Wellbeing

Healthy Alternatives To The Petty Ways You Communicate With Your Housemates

When it comes to having housemates, it kind of goes one of two ways: you make friends for life or have to endure living with a garbage monster until you’re contractually able to bounce.

But unfortunately housemates are kind of a must. Rent is super exxy, bills are endless and crippling feelings of loneliness can be all too real.

Having housemates comes with one certainty: disagreements. And our generation’s go-to defence is passive aggression and pettiness – it’s the easy way of dealing with things but alas, totally unhealthy.

Want to curb your pass-ag addiction? Here are some totally healthy alternatives to keep you and your housemates happy.

Problem: Leaving post-it notes

If you’re using stationery to vent your frustration at someone, you need to stop, immediately.

Not only is it a wildly inappropriate and unhealthy way to deal with your anger, being on the receiving end could the most condescending thing ever. It’s going to make your housemate feel like shit – never make that your objective.

We get it, sometimes it feels like no matter how many times you try, your housemate doesn’t get the message. But manifesting that message into something in the physical realm isn’t cute. In fact, it’s psychotic.

Solution: instead of leaving your housemate ~helpful~ notes, have an IRL convo.

Problem: Unleashing all of your pent up frustration over something minor

It’s easiest to just brush off the small things and succumb to the fact that most things will come out in the wash, right? Ha! Easier said than done.

Small things you’re mad about just end up piling up and up and up until next thing you know you’re screaming bloody murder at your housemate for leaving an empty bottle of milk in the fridge. Annoying? Yeah. Enough to elicit that type of reaction? Nah.

Solution: Instead of unleashing the fiery fire of hell fire on your roomie, just pull them up on the small and petty stuff when it arises. Yeah it’s uncomfortable and might paint you as a grump, but it’s better than being seen as a total monster.

Problem: Waiting until you’ve left the house to let people know how you feel

Are you not obsessed with confrontation? This is totally and completely fine. But it’s not an excuse to wait until your housemate is out so you can text them all your problems.

Solution: IRL chats trump being salty over text any day. Yeah, it requires more energy to hash things out in person, and yeah it can be uncomfortable, but trust us when we tell you that taking your arguments to the text line will only make you resent each other more.

Problem: Waiting for your housemate to learn their lesson

The resentment is real when living with a difficult housemate, and it can be tempting to just play the waiting game, until they get a taste of their own medicine.

If you live with a grub and are at wits end, you might just allow them pile up the dishes in the sink until the kitchen is unusable, or let them neglect taking the rubbish out until their room is infested with rats.

Great plan in theory, shitty in practice.

At the end of the day, you share the space with them. So if their living conditions are torturous, yours are too. If cleaning becomes a serious issue in your share house, consider a cleaning roster.

Solution: Is organised housework cool? No. Will it make all of your housemates responsible and accountable for putting in their fair share of work? You better believe it.

Problem: Talking smack behind their back

If you live with more than one roommate it’s fun (and often really bloody satisfying) to bitch about the one you’re salty at behind their back. Don’t get us wrong, it feels so good to vent but is only a short-term solution.

And are you willing to stand by your words?

Solution: Our thing is if you’re going to talk smack, you’ve got to be willing to say it to their face too. So if you’re willing to say it to their face, then, well, just do that and save yourself the drama!

If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say it at all… you know the how it goes.

Can you spot the trend? The best solution to housemate drama is communication. Yeah chatting through your difference with someone you have to be around all the time can be really uncomfortable and awkward. But by prolonging it, you’re only worsening the problem.

Jump on that stuff quick to have a harmonious and happy household.


Bradley is a writer from regional NSW and he didn’t come here to make friends, he came to win. He tweets infrequently to his 43 followers @bradjohnston_.

Main image: Broad City