5 August 2018

How a House Share Helped Me Fight My Introversion

Living in a flat share can be nerve wracking, but if you get it right it can lead to life long friendships.  When Ideal Flatmate reached out to me about doing a piece of sponsored content it really got me thinking about all the times I've been part of a flat share in my life and all the amazing experiences and challenges it brought with it.  As an introvert the thought of a house share always makes me nervous even does to this day, however I've slowly been trying to manage my introverted nature to balance it with getting the most out of life without hiding away.  An introvert needs alone time to build up social energy but putting yourself out there is important and putting yourself in uncomfortable circumstances can lead to some really important life lessons.

I first moved into a house share when I went to University, I had no say in who I was put with and unfortunately only made it worse for myself by shutting myself away so I never made those all important connections.  The longer it went on the harder it became to bridge those gaps.  Thankfully after that I moved in with friends I had made on my course and I discovered the real joy of flat sharing!
The important thing about a flat share is finding people you click with and who really understand your values and mindset.  No one wants to feel uncomfortable in their own home so having people you can truly relax with can make a world of difference to your life.  This doesn't mean you have to be identical, having people who are a little different to you can really help bring you out of your shell and open you up to a whole world of new experiences.

I lived in several house shares post university.  From one of those house shares I made a friend whose wedding I was fortunate enough to attend earlier this year. We live far apart but we now meet up monthly at his house for games nights or to play Dungeons and Dragons, a game we got into together.  Another of my friends from a different house share now lives an hour or so away from me and so we try to visit each other as much as we can for a catch up, usually over a Nandos (some traditions never fail!).  I've been to Florida with people I've met through house shares and later this year I am actually going to be a Bridesmaid for an amazing friend who I shared a house with.  It was sharing that house was what really cemented our friendship.  There were so many crazy memories and experience tied up in the short year that we lived together that is has created a life long bond and we still laugh over our house in-jokes and antics even now. 
Ideal Flatmate is a little different to your usual house hunting site, they have a questionnaire that helps match you with compatible housemates so you'll end up finding people you love living with and not random strangers you have nothing in common with (hello first year uni housemates who I haven't spoke to since moving out!).  There are 20 questions in total and you get to rate in a scale of 1-6 how much you agree with statements such as 'I tend to go out and socialise most evenings', 'I like to have friends stay over for a few days' and ''I like my house to be known as a place to party' to match you with flatmates who are on the same level as you.

If you are currently looking at moving into a house share, my tip would be to just go with it.  Try and sit in a communal area at least once a day with your flat mates, be kind, and always keep on top of the washing up!  For me flat sharing has brought some of my most treasured friendships and fantastic memories, even if it does go against my nature at times!
This post was sponsored by Ideal Flatmate, all words and opinions are my own
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