At this point in your life, you’ve probably had a few different roommates. While living with a person is probably the easiest way to get to know someone, it’s also the easiest way to, well, grow to hate someone.
The way they bite their nails, chew their food, their cleaning habits, their Netflix queue — the possibilities are endless. Okay, well hate may be a strong word, but you get the idea.
As easy as it is for your living situation to completely drive you up a wall, it can be a great opportunity to grow as a person (yeah, yeah, cheesy and cliché, I know). I’ve had roommates whose lifestyles have driven me crazy, but I’ve also lived with a total stranger who became one of my best friends.
If you aren’t one of the lucky few who can fly solo and live alone, check out a few points that will make your roomie situation (and life) infinitely more bearable.
Take responsibility for yourself.
Look, no one is perfect and that’s okay. If you’re aware of your own shortcomings, it will make you more receptive to improvement. Guess what?
If you have complaints about the person you’re living with, chances are, he or she has a bone or two to pick with you, too. It’s a two-way street, and if you’re receptive to ways you can improve, chances are, your roommate will do the same.
That being said…
Pay your bills on time.
Especially if they affect your roommate, just pay them on time. Financial difficulties are understandable and totally suck, but they’re your problem, not someone else’s.
If yours is the only name on the lease, it’s your responsibility. If your name is on the cable bill, you have to pay it. Basically, if you signed something promising to pay money on a monthly basis, you have to do it. Legally.
Clean up your sh*t.
So, your roommate sheds like a St. Bernard. Fine, but unlike a dog, she actually has the ability to sweep her hair… but she doesn’t. Maybe she feels it’s totally appropriate to pile the sink with dishes before washing them… or not wash them at all.
If you’re both on the same level of tidiness, this may not be a problem. However, chances are that one of you is messier than the other. If you’re the messy one, your roommate probably kind of hates that. If nothing else, acknowledge it and apologize. Apologies can go a long way.
If you’re the tidy one and her mess has started making your eye twitch, tell her. These are not extraordinary requests. She’ll most likely understand and put in the effort. The more you let something fester, the harder it becomes to talk about and the more irritated you’ll become.
Talk about it.
You guys may talk about your latest conquests or heartbreaks or office drama, but that’s really not the same as communicating. If you hate living in a pigsty (see above), say something.
If you’d prefer your roomie to not bring the after party to your place on a Thursday night, say something. If he’s constantly eating your cereal, say something.
Ultimately, these are all things that you think your roommate is doing wrong, but he or she won’t know that it’s actually bothering you unless you say something. We all have different standards of living, and unless you actually explain what yours are, you will continue to live in complete annoyance.
Let go of the little things.
So, he makes really annoying chewing noises when he eats pizza, which is like every day. Yeah, it’s annoying, but I bet he doesn’t love how you say “like” after practically every other word. We all have quirks of which other people may not be so fond; it’s both a perk and downfall of being a unique individual.
Maybe it’s a bit more serious than that, though. Maybe you’ve tried to tell him that you want him to stop eating your cereal or to tell her that she needs to sweep up her hair. Maybe he or she just doesn’t listen.
It’s not cool, but if your roommate won’t change his or her behavior, then you must change your attitude, at least for the time being. It’s far healthier to let something go than to let it stew.
Don’t let someone else’s quirks (or total inconsideration) drive you absolutely bonkers; it will make everything else 10 times worse.
Don’t eat all the pie.
If you’re both down to share food and groceries, don’t be the assh*le who cracks open the last egg for breakfast, leaving your roommate omelette-less. Everything comes down to consideration. Try to understand what you can do in order to make living with another person more bearable, or dare I say, even enjoyable?
If you do everything in your power to make the best of the situation and it still doesn’t improve, get out of the situation, ASAP. Living with an uptight meanie will stress you out, as will living with an inconsiderate slob.
Chances are if you actually just talk to your roommate about how you prefer to live, he or she will be cool with it and possibly (probably) have a few suggestions for you, too.
Photo via Gossip Girl