Roommate challenges

girls-1209321_1920It’s been nearly three months since my extroverted roommate moved in. It’s been a good experience overall. Both of us keep things clean and tidy which is great. She’s a lovely person but there’s a huge difference in our personalities and it’s been a bit of a struggle at times.

To me, a roommate is someone who shares rent. Someone you can chat with when you cross paths. But otherwise you maintain separate lives. I get the feeling she’s looking for a best friend. Someone who’s game for late night pizza runs and all-nighters. But I’m not that person. I don’t have the energy nor the inclination.

She comes across as confident but she’s also needy. If she hears me in the kitchen, she’ll join me. If I’m in the living room, she’s sitting beside me or talking to me from her room. She’ll ask me where I’m going if I’m heading out. She’ll ask me why I’m getting back later after a dance class or workout. She’s likely just curious and making conversation, but it can be stifling. She got a gym membership at the same gym and suggested we work out together. Even if I wanted to, our schedules and routines are so different that I don’t see the point. I often dread going home. Sometimes I’ll spend time at a quiet coffee shop after work, to postpone the inevitable.

It hasn’t been all bad though. We’ve connected through a few shared hobbies. And I’ve been learning a lot. I’ve been getting plenty of chances to practice saying ‘no’. I’m learning to prioritize my health. And I no longer feel guilty for closing my door and recharging in my room. I’m really hoping that once it warms up she’ll get out more. And maybe I can have a quiet evening alone 😉

Do you have any suggestions?



7 tips for social events

girls-984154_1920The next couple of weekends are going to be busy ones. I’m planning on getting plenty of quiet time between the chaos. This should help me avoid total burnout. But I also wanted to share a few things I’m going to do to manage my energy so I can enjoy myself.

1. Know your limits.
I’ve gotten better at recognizing how much energy I have left at a given moment. I know when I can stay for another 30 minutes vs when my tank is empty. I also give myself a flexible departure time. If I’m feeling great, I’ll stay longer. Otherwise I’ll head home.

2. Get quiet time first.
This is a lifesaver. Before I leave for an event, I like to spend at least 30 minutes by myself. I usually run my diffuser with some lavender while reading a book. This gives me the chance to recharge before a busy night out. Getting some post-event quiet is also necessary.

3. Wear your favorites.
I love the satisfaction I get from putting together an outfit with my favorite items. I know they look flattering and I love the colors and styles. It definitely gives me a mental boost and makes me feel more confident. And if I’m going to a social event, I need all the help I can get 😉

4. Assume a role.
I love doing this. I’ll often volunteer to help set up (this also gives me an excuse to leave early). Or I’ll offer to pour drinks, set the table, put out food, or act as unofficial photographer. It allows me to focus on a task while still being part of things. As a bonus, you come across as helpful.

5. Make a to-do list.
I hate walking into a room and having no idea what to do. So I make myself a to-do list. First I’ll explore the area and locate the exits, washrooms, and quiet spaces. Then I’ll peruse the room and see who might be interesting to talk to. I’ll locate the food/drink and spend a moment eating while I plan out my next move. Then I’ll take a quick bathroom break to clear my mind. Once I’m back, I’ll join a conversation.

6. Take breaks.
When I start feeling fuzzy, I’ll usually take a trip to the washroom. Even perusing the books on a bookshelf can create a moment of quiet in a busy room.

7. Leave on a positive note.
I’ll usually thank the host/hostess, let them know I enjoyed myself, and head off. I try to leave with a smile, even if I’m not feeling it. If its a large gathering I’ll usually leave quietly and send a follow up thank you.

Do you have any other tips?

Social nights

people-2598902_1920I’ll be attending a potluck and games night with friends and family in less than two weeks. I’ve already committed to this. Plus I’ll be bringing two others who need a ride. So barring sickness, I’ll be there.

Now I’m not a huge fan of games nights to begin with. I find board games boring. They can be tolerable if played with the right group of people. But it’s more interesting to watch others play. Many people mistakenly believe that if you’re not in the middle of the action you aren’t having fun. So they will try to convince you to play because it’s “more fun that way”. Not for me it isn’t.

Unfortunately, I just found out that the game we’ll be playing is charades. I despise charades. Even the word itself dredges up bad memories and feelings. I remember my mind going blank and being unable to think of anything. Of people standing there, watching me, expecting me to do something. Of people taking pity on me and finally letting me sit down even though no one had guessed my phrase.

I’ve been dragged and coerced into charades games my entire life. “It will be fun” they’d say. And I used to go along with it. I’d play to “prove” I’m a fun person. Sometimes I’d play to get them to stop bugging me. But I’ve finally learned it’s okay to say no. Even if someone wants you to. Even if everyone wants you to. And I’ve got the stubbornness to pull it off. If someone tries to coerce me into joining, I’ll politely refuse.

I’m all for breaking out of my comfort zone. But I already know that by this point in the evening I’ll be very burned out. I won’t have the extra energy needed to engage in a high energy game of charades, even if I wanted to. Maybe I’ll bring my crochet with me instead.

What have you done in a similar situation?