How to Live With Others: the 15 Best Tips
31 July 2023
Living with others can often seem like a bit of a challenge. You have to learn to adapt to one another's lifestyle, habits, values, and more. Living with others can also be very exciting. It offers you a chance to gain more responsibility and it teaches you several life lessons. There are ways you can enhance your experience living with others and we have offered a guide on the best tips!
Table of Contents
- 1. Communicate openly
- 2. Establish clear boundaries
- 3. Practice respect and empathy
- 4. Divide household chores
- 5. Be mindful of noise levels
- 6. Share expenses fairly
- 7. Resolve conflicts constructively
- 8. Foster a sense of community
- 9. Maintain cleanliness and hygiene
- 10. Respect personal belongings
- 11. Communicate about guests
- 12. Practise good communication hygiene
- 13. Be mindful of personal habits
- 14. Celebrate diversity
- 15. Regularly check-in and address concerns
- To sum up
1. Communicate openly
A great way to avoid conflict when living with others is by communicating openly. Communication is so important in any relationship, especially with someone you live with. If problems arise and your instinct is to push the issues under the rug, this will only build up more frustration and eventually lead to an even bigger problem. Communicating first hand when something is bothering one of you and having a mature conversation with a solution is a good way to enhance your living experience. It is important to listen to both sides of the story when communicating and having an open mind to hear out each other.
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2. Establish clear boundaries
Establishing boundaries is necessary when living with others. If you fail to discuss your boundaries, others may not know what bothers you. Boundaries help lay out a certain level of respect and help for a harmonious living environment. Boundaries may include your personal space, habits, communication, shared items, food, etc. Boundaries help prevent conflict. A prime example of setting boundaries can be asking your roommates to knock on your door before entering it. It seems like a small boundary to set, but it will make all the difference in the world in future scenarios. Knocking before entering a room shows signs of respect towards your privacy.
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3. Practice respect and empathy
When setting boundaries, you must practise respect along with empathy. Respect is a key factor in any relationship and is extremely important in a roommate relationship. Practising respect and empathy can look something like your roommate communicating that he/she is not comfortable with smoking in the apartment for the reason being and you respecting that boundary by not smoking in the apartment and choosing a different and preferred location. This helps in avoiding conflict. Empathy is defined as the understanding of someone else's feelings and being able to form a sense of connection through support. This is important to practise when living with others.
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4. Divide household chores
Dividing household chores is a great idea for living with others. Purchasing a chore chart at any office supply or department store and dividing all of daily/weekly chores such as taking out trash, cleaning the dishes, and keeping the living space clean is a great alternative to just expecting one another to get the jobs done. A dirty apartment with undone chores is a very common argument between roommates. By laying out the chores and switching them as the weeks progress, gives everyone an opportunity to do chores and holds everyone accountable. This is a great way to eliminate future arguments between roommates.
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5. Be mindful of noise levels
Everyone has different lifestyles and routines. An example of that includes the time someone chooses to go to sleep. When living with others, it is important to be aware of your roommates routines. For example, if it is a Sunday evening and your roommate has work early in the morning the following day and you do not, and you plan on playing music loud that night, it may be disrespectful to your roommate and prevent him/her from getting a good night's sleep before work. Being mindful of those noise levels help create a harmonious living environment with one another.
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6. Share expenses fairly
Sharing expenses is a necessity when it comes to living with others. Expenses such as cleaning supplies, living appliances and more are important when living with someone. You cannot pin all of the expenses on one roommate for the appliances needed that are shared with everyone. By sharing expenses, it creates an equal and fair environment. The great thing about this as well is that if all roommates pitch in a certain and minimal amount, the total of that can buy several supplies needed, that will last the group of you all a long time. This is a very effective way to save money and arguments!
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Read: Student Budget Planner
7. Resolve conflicts constructively
When conflicts arise, which is inevitable when living with someone, it is important to resolve those conflicts constructively. Meaning, addressing your conflict in a mature and timely manner, hearing out the other side and coming to a solution. A conflict can also be resolved constructively by taking some time to think rather than speak on an issue while emotions are still high. However, the conflict should be resolved within a reasonable time. Instead of letting the issues build up over time, it is important to let the other person you are living with know when you have an issue. Not resolving conflicts constructively can lead to a very uncomfortable and unfriendly living environment.
