We could go on with the clichés, but the point remains the same: it’s nice to be nice. And it’s especially important in a flatshare, where forming a good relationship with the other half of your house can significantly improve your own day-to-day happiness too.
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 that some of your big life moments end up being experienced together – the big promotions, big break ups and the big dates... and who can forget the flatmate lockdown we've just witnessed?!
Part of the magic of shared living is that 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 can 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 you can both build up resentment towards each other from issues you never spoke about. 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. Five minutes of feeling wounded by a comment is far better than weeks of not speaking, after all…
5. Random acts of kindness
Kind gestures are a winner for making flatmates 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 (two for Tuesday, obvs) will all make them feel the flatmate love. <3