Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 27 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Vincent de Paul
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

The sinner’s guide to being a great roommate

ROOMMATES

YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV | Shutterstock

Cecilia Pigg - published on 02/11/20

If you share a house or a room with someone who's not family, address these seven deadly sins to keep a happy home!

Sharing your living space with someone else is no small thing. A considerate roommate or housemate can make daily life a joy, while an inconsiderate roommate can make it miserable. The biggest problems that usually come up in shared housing situations revolve around the practical aspects of sharing space—things like the division of labor, for example. One of you may feel like you do all the chores. Or if you both help keep things tidy, it’s doubtful that you’ll always be on the same timeline. She may think doing the dishes every other day is satisfactory, while you expect a clean sink every morning at breakfast. Usually, each person has unmet expectation that needs to be brought to light. 

The answer to most practical aspects of sharing space is this: work to communicate better. Learn how to share your frustrations in a charitable way. And practice being able to listen to someone else’s side of the story without interrupting or becoming defensive.

But once you have had some good conversations to nail down expectations, there’s more to improving roommate relationships. The following is a guide to making yourself a better roommate, and is based on the seven deadly sins:

Check your envy

Envy is often characterized by feelings of resentment and bitterness linked to wanting what someone else has. What does your roommate have that you don’t? A boyfriend? A better job? A less crazy schedule? A loving family? If you find yourself resenting him or her because of that one thing you want, take a step back. Envy might make you pick fights simply because you’re sad and feeling bitter because of what you lack. 

Remember that pride makes us unable to acknowledge our faults

If your roommate brings up a concern that she has, and your gut instinct is to ignore it or to explain why that’s not really a problem, then your pride is getting in the way. Get into the mindset that if your roommate confronts you with something, you are probably in the wrong, and need to work to fix it. 

Be aware of any sloth seeping in …

A different kind of problem that may arise in your relationship with a roommate or housemate is that you may just ignore each other. You get into a rhythm with your schedules, and interact with each other only when absolutely necessary. This may be a good working relationship overall, but be careful that it doesn’t veer into callousness. You don’t want to be completely indifferent or unfeeling towards this person. A good remedy is to schedule a regular meal once or twice a month where you eat together and catch up and touch base.  

Wrath involves anger that wants revenge

When your roommate does something that frustrates you, intentionally or not, beware the passive aggressive response! If you want to get back at them, and cause them the kind of upset that they caused you—that’s a big red flag. Run away from that plan of attack. The golden rule applies here: don’t do it to your roommate if you hated when they did it to you. 

Watch out for lust, gluttony, and greed

Let’s group these three together as they all relate back to selfishness in a roommate relationship. There are various ways that lust, gluttony, and greed can show up at home with a housemate, but if you struggle with an overwhelming desire for enjoyment related to sex, food, or possessions, the relationships in your life are going to suffer. The more focused you are on pursuing one of these things to make you happy, the less focused you will be on loving the people around you well. Breaking your obsession with whatever it is will give you a new perspective on everything else in your life.    

As a last note, when you’re struggling with relationships where you know you need to improve, call on St. Joseph. He was the only one with original sin in his family. St. Joseph, pray for us!  


ROOMMATES

Read more:
How to grow in virtue when you live with roommates


BIBLE STUDY

Read more:
Want to deepen your friendships? Try studying the Bible together

Tags:
Relationships
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
VATICAN LEGOS
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
2
The Sinai Peninsula and the Dead Sea Rift
J-P Mauro
Experts now believe Sodom was destroyed by a meteor
3
Tolkien
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
4
PADRE PIO
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
5
Giovanna Binci
He’s autistic, she has Down syndrome, and they’re wonderfully hap...
6
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
7
peace
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.