The Introvert’s Guide to Living With a Roommate
Having to live with a roommate may be a huge challenge for us introverts, because we may think that we’ll have less me-time, and that means less time for charging our social batteries. Coliving means adapting to another personality for your mutual benefit. Socializing drains our energy, and we are concerned that having to live with a roommate will require us to socialize 24/7 from the moment we wake up until the moment we close our eyes again. Good news is, we can prevent that from happening by following some of these tips:
1. Know your roommates’ schedules
You and your roommate may have a different class schedule, or he/she may have to leave earlier for work due to her workplace’s location. Either way, there is a big chance that you and your roommate have different daily schedules. Us introverts need to make sure that we know not just our schedule but also our roommate’s. Through that way, we can schedule when we can have our private me-time in the house. After all, there is nothing better than having some quiet, alone time after a long day of socializing at work or campus right, introverts?
2. Be Honest with Your Roommates, Communication is key
Being an introvert is never a sin or a weakness. It is just a part of who we are, and we need to be open and honest about it without feeling any embarrassment. Therefore, it is best, to be honest with your roommate about your introverted tendencies from the moment you start living with them.
This includes how much you love your me-time, or how much you are bothered with unnecessary small talks. You need to do this especially if you’re moving in with a roommate that you haven’t known for all that long. Besides, most people will understand that everyone needs a little time to themselves. So, don’t worry too much about being judged! If they seem offended or hurt, try to explain that you’re not a super social person and that it’s nothing personal against them. This will also help you to avoid potential conflicts or misunderstandings that may occur in the future.
Therefore, if one day they ask you to hang out in the living room or go out to dinner with them, don’t make up an excuse. Instead, be honest and just say something like: “Thank you for the offer, and I am glad that you want to spend time hanging out with me, but I think I have been having a long day at work and just want to spend the time by myself, maybe another day?”
3. Have a Sacred Space
For us introverts, being in social situations can seriously drain our social battery. Thus, it makes us extremely tired and overwhelmed. This is why finding a space to relax in when we need to spend some time alone is important. Therefore, whether it’s a coffee shop, a library, or even a boyfriend or girlfriend’s house, it’s perfectly fine to escape the apartment for a little while if it helps you feel more like yourself.
4. Set a routine “Date”
As an introvert, of course, we prefer to spend our free time for ourselves. Reading, watching Netflix, or even meditating, we know how to have fun by ourselves! However, we still need to check on our roommates every once in a while to build and maintain a positive relationship with them. Set up a routine schedule with them, and if you can do this every once in a week, it will be much better! It does not have to take so much time, anyways. You can spend time with your roommate by binge-watching Netflix together after you two are done with work, or maybe cooking dinner together. Do something that you both enjoy!
As an additional tip, if you know that roommate has a place they go to often with their friends, try to join them once in a while! It may make a huge difference in your relationship with your roommate, and you may even make more friends of your own! Sometimes stepping out from your comfort zone can make a big change in your life!
Shopping together for home goods and groceries is another easy place to start. By doing this, you can get to know each other’s preferences as well as make collective decisions for your home. This is a great way to bond and also get household chores done. Besides, you might also be able to save some money by sharing some of the household products with your roommate!
As difficult and frustrating as it sounds, it’s always a good idea to be a little sociable with the people you live with just so you can know what’s going on in their lives. You do live under the same roof, after all!
5. Set House Rules
As if having a roommate is not challenging enough, living with an extrovert may be even harder for us introverts, therefore having clear and strict house rules that set boundaries for both of you is important to prevent conflicts from happening.
You both share the space, so you don’t have to be so guilty about being the first person to ask for the rules. However, keep in mind, that when you’re making house rules, you need to be respectful of one another. Be realistic, flexible, and understanding that sometimes stuff that is out of your control may occur.
Remember to be specific! Establish quiet hours, study hours, TV times, or hours that are acceptable to have guests over. Make sure you and your roommate come up with a plan that works for both of you.
A lot of people prefer to establish these rules as soon as possible. But, if you want to wait for a bit and see how it goes, it is also perfectly fine. However, do keep in mind that when things start to get out of control, you need to resolve it as fast as possible. Burying things for too long will only worsen it. You can do this!