On the one hand, living with your peers is a whirlwind ride of nights out, Netflix binges and heart-to-hearts over late night tea. On the other hand, it can be a living hell of endless dishes to wash, bickering and hearing your bestie have sex in the next room. If you feel as though you’re living more in the latter, you may need some help along the way. Getting along with your housemates is not always a walk in the park. Here are some rules every housemate needs to follow.
1. Don’t expect to be best friends right away
When you first move in with a group of new people, you might want to switch straight to bestie mode. Chill out. If you try to force them into liking you, they are likely to think you’re an over-eager beaver and cut you loose. Instead, take things one step at a time.
2. Set house rules from the start
Before anything starts to go wrong, you need to make sure that you have some sensible house rules in place. No, you don’t need to run the place like a military operation, but enforcing mutual respect will go a whole long way.
3. Give people their time and space
Everyone is different, but most people need space and time on their own. Living with people can be pretty intense, which means that sometimes you need to cool it. If someone is alone reading or watching TV, let them have that time. They’ve earned it.
4. Make an effort to socialise
Having said that, there will be times when you need to socialise too. If you want to get along as more than just friends, you need to see each other outside of the house. That means going for coffee together or having a house night out.
5. Nip arguments in the bud fast
If you see a house argument rearing its ugly head, you need to do something about it asap. You might think you can ignore it and it will all go away, but that is so not the case. Pretty soon, you’ll be smashing each other’s dishes and swearing at your housemate in the hall. Not cool.
6. Let go of the little things
Finally, you need to learn to choose your battles. Sometimes, thinks are seriously not worth getting irate about. For example, if a flatmate is a little loud one time, let it go. It’s not worth arguing about – not in the long run.