it from? Why did you accept the stolen grinder in the first place? – Anne Daunted Oct 20 '17 at 16:56
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    That's exactly what happened. This "friend" had stolen stuff off Henry before and this is why Henry stole it. I didn't initially accept the grinder but I was convinced otherwise by Henry. Regardless, this is secondary to the actual question. – Dough John Oct 20 '17 at 17:02
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    Could you clarify if just giving this guy a brand new piece of equipment worth €45 could also be just a nice gesture as a thank-you for all the benefits YOU are having? It sounds like you are benefiting the most from your “friendship”. – mvds Oct 21 '17 at 8:08
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    Please remember that comments are here to ask for detail/information or suggest improvement. If you have an answer, write one in the answers section. If you just want to pass judgement on the OP or Henry, don't. – Catija Oct 24 '17 at 1:50

13 Answers 13

166

This incident should really tell you everything you need to know about your friend. I mean .. he "stole" the grinder from someone else to begin with. And then he "stole" it back from you, further taking advantage of you by swapping out the used parts with your new ones in the process.

It really looks like this guy is only watching out for number one: himself. Everyone else is only a resource he taps into when he needs them. People like these are commonly known as parasites, and are best avoided.

I believe that if you were to analyze your relationship with him very objectively, you'll find many more examples of him forcing you into doing something which, while seemingly innocuous, actually works out in his favor, with little regard as to your own wishes or opinions.

For example, taking the grinder in the first place. You didn't really want it, but he manipulated you into taking it off his hands, thus having you store it for him until he needed it again.

I would recommend taking a step back and reassessing your relationship with this person. It's not an easy thing to do, but it may very well save you a lot of grief in the future.

You need not cut him out of your life completely, but perhaps it would be best if you created a little more distance between the two of you. Watch and see whether he will try to make things right between you, or if he simply loses touch once he realizes he can't manipulate you to suit his needs.

For example, if he needs you store something in your garage for him for a while (which, if I recognize the type, will turn into months), tell him that you can't accommodate him at the moment. If he needs a drive, etc. politely refuse. Don't feel guilty about it either! I'm sure you've helped him plenty in the past.

Just see how he reacts when he doesn't get his way. Does he try to manipulate you into helping him? Does he get angry if you keep shutting him down? Make further decisions based on his reactions.

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    I came to much the same conclusion and honestly, I will be cutting him out of my life after college. This is my final year and I planned on travelling after I'm done, so losing contact wont be difficult. However, I need to make things work for the next 9 months. I never thought to see him as a parasite before, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Good answer – Dough John Oct 20 '17 at 17:36
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    Perhaps instead of parasite you might consider this a symbiotic relationship in that he is driving the OP to school and back - perhaps even changing his personal schedule to accommodate the OP's. Additionally, the OP says he and "Henry" do a lot of things together. It is always a good idea to evaluate relationships but no relationship is without its disagreements and squabbles. One event should not define a person's life nor a relationship. – CramerTV Oct 20 '17 at 19:28
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    @CramerTV - The OP doesn't give us quite enough details to judge the full extent of the relationship. I'm giving him pointers on how to act such that he can evaluate the situation. And I'm sorry to say that I disagree with your parallels between a symbiotic vs parasitic relationships. I had such a friend, and when it suited him we would hang out, and have a lot of fun together. The moments when I felt used were overshadowed by the camaraderie we experienced the rest of the time. But as soon as I started pushing back against being used, the camaraderie evaporated. It's easy to be fooled. – AndreiROM Oct 20 '17 at 19:31
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    The word "stole" should not be in quotes. OP states it as a matter of fact. Your use of scare quotes trivialises that fact. OP's friend stole it, and OP received stolen goods. – Smartybartfast Oct 21 '17 at 1:35
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    This is not a friend to anyone but himself. Walk away fast and permanently. Find a new house and move. Friends like this are sources of extreme stress. – StephenG Oct 22 '17 at 12:53
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In this situation, you have a person who:

  • Steals from one friend
  • Uses another friend to cover it up
  • Reneges on a "gift" when it is convenient for him
  • Rearranges the situation to suit himself

This is a self-centered individual, with some bullying tendencies. A relationship like this will always be one sided, tilted in his favor. The only time he will do stuff for others is when it is convenient for him.

