What can I do about my horrible 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 unpleasant that I decided the only thing to do was 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?

The situation you’re in 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 be mean. Perhaps they’re jealous of your relationship with your boyfriend? Perhaps they’re just not very nice people and their true natures have only come out recently.

If this is getting to you to the extent that you don’t feel at home in your own place, it’s probably time to act. Why should they be allowed to get away with spoiling your life and your future?

Although you may feel that if you move out you’ve let them win, it’s important to remember it’s not a battle and not a matter of who wins and who loses. Does it really matter if you move out, if it makes you happier? That is 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.

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 will listen to you and should be able to help by finding you alternative housing. 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.

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 http://scotland.shelter.org.uk/ instead.
  • BullyingUK offers advice and support to victims of bullying. Call on 0808 800 2222.
  • Do you want to understand your relationship better? Love Smart helps you work it all out.
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  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.