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21 Moments Only Close Roommates Experience

21 Moments Only Close Roommates Experience

You moved in with your best friend and things couldn’t be any better! Not only is there a BFF right there for a 2 AM update on that one guy who texts every two days, but they are there for pranks, dinner, or just hanging out. If you’re part of a gal-pal gang with a shared headquarters, here is a massive list of 21 things you can definitely relate to.

1. Your Sisters Would Never Understand

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    As much as you refer to your roommate as a sister, your real sisters only wish they could be that close to you. You and your roommate are so close, it’s as though you shared a womb—despite having different mothers.

    2. Dealing With The Dishes!

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      As much as you love your roommate, you still don’t want to catch some icky bug—Ascaris is not pleasant! Whether it’s the dishes or the tub, there is always some area that you need to be clean that they just can’t understand. The dishes are definitely a hotly contested subject for many roommate situations.

      3. There’s Hair In Every Corner

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        While your long hair seems to creep into the carpet, your car, and every part of your boyfriend’s apartment, having two or more of you in the house seems to double the trouble. Small brown hair bunnies seem to drift around your hardwood floors like a cowboy on the range, and your tub has never drained right since you moved in. While it’s kind of gross, at least there is a tiny piece of her with you everywhere you go.

        4. The One Who Cooks Is Queen

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          Oh, what? You need the apartment for a night, but I can have this cheesecake? Oh yeah, sure thing, how long should I be gone for?

          Seriously, whoever cooks is queen. While you will always love your other roommates, the one whose drunken hobby is making cakes is your absolute favorite! The best roommate is the one who cooks, and cooking parties are the best way to pass the time, or to turn into one of those…

          5. Random Dance Parties!

          The fliest dance parties in the hemisphere will always be held in your kitchen. You lay down sick dance moves anytime, day or night. It’s pretty much the best thing you can do to relieve the stress of a long day, it’s exercise, it’s super fun, and it only gets better with a group of kick-a** roommates.

          6. TV Nights Can Have You OBSESSED

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            TV nights will have you and your roommate obsessed. Forget the bae, you’re talking about “A” from Pretty Little Liars—it’s not a romantic thing, although you would expect all the scorn of a cheated lover from your roommate if you did happen to watch ahead.

            7. That Moment When Everyone Gets Sucked Into A Single Interest

            It’s not just the boob-tube that sucks you in, you and your roommate rebound off each other for everything. Whether it’s the color mint or growing a backyard garden, getting into hobbies has never been more exciting or enjoyable as when you are doing it together. Figuring out plant pairings is just as exhilarating as stealing a cop car when you do it with your live-in BFF!

            8. When Someone Goes Missing For A Moment (whether for finals or a mini-vacation)

            You never really realize how close you and your roommate are until the first time they leave on a long vacation. Whether it’s for finals or to find Europe’s best beer, you find yourself wandering around the apartment all by your lonesome, touching the walls, peeing with the door open, and living like a wildebeest until their return.

            9. There’s Always Someone To Lean On

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            Theo enjoying a moment on New Year's Day with his best friend Marco

              Whether it’s 3 AM or a Tuesday morning, it’s always great to have that roommate there to lean on. There are so many deep questions that need answering or texts that need urgent evaluation.

              10. That One Thing You Both Promised To Never Talk About Again (but there are so many questions!)

              You don’t even want to know what you just walked in on, but you totally do. There are so many questions!

              While you can never talk about it again, you desperately need to know. If you walked into a weird moment, let us know. We need answers.

              11. Judging Blind Dates From The Window

              As the live-in best friend, you have the end-all say to what goes on. Whether it’s sending the emergency SOS text to help them escape a bad date, or helping judge an attractive potential mate from the window, close roommates know how to make a great choice.

              12. Encouraging Better Habits

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                Close roommates know that having someone right there can encourage great habits, like exercising or better study habits. Having someone there to boost your confidence can even make negotiating a salary when you go on job interviews a little easier. Your roomie is a superb source of confidence!

                13. The Pranks!

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                  There is nothing better than a housemate you can prank. A comrade with a sense of humour will help inspire some of the grandest mischief in the world! Maybe duct taping things to the ceiling is your cup of tea, or hiding small pictures of the Bonus-Jonas everywhere until you finally complete the prank by taking them to a mystery concert with a surprise guest: the Bonus-Jonas!

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                  Pranks. One of the best things about a high-quality bunkmate.

