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Woman Lashes Out After Roommate’s Boyfriend Refuses To Stop Offering To Help Build Furniture

Woman assembling furniture
Aleksandr Zubkov/Getty Images

Offering to help is a polite thing to do.

Most of the time.

It’s admirable if your intention is merely to offer a pair of helping hands to someone you think might need it.

And should they say no, you can step away with no problem.

However, offering to help when you think the person is incapable of doing something, based on their personality, or worse, gender, is simply condescending.

Redditor Fluffy-Dragonfly2281 was recently faced with this problem when her roommate’s boyfriend paid a visit to their apartment.

After repeatedly declining his offer to help, the original poster (OP) finally lost her patience, and offered some choice words to her roommate’s boyfriend.

Concerned she may have been out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for telling my roommate’s boyfriend to f*ck off?”

The OP explained how her roommate’s boyfriend’s apparent inability to hear the word no finally led her to lose her patience.

“I was putting together a piece of furniture in the living room when my roommate showed up with her boyfriend.”

“I don’t know her boyfriend well, but we have had only positive or neutral interactions in the past, which is why this is kind of weird.”

“I said hi, but I didn’t really look up from what I was doing because I was trying to focus.”

“They went into the kitchen for a little and then he came out with a drink and asked what I was doing.”

“I explained that I was putting together a table.”

“He bent down and picked up a bag of screws.”

“I said, not in a confrontational tone of voice, ‘oh, don’t touch those’.”

“‘I have everything organized’.”

“He put them down and I continued what I was doing.”

“I put the instruction booklet down and screwed in a piece.”

“While I was doing so, he picked up the instruction book.”

“This annoyed me.”

“When I finished screwing the piece in I said I needed the book back.”

‘He asked if I wanted help.”

“I said no, just the book.”

“He said ‘I can read the steps to you’.”

“Or you can read the steps and I’ll put the pieces together for you’.”

“I said ‘or I can read the steps and put the pieces together’.”

“‘I can also walk and chew gum at the same time, too’.”

“‘Give me the book back’.”

“He said that it ‘looked complicated’.”

“At this point, I was really annoyed, because I hate being interrupted when I’m focusing on something, and now I’ve completely lost my train of thought.”

“So I said ‘well, it isn’t’.”

“Now kindly fuck off’.”

“He put the book down and walked away.”

“He and my roommate went to her room and hung out.”

“I finished what I was doing and then went to my room.”

“After he left, my roommate asked me what happened.”

“She said ‘you never go from 0 to 60 like that, what the hell?'”

“I told her I just got irritated.”

“She said it was an asshole move because her BF was just trying to be helpful.”

“I get that, but I didn’t need or what help.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for snapping at her roommate’s boyfriend.

Everyone agreed that the boyfriend of the OP’s roommate was making sexist assumptions, and he should have taken “no” for an answer the first time he heard it.


“You can tell her the following if she wants an explanation.”

“He asked, you answered.”

“He didn’t take no for an answer.”

“No means no.”

“You were focused!”

“He was messing with your focus and that he was out of line by being persistent and asking again AND touching your stuff.”- Ancient_TeacherMom20

“NTA mate.”

“People need to take no as an answer, especially when it’s said nicely.”

“But we all know sometimes a firm ‘f*ck off’ does just as well in situations likes this.”- Successful-Phone7038


“You were giving clear cues that you did not need or want help and he was ignoring them.”

“The comment about it looking ‘complicated’ honestly seems pretty sexist.”

“It made the whole situation seem like he was showing off his masculinity rather than genuinely wanting to help.”- Griffgirl777

“Ugh I really hate this.”

‘Female welder here.”

“How often I haven’t had male friends or friends of my roommate just pull a tool out of my hands because I must be needing their help?”

“Or them explaining stuff to me that I have learned for and they haven’t.”

“So frustrating.”

“Luckily my now boyfriend just respects me and my knowledge, I even fixed his bike for him and he was just thankful to have a fixed bike and to have learned something new.”

“NTA.”- amoo23


“He asked twice and you said no twice and he didn’t know how to take a hint so what’d he expect.”-withluv-613


“He asked twice and you said no twice and he didn’t know how to take a hint so what’d he expect.”-withluv-613



“He told the roommate he was ‘just trying to be helpful’.”

“In fact he was interrupting her train of thought and persisted when she asked him to NOT fuss with her stuff.”

“It’s like saying: ‘it was just a joke” when someone says something insulting’.”

“NO, it’s not just a joke it’s a backhanded way of being an a**.”

“Either they were doing it on purpose or they’re too stupid to understand how to behave.”

“No was the answer and he should have left when she said it the first time.”- Ghitit

“I go NTA.”

“He was being too pushy.”

“You told him twice that you didn’t need help.”- RighteousVengeance

“A woman!”

“Holding tools!”

“Clearly you don’t know what you’re doing!”

“Don’t worry, The Man is here to help!”


“At least you told him kindly to f*ck off.”- Fine-for-now

“What is it with men and their inability to process the word ‘No’?”

“A question was asked.”

“An answer was given.”

“Job done.”

“NTA here.”- RidgyFan78

“‘This looks complicated’.”

“Buddy, step AWAY from my Ikea puzzle, I thrive on this shit!”

“NTA.”- One_Butterfly1161


“Asked nicely once.”

“Asked nicely twice.”

“Gotta give him the f*ck off the third time since he wasn’t taking no for an answer.”

“Is this something he learned as a child?”

“If he asks enough times he’ll get what he wants?”

“I recognize he was trying to help but you didn’t ask for or require help.”

“I wonder if he would have been this insistent with one of his guy pals.”- fallingfaster345


“He asked if he could help, you declined.”

“That should’ve been the end of the interaction but no, he just had to keep trying.”

“He got the response he deserved for not accepting your first answer.”- FoodLion_owns_me


“I have ADHD and autism, assembling furniture is a HUGE dopamine boost.”

“Asking if I need help ONCE is forgivable, because they might not know better, but if they push after that I’m gonna tell them to fuck of, I’m not letting some random person steal my fun, might be different if I’m working on something large enough that I NEED an extra hand.”- iamjustacrayon


“Unless you were suffering from hysteria.”- nickything

“Totally not TA.”

‘It is so infuriating when a ‘know it all’ tries to interfere when you are in the middle of doing something and are totally organized.”

“You said no twice, if it were me I’d have simply said, give me the sodding book back and bugger off, I’m busy.”

“I think you were overly polite to someone who was inferring that you were not capable of completing the task on your own.”

“Both your roommate and her BF were the A’s.”- nicol_turren

“Sounds like he wanted to be the hero in your action book.”

“NTA.”- wfhomealone

“He would never have done that if you were a guy.”

“Trying to force participation on someone isn’t nice or ‘helpful’.’

“It’s condescending.”

“You didn’t pop into existence just so he could flex his skills with a wrench.”

“You built furniture before him, you’ll build furniture after him.”

“Dude needs to check his ego.”

“NTA.”- TheRebelArsenal


“’F*ck off’ was a bit of a jump but he was being a dick for assuming you needed help.”

“You told him you didn’t need help and that should have been the end of it.”- k_c_2005

Perhaps the OP’s boyfriend was only trying to be chivalrous, and felt that she needed help.

Still, he should have taken the hint after the first time the OP said “no”.

Nor was he wise to touch and move around the assembly line of items the OP had organized to help her with efficiency.

Perhaps if the OP continuously offers to help with something he’s working on, despite his constant declining, he might get a sense of where her reaction came from.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.