The two comments that are telling, are:

I say nothing, bottle it up and hope that this bottle doesn't overflow

An option where I can get my point across and not risk losing a friend or having an argument

Is this a "friend" you really care about keeping? I understand that you have a living situation to deal with, but honestly, there are some relationships that are just not worth keeping.

Unfortunately, you also demonstrate some aspects of victim mentality, i.e. you would rather appease than confront, ignore a situation to avoid conflict, etc. While you don't want to hear it, you are making choices that make it easy for him to have this power over you. You can afford to spend 45 Euros on a grinder, and however much your cannabis costs, but cannot afford transportation?

I am trying to point out that choices have consequences. You could choose to move and buy a bike for 9 months, or choose to gloss it over and have it eat at you for 9 months. Or however you want to work it out. All that I am saying is that you need to decide what is important for you and do that. If that choice is appeasing him for 9 months, great. If it means moving out and dealing with transportation or other issues, great. Just make sure that you are making the choice for your own best interests, not just taking an easy way out.

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    Well said. If you keep bad friends around they are going to treat you badly. – Dan Anderson Oct 20 '17 at 19:14
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    You raise an extremely valid point about making it easier for him to have power by avoiding confrontation. You're after starting a train of thought that made me realize I'm not so powerless after all. Thanks – Dough John Oct 20 '17 at 22:54
  • I would have wrote the answer differently, but the advice is sound. This person is not a good friend, and never will be. Distance yourself from him as much as possible. – Pete B. Oct 24 '17 at 12:12
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People, especially when young, tend to assume those they hang out with are not deceitful... and thus believe them until something shocks them into the realization that the "friend" isn't a reliable source of information or judgment. Thus you believed when your "friend" said that he had stolen something from someone else only to "even things up" after the other person stole from him, that you could generally rely on his sense of what was "fair" and since you weren't a thief... your friend wouldn't steal from YOU.

Now, on the receiving end of his version of what he considers "fair"-- simply taking something from you, without the least justification for doing so except that he gave you something once and you used the thing he gave you, until he took it back (!)-- you can see that perhaps his sense of "fairness" can NOT be relied upon, but instead functions as an excuse for his theft. The lesson to learn from this particular part of your story is not to assume that just because you know someone, or because he has benefited you somehow, he is a good or trustworthy person. Previously it did not occur to you, apparently, that his "stealing back" was a red flag, something that ought to have made you suspicious of his sense of justice. People who impose their unilateral "solutions" on others via deception or force need to be watched VERY carefully and not given the benefit of the doubt. If the only reason you have for believing that his friend was in fact a thief was his statement justifying his own theft... that isn't enough of a reason, and you really can't afford to ignore whether your friends are bad people.

Many others have given you excellent advice on how to reduce your feelings of powerlessness and alleviate the actual situation. To which I would only add that you need to think it through carefully and remember what you learn. If you treat someone as trustworthy before they have shown themselves actually to BE trustworthy, and you are mistaken, they will wreak much harm on you. This guy probably set you up deliberately, knowing your naivete would not last and he would benefit by your having accepted help from him that you would be averse to losing, as well as that the appearance of friendship would make it harder for you to realize he is NOT your friend.

Just acknowledge the lesson, learn from it, and reduce the harm to yourself and others. I also guess that now that you realize how abusive he has been to you, while calling it fair, you may re-evaluate past acceptance of similar harms he has done to others-- which you were willing to overlook before because unwilling to contest his claim of "fairness". There are people who operate on the basis that they deserve whatever they can get, and you cannot be friends with them unless your version of friendship includes constantly defending yourself, your property, your reputation, etc, against their attempted depredations-- in short a version of friendship that is indistinguishable from enmity.

Shedding naivete and acquiring maturity is very often painful. You've had some of that pain already and will have more assessing the full dimensions of your previous blindness. The only thing you can do, after setting yourself up this way and then falling in the hole of your own digging, is figure out how not to do it again.