                  14. New Levels Of Passive Aggression

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                    Whole new levels of passive aggression are born in any roommate situation. Signs or memes can be created with the sole purpose of getting someone to do something without freaking out and yelling “just do it!”

                    15. You Have A Second Wardrobe — And A Real Opinion On Your Own…

                    You just got a second wardrobe. Need a great pair of skinny jeans for a date or just need an outfit opinion? Ask them. Not only do you get a real opinion, but maybe they have a better idea. It’s pure magic.

                    16. Mastering The Sneak Around

                    If you made it past the passive aggressive stage of your relationship, you have probably also mastered the sneak around technique. While you and your closest companion have strange schedules, making as little noise as possible has evolved into something of an art form. From saving the microwave beeps at the last second and taking your shoes off at the door, you guys are noise ninjas.

                    17. They Are Always There When You Need Them

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                      It’s not just about having someone to lean on, it’s about everything from advice to a ride when your tire goes flat. Having another member in your pack is amazing for everyone in the house.

                      18. 2 AM Conversations About Everything

                      It’s those strange late-night conversations that explore aspects of the world that take you from regular roomies to the next level. Only ride-or-die roomies know about the endless fathoms that you can explore with moonlit talks. It’s unworldly, beautiful, and will help you solve every problem and leave you refreshed.

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                      19. When You Hear A Certain Playlist From Their Room, It’s Time To Go AWOL

                      You just heard your roommate come in, and you get up to go chat about whatever. Then it starts—that track that you know you should disappear for. The second it starts, your lip curls. You grab your stuff and run to the library. An early 2000s country love jam is not something to stick around for.

                      20. Y’all Are A Bunch Of Creeps

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                        Whether it’s the muscular mailman or just a particularly pleasing jogger, you and your roommate have mutually creeped on some studly piece of something wandering around your neighborhood. That barista that gave you both hearts in your coffee. Definitely. Beyonce. For sure—girl-crushing hard. Y’all are a bunch of creeps and it’s great.

                        21. You Will Still Love Every Day Living With Them!

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                          You are so in-sync that no backstreet can take you and your roommate. If you wouldn’t change your living situation for anything, then you know you really are a close set of roommates

                          Featured photo credit: http://blog.goway.com/globetrotting/2015/11/5-reasons-to-go-with-your-girlfriends-on-a-fiji-vacation/ via blog.goway.com

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                          Last Updated on October 22, 2020

                          8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

                          8 Simple Ways to Be a Better Listener

                          How would you feel if you were sharing a personal story and noticed that the person to whom you were speaking wasn’t really listening? You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled.

                          Unfortunately, that is the case for many people. Most individuals are not good listeners. They are good pretenders. The thing is, true listening requires work—more work than people are willing to invest. Quality conversation is about “give and take.” Most people, however, want to just give—their words, that is. Being on the receiving end as the listener may seem boring, but it’s essential.

                          When you are attending to someone and paying attention to what they’re saying, it’s a sign of caring and respect. The hitch is that attending requires an act of will, which sometimes goes against what our minds naturally do—roaming around aimlessly and thinking about whatnot, instead of listening—the greatest act of thoughtfulness.

                          Without active listening, people often feel unheard and unacknowledged. That’s why it’s important for everyone to learn how to be a better listener.

                          What Makes People Poor Listeners?

                          Good listening skills can be learned, but first, let’s take a look at some of the things that you might be doing that makes you a poor listener.

                          1. You Want to Talk to Yourself

                          Well, who doesn’t? We all have something to say, right? But when you are looking at someone pretending to be listening while, all along, they’re mentally planning all the amazing things they’re going to say, it is a disservice to the speaker.

                          Yes, maybe what the other person is saying is not the most exciting thing in the world. Still, they deserve to be heard. You always have the ability to steer the conversation in another direction by asking questions.

                          It’s okay to want to talk. It’s normal, even. Keep in mind, however, that when your turn does come around, you’ll want someone to listen to you.

                          2. You Disagree With What Is Being Said

                          This is another thing that makes you an inadequate listener—hearing something with which you disagree with and immediately tuning out. Then, you lie in wait so you can tell the speaker how wrong they are. You’re eager to make your point and prove the speaker wrong. You think that once you speak your “truth,” others will know how mistaken the speaker is, thank you for setting them straight, and encourage you to elaborate on what you have to say. Dream on.

