A bad day can be caused by a number of factors. Most recently, I experienced a “bad day” in which the source of the trouble was something almost completely innocuous and without real substance. I received a group text message from the people living in my house asking everyone to make sure that they cleaned the kitchen up after cooking. A small thing, to be sure, but an important one. My reactions were peculiar—at first, I ignored it, knowing that I was not the one who left a small mess in the kitchen. My emotions then moved towards slight anger and frustration at the idea of someone not taking care the communal area of the house, and finally I felt somewhat sheepish when I realized later that my whole mood had been spoiled for nothing more than a simple text message reminding everyone of something they already know to do. Thus, I maintain that the causes of my bad day were not merely the text message I received, but more of a sense of dissatisfaction and disappointment with how something so trivial could affect my mood and the progress of my day.
As way of background, it is important to note that I live with my college roommates who were assigned to my building when we first left home and entered college. For the sake of convenience, we have chosen to continue living together as the years went by, and now live together without any trouble or concern. Indeed, we have gotten along well together up until this point, and yet now it seems that “discrepancies between individuals’ ideal and actual roommate relationships” seem to have “yielded a strong sense of dissatisfaction” (Hanasona 13). It can be further examined in the conflict theory of sociology. Though the initial relationship was fine, it has since declined to the point where we actively avoid each other on the rare times that we are all present in the house at the same time.
It is true that roommates can drastically affect the quality of one’s life. Knowing that one’s roommates are upset with your behavior, even if that anger is misdirected, is an uncomfortable feeling. By living with someone for an extended period of time, you and that person come to expect certain social norms and customs that should be respected, and to disrespect those customs is definitely cause for trouble (Seventeen). Moreover, roommates behaving badly is a guaranteed way to ensure that individual self-satisfaction will be limited, as oftentimes roommates can interfere with the way in which you want to lead your life. Unable to reconcile roommate drama, then, can be a substantial reason as to why someone can have a bad day, and I maintain that my own recent experience is in part a result of an inability to communicate sufficiently with the people that live with me. While “talking directly to roommates in a nonconfrontational way” can be difficult, it is clearly the best solution with regards to resolving underlying tensions with roommates (Knoll 162). On the other hand, interaction itself with roommates can be limited depending on schedules, so if one chooses to confront troublesome activities or behaviors when the extent of social contact is limited in scope that may not be the best approach towards solving the root causes and issues.
Moreover, it is very likely that my bad day was actually caused by more important and core assumptions regarding the relationship with my roommates. While the “desire to change roommates” can be a strong one depending on the balance of tension between respective “self-characteristics”, I myself have a strong lack of interaction with the people I live with (Bahns et. al. 164). There is little communication and little interaction, as we all keep different schedules and have different social circles. Put together via chance, my college roommates and I have learned to coexist and there has never been the opportunity for extensive bonding or communal activities that can help to enhance and define relationships between other housemates. Indeed, “unique contributions from one’s own psychological health and one’s own and one’s roommate’s social/communication style” can grow to become a massive factor in determining whether or not roommate tension exists (164). It is clear that my bad day is due in part to communication issues with my roommates and the difficulty that arises between different people forced to live together.
However, I argue that the real reason and cause behind my “bad day” is that I let something completely trivial affect me in ways it should not have. It is true that “one should understand” the peculiarities of how your roommates operate, but even if you are incapable of understanding or the actions boggle the rational mind of an individual, responsibility nonetheless falls on the individual to maintain a sense of proper decorum and self-control, and not try to explode in anger or frustration over trivial matters (Johnson 30). While efforts can be made to reduce roommate tension by the incorporation of more integration efforts like communal bonding time, there is a lack of these opportunities in my household. As a result, trivial and irrelevant minor offenses become amplified and forced into the mind of the people living in the house. I believe it is the lack of positive experiences with my roommates that was the root cause of my bad day, and that addressing that problem would help immensely with further issues if they arise.
The causes of my bad are twofold: my lack of positive experiences with my roommates, and the direct proximate cause of the text message that made me internalize a lot of pent-up anger and frustration. Though there have been some good times, this experience has shown me the importance of living with people with whom you get along with, and that roommate drama is hardly limited to socially inept individuals.
"Major College Qs Answered!" Seventeen 71.5 (2012): 102. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 2 Aug. 2013.
Hanasono, Lisa K., and Lawrence B. Nadler. "A Dialectical Approach to Rethinking Roommate Relationships." Journal of College Student Development 53.5 (2012): 623-635. ERIC. Web. 2 Aug. 2013.
Bahns et al. "Deciding to Dissolve: Individual- And Relationship-Level Predictors Of Roommate Breakup."Basic & Applied Social Psychology 35.2 (2013): 164-175. Academic Search Complete. Web. 2 Aug. 2013.
Johnson, Josh. "Noah's Guide to Roommates." Ignite Your Faith 67.5 (2008): 30. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 2 Aug. 2013.
Knoll, Jessica. "Roommates Behaving Badly." Cosmopolitan 254.4 (2013): 162. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 2 Aug. 2013.