5 Tips on how to be a Good Roommate

How mutual respect and humor can help you and your roomies live in harmony.



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It can be a wonderful and satisfying experience to have roommates to share a home with. Living with others can often help you develop close relationships and learn some life skills along the way. But being a good roommate is about so much more than just making your rent payments on time. It means creating a peaceful living environment where respect and understanding are the underlying values.

Here are five practical tips on how to be a good roommate:

Practice mutual respect
Any effective roommate relationship is built on respect. Just like in any other healthy relationship, roommates need to appreciate and respect one another's boundaries and  personal space. But since at least initially roommates are pretty much total strangers, it is worthwhile to spend some time talking about and deciding on ground rules for noise levels, cleaning tasks, and shared resources. 

“People often confuse living with roommates as living with their friends and family. A good roommate relationship always involves living with realistic expectations,”Navish Jain, founder and CEO of CirTru.com, a roommate finder, told Apartment Therapy

Honest communication
To resolve any concerns that may develop, effective communication is essential. Create an open-door policy where roommates can feel free to voice their worries, expectations, and feedback. Domain recommends holding house meetings on a regular basis where all important information is shared and addressed. This helps to make sure that no problem will fall between the cracks and go unattended. 

“We live together with family and that’s hard enough — we expect to live with strangers without problems. You’ve got to assume there’s going to be glitches that need ironing out,” psychologist Christine Bagley-Jones told Domain.  

Keep things clean and organized
According to Technique, nothing is more important thatn keeping your shared spaces clean and organized. Take the time to clean up after yourself and respect each other's standards of cleanliness. Keep communal areas like bathrooms and kitchens clean. And make sure to have clear definitions as to where the boundaries are for your personal and communal space. 

Foster a sense of humor
Living with other people is bound to lead to flare ups and disagreements. According to Society 19, cultivating a sense of humor can help diffuse tension and create a more lighthearted atmosphere - especially when you and your roommates have the same sense of humor. Learn to laugh at the small things and find joy in shared experiences. A well-placed joke or a funny story can ease the stress and strengthen your bond with your roommate.

Be Considerate of your roommate’s needs
Being considerate of your roommate's schedule, preferences, and routines is part of living with them. Common reports that it is wise to be mindful of noise levels, especially when one of your roommates is studying or working or when anyone in the apartment is asleep. A supportive living environment is created by the small stuff - like offering to pick up groceries or helping with chores around the house.

Self-awareness, sensitivity, and adaptability are ongoing processes that are all needed if you want to be a good roommate. When you make the choice to focus on how your behavior and approach affect the common living experience in your home your relationship with your roommates might lead to lifelong friendships

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