Hello, I was really hoping you could give me some roomie advice... I just had a new roommate move in and she is really sweet, my other two roommates like her as well. The only issue is that she is a very extroverted musician and only works in the afternoon/evenings and I have random days off in the middle of the week and we are often home at the same time. Whenever I am she wants to have talk, show me her music, and hangout, but I'm an introvert and being home is my time to just relax (1/3)
A lot of the things she talks about are overshares about her personal life like we’ve known each other our whole lives and sometimes even slightly triggering for me. Its gotten to the point where I don’t even venture out into the kitchen or living room when I know she’s home because I’m trying to enjoy my alone time and being out of my room apparently means we can have extended conversations when all I’m trying to do is make tea or read. (2/3)
Sometimes she’ll come stand outside my room and start talking to me outside the closed door, then eventually just come right in. I want to talk to her about this but I feel like such an a**hole since she’s been here less than a week and her last housing situation was really bad, plus I know she tends to take things very personally. How do I tell her I need her to leave me alone even when I’m home all day and recharging without hurting her feelings or making her feel unwelcome? (3/3) Thank you!
Kid, I feel you. My husband and I are both extroverted introverts, which means we love hanging out with friends… but then we need some serious introvert time to recharge. Living with an extrovert who wants to talk and hang out all the time sounds like torture… or at least like my living situation when I was 22 and had 6 roommates. I’ll tell you how we solved that situation.
You’re going to need to give a little to get a little in this scenario, but let me assure you that you’re NOT being unreasonable. Yes, this girl has a painful past and is sensitive to criticism, and she’s probably not intentionally holding you hostage in your own home. But you still have the right to be comfortable too, even if that affects someone else.
Schedule a “family meeting” with all the roomies. Tell them, “Since New Roomie has now settled in after a week, I think we should all have a family meeting to set some ground rules and make sure no one’s stepping on anyone else’s toes.” Make it a fun thing! Get pizza and beer or whatever you kids are snacking on these days (iamsofuckingold). Then lay out your agenda:
1. Everyone go around and say what your pet peeves in a living situation are.
2. Everyone go around and suggest rules for roommate harmony. In your case, you might say, “So I’m a bit of an introvert, which means I need alone-time to recharge from social situations. It’s not that I don’t love being with you guys, it’s just that I get stressed out if I don’t have my alone time. So can we set a ground rule that when my bedroom door is closed, it means no one can come talk to me?” Someone else might say, “Please don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink for longer than 24 hours. It’s not fair if someone else wants to use those dishes.”
3. Everyone agree on how and when bills will be paid.
4. Everyone decide if you need a chore chart/cleaning schedule and how that shit will work.
The purpose of the meeting is to get everything out in the open in a way that’s formal, but supportive of everyone in the household. Instead of being a conflict between two people, your roommates will also have a chance to set their boundaries. This process will make it very clear when someone is in violation of agreed-upon boundaries, which makes it much easier to be like “Hey, remember how I said I need introvert time? This is one of those times.”