How to Tell Your Friends You Need Your Space in Your Apartment
Socializing is generally a highly sought-after treat by college students. It is usually the last consideration a student can make after juggling school and work, so when you have the time to socialize, you have hit the trifecta.
Hanging out with friends is a healthy thing to do whether you go out or stay home to have a good time. A lot of college students hang out at home because, frankly, it is a cheaper option. Why pay to go watch a movie when you have got Netflix? Why get dinner when you can make cooking together an activity?
However, it can be draining to have your friends over at your house all the time. It is great when your friends feel comfortable in your home, but not so comfortable that they treat it as their own home. If a friend enters rooms without knocking, puts their feet up on the furniture, eats your food like it is their own, or does other things that make you uncomfortable, you need to do something about it.
If your friends come over all the time and are always hanging out in your space, how do you create boundaries with them to get them to give you some space? Read on for some tips on creating those boundaries so that you can still hang out with friends but feel comfortable in your own home.
The first thing you need to do when your friends are crossing your boundaries is to be direct with them. They might not even be aware that they are doing something that disturbs you. Your friends are not mind readers. If you have never told them that something they are doing bothers you, then how can they know?
Even if it seems like something obvious, you need to be upfront and tell them that it is an issue. It might be a no-brainer for you, but everyone is raised differently, with a unique set of rules and situations. What might seem like common sense to you might be a completely new idea for them. And if they are aware that it is something that is rude and uncomfortable but still do it at your home, it can tell you a lot about that person and what you and your friendship means to them.
Do not be rude, just be respectful and calm when bringing up things that bother you. Do not beat around the bush. Let them know and then give them a chance to correct it!
Address Issues in a Timely Manner
If your friends are doing something that bothers you in your home, you need to address it in a very timely manner. Do not brood about it, either vainly hoping it will get better or letting yourself get more and more frustrated as it continues to occur. Especially if you have already brought the issue up to them and they were not aware of their actions, point it out. As soon as they break a boundary, tell them. Catch them in the act as they raid your fridge without thought. Point at their feet up on your sofa in muddy shoes.
When you catch them doing it and they are able to see themselves doing it, it makes it hit home for them. They now have the opportunity to realize that they actually do those things. As long as you do it respectfully, they will see that you were right all along and not just being oversensitive. It is much less effective to point it out that something they did upset you a few days in the past. They might not remember doing whatever it is that upset you. Nip it in the bud and address it right away.
You have brought up the issues and told your friends exactly what they have done to cross your boundaries. However, you can do more than just point out a problem — you can also offer them a solution! Start by creating limits. You have told them that when they do something in particular, it upsets you. But what about it upsets you? What could they have done in the situation to not upset you?
Say they were thirsty and wanted a drink. Would you prefer them to stop and ask you to get a drink for them, not matter the situation? If they want water and get it from the tap, that is fine, no permission needed, but if they grab a can of soda, you want them to ask? Whatever your preferences may be, just create the limits so your friends are not unintentionally making you uncomfortable. They can still navigate their way around your home without you feeling like they have crossed a line.
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