Living with roommates can shed lots of money off your monthly expenses, but the arrangement can become difficult, especially if you have nothing in common with them. In this situation, it’s best to try and nurture your relationship with your housemates so you get get along and live in harmony. Here are some tips:
Set and Maintain Ground Rules
Even if you and your roommates have lots in common, you still need to set ground rules to ensure everyone’s wishes are respected. On your own, make a list of all the things that are important to you, then narrow it down to the major bullet points.
For example, if you are a nonsmoker and your roommate isn’t, chances are you don’t want her or him lighting up in the apartment. Instating a simple “no smoking inside” rule will help avoid any confusion. Additionally, if you are a quiet person or you go to sleep early, you might not like it if your roommate has late night visitors over on a regular basis. So, to stay on good terms, talk things over to organize a schedule or time frame when people can come over and occupy the common areas.
Even with a detailed set of ground rules in place, you and your roommate are going to disagree from time to time. While it’s to be expected, how you manage the situation means everything. A small disagreement can turn into a large argument if it isn’t dealt with properly. So make sure there is an open stream of communication. Every roommate should feel like they are heard and should not be scared to speak up.
Learn to Compromise
For people to get along, there has to be some form of compromise, and negotiation in this form is healthy. For example, if your roommate wants to have a birthday party one evening, and you have a rule against late night guests, you can make an exception.
Avoid Trying to Be Best Friends
There is no reason you and your roommate have to become best friends. Actually, chances are, you’ll get along better if you don’t try to be besties. Remember you have to live together and occupy the same space, so don’t give your roommate or yourself a chance to get sick of each others company.
Make Time to Hang Out
Even though you shouldn’t be best friends with your roommates, you should be good pals. Find what similar interests you have and make time to go out together on occasion. Head to a movie together or have dinner. It is also a good idea if you know some of each other’s friends so it is not so awkward when they come over.
Keep Common Spaces Clean
Be courteous to your roommate by keeping things clean. Whenever you cook, always wash the dishes and pots right after you are done eating. It is best to not wait for life to get in the way because you never know what will come up later. Remember that your roommate has to use the kitchen too.
Use Your Headphones
Everyone loves music, right? Well, no matter if you enjoy listening to Top 40 hits, the latest rock jam or an audio podcast, you should keep the sound to yourself. All you have to do is put on a good pair of headphones and you won’t bother anyone while you listen to your tunes.