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How To Cheer Up Your Roommate When They're Having A Tough Time

By Danielle Wirsansky

Whether you are the best of friends or just casual acquaintances, your roommate is a big part of your life while you are in college. Most college students do live with a roommate or two or three (sometimes even more). And your roommate is important, not just because they pay half the rent though that is an incredibly important element too.

Your roommate is also important because you share a living space, and their mood can affect your mood. If they are mad, you will probably be able to feel it. If they are happy, you will probably be able to tell. And if they are sad, then it can bring down the vibe of the whole apartment.

Everyone goes through tough times every once in a while, so you should try to be supportive when you can. You want your roommate to be happy, healthy, and paying their share of the rent. Read on to learn how to cheer up your roommate when they’re having a tough time!

Take Them Out To Eat

Whose spirits aren’t lifted by a bite to eat? Eating food generally makes one feel better. First We Eat explains, “We’re innately pleasure-seekers, and studies like this one have shown that certain foods—such as sugar, salt, and fat—are potent natural reward-drivers. This reaction occurs because they trigger the release of key ‘pleasure’ neurotransmitters—such as dopamine—more than their healthy counterparts. Ever felt your mouth water at the sight of pizza, but not kale? You already know.”

In addition to the food making your roommate feel better, taking time to sit, eat, and be relaxed and talk to you can help distract them and cheer them up from whatever tough time they may be having. Eating a meal together can be a very intimate thing and it will help to strengthen your bond together. If you can swing it, offer to pay to go the extra mile. But a lot of the time, just the simple invitation to go and break bread can be quite enough. Who knows, it might be just what your roommate needed!

Do Their Least Favorite Chore

We all have a least favorite chore, right? Roommates usually split up the chores between themselves so that everyone does an equal share and no one is overburdened. If you can tell that your roommate is feeling a little overburdened themselves and going through a rough time, a nice gesture might be doing a chore for them.

Most people do not really enjoy doing chores, so doing a chore for them could definitely cheer them up. But if you want the most bang for your buck with this favor, you might consider doing their least favorite chore for them so that they are especially uplifted by and grateful for this action. Do they hate doing the dishes? You can do them today. Do they have trouble lugging the garbage out to the dumpster? You can get it done instead. Does the sound of the vacuum give them a headache? Do it while they are out of the house! Maybe they hate scrubbing toilets—you can do it for them just this once.

If you do not know what their least favorite chore is, then any chore will do. But if you know what it is, then it is highly recommended you try that chore out. Would you be appreciative if they did your least favorite chore for you? You already know the answer.

Give Them Space

Another strategy you can try when your roommate is feeling down is just to give them space. Sometimes, when people are going through a hard time, they want to be by themselves. They do not want to talk about their problems, they do not want anyone to feel bad for them, and they just need to sort it out themselves.

Even if you have the best of intentions, doing nice things for them might make them feel vulnerable or weak or ashamed. The best thing you can do in those situations is just let them take a step back and breathe.

Every person, every roommate, every situation, and every roommate relationship is different, so you have to choose what feels right to you based on your own personal knowledge and experience. You definitely do not want to misstep and make your roommate feel worse or put them in a worse situation. Be sensitive. The fact that one, you have noticed that your roommate is going through a hard time and two, you care enough about them to do something about it already speaks well about your efforts. Just do your best! A lot of the time, it is the thought that counts.


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