Living with other people is hard. Nevermind being told you can’t go out to that party or have that last bar of chocolate by your mum and dad, or when to go to bed; it’s hard living with other adults. Like everything in this world there are positives and negatives and living with your friends when you’re grown up is an all round positive. What’s most difficult about living with others are the little niggles that you experience every day.
Each and every one of us is different and it’s impossible to be best friends with everyone all of the time. People are annoying, it’s a fact of life, you’re going to get pissed off with your housemates / flatmates / roommates so what I’ve devised is a little tip list of how to deal with those pesky situations that are otherwise awkward and on the edge of becoming dramatic if the right thing doesn’t happen.
1. Passive aggression does not work.
The toilet roll hasn’t been replaced, the washing up hasn’t been done, someone keeps their shoes in the middle of the kitchen – it makes your blood boil and you stand there seething in your own fury for around five minutes. You think ‘Ohh I’ll tell ’em this time! This isn’t right!’ And you write a very specifically worded note and stick it on the fridge, or the bathroom mirror, wherever it’s relevant. Uh-oh. This isn’t the way to go, friends. There are two outcomes of leaving passive aggressive notes; 1) the person in question won’t even notice and things won’t change or 2) you’ll piss them off and you’ll fall out in silence and awkwardly. It’s not ideal. If it’s really a huge problem to your existence in the house, tell them; they’ll probably appreciate your honesty and you won’t get mad at each other. But if it’s really not that bad, do you feel you can let it go? Just stop, take a deep breath and remember that everyone was brought up differently and has different habits.
2. Calm down at 11pm
Unless you’re all drinking and going out, partying the night away, it’s always a good idea to start to wind down at 11pm. People up early for work know that others aren’t and are generally accepting of shenanigans until about 11, because then it gets a bit late and silly (think about the neighbours too, arguments like that aren’t worth it!). You’ve got to remember that everyone has their own commitments, so whether that’s going to work at 6am or getting up for a 9am lecture, it’s only fair if everyone respects each other’s sleep. Happy sleep = happy life.
3. Hang out together
Living with people means that you’re sometimes under each other’s feet and all you want to do is spend time by yourself to get some peace and quiet. Me time is great, but it’s also important to hang out with each other and remind yourselves that you are indeed friends. If all you talk about is household chores and bills and she didn’t do this and he didn’t do that, it’s easy to forget the good times. Go to the local pub, go out for a meal together, even cook a meal together and then watch a movie. Just spend time together rather than existing around each other.
4. Celebrate and praise each other
This goes for birthdays, promotions, good grades, getting out of bed, anything! Particularly birthdays because the responsibility has been passed from their parents onto you. It’s your job to show them that their birthday matters, so stick up some banners and get them a card and present; it’s important for people to feel remembered and appreciated. And if someone gets promoted, go out and buy them a pint! You want to show everyone that you care about their achievements because you’re all in this together – being young is really hard.
Sharing a house with other people as we’ve seen from Friends and other such popular entertainment, is one of the best things you can do. To have your best friends on tap is something special that you can’t get anywhere else. It’s also one of the hardest things to do because everyone is so different and has known different ways of living. But it’s an experience to learn how other people live and it more often than not benefits you as a person. Just, the biggest rule of all is, don’t be a jerk. Remember that you’re all friends and keep your relationships alive by spending good quality time together and it’ll be a breeze.