It’s sad. There are people who are not good housemates. There are people who can cause home to be far from the haven it should be. This is why it is so very, very important to interview carefully and check references. It is why it is essential for you to know what your expectations are of sharing a home.
Nightmare housemates are those who is unable to live cooperatively with others. They don’t acknowledge that their behavior affects others and are impervious to requests for changed behavior. There are different ways of being a nightmare housemate.
Assuming I have More Rights Than You
It is the householder that most easily falls into this trap. After all it is their space before you came along. However, once the conditions of your living together have been established in the interviewing phase, changing the conditions “because it is my house” is a great way to alienate a housemate. A more subtle (true) example comes from the interviews I did for my book. The rental for the apartment came with one parking space. While the householder had a car, her housemate didn’t. Though they split the rent evenly, the householder felt that that the space was “hers” and would demand that the housemate’s boyfriend move his car when she came home after he had parked in it for an evening.
Refusing To Modify Behavior
To live cooperatively, you have to be willing to make minor adaptations in your behavior. Whether it is remembering to turn off the porch light or discarding your leftovers before they turn moldy, those requests made by housemates are to be considered. One nightmare housemate, rather than responding simply to requests, she launched into long-winded explanations for why she did what she did, as if the explanation would justify the behavior and she would ignore the request. Good housemates are able to make minor adjustments for the comfort of their housemate.
Not Following Through
No one likes to nag. No one likes to have to repeat requests, and by the way, the receiver doesn’t like it either. Actions speak louder than words. If a housemate has made a request and you have agreed to it, do it. If there is a chore list that is part of the conditions of living in that household, do your chores. Pay your bills on time.
Are there other ways in which individuals can be nightmare housemates? Maybe, but I think that this pretty much covers it. In sum, the nightmare housemate is a self-centered person. Avoid them.
Not everyone is self-centered. You can find a good housemate for you.