It can be hard to interact with people, especially if you’re an introvert like me. However, if you have a roommate and want to make a connection with them, all is not lost. You can try employing these tips and tricks, so you can get to know them better.
A very good way to open a dialogue with your roommate is to ask about their interests. If you can find common ground with them, that can serve as a foundation for future interactions and a possible friendship. Any good relationship starts with communication, and finding common ground, such as interests, are key to establishing communication. Try to strike up a conversation about their interests as naturally as possible, but more about that later. One of the reasons I recommend asking about what your roommate is interested in is the fact that asking about their interests shows that you’re willing to entertain topics other than yourself. Additionally, common interests can serve as a good basis for a friendship and relationship. It’s always good to start with the basics when it comes to building these kinds of connections, and you should at least try to have a good relationship with the person you’re sharing a living space with.
When building a relationship, it’s important to give your roommate their space. Being overzealous when reaching out to your roommate can actually have a negative effect on a developing relationship, as you might come off as annoying or weird. Trying to insert yourself into anything and everything your roommate is doing will not help you build rapport with them in most situations. Be sure to give them space, and be understanding if they ask you to give them space. These kinds of tips can also be used in other relationships, so perhaps I might be better at this whole advice thing than I thought. However, you also shouldn’t just wait for your roommate to reach out to you. Relationships are a two-way street, and ones based entirely around actions by a single person are not healthy. You don’t need to build a long-lasting friendship, but it’s probably a good idea to ensure that the person you’re sharing a living space is someone you’re on pretty good terms with. They don’t need to be your best friend, but they shouldn’t actively hate you either. Be patient and establish a level of tolerance between you.
If you happen to enjoy cooking, baking, or otherwise preparing food, you should consider offering to share it with your roommates. Not only is this act an act of friendship dating back prehistoric times, but meals are a great launchpad for conversation and socializing. Learn what meals you and your roommate enjoy and consider making them to establish a connection between the two of you. They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach, and that adage still holds true in broke college kids. Especially in broke college kids. People tend to be more open with one another when sharing a hearty meal, but you should also consider what your roommates enjoy and what they might be allergic to. Knowing what your roommates enjoy and offering them foods they’ve never tried is a great way to build shared experiences. Even if you’re not that good a cook you can try making store-bought cookie dough or invite them along when you’re going out to eat. I’ve tried both and can confirm that they work. Even if they turn you down, the fact that you even made the offer shows you care and is a good way to make a favorable impression.
All relationships are based on communication, and your relationship with your roommate is no exception. Take at least a passing interest in the thing your roommate is interested, as I mentioned earlier, and you’ll have a way to make a basic connection to establish communication. If you and your roommate have an issue, make sure to talk it out as soon as you’re able to, because waiting for things to boil over is never a good idea, especially when you’re living with someone else. Communication will improve your relationship with your roommate, and having a good relationship with your roommate will make communicating easier. It creates a positive feedback loop and helps you to avoid letting negative conceptions fester. You and your roommate don’t need to constantly be talking, nor do you need to be the closest of friends. You just need to be on generally good terms, and communication is a great way to connect and maintain that level of relationship. I’ve tried it, and can prove that it works. Even if you and your roommate might have problems, being able to talk things out will prevent them from escalating.
If you’re a more outgoing sort of person, and are heading out to go socialize with some friends, don’t be afraid to ask your roommate if they want in. Not only will this help both you and them get adjusted to your new living situation, it will help you and them integrate into your respective friend groups. It’s also just a nice thing to do. Doing this also shows that you’re willing to help them get situated and like having them around. Again, you shouldn’t force them into coming with you whenever you head out for a night on the town, because it’s up to them if the accept the offer. Also you should ensure that the thing you’re inviting them along to is something they’ll enjoy, and make sure that your friend group knows that you might be bringing along an extra person. Don’t try to force your roommate into coming along with you if they make it clear they’re not interested, that’s counterproductive. Overall, just leave the offer open.