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10 Things to Avoid If You Want to Be a Good Roommate

10 Things to Avoid If You Want to Be a Good Roommate

Americans are choosing live with roommates more than ever. The money saving benefits are one of the main reasons so many choose to live with roommates. A noticeable increase in community living situations has taken place in the last decade. About 32% of Americans currently live in a roommate living situation.

Upon entering adulthood I have already lived in eight different homes, all with roommates. I lived with close friends, new acquaintances, siblings, and other family members over the years. The following list of less than ideal “roommate quirks” are common among living scenarios with many people. Maybe you’re already guilty of some of these things? Regardless, it’s important to avoid these annoying lifestyle habits. These roommate dynamics can be a breaking point for many people.

1. Stop leaving your laundry unfinished.

I’ve lived in homes that don’t have a washer and dryer, so I have a huge appreciation for this commonly overlooked convenience. Spending unwanted hours in dingy, crowded laundromats is no fun at all. It seems like a common courtesy but it’s easy to put off your laundry when you’re in the middle of a busy day. Follow through with it and complete your laundry in a respectful time frame. Treasure the fact you have a working washer and dryer, and finish what you’ve started.

Laundry

    via Giphy

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    2. Poor communication usually leads to frustration.

    The barriers of ineffective communication are sometimes hard to break down. Everyone needs to be on the same page, and there has to be a clear cut way to easily get into contact. We live in a world where everyone has cell phones, so utilize that and actually respond to those you live with. Group texts are great because they keep everyone informed and centralize important conversations. In the tech-friendly world we live in, no one has to be left in the dark. But more than anything, make sure what you are communicating is purposeful; stop just talking and start actually communicating!

    3. Casually sampling their food is not okay.

    Quite possibly the most annoying part of living with someone is when they take advantage of your tasty leftovers or casually eat their way through your weekly grocery supply. Roommates are not parental figures (typically) and they don’t want to provide for your lazy ass. Buy your own food, cook your own meals, tie your own shoes, and tread lightly if you absolutely feel the need to be a leftover rogue. It’s only a matter of time before you get caught in the act.

    ponyo gif

      via Bookbyte Blog

      4. Forgetting to pay your bills on time is stressful for everyone.

      Bills are very commonly split among roommates, which in essence makes the process more convenient for everyone. However, the last thing you want is for your roomies to have to pry the money you owe them out of your hands. Keep in mind that if the electric bill is in your roommate’s name and you pay them your portion late, they’ll more than likely have to front the money for you. As in my past experiences, this puts you in a bad spot.

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      5. Messy public areas are irritating.

      I’ll admit it, my bedroom isn’t always the cleanest place and neither is my car sometimes. One thing’s for sure though: the public areas around my house are. Places like the kitchen, bathroom, and even porches and closets can spiral into unorganized chaos. Don’t leave food remnants on your kitchen counters or other areas of your home. Do you want to attract mice and rats and catch the hantavirus?! Didn’t think so. Communicate to your roommates that it’s ideal to have some form of system in place to avoid recurring messes.

      garbage house

        via Huffington Post

        6. Make battles over the thermostat a thing of the past.

        This is a timeless argument. One roommate prefers to live in a freezing cave and the other pinches every penny and refuses to turn the AC on when it’s the middle of July. Discuss the situation, and come to a compromise. It’s literally that simple.

        7. Don’t neglect cleaning the refrigerator.

        I once had an incident in a fridge at a house that I shared with four other people. It involved what I would consider a bag of primordial ooze that I believe was kale at one point in time. When food gets so moldy it’s radiating a toxic scent, it’s definitely time to throw that stuff away and clean out your disgusting refrigerator. It’s amazing how that unknown putrid smell is instantly gone once your fridge is clean and sanitized. You should never have to be afraid of what’s lingering inside the vegetable crisper.

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        catfridge

          via Giphy

          8. Clean the kitchen items everyone shares.

          The kitchen could be the most high-traffic area in your home, especially when you live with people who all cook and eat on different schedules. This can often times lead to bitter feelings tied to finding your prized frying pan covered in bacon grease from three days ago. I’ve seen knives dulled and dishes so dirty that it’s debatable whether they’ll actually ever be clean enough to eat off again. Have you experienced someone who makes pillars out of dirty plates, or collects cups in their room like they are hosting some type of filth museum? Not okay!

          9. For the love of dog, take care of your pets.

          This one should go without saying but it’s astounding that people often times forget about basic levels of care associated with owning a pet. Whether a cat, dog, or chinchilla, routine care like providing fresh food and water daily can get pushed to the back-burner. Just like small children, animals sometimes defecate inside homes. Remember to always clean that crap up—literally.

          On that note, litter boxes can be treacherous territory with the potential to stink up an entire house. If you live with a pregnant roomie, excessively dirty litter boxes can cause birth defects in newborns. You don’t want to live with that guilt. So clean up after kitty, they’d do it themselves if only they had opposable thumbs.

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          dogmixer

            via io9

            10. It’s simple: don’t be a mooch.

            It may seem like it’s easier to be the person who never buys toilet paper, or slyly uses someone else’s laundry detergent like some evil cleaning supply bandit. But ask yourself: do you really want to be the source of a constant headache? Contribute equally and don’t burn bridges. Oftentimes people take a slightly passive aggressive stance with these issues. This is unfortunate and can lead to the whole ordeal getting blown out of proportion. Easy solution: buy your own stuff and don’t be a mooch!

            Have you had a terrible roommate and learned by their mistakes? Post your advice in the comments section below.

            Featured photo credit: neighbor game night by ramsey beyer via flickr.com

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            Robert Parmer

            Freelance Writer

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            Last Updated on August 19, 2019

            How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

            How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

            We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

            When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

            In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

            Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

            If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

            According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

            No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

            When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

            Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

            1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

            When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

            Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

            When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

            Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

            In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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            It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

            You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

            Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

            What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

            You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

            That’s where we all should be.

            So, answer me this:

            How are you, really?

            And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

            Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

            Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

            Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

            Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

            It’s taking control.

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            2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

            You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

            You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

            In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

            Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

            You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

            Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

            But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

            It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

            In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

            It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

            Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

            Change will happen.

            Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

            You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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            And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

            You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

            That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

            You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

            When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

            There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

            3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

            Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

            In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

            If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

            Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

            Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

            How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

            Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

            “Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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            Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

            Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

            It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

            Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

            “If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

            What would you do if you felt you were enough?

            By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

            So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

            Final Thoughts

            By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

            Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

            When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

            You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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            Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

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