Assertiveness in shared household

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February 29, 2016

My wife and I share our house with one of my coworkers due to my work situation at the moment. It's a huge house so generally it works out well but he's a bit of a manchild and struggles to keep up with chores/caring for the house/whatever.

So the other night we had friends over and he decided to interject himself into our conversation. He has pretty low level social skills and just doesn't know how to poke fun all in good fun and ended up striking nerves with both me and my wife. I'm just generally completely dissatisfied with my ability to handle situations like this. I'm a big guy, and I work out a ton, this kid would have a very bad night if I decided to actually get physical with him, but I work with the guy. We are part of a very small community and I don't need a reputation as that dickhead that throws punches if someone hurts his feelings. By the same token though I do not want to be a pushover who just sits there and loses respect from his wife because I'm letting some guy make stupid jokes.

My reaction last night was to get too angry, snap back at him, then remove myself from the situation to cool down so I didn't escalate it to a physical confrontation. He never directly attacked my wife as that's a hard line, but he did get pissy with her when she prodded back at him a bit. How does one handle shit like this and toe the line between overcompensating angry guy and submissive passive guy?

Wife clearly wants me to be up this guys ass today, telling him he can no longer use our things, etc etc. I feel thats an overreaction and am annoyed at her trying to direct me. I am feeling completely lost in how to take charge of this situation like a man and really need some guidance. I have no problem telling this kid to never fucking talk to us like that again, but I'm only recently unplugged and that's so far from my norm it seems extreme....

Thanks for any help

Post Information
Title Assertiveness in shared household
Author SLH350
Upvotes 7
Comments 12
Date 29 February 2016 12:53 AM UTC (5 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
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[–][deleted] 3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy

My first thoughts ( without knowing more about the situation...): GTFO. Why does this guy have to live in your house? No motels around, houses he can rent? Is this something you are doing to be nice, or did your boss demand he stay there? Why would you let some random dude, work or no, say at your house?

More directly: If someone is in my house they follow my rules, or they kindly fuck off. That goes for parents and in-laws, kid's friends, our friends, Co workers, anybody. This guy is a dick to you (and/or your wife) in your own home, and your wife is complaining about it? I would get him out ASAP.

Edit: if you don't own the house and are simply living with him, I would either move, or give him a firm, but polite, talking to in private. Can't put up with that shit either way.

[–]BluepillProfessorMod / Red Beret2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

Wife clearly wants me to be up this guys ass today

What do you want to do and what do YOU think should happen after considering your First Officers opinion? Consider it with calm, masculine introspection and logic.

[–][deleted] 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

Basically we're military aviators and this is a temporary duty station. We went in with him on the rent on a pretty huge house to save a little money to save up to buy a house at our next permanent duty station. I did this at a previous station with another guy and had zero issues, but this kid just has no social skills and very little self esteem which leads to him being incredibly obnoxious in social situations.

Ultimately I just needed someone to tell me I'm not being a dick to set him aside and say that shit wasn't okay. I've always been excessively cautious about coming off as a douchebag which ultimately led to me looking passive at times which I hate.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

As pilots I'm going to assume your officers of some rank. Warrant or commissioned.

This is easy. This isn't even redpill. You both have that bond. Officers. Tell him just like you would your copilot or crew chief.

This is no different then another fellow officer stepping on your feet at a dining in or other function.

Move out. Draw fire.

[–]cj_aubreyRed Beret1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Shit from this guy is the same as shit tests from your wife. Respond to them similarly. Its all social dominance and frame. But because you're not in a romantic relationship with him, you can end the social relationship with few consequences and physical violence is an option, you can be much more aggressive.

[–]cholomiteMod / BP Downvote Magnet1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Words should never bring you to violence, unless they are very purposefully and maliciously attacking your family.

You need to become sharper and wittier. Learn how to take what people say and flip it back on them. I don't have any idea what kinds of things this guy was saying, but I'm guessing you could have flipped it on him and made him look like an ass. Usually the more offensive and outrageous things the person is saying, the easier it is to make them look like a fool for saying it. Just my 2 cents.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

So you've got it on two fronts.

The guy you're not sure how to handle socially because in cave man days you could have hit him with a stick until he was a pulp or picking the lice out of your hair AND since you don't know how to handle it your wife giving you the stink eye until you do.

First off : is what he is saying really worth any or all of this attention or has your wife got you amped up pulling your strings? Give us an example of some shit he said. Is he basically outwitting you and making Zog's brain hurt or saying truly inappropriate and insulting things to you and your wife? If so giving a lot less shits could just be the answer.

