Articles Lifestyle Ways To Get Along Better With Your Housemates

Ways To Get Along Better With Your Housemates

Do your housemates always give you the cold shoulder? Are they shady or intrusive? Don't give up just yet! Here are tips to deal with difficult housemates.

A high cost of living and the fear of losing your social life may push you to get housemates in your current living space. While some are looking to split the cost of rent, others just really like company. Either way, your housemates are there with you, and they're not going anywhere anytime soon. But what if your expectations of fun, outgoing housemates suddenly disappear into thin air upon learning how mellow and unenthusiastic they are? Or maybe they eat out, party, shop, and travel by themselves without telling you. Or perhaps, you used to get along, but they've just become too intolerable, too intrusive, or worse, they've began badmouthing you behind your back. Don't lose hope! Here are 7 ways to deal with your housemates and hopefully improve your relationship with them.

Established System For Accountability

Before anything else, plan how you would divide grocery expenses, bills, and other things. You can decide with your housemates if you'll chip in or assign someone for each responsibility. Make sure your house rules are clear as day, because if they're not, no one would be held responsible and accountable for their actions in the house. Apart from this, stick to a regular cleaning schedule. Don't carry the burden of cleaning up after your housemates, and don't let them always clean up after you either. Take turns in housekeeping tasks so none of you gets burned out.

Open & Direct But Gentle Communication

As the saying goes, "Direct communication is the only communication." If you're really bothered by your housemates' shady attitudes or if you feel like they're invading your space too much, muster up the courage to tell them so. It's understandable especially for introverted and non-confrontational people to just keep this to themselves; however, you can't emotionally suffer forever. There might even come a time when you bottle your feelings up too much and you explode on other people in turn. Prevent this from happening by gently starting a conversation with your housemates. If they're aloof and quiet, you can start a connection by inviting them for dinner or parties with your other friends. If they're outgoing but still refuse to change their ways, then try to find something for you two to bond over, which leads us to the third point.

Bonding Over Common Interests

Do you and your housemates love watching concerts? Going to the beach? Doing yoga? Playing an instrument? Whatever you both have in common, you can bond over it. This can break the ice between you and your housemates. But make sure that you're being yourself too.  Don't put on a mask and pretend to like something just because your housemates do. Continue being your authentic self even if they don't necessary like the things you like. You can try to take an interest in what they're doing, but don't fake a liking for something when you clearly have no passion for it. Common interests can help build and maintain a relationship with people you would otherwise have no interest in getting to know or be with.

Tolerance & Respect For Differences

Friction over differences are inevitable. Sometimes, discussions over dinner turn awkward and even heated because housemates are vocal about their contrasting political beliefs. Another issue could be religious differences with one housemate is dismissive of another's faith, or even hostile to them because of this. As much as differences among people are always there, you can always choose to be civil, tolerant, and respectful to those you disagree with. You don't have to change your personal beliefs to get along with other people. Sometimes, you just have to find a compromise; a common ground where you can see eye to eye, or at least just treat each other with kindness and respect.

Boundary Setting

If your housemates are sticking their noses in your personal business or asking you ridiculous favors, it's time to break it to them kindly and say to their faces that you're uncomfortable and unhappy about it. Some healthy ways to set boundaries are to:

  1. Be vocal about your feelings. They are valid, and don't be scared of how your housemates will respond. If they turn hostile, it just reveals and confirms the kind of people they are.
  2. Maintain your composure. This doesn't mean you'll chicken out when you confront your housemates. This just means keeping your cool and remaining collected even if they lash out on you.
  3. Resist the urge to respond or rescue all the time. There are times when you should just let people learn the ropes and survive by themselves without your intervention. Refrain from entertaining questions or helping your housemates out especially when it's an obviously huge inconvenience to you.

An example of the latter would be letting your housemates' friends borrow your bed and you have nowhere to sleep on. That's too much to ask for! Be firm with what you'll do for your housemates and what you won't do for them, because at the end of the day, you're just human and you need your personal space and peace of mind.

New Friends

The world won't stop if your housemates don't feel your vibe. If you don't click, you don't click. Now is the time to meet new friends especially if you've really tried to connect with your housemates but they just refuse to reciprocate your actions. Whether you're dealing with university roommates within the campus or living with a bunch of twenty-somethings in a high-rise condo, it's good to have other people in your circle, especially those you can truly trust with your secrets, vent to, rant to, and have fun with.

Mindfulness Of Own Habits

If you're conscious of your toxic habits, then that's a great start to self-improvement and growth. You may feel like your housemates always get on your nerves, but in reality, they may feel the same way about you. Unlearn habits like leaving lights on, the toilet seat wet, and your clothes everywhere. Maybe even stop setting your noisy alarm in the morning that doesn't even wake you up (but it startles your housemates and then they can't sleep anymore) or your habit of throwing parties and trashing your place after. These little things can get anybody worked up. Always be concerned of what others feel, especially because you don't have your living space all to yourself. Practice good habits and encourage your housemates to do the same thing.

If All Else Fails...

Tried everything you can but there's still something off with your relationship with your housemates? Attempted to connect with them but to no avail? If your mental health is suffering, and you feel unsafe, excluded, and alienated in the company of your housemates, then perhaps it's time to throw in the towel. There's absolutely no shame in leaving and moving out.

But if you're the authority (i.e. the one opening your place for rent), then evict them kindly and gently. On the flip side, if you can't move out as of the moment (because you're a lessee) then continue trying out the tips above. There are no perfect relationships in life, but it's not an excuse to stop having better relationships with people. Continue being considerate, understanding, and self-aware, even if the people around you aren't.