How to Live With Extroverted Roommates When You’re an Introvert

An introvert and her extroverted roommates

Make sure your extroverted roommates understand that you don’t just want quiet time — you need it.

Life seems to be full of extroverts who have nonstop energy, love talking, and can’t seem to socialize enough. Yet for us introverts, these things can be highly draining and overwhelming. 

So, what if you were to live with, and share, your space with extroverts? A complete nightmare, right?

Not necessarily. 

Initially, I didn’t look forward to sharing my living space with four other people. But I must admit, it was the best decision of my life — and perhaps it could end up being a good decision for you, too. 

I know, I can see you shaking your head in disbelief. Here are some tips on how to live with extroverted roommates as an introvert, for it definitely takes effort on everyone’s part to make it work. 

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How to Live With Extroverted Roommates When You’re an Introvert 

1. Understand and respect each other’s differences.

Coexisting with extroverts becomes much much much easier when you start understanding and respecting the differences in your personalities. The key difference between an introvert and an extrovert boils down to how they recharge and interact with others. 

While introverts thrive in calm, quiet environments and seek downtime to recharge, extroverts prefer social engagement and gain energy by interacting with others. Similarly, when it comes to bonding with people, it usually takes introverts a while; they don’t consider just anyone their friend. But guess what? Extroverts do!

So, when you respect each other’s differences, you’ll put yourself in a better position to form a meaningful relationship with your extroverted roommates. Keep in mind that your roomies are probably not intentionally trying to overwhelm you or disregard your need for alone time. Their gregarious nature is simply a reflection of their vibrant energy.

Likewise, express your introverted tendencies without judgment or apology; simply explain your need for quiet time. Keep reading for more on this…

2. Establish clear boundaries — and stick to them.

Living harmoniously with extroverted roommates requires honoring your personal space and need for solitude, so communicate your boundaries openly and assertively. For example, let them know that you don’t just want quiet time — you need it. This might mean you’ll establish guidelines on acceptable noise levels during certain hours or agree on a system for when you need privacy.

Maybe it will also mean guests will only come over on certain days or during certain hours. (After all, we introverts don’t like when guests come over unannounced!) 

You might also let your roommates know that you may put a sign on your door like “Do not disturb.” Or, you can create alternative social spaces in your living arrangement. This is where an “introvert zen zone” can come in handy. You can set up a corner in the living room that’s just for you, or make sure your bedroom doubles as an introvert sanctuary. You can fill it with cozy blankets, soft lighting, or your favorite books. The point is to make your space as relaxing as possible for when you need to decompress from the world. 

Remember, setting boundaries is a collaborative effort. You need to be receptive to the needs of your extroverted roommates, too, and come up with solutions that satisfy everyone. 

3. Instead of focusing on your differences, what do you have in common?

Just because you’re an introvert doesn’t mean you’ll want to be alone 24/7. So, explore shared interests and find common ground. 

Talk to your roommates and take time to explore their hobbies and passions, whether it’s going on outdoor adventures (like hiking) or participating in game nights. And who knows? Maybe you can try out each other’s interests and hobbies, too.

The point is, be on the lookout for opportunities that will help you to bridge the gap between your introversion and their extroversion. This will not only help you create shared memories, but also help you build stronger relationships with your roommates. Finding a balance is all about embracing the differences and discovering beautiful intersections that will make your life more exciting and blissful. 

Do you dream of being witty and funny?

Even if you’re usually the “quiet one,” you have a playful side — you just need to learn how to access it. Our partner Michaela Chung can teach you how to tell hilarious stories and to be funny in conversation and over text (even if you tend to overthink things and feel self-conscious in social situations). Click here to check out her online workshop, How to Be Funny in Conversation Without Trying Too Hard.

4. Practice self-care for recharging. 

Living with extroverted roommates will not be all sunshine and rainbows; there will be times when you feel drained and really need to be alone. So, practicing good self-care is essential.

Do things that replenish your energy while also offering you a sense of peace. Read a captivating novel, immerse yourself in soft and soothing music, or just hole up in your introvert sanctuary. Scheduling “me time” can also help as a way to indulge yourself in introvert-friendly activities without interruptions. 

And remember: Self-care isn’t selfish. In fact, it’s an important part of maintaining your emotional health. That way, you can find a harmonious balance with your extroverted roommates. 

5. Discuss issues as soon as they arise.

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship, as well as any successful living arrangement. Instead of letting issues bottle up, address them right away — and have your extroverted roommates do the same.

This is the time we introverts can put our active listening skills to good use. After all, everyone likes being heard, and this goes for your roommates, too. By showing genuine interest in what they have to say, hopefully they’ll give you the same level of attentiveness when it’s time for you to express your concerns. 

Of course, avoid blaming or criticizing your roommates; instead, use “I” statements to express your emotions, like “I feel…” versus “I hate when you…” Then, together, focus on finding solutions that work for everyone.

For example, perhaps it’s hard for you to sleep when your roommate is watching TV at midnight. Maybe they can wear headphones or you can wear earplugs. Or both. Or perhaps dirty dishes pile up in the sink night after night, and you’d prefer they’re done every day. In this case, you can instill a rule that they need to be washed before bed. Remember, communication is key!

Now, I’d love to know — have you ever had an extroverted roommate? Any advice you’d add? I’d like to hear it in the comments below!

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