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    I say this with a sad heart, but you're right. I have been naive. Not blind, though. I always knew what he was like- but I never thought he'd be like that to me. We had a good bond at first, with a lot of stuff in common and a very similar outlook on life. We have the same humor, but unfortunately he is not a good person, whereas I am. (or at least I try) – Dough John Oct 21 '17 at 7:00
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    @DoughJohn, Almost everyone thinks they're good. It's the way we rationalize our World. – Stephan Branczyk Oct 21 '17 at 21:52
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    @DoughJohn Your point about being a good person is somewhat undercut by the fact that you accepted a stolen item instead of giving it back to the person it was stolen from. – Magisch Oct 24 '17 at 9:26
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Now that you've already figured out that you should move out and cut him out of your life after College (which seems to be nearly done for you).

I'll address your other concerns.

This also saves me a phenomenal amount of money as public transport in my country is extremely expensive and unreliable, especially when living rural. This puts him somewhat in a position of power over me.

Stop feeding your resentment. You made a mistake. You're going to correct that mistake soon (as soon as College is over). Good!

Now that you've made that decision, think of what's happening purely in financial terms.

Do the calculations. If you were to move out tomorrow, how much would that cost you? How much are you saving each month because he drives you to school? How much are you contributing to gas and to his insurance/upkeep of his vehicle? Of course, keep this information to yourself. He doesn't need to know.

Are you saving €45 a month? €100? €300? Do not just squander that savings, put it away in some sort of rainy day fund (it doesn't have to be the entire amount, it could just be a small portion of it each month).

This is just to get a new habit going.

This puts him somewhat in a position of power over me.

Freedom costs planning, time, and money. Freedom usually has a price.

That's why I'm suggesting that you start saving some of that money.

He organized the house to live in and as I don't drive...

The first thing I would do if I were you is to get a drivers license for a car. Or if that's too difficult in your country, I would try to get a license for a motorcycle or a moped.

You don't need to buy a car or anything like that, I'm just suggesting that you to start taking baby steps towards independence. Even if it's a tiny little step, taking it will give you back a small measure of control instead of feeling powerless (since you're not able to move out right at this very minute).

And the second thing I'd suggest you do is to plan your exit carefully. Moving out takes time. Planning a move (unless you're moving back home or unless you're moving into some dorm for grad students) takes research and preparation.

Don't let others do the planning for you. Choose your next roommates/housemates/friends much more carefully. Do not leave things like that to chance.

Assume you're not going to get your deposit back and that some of your personal property may disappear just before you move out. Try to keep things cordial until then, or things may get worse. Your housemate obviously has no respect for personal property. He will make up any excuse to take the stuff that he wants, especially if he thinks you no longer want to be friends with him, so do not throw oil on that fire by telling him that you no longer want to be friends/bong buddy with him once you're done with College.

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    Don't give any clues that you stopped trusting him, and you are planning to break completely your dependance on him. He might take things from you, or throw obstacles in your path. Anything to keep you dependant. – Enric Naval Oct 21 '17 at 15:03
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So I think it's pretty clear from all of the other posts that the internet agrees that this Henry guy is not the kind of person you really want to be friends with. But regardless, we need to figure out how to take control of the situation.

You have one advantage: you have nothing material to lose:

Now, I don't care about money, and the functionality of the grinder is identical, so as far as actual impact goes, it really doesn't make a difference for me.

You also have one huge weakness: you are dependent on him:

...he's my only way of travelling up and down from college each week.... This puts him somewhat in a position of power over me.

Now the first part means that this is a purely social interaction. No ownership really needs to be called into question. The approach I'd usually take is to day:

I consider your taking of the grinder compartment to be stealing. You are free to think differently, but know that my interaction with you is going to include the fact that I consider you to have stolen my to compartment.

Given that he's apparently happy to steal entire grinders, this is a pretty easy-to-defend claim.

Now the hard part is that you are reliant on him for travel. As long as this is true, you have given him power over you, and he's known to be a narcissistic thief. The long-term solution is to get out from under that relationship and become another individual that Henry is no longer "friends" with. However, the process of doing that is beyond the scope of this question. That's a far more in-depth challenge.

Not knowing how that should go, I can't truly say what you should do in this narrower problem. However, one approach you could try is:

You know what, I'm not going to fight you over the grinder container. However, I do treat this as a reflection on how you treat your friends.

