What are your tips for combating a tendency to avoid unpleasant conversations/confrontations? For example, I know I should bring up the fact that I’m allergic to my roommate’s cat’s dander, but instead of just talking to her about it, I’ve managed to avoid actually speaking to her for the past 7 months. And I’ve been using “domestic troubles” to explain my puffy (allergic) eyes to my coworkers, but I think they’re catching on. (I don’t have a boyfriend). How can I become more assertive?
Stuffed up in Cat-landia
Dear Stuffed Up in Cat-landia,
Is Cat-landia anywhere near (dolp)Fin-landia?
Ooh my! Sorry to hear that the cat’s got your eyeballs. To be
clear—you’ve not talked to your roommate in seven months? That sounds
very awkward indeed. Is everything done over email? I can’t imagine
what other things you’re avoiding! Even Miss Kippy has been culpable
of avoiding less than amazing roommates. (I once had dreadfully
irksome roommate whom my Italian paramour referred to as Tuna because
“she is cold and silent, like a Tuna.”) And yet I suffered through
Tuna’s reign for nearly 3 years … three years too long!
Anyhoozle, who’s on the lease? I would advise you to either move out
or ask your roommate and her cat to start looking for other
accommodation. (And about cats, I find them totally distasteful—sorry
Friends of Felines. They pee in a box that just sits in your
home—vile! No wonder you’re in an allergy hell!) Muster up that
courage and have a talk with this roommate to sort things out. You’ll
feel surprisingly clear-headed once you do, and who knows, you might
start tackling other confrontations you’ve been avoiding.
Yours in avoiding Cat-astrophe!