I'm so messy- what is wrong with me???

Postby imperium » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:13 am

Hey everybody, I know this is going to sound a bit like a joke, but my messiness has got to the point where it's beginning to affect my life.

I've always been untidy, ever since i can remember, everywhere I've been has been a mess. One of my earliest memories was a primary school teacher telling me off for getting the paints everywhere and being told off for spilling flour on the floor of the cookery room. I didn't even realise I had.

I'm now 27, and everywhere i go, I make mess. My boyfriend has told me that as I'm so untidy that he'd never move in with me and it hurts a bit.

If i make coffee in an area at work, somebody will come over even as i'm making it, before i get a chance to clear up and start wiping up the sugar and closing all the cannisters and it makes me angry. Even my best friend has told me he'd never live with me because of my cleaning. It's something that's always been a joke, and i've always laughed it off with sarcastic comments and quips and acted it up sometimes for comic effect, but in truth it really worries me, and embarrasses me and i just want to be like everybody else.

My mother is fairly messy but she draws the line at the kind of mess i make, she tells me that i sit in filth and dirt that its beyond mess. She always says that i'll never have a nice house and i live like a pig, and i want nice things but somehow my stuff always gets mixed up and messy and disorganised. Looking down now, the carpet in my room is dirty- i don't know how even, i don't know why its so dirty. It's almost like i don't realise i'm doing it. if i eat, there will be crumbs on the floor, if i smoke, ash not in the ashtray, if i drink, the mug will drip, if i get out of the bath, the floor will be sodden.

Mum tells me i'm "just like my father" something i've always laughed about, but i think i am. my dad had a habit of making mess everywhere he went, if he sat down in a chair, hed manage to spill his tea, or drop ash down it, or get tobacco everywhere. Going out for a meal, gravy was splattered all over the table. If he had a new watch, within a day it'd be ruined or scratched, he contstantly broke his glasses, or sat on them or scratched them and his car was like a rubbish dump.

I can't explain it, and i don't know why i'm like it. I'll even amaze myself. i'll go to somebody's house and sit on the bed or something and look in my bag. i'll get up and somebody will go " you've messed the bed up, look at it! you've dropped stuff out of your bag, and your shoes are on the floor, you've trod dirt in!" but to me i wont even notice its happened. I feel like its something in my brain, like i can't seem to do, or see, or act like other people must do.

I don't understand people who are really clean and neat, it must be like they think about cleaning all the time, it seems to me like it must be always at the forefront of their mind. I find myself getting angry with people who criticise my cleaning. If i think back then sometimes my father would get angry and force me to clean up, and i associate cleaning with perhaps being forced to do it, and i used to get angry that he'd have a go at me, when he was messy himself. My ex boyfriend told me to change when we lived together and i tried to, but i couldnt do it well enough, there was still mess everywhere and he started to shout at me about it and i got aggressive back, because i was trying, but i found it really frustrating. Even if i cleaned, i'd do it wrong, or i'd try and sponge the carpet and it'd end up worse. It's just like i'm really clumsy. I wish i wasn't like i am, but i am.

i find it really hard to pick up after myself, and even if i try to focus on tidying or keeping something clean, minutes later its covered in mess again, or another area is messy. I'm unhappy with the way i am, but i don't know how to change and it upsets me to think that the people who love me wouldnt even live with me. What can i do?
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#1

Postby satanstoystore » Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:55 am

Let's play a game. Everthing is dinner when its a game.

First word that comes to mind:

What kind of person is messy?

What kind of person is neat?

Just a word for each. Now:

What feelings come to mind when I say:

You're messy!

You have to clean up!

Ok?
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#2

Postby imperium » Tue Apr 22, 2008 1:38 pm

satanstoystore wrote:Let's play a game. Everthing is dinner when its a game.

First word that comes to mind:

What kind of person is messy?

What kind of person is neat?

Just a word for each. Now:

What feelings come to mind when I say:

You're messy!

You have to clean up!

Ok?



Okay, good call,

What kind of person is messy? Relaxed

What kind of person is neat? uptight

What feelings come to mind when you say that?

Erm, instantly a defensive reaction, like no, I haven't got to do anything, leave me alone, don't criticise me, as though the person doing it is getting wound up about something that there is no reason to get annoyed about, i'm not hurting anybody, i'm just making a mess and it doesn't matter, but you're trying to get at me by criticising me for doing something that is ultimately harmless, and it annoys me. my reaction is almost a possessive one as though, well if youre criticising my space for being messy, then get out of it, if youre criticising me for making your space messy well i'm obviously not wanted here, so i'm out of here.
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#3

Postby satanstoystore » Thu Apr 24, 2008 9:19 pm

Everything is "dinner"? Sometimes my phone annoys me. I meant funner. Why can't it let me type it?? Yes, I know. That's not a word. But it will be someday!

