It’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?
Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone; extroverts need to recharge when they don’t socialize enough.
“I talk with many Shadow Dwellers who are mystified by the fact that chatty workers are rarely reprimanded. Sit and gossip and you are fun; close the door (if you have one) and you are antisocial. And we’re talking about work here, not a party!” (Laurie Helgoe divides introverts into two groups. There are the “accessible introverts” that often pretend to be extroverted, and the “shadow dwellers” who don’t try to fit into extroverted society.)
When I read this, I almost laughed out loud, because that is exactly what happens at my workplace. And today was no exception. I arrived at work a bit before 9 am. Two of my co-workers were standing and chatting in the kitchen. I put my lunch in the fridge and then walked over to my desk. A few minutes later, both walked over and congregated at one co-worker’s desk which is conveniently located right behind mine. They continued talking for at least another half hour, but it was probably closer to an hour. It just about drove me crazy, and I was trying really hard to ignore it. If I’m not working while at work, I feel that I’m wasting my time and not earning my wage. I don’t mind talking for a little bit, but after a while I need to go back to work. But I guess a lot of people don’t think that way.
Do you have any interesting work stories?
I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way. My previous room mate decided to go back to school and was moving to another city, so for a little while, I was living on my own. And all the people around me would say were things like: its not healthy to live alone, its better to have someone else there to talk to, you don’t really want to live alone do you? And despite trying to explain that I am rarely lonely, and how much I love solitude, certain people dismissed my opinions. As if I couldn’t possible enjoy being by myself. But I do love it. I love solitude, and quiet, and peacefulness.
Has anyone else experienced this? Have you come up with ways to explain it so that they’ll accept a different point of view?
For the past 8 months, I have been living with an introvert. Both my friend and I are INFJ and we got along so well. We both instinctively knew when the other needed space. We would go to festivals and events and get tired out at about the same time, so both of us were ready to go home at the same time. We had some wonderful conversations, and several shared interests. Currently I’m rooming with an extrovert, and things are a lot different. Its not a bad thing, just a big change so far. I’ll keep you updated. Do you live with an introvert or an extrovert?