If you’ve ever had a roomie you didn’t get along with, you know how difficult it can be to get through each day without frustration. While some people are just downright challenging to live with–like the ones that never learned to share crayons as a kid–you must be a good roommate yourself in order to expect the same from your apartment mate. Follow these roommate tips to have a solid relationship with your roomie:

Honesty is the Best Policy

We know it sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Being honest with your roommates is a must, especially when it comes to something that can affect the both of you, like a rough financial situation or a broken fixture in your apartment. It’s best to be upfront about these things because you’re sharing your home with another person, and you don’t want there to be tension when he or she finds out you’re hiding something.

Be Friends

Some roommates are simply roommates, and that’s okay. However, make it a point to include your roomie in your plans. If a few of your friends are going out for the evening or planning a night out on the town, ask your roommate to come along. You may also want to have roommate dates where the two (or three or four) of you go out to dinner or spend the afternoon shopping. Roomie bonding is important even if you have different interests or circles of friends.

Set Ground Rules to Follow

Sharing an apartment with someone else is a compromise and each individual involved should treat it as such. A roommate agreement can help you avoid any sticky situations or uncomfortable scenarios. For example, you may have a night job while your roommate has a 9-to-5. Set up a specific curfew when guests have to be gone and sound has to be kept to a minimum. Similarly, you may ask your roommate to refrain from drying her hair in the bathroom across from your bedroom at 7AM. You may also want to set ground rules for financial responsibilities, cleaning and other household chores.

Let it Be

An overbearing roommate can make you feel more like you’re living with a parent than a peer. You don’t want your roomie to be overbearing, so you need to be aware that you aren’t either. This may mean compromising with decorating your apartment, television, cleaning techniques or one another’s general lifestyle. Would you want someone telling you that eating a frozen pizza is bad for you? Let each other’s habits be, and only voice your opinion on something you truly feel passionate about. Speak up if you aren’t comfortable about a situation; otherwise take a deep breath and let it go.