                          Disagreeing with your speaker, however frustrating that might be, is no reason to tune them out and ready yourself to spew your staggering rebuttal. By listening, you might actually glean an interesting nugget of information that you were previously unaware of.

                          3. You Are Doing Five Other Things While You’re “Listening”

                          It is impossible to listen to someone while you’re texting, reading, playing Sudoku, etc. But people do it all the time—I know I have.

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                          I’ve actually tried to balance my checkbook while pretending to listen to the person on the other line. It didn’t work. I had to keep asking, “what did you say?” I can only admit this now because I rarely do it anymore. With work, I’ve succeeded in becoming a better listener. It takes a great deal of concentration, but it’s certainly worth it.

                          If you’re truly going to listen, then you must: listen! M. Scott Peck, M.D., in his book The Road Less Travel, says, “you cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” If you are too busy to actually listen, let the speaker know, and arrange for another time to talk. It’s simple as that!

                          4. You Appoint Yourself as Judge

                          While you’re “listening,” you decide that the speaker doesn’t know what they’re talking about. As the “expert,” you know more. So, what’s the point of even listening?

                          To you, the only sound you hear once you decide they’re wrong is, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!” But before you bang that gavel, just know you may not have all the necessary information. To do that, you’d have to really listen, wouldn’t you? Also, make sure you don’t judge someone by their accent, the way they sound, or the structure of their sentences.

                          My dad is nearly 91. His English is sometimes a little broken and hard to understand. People wrongly assume that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—they’re quite mistaken. My dad is a highly intelligent man who has English as his second language. He knows what he’s saying and understands the language perfectly.

                          Keep that in mind when listening to a foreigner, or someone who perhaps has a difficult time putting their thoughts into words.

                          Now, you know some of the things that make for an inferior listener. If none of the items above resonate with you, great! You’re a better listener than most.

                          How To Be a Better Listener

                          For conversation’s sake, though, let’s just say that maybe you need some work in the listening department, and after reading this article, you make the decision to improve. What, then, are some of the things you need to do to make that happen? How can you be a better listener?

                          1. Pay Attention

                          A good listener is attentive. They’re not looking at their watch, phone, or thinking about their dinner plans. They’re focused and paying attention to what the other person is saying. This is called active listening.

                          According to Skills You Need, “active listening involves listening with all senses. As well as giving full attention to the speaker, it is important that the ‘active listener’ is also ‘seen’ to be listening—otherwise, the speaker may conclude that what they are talking about is uninteresting to the listener.”[1]

                          As I mentioned, it’s normal for the mind to wander. We’re human, after all. But a good listener will rein those thoughts back in as soon as they notice their attention waning.

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                          I want to note here that you can also “listen” to bodily cues. You can assume that if someone keeps looking at their watch or over their shoulder, their focus isn’t on the conversation. The key is to just pay attention.

                          2. Use Positive Body Language

                          You can infer a lot from a person’s body language. Are they interested, bored, or anxious?

                          A good listener’s body language is open. They lean forward and express curiosity in what is being said. Their facial expression is either smiling, showing concern, conveying empathy, etc. They’re letting the speaker know that they’re being heard.

                          People say things for a reason—they want some type of feedback. For example, you tell your spouse, “I had a really rough day!” and your husband continues to check his newsfeed while nodding his head. Not a good response.

                          But what if your husband were to look up with questioning eyes, put his phone down, and say, “Oh, no. What happened?” How would feel, then? The answer is obvious.

                          According to Alan Gurney,[2]

                          “An active listener pays full attention to the speaker and ensures they understand the information being delivered. You can’t be distracted by an incoming call or a Facebook status update. You have to be present and in the moment.

                          Body language is an important tool to ensure you do this. The correct body language makes you a better active listener and therefore more ‘open’ and receptive to what the speaker is saying. At the same time, it indicates that you are listening to them.”

                          3. Avoid Interrupting the Speaker

                          I am certain you wouldn’t want to be in the middle of a sentence only to see the other person holding up a finger or their mouth open, ready to step into your unfinished verbiage. It’s rude and causes anxiety. You would, more than likely, feel a need to rush what you’re saying just to finish your sentence.

                          Interrupting is a sign of disrespect. It is essentially saying, “what I have to say is much more important than what you’re saying.” When you interrupt the speaker, they feel frustrated, hurried, and unimportant.

                          Interrupting a speaker to agree, disagree, argue, etc., causes the speaker to lose track of what they are saying. It’s extremely frustrating. Whatever you have to say can wait until the other person is done.