So some details on his exact "stupid jokes" could help get some more specific answers, but just because it's 2016 it doesn't mean being a big meaty guy doesn't still have an effect deep down on someone you can squash (caveat , unless his BJJ is better). There's a lot of psychological ways to quietly play that, looming over him, winning the staring contest when you say something of import...etc. Body language.

1) I'd stop having any voluntary social interaction with him.

2) If what he's doing is inappropriate I'd pull him aside (not in front of wife) and tell him he's reached his limit of inappropriate action. He pulls that shit again and you're not going to play nice, let him know you're room mates / not friends so he doesn't have that latitude. If he takes it as a vague threat (which it is) and tries to pin you down with specifics that he can use against you just smile with your teeth and tell him, you're not sure exactly but it'll allow you to get creative (maybe pat him on the back while saying it).

Do that coupled with some of the above (and subtle so above reproach) stance of strength techniques and you could just funnel this stupid crap down the shitter where it belongs.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

All good input and I appreciate it all. I think my main problem is when people cross the line between bullshitting between guys and deliberate insults that clearly have a bit of malice behind them I tend to go straight into angry aggressive mode which is a weakness. I need to do a better job of suppressing the anger and just allowing myself to be witty in response as mentioned. I have a ton of material on this guy to fire back with and he's not terribly difficult to outwit, I just tend to hold back because I know it'll escalate, but at the end of the day who cares?

The advice on the more subtle dominance plays is also gold and will be utilized as well. Ultimately I ended up taking him aside last night and letting him know it was over the line and I'm not about passive aggressive shit. He took it pretty well. This is definitely a huge area of improvement for me but I think I'm moving in the right direction and I appreciate all the input immensely. Sometimes it's good to recognize you're being a bitch about a situation that doesn't need to be anything at all.

[–]Redneck001Red Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

First, when responding to comments, use the reply function under the comment, so your responses make logical sense.

Now, is it a big deal? Or are you beating your chest in front of the wife? You mentioned that your wife was fucking with him, and she got her feelz hurt? Why is that your responsibility? If that's what happened, laugh and tell her not to poke mean dogs with sticks.

If he's being inappropriate, just pull him to the side and be dominant with him. No reason to fight, that's weak, and childlike.

"Hey bro, that shit you said the other night was inappropriate. Don't do it again." pats dude on back.

[–]SexistFlyingPig0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Saving money is nice and all, but if you don't feel that your home is a sanctuary, something needs to change.

I'd tell him to get the fuck out.

The slow escalation that your wife is advocating (You can't use our stuff) isn't going to lead to an improvement, it's going to make things worse.

[–]UEMcGillI am become McGill, Destroyer of Blue Pill0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

There's two things going on here, roommates and associates.

The roommate dynamic is a business dynamic. Any business is a negotiation, a negotiation that involves money, and rules of participation. You have every right to pull out of a business agreement if that agreement is no longer fruitful for both of you. You honor doesn't mean shit if he is abusing the business agreement. Sit down like adults and clearly state what the rules of the house are. Use your big boy words and tell him, you agreed to do XYZ by living here, and if you cannot, we will replace you. Like you said, it's a temporary duty station, someone is likely to take his place or in the long run you move on. In business there is no relying on the past, only the current state of the relationship.

Second, as associates (sort of like friends but not as deep) you have a certain level of decorum that is expected. He says something out of line, shut that shit down right away. "Yeah, we're not going to go here" then get up and leave the situation. Just like your wife, you punish bad behavior by removing yourself from the situation. Don't devote time for that shit when you have better things to do.

Finally, if this was a thing your wife started let her get herself out of it. I used to hang out with some rough guys in my 20's. We would go to a bar, hit on women, maybe score, but mostly drink. These guys were blue collar guys who worked in the laborers union. All strong, and tough as fuck and jacked because of the type of work they did. A couple had girlfriends, and those guys always ended up beating someones ass at the end of the night. It always started the same way, "He looked at me funny" or "He touched my ass". I used to think WTF, how come they are always fighting. That is until one of these girls decided she wanted to fuck me, and made her move. When I rejected her, she started with the "he touched my ass". When this bro decided he wanted to beat my ass, my cousin (a lesson in Alpha) interceded and told him 'dude your girls a skank, me and T double teamed her last week.' Now I'm not saying your wife is a skank, but I am saying that she's egging you on for what maybe a problem she instigated. Women like drama, and will create it when there's none. Did she start it then ask you to finish it? Outside of physical threats if my wife gets herself into some shit, I'm going to let her get herself out of it. That way she learns to not run her big mouth.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Have you read the Rollo post on having the friends move in?

Also, wife angry, man attacks. What a pathetic attitude. The quintessential plough horse.

What do you want? Since you admit you don't have a clue, I'd start there

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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