Ask Kari: My roommates won’t leave me alone. How can I work in peace?

Dear Kari,

I live with two roommates who do not seem to understand that, while I do work from home, I still need to work. They will pass by my office and ask me questions about my day, what’s up for dinner, and even tell me they moved my laundry. I have asked them to be mindful of the fact that I have work obligations and prefer not to be interrupted during the workday. Help! What do you suggest I do to get my message received, once and for all?

--Frustrated and Bothered

Dear Frustrated and Bothered,

I hear your frustration and pain. I bet many people in our world today can relate, especially during a world pandemic. I have two suggestions. First, pick a good time to talk to your roommates when you are not working and remind them you need zero interruptions during your workday to be successful in your work endeavors. Second, put a small permanent note up on your door to remind your housemates you are working and ask them to honor your need for quiet and concentration; make sure to add the words “thank you” at the end of the note. Good luck!


About Kari:

Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.

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