Ok, so your answers are amazing.

What if the answers were different? Now I don't mean to change you with this. I just want you to try it on for a moment.

What if a neat person were humane, and not uptight? What if a neat person recognized people have less tension in a neat environment?

What if a messy person were selfish? What if they were so stuck on a problem in the past that they didn't even realize it wasn't happening again, that people simply have tension and its selfish not to compromise reasonably?

What if when someone told you to clean up, considering what's above, that its an opportunty to show them you love them? And not at all an opportunity for them to criticise etc.

Do you notice how your answers drive the feelings you have about messy vs neat?

You have to ask yourself, when am I going to give up the past? What do I have to prove and who am I fighting anyway? How long must I carry the burden of this belief? Am I not the one that loses alone and lonely, unnoticed and for what? To stay messy? How can I think I am right when so many people have been unhappy about it? Isn't keeping my belief about being messy actually being uptight? How can I really relax when others are uncomfortable? Isn't it easier to soothe their tension and uncomfortableness (their "complaint") by tidying up a bit?

Put aside your beliefs. And your feelings. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Let me know what comes up.
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#4

Postby juli05 » Fri Apr 25, 2008 12:56 pm

i really do empathise. i am also very messy and don't seem to have got better at all over the years. i'm lucky though as i now have a cleaner every 2 weeks and this forces me to tidy up before she comes. my flat does quickly fall back into chaos though.

the issue for me is that i hate messiness! i have just never been able or learnt to be tidy. i was always like this as child.

giving myself tasks to do on certain days helps. having a routine can be useful.

i like your approach satanstoystore. it think that is a good way to examine your own viewpoints towards tidy people and messy people. if you are happy being messy and it doesn't bother you or anyone else, then don't worry!

but remember for some people a 'cluttered home is a cluttered mind'
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#5

Postby vigilae » Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:11 pm

satanstoystore has, as usual, provided a useful insight with a simple set of questions.

I'm one of those neat people. I'm not a "neat freak" -- those are people who have to have their piles of papers at right angles on their desks. I think that's a sign of OCD.

But I do clean up after myself. I put things back where they belong. When I unwrap something, like a present, I'll dispose of the wrapping paper before sitting down to enjoy the gift. I notice that the "un-neat" just toss the wrapping paper to the side and forget it, and dive into the gift right away. I'm guessing that what's happening there is that the wrapping paper is no longer interesting, so it's filed away under "less important than the cool shiny in front of me now."

I don't think about cleaning all day, all of the time. But I do subconsciously do things that keep my environment moderately and constantly orderly. I always make my bed, because for some psychological reason, a made bed is more comfortable to sleep in than one with the blankets just tossed wherever.

My partner in life is generally untidy, but we put it down to her mild ADD. Once every few days, she'll go into a tidying frenzy and the house is cleaned and tidied from top to bottom. For the few hours it remains that way, I am in heaven.

We've agreed that I won't nag her about cleaning up, and she will do a "frenzy" no less often than once every four days. It seems to work.
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#6

Postby whalm1 » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:50 am

ha i just came across your post after typing in 'why am i so messy' on google.

im 27 female and exactely the same. i have an older sister who is very tidy and a twin who is just as messy.

So i think it is genetic and you are either programmed to be tidy or your not.
reading your post made me laugh becuase it was like reading my own bblog - my old boyf also told me he wouldnt live with me.

when i started my new job a few weeks ago, i messed up the desk and then spilt rice into the keyboard, coffee on the floor etc etc.

i would imagine theres little you can do about it to be honest.......... i quite like it it makes me laugh, and it leaves my mind time to focus on other more important things - like living life etc. anyway hope you're ok now:) x
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#7

Postby Cooler » Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:10 am

Folks,

Confession time.

I was once kicked out of a mate's flat because I never washed up my coffee cups. When my wife is away, I use very cup, plate, fork and spoon in the house and do no washing up at all. I leave it all for her coming back.

Loverly. :D

C.

PS - When people challenge me on this I say "My grandfather was the Squire of Rottingdean, and he never washed a cup. What was good enough for him is good enough for me!"
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#8

Postby Melthemonk » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:24 am

I too googled 'why am I so messy' and laughed so hard when I read your dilema. Only because I thought I was the only one that was like that and have always been.
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