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8. Foster a sense of community
Foster a sense of community when living with others! For example, celebrate important milestones with your roommates. Come up with fun things to do together and create a welcoming environment. A fun idea is thinking of maybe doing a themed powerpoint night with your roommates. This is always a fun idea and you get to pick a theme and everyone presents and it can be super fun! There is no pressure to be absolute best friends with the people you live with, but if you get lucky you definitely can! Building a community can help everyone feel valued, supported and connected.
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9. Maintain cleanliness and hygiene
When living with others, it is very important to maintain a certain level of cleanliness and hygiene. By not doing so, this could create a dirty and gross environment, which will eventually lead to conflicts with one another. A good way to do this is by cleaning after your messes in the main living space and encouraging everyone else to do the same! If you tend to keep your own personal living space messy, that is okay, however it is the respectful thing to do to clean up after your messes in all shared spaces. A good way to keep your other roommates accountable for the messes is by using a chore chart which was mentioned above!
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10. Respect personal belongings
Respecting everyone's personal belongings is key when living with others. This is a conscious effort that requires respect and acknowledgment from all roommates. Personal belongings including not taking anyone's food, clothes, utilities, toiletries, and more, without asking. A good way to prevent the people you live with from taking any of your personal belongings, is by storing them in a trustworthy place. Sometimes leaving them out in the open, may give people the impression to take. This respects boundaries, privacy, and trust. All key factors in having a great living environment when living with others!
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11. Communicate about guests
The space that you are living in is a shared space that each person has equal rights to. This is important to remember when bringing other people into your home. It is respectful to alert your roommates when bringing in guests, just as a friendly heads up. This helps to keep a peaceful environment. It can become an issue when guests come without the knowledge of the other roommates and cause tension. Another way to show respect in communicating about guests, is also making sure the guests you bring over, show respect to your home as well.
12. Practise good communication hygiene
Going along with communicating with your roommates, it is important to practise good communication hygiene in those conversations. Good communication hygiene can include: empathy, clarifying expectations, seeking compromise, and practising active listening. Everything mentioned above ties into all of this. By being able to effectively communicate, engage in mature and conflict resolving conversations and come to timely solutions, all play a role in good communication hygiene.
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13. Be mindful of personal habits
Not everyone will share the same personal habits as you. It is important to be aware of this when living with others. An example of habits that someone you're living with include: snoring, waking up early, smoking, meditating, etc. A way to get a good sense of each other's habits, it is important to communicate that first thing. Being mindful of this will help prevent confusion and tension and so on. It is important to build a mutual respect between you and your roommates by taking the time to understand and learn one another's personal habits.
14. Celebrate diversity
Everyone comes from different cultures. It is important to celebrate diversity when living with others. For example, maybe plan out an evening where each roommate prepares a dish from their home and you all can share a meal together and have a taste of what it is like in their culture. This is a great way to express inclusivity and diversity! Another cool idea is to host a movie night with you and your roommates showing your favourite movie growing up. This is a cool opportunity to get to know one another a bit more and have them have a little taste of your culture and where you come from.
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15. Regularly check-in and address concerns
With all of that being said, remember to check in with your roommates and maybe even plan weekly meetings to discuss how everyone is doing and so forth. This is a great way to voice concerns and get everything out in the air. An idea could be to schedule weekly meetings on Sundays when everyone is free and give everyone the opportunity to share their feelings and move forward. This helps keep an equal and peaceful balance in your home. Things can become complicated if one feels superior to another roommate and cause issues. That is why it is important to make sure everyone has a fair place to speak.
To Sum Up
In conclusion, living with other people can be an exciting and fun thing! It is an opportunity to meet people and build lifelong connections. It doesn’t have to seem scary when using those 15 helpful tips! aparto is a great place to build those connections. Check out our aparto locations as well as our short stays!