Bad housemates: how to cope when you think it's all gone wrong


Josie Roberts, Online Living Editor

Signing a contract and moving into a house is stressful. Have you chosen the right people to live with for 9 to 12 months? The reality is, you don't really know till you make that decision. However, regardless, it doesn't have to be the end of the world. It is your house and you can get through it.

It’s that time of the year when it suddenly dawns on you that you do not actually know the people you’ve decided to live with. At least, you thought you did month into the term in the rush to find a house. Below I discuss some of the ways that I made sure my wellbeing came first when I realised that I did not get on with the people I lived with.

1. Don’t hide yourself away

My initial reaction to falling out with the people that I lived with was to hide. To go home every weekend. Have headphones in at all times so they did not speak to me. To creep into the house so I did not have to have a conversation with them. But you have to remember that it is your house too! You are perfectly entitled to be there. You are allowed to use the kitchen as much as you want. You should feel comfortable in your house too. So next time you want to hide, tell yourself that it is your house too and you have as much right to be here as my fellow housemates.

You have to remember that it is your house too!


2. Make sure you have friends outside of your house and keep busy.

Remember that not getting on with your housemates does not mean that you have to become isolated. Text your mates from outside your house and have coffee with them, go for walks, see plays, go for drinks. There is so much to do not only within the university bubble but also in Bristol in general. I even got myself a job and joined a gym to keep myself busy and away from the negativities of my house. You will be surprised by how many people will understand and relate to what you’re going through.

3. Rise above it

Don’t let your housemates get the better of you. As my mum has always told me: rise above it. Don’t retaliate with pettiness. There is a reason that ‘kill them with kindness’ is such a well-known expression. You do not have to go on their level. For me, the people I lived with made me feel worthless by ganging up against me through having a separate group chat - I have now been told. It was a horrible experience. However, do not let them win. Just rise above it until the time comes when you can move out and begin again. And also, for practicality, when the time comes for your student landlord to take advantage of you and say that you owe them £500 in redecoration charges, you are going to have to be able to have some contact with them to sort that out.

Whilst falling out with my housemates brought me a lot of grief and was a horrible time, I got through it. I kept myself busy, tried not to lose myself and made sure they did not win. As soon as I posted my key through the door of last year’s house, I unfriended and deleted all of them on social media and it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders. No one should be made to feel like that: unwanted, alone and uncomfortable in their own house. But it is temporary, contracts don’t last forever and you won’t be stuck there for too long. I now have the loveliest housemates who I am very lucky to have.

Featured Image / Unsplash Craig McLachlan

Have you got any tips when dealing with bad housemates? Comment below or get in touch!

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Josie Roberts

Online Living Editor 2017/18 and 2018/19 Studying English