Devil’s Advocate

Dear Devil’s Advocate,
I moved into an apartment this year with three other students, two of which happen to be engaged. Things were working out great until they started slacking on daily chores. I always did my fair share and would even pick up their slack, but recently, I stopped because it was too much and I felt that they should be adults and clean up. A few days ago, they told me that they wanted me to move out because I wasn’t being tidy enough. I always have my rent on time and helped out until now. Is this even fair?
-Raging Mad Roomie

Dear Roomie,
You have good reason to be upset with your roommates. We all hear the roommate from hell stories, but your situation is different considering two of them are romantically involved. The problem may be that you took on the “Mom” role and did not confront them at the time being. This, in part, caused them to forget about their responsibilities and allowed them to take you for a free ride.
I would suggest you speak to them in a rational manner without getting defensive. It will only make the situation worse and leave your relationships with a bitter taste.
Instead, balance out the negative and the positive traits each of you have regarding your responsibilities around the apartment. Try coming to an agreement in which all of you do your fair share and if one of you starts to slack off, point it out so it doesn’t happen again.
Dear Devil’s Advocate,
I’m a double major and have a part time job. It is a tradition in my family to have a job in the medical field, but I have become vastly interested in other things. I’m afraid my parents will think I’ve wasted the past 2 years of my life (not to mention their money). How can I tell them their dream isn’t mine?
~The Black Sheep

Dear Black Sheep,
Oy vey, how do you do it? Double major and part time job? Your parents should be proud that you’re even able to handle such a heavy workload. You say you’re afraid of your parents’ reaction but how can you be so sure that they will go all “Mommie Dearest” on you? Yeah, we want to avoid that as much as possible- wire hangers aren’t fun.
We as humans change our minds constantly, whether it is about what we want for lunch, who we date, or what team we’re rooting for. Don’t feel bad about losing interest in the family “tradition.” But this time make sure you know what you want to study, because it is a lot of money being wasted, and money obviously doesn’t grow on trees.
Explain to your parents your reasons why you don’t want to follow in their footsteps, and breaking tradition isn’t always a bad thing- instead it expands your horizons and could educate your family on a topic they’re not familiar with.
Dear Devil’s Advocate,
One of my friends is in a pretty toxic relationship with her boyfriend. He is constantly putting her down and isolating her. The problem is, I can’t stand him because he’s crude and in every way obnoxious and she knows I strongly dislike him. How can I confront her without losing her for good?

Dear Concerned,
I guess your friend is pretty masochistic, huh? Verbally abusive relationships, which this is, probably cause as much if not more harm than physically abusive ones. She should DROP his sorry behind, because this is only going to bruise her ego and hurt her feelings. Some guys need to learn an ounce of respect and his machismo should not be tolerated.
I’m glad you care about your friend and you should be very supportive of her in this case. Try tapping into her emotions when you speak to her. Maybe she is afraid of being alone. Maybe she has grown accustomed to having a guy there for her. Whatever her case is you and I both know it is unhealthy for her to continue in this situation.
There’s nothing wrong with being single. Besides, I’m sure she can find a good guy who will appreciate her for who she is and accept her flaws and all.
As for him, he obviously has some insecurity issue by putting his girlfriend down the way he does and by the way he treats her just proves that he’s not ready to be in a relationship and has lots of maturing to do.