One of the major driving forces behind the creation of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Superman is a literary concept known as the “power fantasy.”
Power fantasies appeal to children so profoundly because they’re essentially thinly veiled rebukes of chores and authority. How are your parents gonna make an invincible alien make up their bed, or a wizard or what have you?
This disdain for tedious housework continues into adulthood, and the answers to them additionally mature. As an adult, you have the liberty to scream your way out of housework. According to a new survey commissioned by TaskRabbit, it staffs a sizable portion of heated arguments between housemates, parents, children and romantic partners.
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99 problems but a dish ain’t one
Taskrabbit’s survey of 1,000 U.S adults, comprised of handymen, organizers, movers and homeowners revealed that 78% of people have had an intense wrangle over household chores at some point or another. As far as the kind of chores that inspired fights the most often, dishes didn’t make the Top 3, surprisingly enough. In general, people reported fighting about decluttering the most (41%), followed by cleaning the shower drain (30%), correctly assembling furniture (27%) and correctly folding laundry (20%).
Laundry, vacuuming, quick replacement tasks (buying toiletries, changing a lightbulb etc), cleaning the bathroom, yard work, and cleaning up after pets were all found to invoke a similar degree of hate in respondents, though there was a huge disparity between these and the top three tasks itemized above.
Your chore style
More than the kind of chore though that saw roommates perpetually at each other’s throats, was the way a task was done, especially as it pertained to cleaning (46%). Whether you’re housemates with your romantic partner, or spouse, strangers, friends, children, pets, or all of the above, establishing boundaries and stipulations are important as early as possible.
Everyone has a particular way they prefer things get done, and your roommates can only be mindful of these unique requests if you communicate them. I’m not deaf to the charms of the path of least resistance, but this ultimately leads to a hedge of thorns. Once resentment has peaked, it’s often hard to reset to simpler days, especially when you are sharing a space with the source of resentment.
Rebecca Shurnik of LIfestyle adds, “Anything extreme that your roommate does that bothers you should be brought to her attention as soon as possible. You want to set your boundaries immediately and make sure that your roommate knows what ticks you off. On the other hand, anything minuscule that your roommate does that bothers you, you should try to ignore. Everyone has small irritating habits. I’m sure that there are small things that you do that bother your roommate! So unless these annoying little things turn into something bigger and more significant, I suggest you leave them alone.”