Four Tips for Staying Friendly with your Housemates
Four Tips for Staying Friendly with your Housemates
By Simon Thompson
By Rachel Shapiro
The housemate relationship is a complicated one. When you first start uni, you must to live with people who you’ve never met before and know nothing about. These are people who could potentially be your best friends, or they could be people who you just pass on your way into the kitchen. Either way, you want to have a good relationship with the people who share your home. Here are some ways to keep the relationship with your housemates friendly and positive.
1. Clean up your mess
This is something that everybody knows, but it’s worth repeating. The fastest way to get your housemates angry at you is to leave a mess in the communal areas. Especially in the kitchen sink. It’s ok if your room is a complete disaster area, but if you want to stay friends with your housemates, cleans your dishes.
2. Avoid being passive-aggressive
At some point, your housemates are going to do something that annoys you. Maybe that’s talking loudly at 7am, or slamming doors in the middle of the night, or anything else. Your first instinct might be to ignore the problem and hope it goes away. But that rarely works, and will just annoy you more. Since you want to avoid a confrontation, your next instinct may be to do something passive-aggressive. For example, leaving a note on your housemate’s door saying ‘Thanks for waking me up on the night before my exam! I really appreciate it.’ If you do that, you’ll create an even bigger problem, because now your housemate is mad at you. They’ll probably slam the door even the louder.
To avoid this whole dramatic scene, all you have to do is talk to your housemate about what’s bothering you. This may sound easy, but if you don’t know your housemate too well, you may not be sure how to approach this. Try casually going up to them when they’re in the kitchen or watching TV, and in your most polite voice tell them what they did to bother you. Most of the time it should be enough to clear up the issue. Talking about what’s wrong is much easier than dancing around the issue until it finally explodes into a big confrontation.
3. Spend time together
As you get busy with essays and exams, you may start seeing less and less of your housemates. It’s ok if you’re not spending all your time together, but you do want to maintain a relationship with them. If you have an issue it will be harder to bring it up if you haven’t talked to your housemate for a month. Try and arrange a get together with your housemates every few weeks. You can cook dinner together, go for a drink, or play video games or a board game. You don’t want to go so long without seeing your house mates that you forget what they look like. Arranging a date where you all hang out will stop that from happening.
4. Let them know if you’re having guests
Nobody wants to walk into their home and find a stranger sleeping on their couch. To avoid that, be sure to always let your housemates know if you have someone coming to stay for a night, a few days, or a few weeks. Your housemates will appreciate you giving them advanced warning on this.
The housemate relationship can be tough at times. Like with any relationship, it’s important to communicate what you’re feeling with your housemates. That way, you’ll be able to live peacefully in your home away from home.
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