Whether you're not getting along with a sibling or in a fight with a roommate, there are some times when you just need some space from the person you live with. Taking some time apart can help both of you clear your heads and reflect on your actions toward each other. When ignoring the person, create physical and emotional distance. Find ways to ignore their bad habits and manage your emotions. Once you're ready, have a talk with the other person so you can come to peaceful agreements.
Method 1 of 4:Minimizing Your Interactions
1Respond politely, yet curtly. If you want to limit your conversation, don't skimp on manners. Be polite, but don't feel the need to carry out long conversations. Remain respectful in your interactions, but send the message that you are not willing to talk at length.
For example, if the person asks you a question, respond minimally with a “yes” or “no” and don't elaborate.
2Be neutral in your responses. If you feel annoyed by something the person is doing or saying, don't feel the need to respond to it. If the person is getting to you, ignore the behavior. Especially if they enjoy getting a rise out of you, be non-reactive and don't let things get to you.
It's annoying to live with someone who triggers you. For example, if your roommate wants to talk and you're not in the mood for a conversation, excuse yourself neutrally. Say, “I know you want to talk about your office drama, but this isn't a good time for me.”
Avoid reacting emotionally. Instead, take a deep breath and respond with a calm, level tone.
3Manage your nonverbal behavior. If you're going to ignore the other person, watch your nonverbal language toward them. For example, avoid eye rolling, muttering under your breath, or giving a disapproving look at them. Even if you're not speaking verbally, you may still be speaking through your behavior.
Keep your face and body neutral. Don't tense of or show your expressions on your face, no matter how much they try to get a rise out of you.
4Silence your reaction to harsh words. It's difficult to ignore someone when they're cruel or harsh. If the person tends to put you down or treat you disrespectfully, it's worth ignoring these statements if you don't want to argue or get upset. If they say something unkind and you'd rather not get into it, avoid reacting by saying nothing.
You can avoid acknowledging their words or say something simple such as, “I'm not interested in taking part in this discussion, especially if you're going to yell at me” and say nothing else.
Try to avoid letting their negative behavior affect you. You might imagine that you have a bubble surrounding you which repels their insults and criticism.
Method 2 of 4:Managing the Shared Space
1Put on headphones if they are loud. If you need to ignore the noise the person is making, put on headphones and listen to music. Consider listening to soothing and calming music to destress. If you want to feel upbeat or positive, listen to lively and upbeat music.
If they are really loud, find some noise-canceling headphones.
2Create physical dividers. Think about how you are going to physically ignore the person. For example, use separate bathrooms and avoid rooms they tend to be in. If they are watching television in the living room, spend time in your room and vice versa.
For example, if your roommate takes over the space on a shelf, designate shelves for each person and make it clear that they are only to use their own shelves.
3Follow a different schedule than them. If they tend to sleep in, get up early and go to work early. If they stay in on the weekends, go out. You can even make small adjustments to your schedule. For example, while the person is in the bathroom brushing their teeth, you can keep sleeping or eat breakfast. Learn the person's schedule and try to avoid too much overlap, especially if you share a bedroom.
Go to bed or wake up at different times. If you share similar schedules, make some adjustments, such as taking a morning run so that you're awake and out of the house before you interact with them.
4Spend more time outside of the house. One of the best ways to create distance between you and the person is to get out of the house more. Instead of coming straight home after school or work, stop and see a friend, take a walk in the park, do some shopping, or go to the gym. Spending less time at home can help you clear your head and can ensure that you won't run into the other person.
Plan activities for after school or work for most nights of the week, especially if you know they will be home. This can help you keep a vibrant social life as a bonus!
If you're a student, find clubs or activities before or after school. Join a study group, play a sport, or find an extracurricular that you enjoy.
5Avoid shared activities. Find other activities to do instead of what you do together. For example, if you and the person tend to watch television together, watch your show at a friend's house instead. If you do laundry together, take your laundry elsewhere. Take a break from the shared activities you do.
If this person counts on you to be there (for example, to give them a ride), let them know that you won't be available and they need to figure out another plan.
If you and the person share friends, you may need to take a break from that friend group for some time.
Method 3 of 4:Supporting Yourself
1Take some deep breaths. If you find yourself constantly annoyed by the person and their bad habits, find some ways to calm down so that you're not always upset while at home. Start by taking some deep breaths to calm your mind and body. Breathe in slowly, then exhale slowly.
Do a few cycles of deep breathing and notice how you feel. If you don't feel calm, keep doing more breaths until you do.
2De-stress regularly. Especially if you're avoiding the person you live with because you don't get along, it's likely you'll want to find ways to de-stress. Practice activities known to lower stress such as yoga and meditation. Making time for fun is a great way to relieve stress and have a good time.Trustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
Exercise is another way to de-stress and keep your body functioning well. If you don't like going to the gym, try hiking, biking, or dance classes instead.
3Spend time with your friends. Try not to get too wrapped up in the drama with the person you live with and let go a bit so you can have some fun. Spending time with friends can get you out of the house and help you connect with people who care about you. Whether you need to vent about the situation or spend some time away from it, your friends are there to help.Trustworthy SourceHelpGuideNonprofit organization dedicated to providing free, evidence-based mental health and wellness resources.Go to source
It can be helpful to talk to a trusted friend about what's going on at home. Getting support from friends can be cathartic, even if they can't help improve your living situation.
4Spend time alone. See this time as an opportunity to spend more time on yourself. Try new things on your own and spend some time getting to know yourself. Some alone time might even be good for you: solo time can help you better know yourself and increase your productivity.
Do solitary activities such as writing in a journal or creating art.
If you don't have your own room, spend time alone by going on walks or spending time outside.
5Talk to a therapist. If your living situation only compounds your stress and you're struggling to manage, consider talking to a therapist. They can help you cope with stress and manage your emotions better. They can also help you learn skills to interact differently or more productively.
Find a therapist by contacting your insurance provider or local mental health clinic. You can also get a recommendation from a physician or a friend.
Method 4 of 4:Making Changes to Where You Live
1Explore your options. You might feel trapped with the person you live with because they're your family, you're underage, or because you signed a lease with them. Think of some alternatives, even if they're temporary. While you may feel stuck, there may be some options that could help you. Brainstorm some alternatives and see if they're doable.
For example, if you live at home, see if you can spend one night a week with your cousins or spend a summer with your aunt.
If you have a lease with someone, you may be able to find a different roommate or you may need to break the lease and pay a fine.
2Live somewhere else temporarily. If you can crash at a friend's house temporarily, do so. While this isn't ideal, it can help create space and give you some time apart from the person you live with. Removing yourself from the situation can help you clear your head and think about ways to resolve the situation or improve your living conditions.
For example, if you live with one parent, ask if you can live with the other or spend more time at their house. Or, see if you can attend more sleepovers with a best friend.
This is a temporary solution. Use it only to gain clarity and help you problem-solve.
3Move out if you have the option. If the situation has become unbearable and you can't imagine living with the person any longer, consider your options for moving out. You may not be able to move out immediately, but you can plan for when you can. If you care about the person, think about whether remaining to live together will be better or worse in the long run for your relationship. If moving out will save your relationship, it might be a good option.
Moving out may not be feasible if you are under 18, lack financial resources, and/or depend on your family.
You may need to find a temporary situation while you look for a new place or gather funds.