Whether in Boarding house dormitories, hostels or at home, roommates are here to stay!Scary, isn’t it?Especially if you are the kind of person that needs your space. So, if you are one of those considering a living arrangement that involves others, here are a few points to bear in mind.
But you can survive this
Be open to the possibilitythat your roommatecould have a very different personality.Be friendly and accommodating– but also,be yourself and let them be themselves. Full stop.Now let’s get to the practical things.
Step 1: Be open minded
Upon first meeting your roommate, you must be a ‘darling’.Don’t be quick to judge or make conclusions. Smile. Be polite, and exchange names. We are not what we look like, and you will find out soon enough. Plus, if the rest of your stay with them will be hell, no point hastening things up with a hostile welcome/ introduction.
Step 2: Don’t start what you CAN’T finish
It’s important to define boundaries with your roommate from the get-go. At the very least, we know how much of our energies we can give without burning out. But it’s one thing to know it and another thing to let the roomies know our limits. Don’t be the yes man/woman. It’s easy to slip into the nice guy/girl role because it’s the start of something new. But bear in mind that your roommate may abuse opportunities. Don’t be the one doing all the nice things all the time, too soon, too much.It will lead toburn out.
Step 3: Don’t give what you can’t take
Don’t borrow if you won’t lend. Don’t ask if you won’t give. At a minimum, show an example of the world you wish to exist in by exhibiting those desirable traits. You don’t like a dirty room? Don’t litter or add to the litter on the floor. You don’t like a filthy kitchen? Clean up after yourself every time. Do you like your space neat? Dress your bed before stepping out, fold your clothes nicely and don’t leave things hanging loose on someone else’s bed or box. It won’t take long for the roommate to understand that you have space and have the decency to stay away from it or accord it the same grace you would.
Step 4: Communicate and negotiate
Communication should happen every timewith your roommate.It is important that we don’t just speak but speak clearly and precisely. Don’t say: “you hurt me.” Say: you and your friends messed my bed when you were having that room party last night and you failed to clean it up. That hurt me.” Learn how to negotiate too. Sometimes, to get things done, youshould knowwhat cards to play. Everyone is capable of decency, but it is more a chore for some than it is for others, so youshouldlearn to use what you have to get what you want. No pun intended. Say you make mean delicacies that your roomie fancies and your roomie is someone who never cleans up after him/herself. Promise roomie occasional breakfast/lunch in return for roomie doing what you want him/her to do.
Do you have any interesting experience of living with a roommate? Please share in the comments. I’ll like to hear from you.