Talking Points

How to live with roommates as an introvert

When you’re an extrovert, living in a house share is highly appealing as it means there will always be someone to socialise with; even when all your mates are busy, you can head home and hang out with your housemates.

However, that isn’t everyone’s dream. All humans sit somewhere on the scale of introversion and extroversion, and those who are more introverted might imagine that living in a house share is always going to be noisy and draining.

So, is it possible to enjoy living an in a house share as an introvert? Absolutely! In this article, we’ll outline how you can happily exist in a house share as in introvert.

Firstly though, let’s take a look at what it means to be an introvert.

What is an introvert?

You may be introverted without having ever realised it, so let’s explore what it means to be an introvert.

As mentioned above, introverts exist on a personality scale, and so it is possible to be slightly introverted, fairly introverted, or very introverted. Introverted extroverts exist, too, to confuse you further!

Wherever you are on the personality scale, most introverts:

  • Feel drained of energy after spending time with others.
  • Enjoy solitude.
  • Can feel overwhelmed by highly stimulating environments.
  • Learn a lot about others by listening and watching.

Sometimes it’s assumed that introverts are shy, but that isn’t necessarily the case — most are quiet because they are busy listening and thinking but aren’t shy at all.

If you find yourself hiding from others in fear of having to participate in small talk, then the chances are you’re an introvert.

A happy introverted woman with her laptop on the bed

If you are introverted, read on to learn how to live with roommates. If you’re an extrovert, read on to educate yourself about your introverted housemate.

Choose your housemates wisely

If you are moving in with friends, then make sure you have chosen the right friends and ensure you have a chat about your need for regular alone-time before moving in with them.

By bringing your introversion up so early on, your housemates will know that it is important to you and won’t be surprised if you mention it again at a later date.

Your ideal housemates would be other introverts but it is possible to co-exist with extroverts as long as they respect your boundaries.

If you are looking to join a house share with strangers, read the adverts very carefully and pay attention to red flags. For example, if an advert mentions parties or cooking dinner together as a household every night, then it probably isn’t the right house share for you.

Once you have found a house share you like the sound of — or even if you’re on the fence about one — go to a viewing. Then you’ll meet your potential housemates and can see how you get along.

During the viewing, mention that you tend to keep yourself to yourself when you get home from work and use this to gauge their reaction; their body language will let you know how they really feel about it!

Also, take note of how the housemates interact with each other if you are meeting more than one of them.

Finally, take a look at the house itself. Is it tidy? Has the washing up been done or have they been too busy partying? There are clues to personalities everywhere once you start looking.

Make your bedroom your sanctuary

Female introverted housemate reading on bed

Your bedroom is going to be the place you escape to for some peace when you need to recharge your batteries, so you want that space to be as relaxing as possible.

Relaxation looks different to everyone, but some ideas for achieving a peaceful space for solitude include cushions, blankets, and gentle music.

If you know the thought of heading to communal areas will sometimes fill you with dread because you know your housemates will want to chat, then be kind to yourself and keep a few drinks and snacks in your bedroom for those times when you truly can’t face it.

Adopt another space as your own

While your bedroom is your sanctuary at home, your housemates aren’t going to tiptoe around in case of disturbing you, so it’s important also to have somewhere to retreat to the outside of the house.

This might be a local coffee shop, your favourite park, or a library. Alternatively, you could jump on your bicycle and head off into the local countryside with a packed lunch and a book.

Create a routine

While it’s okay to avoid some interactions, it won’t do you any good to hoard all of your drinks and food in your bedroom to avoid a five-minute chat — so set yourself a routine and stick to it.

For example, tell yourself that you will eat your breakfast at 7 AM each morning and cook your dinner at 6:30 PM each night. Also, consider when you’ll do your laundry, and so on.

By sticking to your routine, you’ll be more focussed on that than if your housemates will be in the kitchen or not — and, if they are in the kitchen when you are, we promise it won’t be as bad as you have built it up to be in your head!

Consider your excuses

We all know it’s rude to walk off when someone is talking (as tempting as it can be when you’re an introvert at the end of your battery life!), but you can easily get out of conversations and events without offending by thinking about how you word things.

So, when a housemate invites you out, instead of saying “No ta, I can’t cope with that tonight” you could say “I’d love to join you tonight, but I’m exhausted so you’ll have more fun without me there. If you’re free on Friday though, I’d love to go out for a drink?”

The above example gets you out of the social engagement but clarifies that you do want to spend time with them — just not right now.

By wording your replies in such a way, you’ll keep your housemates sweet and get the personal space you crave.

If you are looking for a house share, you can browse our selection of Leeds house shares on our website.

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