And leave it at that. See if he even cares about his reputation, and go from there. This reply is far less than accusing him of stealing, but it does retain you some power: it becomes clear that your opinion of him is yours alone, and he can't dictate how you should feel towards him.

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    +1 specifically for "You know what, I'm not going to fight you over the grinder container. However, I do treat this as a reflection on how you treat your friends." – Kyrstellaine Nov 13 '17 at 20:46
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The answers here cover pretty well the relationship angle. To me the most important thing you said is that you feel powerless.

And you are still in a position where you have to deal with this person for 9 months. That's a long time for you to feel powerless.

As such, your priority should be finding ways to reduce your dependence on him. Certainly, don't entangle yourself further with him.

A method of at least mentally getting back some of your power here is concluding that you can deal with him not transporting you and being an awkward roommate.

You'd rather not since losing 60% of your income to public transport is a huge hit as would the inconvenience. But its something you could handle. You are not totally dependent on him. You're at college, you can try to find an apartment to rent. Or if its an assigned situation, there should be an school-based counselor or arbitrator that you can make use of.

Granted, you may not want to if cannabis is illegal where you are. The options are still there.

Once you accept in your own mind that his "power" is just a convenience for you, confronting him directly about anything should come much more easily.

You can still choose to keep quiet here if you decide the convenience is worth it. But the decision should be made as a practical consideration, not from a fear of confrontation or anxiety. And after you make this decision you should not feel powerless.

6

Hmm, okay, it seems you expect your "friend" Henry (who steals stuff from his buddies) to behave like an honest gentleman. Something feels a little bit odd here, don't you think?

Up until now, there was no issue. I had my grinder, and Henry had his. However, Henry decided to swap the top compartment of his grinder with mine - initially, this was just as a prank, but when I asked for the top part of mine back, he told me that he thinks it's fair that he keeps it because he gave me the grinder to use all that time ago.

That's classic bullying, remember the kid in high school that takes your stuff and then says "that's mine now."

That bully didn't take your pen because he needed a new pen. He did it to humiliate and dominate you.

However, I can't help but feel completely disrespected from all this.

Yes, that's the idea. It would seem your buddy treats people as commodities to be exploited, but wouldn't mind humiliating them a little bit on top.

Also, as long as you don't react to his lack of respect, he'll consider you're free to exploit, bully, and use as the receiving end of his shit mood, like:

"F*** ***" was the response to that.

Dealing with these is easy if you have power over them, but that's not your case...

I don't drive he's my only way of travelling up and down from college each week. (...) This puts him somewhat in a position of power over me.

Here's your solution:

  • Step 1: Stop purchasing drugs, which will save you enough money for...
  • Step 2: Find a place close to college to live in (even if it's a small one-bedroom apartment, at least it won't have a Henry in it to make your life miserable)
  • Step 3: Move out and get on with your life
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if he had told me the day he gave it to me that he was just going to ask for it back later, and try take a part of my new grinder as tax, I wouldn't have taken it - why would I make a deal with little to no benefit to me?

Hmm. Maybe you should go back and read what else you wrote:

This also saves me a phenomenal amount of money as public transport in my country is extremely expensive and unreliable, especially when living rural. This puts him somewhat in a position of power over me.

This makes it pretty clear why you would give him a part from your new grinder. He is saving you a "phenomenal amount of money"--presumably much more than the 45 euros you spent on the grinder. The deal does benefit you...as part of the larger deal. However lopsided that particular part of his treatment of you might be, you apparently get more than you give overall.

This is not to say that he is treating you well or respectfully. I'm just saying that you have to make a choice. You can either continue saving a "phenomenal amount of money" or you can get back at him for taking the part. Do not expect to achieve both. Decide which is more important to you.

I want to tell him how scummy and selfish I think it was of him to request what I thought was a gift back from me simply because it suited him best, and then stealing a part of my grinder and trying to pass it off as tax for something I had thought was over already. This will almost certainly end with him telling me about how he does so much for me, then him telling me to fuck off. I would then have to deal with an awkward house and pay 60% of my income on travel. Not the best outcome IMO.

