In a way, being spoilt is a blameless crime. The parents, eager, loving, affluent and admittedly naive, doted on him or her at will, and accidently produced a child with a ridiculous sense of entitlement. These people did what the majority of people would do given the opportunity – take the treats, toys and whatever else was offered. How were they to know that this could turn them into an intolerable person? If you’re living in student accommodation or sharing with friends, the abundance of these sorts of people becomes immediately clear. You might not realise it, but you may be living with a spoilt brat, and if they do things like this, it’s time to seriously consider your situation...
\#1 – He/she never cleans up...
This is a classic. Coming from an overly caring family, with parents who were always too happy to clean up after them (or alternatively, too weak to resist their child’s complaints about having to tidy), these habits have crossed over into their adult life. The dishes pile up, the bin overflows and the carpet is littered with pizza-boxes and half-crushed cans, and you know full well that the only way it will get better is if you take care of it. All of it.
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\#2 – ... Even when it’s his/her mess
You tolerate the lack of cleaning, trying not to come across as a nag, but when the mess is wholly of your flatmate’s doing, things get harder to swallow. You left the pan with uneaten noodles and the accompanying watery broth inside because you didn’t want to deal with it. It isn’t your responsibility, you keep telling yourself day after day. Soon, mould spores settle and start to consume everything inside, turning the contents into a writhing, putrid mess. You exhale deeply and realise, yes, you either have to tell them off or clean it yourself.
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\#3 – Eats your food/drinks your booze and doesn’t pay or replace it
In their spoiled childhood, everything in their surroundings was theirs for the taking. These habits don’t die, and if you find yourself living with a spoilt brat you’ll start to notice things disappearing. Whether it’s a few cans of beer, your last rashers of bacon or that frozen pizza you were saving for a lazy day – you’ll start to realise they’re gone. The worst thing is that this comes without apology, without remuneration and without replacement. It’s just gone, swallowed up into a black hole of self-entitlement.
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\#4 – Doesn’t contribute to household expenses
Living with friends always teaches you that little things become big things if they’re allowed to mount up for long enough. You don’t bat an eyelid the first few times you buy the toilet roll; everyone needs to wipe themselves and it isn’t going to buy itself. But over time, if you live with a grown-up spoilt brat, the lack of contribution gets more and more irritating. Assumedly, they operate under the unspoken assumption that the toilet-fairies (mummy and daddy, by name) make sure the house remains fully-stocked.
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\#5 – Immediately commandeers the best room/sofa
One of the first signs becomes apparent just as you move in. There is always a master bedroom, and they are invariably the first ones to claim it as their own. The same goes for the prime position in the living room and anything else that it’s generally accepted you’ll each have one of. The actual stuff you’re losing out on doesn’t matter – the other rooms are plenty big enough and you can still see the TV – but the fact it’s apparently important to your princess/prince of a housemate actually does matter.
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\#6 – Takes up too much space
Alongside assuming the best bedroom and the prime locations everywhere else in the house, your spoilt housemate likely has a way of sprawling out across the living room as if it was their own personal space. The same goes for the bathroom, which may periodically become a dressing room and make up studio as your housemate requires. If they don’t so much as ask permission, you’ve got a seriously spoilt brat on your hands.
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\#7 – Always has the newest things despite having no job
Being spoilt by your parents doesn’t have an expiry date. They’re free to be jobless because their parents earn more than the national average income in interest on their numerous savings accounts, and they continually ensure their offspring has the best of the best, even if it means paying for a meaningless phone upgrade, an unnecessary jaunt to South America or a steady diet of takeaways.
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\#8 – Always borrows your things...
“Oh, did you want to use your Xbox? Sorry, I was having a GTA marathon for the last 10 days!” It may be a DVD, a razor or even the contents of your wardrobe, but they will always borrow things, return them when they see fit and again, be completely unapologetic about the entire thing.
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\#9 – ... But has no respect for other people’s belongings
Borrowing is one thing, but when your laptop is returned to you seething with adware and Trojan worms or your favourite pair of jeans now has a stain you can only hope is tomato sauce on it, the depths of self-centredness truly become apparent. If your spoilt housemate not only takes everything as if it’s his own, he destroys it before returning it, it’s seriously time to start approaching any friends who have a spare room in their place.
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\#10 – Assumes no responsibility...
Nobody wants to deal with energy companies, TV licensing, council tax, water rates and any repairs you need doing to the house, but if you’re living with a spoilt brat this is another way you’re expected to take on the role of parent. She may want to switch from Freeview to Sky, but you’re a madman if you think she’ll actually phone up to handle the upgrade herself.
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\#11 – ... But complains about anything they DO have to do
Things don’t even improve if he or she does decide to deal with some of the tedious, soul-destroying grown-up stuff. You’ll never hear the end of it; loud exhaling, sulking, complaining and about as much procrastinating as a student in the presence of a looming deadline. You almost want to do it for them so you don’t have to cope with the whining.
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\#12 – Always takes control of the remote
Remote control politics is one of the ever-present issues in a shared flat. There will inevitably be times when there are conflicting TV schedules, and whilst the prevalence of DVRs eases tensions somewhat, you still have to sit through some crap. If you’re living with a spoilt brat, he or she won’t wait until you’re out to watch something you hate; you’ll be forced to sit through a marathon of it.
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\#13 – Doesn’t even realise there’s a problem
The worst thing about all of this is the blissful, everything-revolves-around-me ignorance of their irritating behaviour. They live in an unbreakable bubble in which they can do no wrong and anybody who criticises them is uptight or acting unreasonably. This is why there is no other option – no matter how much you want to tell yourself it will get better – if they are blissfully ignorant of what you’re irritated about and don’t make a change even when confronted, there is only one way out of the situation. And that involves a lot of heavy lifting, boxes and stress.
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