We all know what a bad flatmate looks, acts and (on occasion) smells like, so spotting a lousy roomie from a mile away is easy. But when it comes to our own sins, it’s much easier to turn a blind eye; what’s more difficult is recognising that it might be you. When your flatmate isn’t feeling up to it, here at flatmate.com we aren’t afraid to step in and give you a firm talking to and have the conversation your flatmate won’t.
Here are some signs your flatmate might be trying to low-key tell you that you, well, kind of suck:
1. Your flatmate stopped going out of their way for you.
You’re starting to notice the apartment isn’t as neatly kept as it used to be. The dishes you used this morning are still piled up unwashed in the sink; things like condiments and toilet paper are going missing (HOW DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING?) and the carpet/floorboards/tiles feel a little mustier than usual under your feet (whose hair is that anyway? Surely you both share responsibility for that). Your flatmate seems to be less concerned for your needs as much as they used to be, and it’s starting to show.
2. Communication has become colder than usual….
Maybe you can’t put a finger on it, but your flatmate has been acting standoffish lately and isn’t initiating conversations or as willing to spend time with you as much as they used to. Even though your weekly Monday night Game of Thrones parties in have ended because the season’s over, that’s no excuse; they’ve politely rebuffed your suggestions to watch Orange is the New Black together, and instead choose to watch it by themselves in their room. (You can hear it.) It’s starting to feel kinda lonely around here.
3. …OR They’re nagging you more often.
If you don’t identify with the previous point, then chances are communication’s gone the other way completely and has skyrocketed. The amount of post-it notes they’ve been leaving around the house has hit an all-new high, and they’ve been reminding you of upcoming bills way too ahead in advance. Dude, what’s the deal? Chill.
4. You’re less excited to come home.
You used to get on really well with your flatmate’s friends. But lately you’ve been getting #paranoidfeels that what sounds like a lively conversation seems to kind of ..peter out the moment you walk through the door. This feeling is compounded by the fact that they’re being polite to you. (Where are these manners coming from? You’ve played BEER PONG with these guys. What is happening!?) But because they’re not explicitly asking you to stick around anymore, you’ve found yourself grabbing dinner out more often which has had seriously uncool ramifications for your weekly savings.
5. Things are beginning to get passive-aggressive.
You’ve been giving them the benefit of the doubt so far, but you can feel the tension really starting to build up on both sides. Truth is, they might have been giving you the benefit of the doubt without you realising, so make amends and stop it before it gets nasty, especially if you now see they’ve been dropping small hints for you to pick up your game. While you might not have been as helpful around the house lately, you can hash things out by being the first to communicate openly about it. There may be legitimate reasons for why you haven’t been pulling your weight; things have gotten busier at work, in the family or with friends, so you’ve been at home less. Responsibilities like cleaning really don’t figure highly on your priority list right now. And that’s OK – just let your flatmate in on it if you’ve hit a speed bump. A failing relationship with the person who shares your living space is the last thing you need on your plate.
If you’re honest with yourself, the reality is that you could probably be doing more to help out around the place. Luckily this plateau in your relationship with your flatmate is just that – a hiccup, rather than the end game. Own up to your oversights, first of all, intentional or not: first to yourself, then to your flatmate if the situation calls for it. They’ll certainly appreciate the honesty and it’ll clear the air between you both.
The timeless saying ‘less is more’ rings true more often than not. A little will go a long way! Surprise your flatmate by stocking up the fridge with extra little luxuries (we recommend Maggie Beer ice cream for the freezer, actual beer for the fridge) as well as the usual necessities; reinvigorate your communal spaces with flowers, scented candles, or offer to host the next State of Origin game in the living room. At the end of the day, don’t just restore the relationship back to where it was; make it better.
Best of luck! Has your flatmate ever dropped less-than-welcoming hints in your shared home before, and what did you do about it? Let us know. We’d love to hear from you!