This is a lost cause. You already told him what you think. He said, "F*** you." Saying it again, at greater length, and with more derogatory adjectives and swear words is not going to help your cause. At best, it will annoy him so that he escalates again. He took back the grinder. You complained but bought a new grinder. Apparently the complaint annoyed him. So he stole the new grinder part. Stop feeding the cycle.

Note how you got the grinder in the first place. He had a problem with someone else and stole it purely to hurt the other person. If you tell him off, you shouldn't just stop commuting together. You should find a new place. You cannot trust him with access to things like your wallet after making an open break.

If you are going to continue to live there, you need to regard the 45 euros you spent on a new grinder as payment for the money he saves you on commuting. If you can't get yourself right with that, you should find

  1. A new commute partner (or a car, but you don't want to do that).
  2. A new place to live.
  3. Someone to take over your spot in the current residence.

If you can't let this go, you should start looking for these things immediately. The first two would be an absolute necessity. The third can make things easier with the other people in the house.

You will probably end up paying for both places for a month. This is the cost of keeping company with someone like that. After all, you knew the kind of person he was years ago (when he stole the grinder), but you still let him sucker you into the current arrangement. And you will need to move out before telling him that you're leaving. Because there is no telling what he might do with access to your stuff and a grudge.

It is possible that the relationship is already past the breaking point. He may continue to do things. Most likely he realizes that he controls the situation. So even if you decide to let this go, keep an eye out for a new commute partner. This situation could go south very quickly. He might have more bad behavior in him even without further provocation.

The only other thing you can do is try to find out if he is mad at you about something else that you can fix. That's a possibility. It's the only way that I see the friendship lasting beyond this year. The only problem is that asking is tricky. If he responds to weakness by exploiting it, this might just encourage him.

Perhaps a housemate or common friend could ask him for you. That might be better. You might want to wait until he does something else first. That would minimize the chance that you are just provoking him further by asking, either directly or indirectly. And it gives an opening to the talk, "What's up with ...?"

4

What do you want to achieve? That's what you have to find out first. At the moment you have cheap transport to and from your university, which is worth a lot of money, and which you don't want to lose. You share a room with your "friend", so falling out would be very uncomfortable and/or inconvenient. Last, you would want the top of your grinder back, and you would want to teach your friend that this is no way to treat people.

I'd say that frankly you can't achieve all of these goals at the some time. You should also consider that your friend is highly unreliable, you already knew he is a thief, you now knew he doesn't care one bit about your feelings. In other words, he is not your friend.

Instead of viewing him as your friend, view him as your cheap bus ticket and your roommate. The cheap bus ticket is worth a lot more than the grinder. You know what kind of person he is, and that you are a better person, that must be enough there; don't even try to teach him to behave better. So keep him sweet, keep your cheap bus ticket, feel good about being the better person, write off the minor cost of the grinder top. Think about it as a business transaction.

4

I had a housemate like yours a few years back. IPS didn't exist back then and I didn't find a diplomatic answer but what I can tell is : any confrontation will not end well. And do not have a bad idea like "let's try to talk about him to other people from college." That won't work most of the time, it will most likely backfire later.

This is the kind of people who will shout louder than you and will most likely not hesitate to resort to violence if needed. Or at least that's what I guess by reading your question.

One thing you need is to protect your belongings from that person, before you do anything else. Because as some other stated, trying to confront him, gain independance, move, and so on will most likely trigger him.

Some tricks to use to that intent :

-Never leave anything in the common rooms. If needed, even keep a set of cuttery near you, so that you will not find one day that you have no more forks and knives to eat. Yes some people like to do that...

-Never leave your computer without doing a small windows+L. That's basic information security, but that is definitely needed there. Rule of thumb, do not leave your computer in the same place Henry is for extended period of time. Even if he does not steal it he could do a lot of harm by plugging unwanted stuff. (http://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/evil-maid-attack). If you think he could steal it, there are some softwares to track your computer if stolen or lost. Same thing applies to your smartphone.

-Should you need to leave for some days (vacation, week-ends, school trip) taking a picture of your room before leaving would be a good idea. Just in case.

-When exiting your room, placing a chair, or anything bulky in the way behind you with stuff would be a good trap. If when you enter your room, that bulky item is not placed against the door, then someone entered it. If you are quite paranoid you could even place that item balanced against the door, with a piece of cloth on it, so that it falls whenever someone enters your room. And if you see that very piece of clothing on the floor after entering your room, then you know someone paid you a little unwanted visit.