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                          Be polite and wait your turn!

                          4. Ask Questions

                          Asking questions is one of the best ways to show you’re interested. If someone is telling you about their ski trip to Mammoth, don’t respond with, “that’s nice.” That would show a lack of interest and disrespect. Instead, you can ask, “how long have you been skiing?” “Did you find it difficult to learn?” “What was your favorite part of the trip?” etc. The person will think highly of you and consider you a great conversationalist just by you asking a few questions.

                          5. Just Listen

                          This may seem counterintuitive. When you’re conversing with someone, it’s usually back and forth. On occasion, all that is required of you is to listen, smile, or nod your head, and your speaker will feel like they’re really being heard and understood.

                          I once sat with a client for 45 minutes without saying a word. She came into my office in distress. I had her sit down, and then she started crying softly. I sat with her—that’s all I did. At the end of the session, she stood, told me she felt much better, and then left.

                          I have to admit that 45 minutes without saying a word was tough. But she didn’t need me to say anything. She needed a safe space in which she could emote without interruption, judgment, or me trying to “fix” something.

                          6. Remember and Follow Up

                          Part of being a great listener is remembering what the speaker has said to you, then following up with them.

                          For example, in a recent conversation you had with your co-worker Jacob, he told you that his wife had gotten a promotion and that they were contemplating moving to New York. The next time you run into Jacob, you may want to say, “Hey, Jacob! Whatever happened with your wife’s promotion?” At this point, Jacob will know you really heard what he said and that you’re interested to see how things turned out. What a gift!

                          According to new research, “people who ask questions, particularly follow-up questions, may become better managers, land better jobs, and even win second dates.”[3]

                          It’s so simple to show you care. Just remember a few facts and follow up on them. If you do this regularly, you will make more friends.

                          7. Keep Confidential Information Confidential

                          If you really want to be a better listener, listen with care. If what you’re hearing is confidential, keep it that way, no matter how tempting it might be to tell someone else, especially if you have friends in common. Being a good listener means being trustworthy and sensitive with shared information.

                          Whatever is told to you in confidence is not to be revealed. Assure your speaker that their information is safe with you. They will feel relieved that they have someone with whom they can share their burden without fear of it getting out.

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                          Keeping someone’s confidence helps to deepen your relationship. Also, “one of the most important elements of confidentiality is that it helps to build and develop trust. It potentially allows for the free flow of information between the client and worker and acknowledges that a client’s personal life and all the issues and problems that they have belong to them.”[4]

                          Be like a therapist: listen and withhold judgment.

                          NOTE: I must add here that while therapists keep everything in a session confidential, there are exceptions:

                          1. If the client may be an immediate danger to himself or others.
                          2. If the client is endangering a population that cannot protect itself, such as in the case of a child or elder abuse.

                          8. Maintain Eye Contact

                          When someone is talking, they are usually saying something they consider meaningful. They don’t want their listener reading a text, looking at their fingernails, or bending down to pet a pooch on the street. A speaker wants all eyes on them. It lets them know that what they’re saying has value.

                          Eye contact is very powerful. It can relay many things without anything being said. Currently, it’s more important than ever with the Covid-19 Pandemic. People can’t see your whole face, but they can definitely read your eyes.

                          By eye contact, I don’t mean a hard, creepy stare—just a gaze in the speaker’s direction will do. Make it a point the next time you’re in a conversation to maintain eye contact with your speaker. Avoid the temptation to look anywhere but at their face. I know it’s not easy, especially if you’re not interested in what they’re talking about. But as I said, you can redirect the conversation in a different direction or just let the person know you’ve got to get going.

                          Final Thoughts

                          Listening attentively will add to your connection with anyone in your life. Now, more than ever, when people are so disconnected due to smartphones and social media, listening skills are critical.

                          You can build better, more honest, and deeper relationships by simply being there, paying attention, and asking questions that make the speaker feel like what they have to say matters.

                          And isn’t that a great goal? To make people feel as if they matter? So, go out and start honing those listening skills. You’ve got two great ears. Now use them!

                          More Tips on How to Be a Better Listener

                          Featured photo credit: Joshua Rodriguez via unsplash.com

                          Reference

                          [1] Skills You Need: Active Listening
                          [2] Filtered: Body language for active listening
                          [3] Forbes: People Will Like You More If You Start Asking Follow-up Questions
                          [4] TAFE NSW Sydney eLearning Moodle: Confidentiality

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