We’ll imagine you live in a small space in your Old Town Fort Collins apartment near CSU with a roommate. You only discovered after you signed the lease that your roommate is definitely an extrovert, life-of-the-party kind of personality while you lean heavily on the introvert/hermit side. How can you possibly survive in your close living situation, sharing your common living spaces and maybe even a bedroom?
This is a very real situation for many apartment renters in Fort Collins and beyond. Whether you’re the introvert reading this article to learn how to survive, or the extrovert trying to figure out why your roommate is struggling, here are some helpful tips.
Communicate: Schedule That Roommate Meeting
Obviously, communication had to make it somewhere into our list of tips. Communication is vital in nearly everything, and your living situation is no exception. During this meeting, you can talk about personality differences. For example, if you’re the introvert, it’s important that you let your roommate know that the way you rejuvenate and recharge is by spending time alone, or with just a few people. This will help the extrovert understand why you don’t prefer to have friends over all the time or don’t want to tag along with your roommate to every event.
Talking freely about why you may not be extra talkative when you get home from work or don’t want to hang out can help your roommate understand you better. This can hopefully pave the way for some of the next tips for living with your roommate.
Compromise and Set Boundaries
Assuming that good, healthy communication has led you to this step, talk with your roommate about setting healthy boundaries so both the introvert and extrovert can recharge and thrive. Here are a couple of ideas that will benefit both of you:
- It’s important to clearly define when the introvert needs to be left alone. For example, you may both agree on not talking when one of you is wearing headphones or hanging out in the bedroom with the door shut.
- Set quiet and study hours as well as times when the TV can be on.
- Establish certain days of the week for having friends over. This allows for a healthy compromise where you can both expect when to be able to recharge in the way that’s unique to you. The extrovert knows when it’s a good time to host friends while the introvert can feel at rest knowing they’ll have space to be alone on certain days.
It’s important to note that even with boundaries in place, you will both need to be flexible and extend grace when things don’t go as planned.
Familiarize Yourself with Roommate Schedules
As the introvert, if you know that every Wednesday night your roommate attends a Bible study or plays tennis with a friend, you can be intentional about using that time to enjoy the solitude in your apartment rental. Getting to know each other’s schedules could open a number of windows for alone time you didn’t realize were there.
Rise and Shine (Before Your Roommate)
If you’re the introvert desperate for a time when you can have space to yourself, you might need to try getting up early. Especially if your roommates tend to sleep a little later, you may find that you can get an hour or more time alone in your apartment common areas before they rise.
Create or Find an ‘Introvert’ Space
Especially if you are sharing the entire apartment space, it can be hard for an introvert to find somewhere to recharge and be left alone. Depending on your rental setup, you may have to get extra creative with this tip. Here are a few ideas for finding an alone spot:
- If you have space, create a corner on your side of the room that can function as your ‘alone zone.’ Make sure your roommate knows that when you’re in that spot, you would prefer to not talk or hang out (with all due respect!).
- If the temperatures allow, your car can be your private getaway. Grab a favorite book, roll down the windows, and enjoy the solitude.
- Weather permitting, find a nearby park where you can hang out without being bothered.
- Find a corner in your local library or a coffee shop where you can put in your headphones and spend time ‘alone.’
These tips may not solve all of your roommate woes, but they will go a long way in helping introverts survive life with apartment roommates.