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I'm living with my friends (one from primary school (so we are close, I can say anything we'll be fine)) others are his 2 friends from college. I've been living with them about 1 year (talking about 2 other guys). I really love them, but sometimes they come into my room, sit and talk about politics for example, even if I'm talking to someone on the phone and even if I'm not joining their conversation, just doing my stuff on my PC, or studying. Don't get me wrong, I'm not completely ignoring them.

The reason why I'm asking this here, I did stay with them for a while before I moved in. I mean I haven't paid anything in that period of time. They are kind, good people, they welcomed me back then, now I cannot ask them to reduce the time they spend in my room. I hope you people won't misunderstand me.

  • Are there any communal rooms available? Do they hang in the other rooms as well or just yours? (You may be too welcoming.) – Bookeater Dec 9 '17 at 13:35
  • No, we have 4 rooms (one for each) and a kitchen. We do hang out in all rooms time to time when we drink or chat that's always fine by me. But my room became a popular hangout somehow. @Bookeater – btw Dec 9 '17 at 13:50
  • "I cannot ask them to reduce the time they spend in my room" uhhh.. why not? You've already answered your own question. Simply ask them to reduce the time they spend in your room. Problem solved. – Apologize and reinstate Monica Jan 30 '18 at 23:14
3

You are in something of a quandary here:

They are kind, good people

As well as:

now I cannot ask them to reduce the time they spend in my room

But that is exactly what you will have to do.

I expect they will be (very) willing to allow you room for your own life. You will have to clearly communicate your boundaries while making equally clear your appreciation of them as companions.

If you do not it will erode the friendship and will block you from enjoying the good that they bring to your life.

So, how to communicate this message in a positive way? (Exponentially easing it to be picked up!)

First and foremost, friendship like this cannot be 'paid for'. But what you do need to do is to keep up your side of the shared living experience.

You just need to shape it so it suits you as well as it suits them.

You will need to have a talk.

Explain you need a little room. Ask them if that is OK. Agree upon a non-intrusive way to indicate boundaries, like a little turn-card on the door handle that they use in hotels. In addition best also mention that you wrestled about mentioning this because you value the friendship very much and are (really) afraid that this (very real) need may get in the way.

Balancing the boundaries.

Be sure not to abuse the privilege! Be available when you can, isolate when you must, and check back if it (still) works for them too.

If you still have the feeling the situation is unbalanced, throw a bash to enhance the shared living experience, like (random example) a Chicken Vindaloo-Red Dwarf binge night once a while.

Possible consequences.

In (the unlikely) case they are uncomfortable with giving you some room, it is best to have it out in the open instead of wholly on your shoulders. But be prepared to move out of the house if that is what it takes. It should save the friendship, which sounds to be of the un-moneyed valuable type, and it will save you a whole lot of stress!

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If you've got a good reason at the time they start walking in, just tell them immediately. You said "even if I'm talking to someone on the phone and even if I'm not joining their conversation, just doing my stuff on my PC, or studying" and those are all excellent reasons, so just say:

"Sorry, I'm [on the phone / busy on my PC / studying] and need to be alone for a little while, thanks."

Only someone with no respect for you at all would still interrupt you & walk in, or someone with no social skills, in that case you would have a different problem.

In the long run, you could make your room less appealing for everyone to just hang out it. If you've got lots of chairs & fun games & activities, get rid of them or move them into another room. Make another room more appealing on it's own too.


You didn't say whether your door is open or closed when they come in, or whether they knock & ask first, but I suspect they're not knocking & asking permission, otherwise you should say "Sorry not now, I'm busy." You could try:

  1. Closing your door when you want to be alone, and ask them to please not just walk in when your door is closed. After all, you might not be decent, or changing clothes, or similar. Even try a "Please Do Not Disturb" sign on the doorknob like hotels use.
  2. If they still just open the door and barge in, an extreme kind-of-crazy idea would be to close your door and try being indecent / unclothed / wearing just underwear on purpose, in a way setting a trap for anyone who barges in. Then if/when they barge in you can justifiably get upset & say "Hey! I'm indecent here! I asked you not to just walk in like that, get out please!"

[I see you've already picked the first answer as correct after just an hour or two, but thought I'd answer anyway]

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