We laughed when Jill Morrison played the Crying Girl in Mean Girls and shared her dream with the hall of angry teenagers; “ I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school… I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat and be happy…”
Unfortunately for us, there is no magic rainbow cake that makes everyone happy when living with roommates. If you don’t like your roommate – or they don’t like you – it can make for a super uncomfortable living environment. But what can you do if your roommate doesn’t like your friends? When you can’t understand why your roomi is so against your awesome group of BFFs, it’s time to take an outsider’s look at the situation.
Consider why they hate your friends
You love your friends and you can’t understand why anyone else would think otherwise. If this is the case, think about some common reasons why they might be struggling to make a bond; once you’ve worked it out, it’s easier to know which steps to take next.
- How often are your friends over? If it’s more than 2-3 times per week, your roommate might be annoyed that their space is being invaded and they’re uncomfortable in their own home.
- Are your friends loud or messy? They could unknowingly be acting disrespectfully towards your roommate’s space. Whether they’re loud, messy or they’re constantly taking up the kitchen or bathroom, it’s going to affect your roommate’s quality of life.
- Do they make an effort with your roommate? If your clique hasn’t bothered to get to know your roommate, this can come across as rude and unfriendly. Make sure you’ve properly introduced them so your roommate doesn’t feel left out.
Invite your roommate to hang out
If you feel like the relationship can be salvaged, give your roomi and your friends a chance to properly get to know each other. Whether you ask him/her to join you guys on the sofa for a crime doco binge or you invite them out for drinks or dinner, the goal here is to open up some common dialogue and facilitate ways to find a middle ground.
Everyone has redeeming qualities. Try (casually) to create connections within the group, saying things like, “Brad, did I tell you Nicole is a Knicks fan, too?” Even totally different personality types can find common ground somewhere. For example, if one person is an introvert and one is an extrovert, establishing some sort of relationship is all about learning from each other.
Talk to your roommate
If either party seems reluctant to hang out, have a heart-to-heart with your roommate. It’s important that you get to the bottom of why they hate your friends – since you don’t want them to stop coming over completely, you have to try and resolve the issue.
Ask open-ended questions but approach the conversation with sensitivity. Simply demanding, “why do you hate my friends so much?” will make your roommate feel defensive, and they won’t want to share their feelings.
Instead, try something like “I get the feeling you don’t like my friends as much as I do. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable in your own apartment, so I’d love it if we could work something out. Can you let me know what you don’t like about them? I promise I won’t be offended!”
Give them some space
Sometimes we just have to accept that some personalities don’t – and probably never will – vibe well together. If you’ve tried everything you can to make things amicable when your friends are over (i.e. asked them to stop drinking all the coffee and to turn down the music after 10 p.m.), and nothing has changed – then you need to reassess their visiting schedule.
Agree on a maximum number of visits for every guest per week with your roommate (usually 2-3 is a standard amount) and make sure your friends stick to the rule. Your roomi will appreciate you making the effort to give them space and, by reducing the number of interactions they have with your friends, they might not mind their presence quite as much.
If you’re feeling annoyed about having to reduce visits from friends, think about how you’d feel if you didn’t get along with your roommate’s friends. Try other activities instead; explore what NYC has to offer or hang out at your friends’ apartments for a change!