How to deal with bullying housemates

I'm being bullied by my flatmates. It all began when I started seeing my boyfriend; they started to criticise all the time and constantly put me down. They were making my life so miserable that I decided it would be easiest to just avoid them. Since I started doing that, they've taken to sending me nasty emails instead, accusing me of hating them and making me feel like the guilty party. I hate the fact I feel like I need to hide from them and now I don't even feel comfortable enough to check my emails. It's making me ill and anxious. I thought about leaving the house or leaving uni all together but I don't want them to win. All I want is to be civil with them but they can't even manage that. Why are they acting like this?

A note from The Mix: Whether you’re dealing with bullying at school, bullying in the workplace or bullying at home, know that you are not alone. Bullying is never your fault, there’s no shame in reaching out and it is possible to beat bullying. A member of our community recently got in touch for advice on how to deal with bullying housemates. Read our response below and contact us anonymously today if you’re experiencing bullying yourself.

Being bullied by your flatmates

The situation you’re describing sounds like you have bullying housemates which must be very upsetting and difficult for you. It’s impossible to say why your flatmates are behaving like this. It sounds like they’ve ganged up on you and that, no matter what you do, have decided to make your life hell (so considerate, we know). Perhaps they’re jealous of your relationship with your boyfriend? Perhaps they’re just not very nice people and they’ve just started to show their true colours.

Either way, if this is getting to you to the extent that you don’t feel comfortable in your own flat, it’s probably time to act. Why should they be allowed to get away with spoiling your uni experience? Although you may feel that if you move out you’ll let them win, it’s important to remember it’s not a battle. Does it really matter if they ‘win’ if you move out, if it makes you happier?

Put it this way, you’ll be in a much better environment by moving out, which in turn will help you thrive. You’ll be ‘winning’ by living your best life and moving on from them. At the end of the day, that’s what’s important: your health and happiness. Getting out of this situation could be the best way of showing them that you won’t be destroyed by them. For some inspiration, read these stories about people who overcame bullying.

Practical advice on how to deal with bullying housemate

It might be useful to seek some outside help. Have you spoken to your student union welfare office? This is just the sort of situation they’re there for. They won’t judge you or blame you, they’ll just listen to you and should be able to help you figure out the best way to handle the situation.

If you’re living in university accommodation they may even be able to take action against your flatmates. Your university’s accommodation services will also be able to help you find a new place to live. In the meantime, if you need to talk at any time, why not call your university Nightline service? You can talk to them in complete confidence. You can also chat anonymously on our discussion boards, if you want some objective advice.

For now, an easy move is to read real-life stories about what it’s like to experience bullying from The Mix’s community.

Next Steps

  • Shelter's advice website for young people offers help with housing problems and a free helpline 0808 800 4444. If you're in Scotland, use instead.
  • BullyingUK offers advice and support to victims of bullying. Call on 0808 800 2222.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.