-Checking from time to time some of your stuff might be a good idea. There are goods that can easily be stolen without you noticing : DVD's, CD's, packaged food like biscuits comes to mind.

-Check regurlarly your mailbox. You wouldn't want that guy to steal your very important letter from that very important person don't you ?

-Make everything needed to never lose your keys and/or public transport pass. That would put you into an even weaker position vis-à-vis Henry.

I wish you good luck dealing with your Henry.

  • 1
    I actually do a few of these things already. The only thing of value I own is my computer, which goes everywhere with me. However, you are disregarding the fact that I know the people I live with personally. If these were strangers, your advice would be sound- but I know where these guys live, their families, everything. – Dough John Oct 24 '17 at 11:36
3

Listen, given your description of your friend's behavior and your response, you've got a problem that is likely insurmountable, assuming you don't radically change your behavior (and given that you came to a site like this to ask how to handle the situation, I doubt you have it in your personality to deal with this).

First off, if your friend responded F*** you to that comment, he doesn't care if you think he's scummy. There is a reason for this- I don't want to use any derogatory words, but he is is clearly dominant in this relationship, and I hope you can understand what that implies for you.

If you don't want this person to keep treating you like this, you either need to grow a pair and stand up to him or move on from the relationship, because if you don't, you'll continue to be bullied. It's that simple.

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    It's very easy to stand up to a stranger or someone you dislike. It's far from that simple when it's a friend, and even harder when you've got dynamics like mine in play. – Dough John Oct 20 '17 at 22:39
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    That's true if you choose to look at it that way. It's also the perspective I would expect from an individual who chooses to be submissive. Got your stuff back yet? – the_SJC Oct 23 '17 at 14:54
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A thing that might work well could be writing how you feel.

By writing you get the time to think, let him know how you feel, avoid discussions, the risk of getting angry and insulting him while talking, etc.

Although it seems that Henry can just be a dick, given some experiences I had, this might be his way of expressing his angry about something with you. He might not know how to tell you he feels you should compensate he taking you to college, that you don't help enough around the house, that you are too close to his girlfriend or whatever. Or it could just be the way Henry is.

Considering your problem, and the factors you mentioned (the car rides plus living with him) I would recommend something like:

Dear Henry,

I wanted to tell you I've been feeling upset about what happened with the grinder. I don't really care about the thing itself, please, keep it, but I feel insulted (or however you felt) by you deciding to take your gift back and taking a part of my new grinder.

You are my friend and I'm really grateful of sharing a home with you, and I really appreciate you taking me to college. But your attitude with this other thing made me feel really bad, and I wanted you to know it.

If there's something I did for you to act this way please let me know, so we can talk about it.

You don't have to answer to this if you don't want to, and if you are going to tell me to f*** o**, please don't.

Love,

Dough John

Good luck.

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    I spent the whole childhood around people who can steal things and tell everyone to "*uck off". My experience is that these people aren't sentimental enough to properly understand the mood of the written message. I suspect that the response will be like "What the *uck is this, dude? Some kind of soppy poetry? If you have a problem, just *ucking say so, man!". Clearly, Dough John and his friend are buddies, not gentlemen, if it can be put this way. A more straightforward way is required here. I won't downvote since writing is a nice solution against... er... "softer" person, I think. – user2851843 Oct 22 '17 at 5:03
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One thing that might be worth remembering is that more than occasional use of cannabis leads to changed personality traits. This is partly due to actual brain chemistry changes, but partly also because of interactions with the environment and the way they permanently alter expectations and reactions.

Henry is toying with you, but that's not likely because of some deep torturer/victim relationship but because he is losing the connection to what your interactions actually mean. Your resentment is supplementing his own failing memories, and actually your own as well.

This is becoming a more and more toxic relationship, and neither of you actually has his head screwed on tight enough to be in control of its development.

Getting rid of dope while sticking with Henry is not going to work because it is an inherent part of your common dynamics, so you should rather focus on getting rid of Henry and looking for alternatives to those areas where you depend on him.

9 months is a long time.

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