Moving in with someone is a huge step in any kind of relationship.
We usually only think about this in terms of romantic partners, but it’s just as true when it comes to friends. Even if you think you know your mates back to front and inside out, you will discover so many new things when you’re sharing living space with that person.
And we hate to be the barer of bad news, but most of these ‘new things’ will drive you insane and you’ll wonder how you can like someone so much and also hate them in equal measure.
Arguments are an absolute inevitability when you move in with friends - you simply have to accept that there will be rows about everything imaginable. Although most arguments will be pointless and silly and easy to get over, there will be some that could potentially spell the end of an important friendship.
For that reason, we’ve decided to put together a list of our top tips for being the best housemate ever, to make these situations a lot less likely and allow you to live in relative peace and harmony.
1. Respect each others space.
Don’t leave all your stuff around the house. Don’t come home at 3am drunk and blast music at full volume. If you have friends, boyfriends or girlfriends over, don’t let them outstay their welcome. Remember that you are sharing a home and you must be considerate of the other person’s needs.
2. Be more laid back.
It’s not until you start living with someone who isn’t related to you, that you realise how much you like things YOUR way. And when your housemate doesn’t do things YOUR way, you can become irrationally irritated.
So, before you scream in your housemate’s face for leaving used tea bags in the sink, bite your tongue, ask yourself if it’s a life or death situation and if it’s not, just walk away and get over it.
3. Don’t behave like a parent.
On that note, do not under any circumstances tell your housemate what to do or how to do things, like a parent would. This is not your job and you’re not entitled to control how another human lives their life.
4. Cut out any passive aggressive
If you have an issue with your housemate, tell them straight rather than playing passive aggressive games with each other. Communication is absolutely key. For instance; if the toilet roll runs out, replace it or ask your housemate to replace it, rather than having a silent, stubborn stand off to see who gives in first. It’s childish and even if you win, you still lose by acting like an ass.
5. Focus on your own duties.
If you feel like your housemate is not pulling their weight, focus on your own chores and duties and let them live their life at their own pace. Maybe you like to do the dishes straight after you’ve eaten, whereas your housemate likes to leave it for a few hours. Just because it’s not YOUR way, doesn’t mean it’s the WRONG way. Keep your mind on your own life and you will be much, much happier.
6. Be appreciative of your housemate’s efforts.
In life, you have to give sometimes in order to get and if you want your housemate to do more around the house, start appreciating the things they already do. When people are praised for something they have done, they are more inclined to continue doing it, sometimes with even more effort. And, it’s always just nice to be nice.
7. Have alone time.
When you live with someone, you end up spending a lot of time in each other’s company and it is 100% true that familiarity breeds contempt. To keep your friendship healthy, try to have alone time. Spend time apart, in your own room, so that you’re not around each other 24/7 - this is how arguments arise.
8. But also spend quality time together.
If you give yourself some space, you’ll start to appreciate the time you do spend with your housemate and you’ll be a lot less likely to argue and fight. Instead of sitting together in silence watching three hours of Netflix every night, go out, do something purposeful and spend quality time together.
Living with a housemate is a lot like being in a marriage - with both, it takes work to keep the spark alive!
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Article written by Lana Richardson, blog editor for Uni Baggage.