How to be a kinder flatmate
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel"
In a flatshare, forming a good relationship with the people you live with can significantly improve your day-to-day happiness. That's never been more true than after the 18 months we've just lived through.
We're not suggesting you morph into a clown (or equally overenthusiastic personality), but there are some simple ways you can show your roomie a little more love – and become an all-round (more) awesome person to live with.
1. Celebrate each other
When you’re living with someone it’s inevitable some of your big life moments end up being experienced together – the big promotions, big break ups and big dates...not to mention lockdowns!
Part of the magic of shared living is you’ve always got someone to celebrate your life wins with. So take the time to support their victories. A bunch of flowers, bottle of something or treating them to a round at the pub are all good ways to show your support.
2. Say thanks
Whether it’s coming home to a deep cleaned kitchen, or that time they did your dishes for you – follow that favourite childhood advice and say THANK YOU. Appreciating the little things your flatmate does (instead of focussing on their flaws) is a quick route to making them feel more valued.
3. Actually spend time together
Early starts and late finishes, conflicting social lives and schedules… it’s easy to end up becoming passing ships with the people you live with. Put a stop to it, and allocate some time for each other. Whether it’s a weekly house dinner or scheduled Netflix session, a little extra bonding time will do wonders for your flatmate relationship.
4. Listen more
...and this doesn’t just mean being there when they want to offload tales of their awful boss, or their most recent Tinder ghosting incident. It means paying attention to any hiccups that might happen in daily flatsharing life, and doing your bit to help smooth things over.
Like any relationship, communication is key – without it resentment can both build up about little things. So the next time they’re annoyed about your tendency to leave the kitchen counters unwiped, listen to their complaint and rectify it. And tell them when their habit of leaving shoes by the front door is bothering you too. After all, five minutes of feeling wounded by a comment is far better than weeks of not speaking.
5. Random acts of kindness
Kind gestures are a winner for making people feel appreciated. You don’t have to go all out and splash out on champagne, chocolates or an expensive spa day – little things are great too. For example, doing their dishes when you know they’ve had a busy week, leaving them some leftovers out for dinner or treating them to a pizza will all make them feel the flatmate love. <3
Image credit: Yoav Hornung
Want an extra entry into Live Rent Free? The answer to the question below is your coupon for an extra entry into this month's prize draw – click the button below and enter it in the box. Be quick though, the code expires at 11:45pm on July 14th. Good luck!
Q: According to Maya Angelou, what will people never forget? How you made them '____'