Personal Space and Privacy in Relationships

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We all need space and time to ourselves. But it's a crowded planet out there, so how can we get enough 'me' time?

How can I get more space and privacy at home?

If we all had a mansion each to live in, personal space wouldn't be an issue.

Back in the real world, the folks you live with should realise you need more space as you grow up.

If they don't, the best you can do is to ask. Maybe there's a bigger room you could use as your bedroom? Or perhaps it's time your brother or sister moved to a separate bedroom?

Whoever's in charge of your home should recognise that you need a bit more privacy too.

If you can't get a bedroom to yourself, you should at least be able to use the bathroom privately.

Lots of parents take the locks of bathroom doors to stop young kids locking themselves inside by mistake. Ask for one to be put on so you can get some peace in there.

If you still have young brothers or sisters, get a lock put high up where they can't reach.

If your brothers or sisters can't understand your need to be alone sometimes or mess with your stuff, ask to have lock put on your bedroom door too. Bear in mind that your parents or the people who look after you will need to have a key too.

What if my brother or sister still won't respect my privacy?

It can be hard for younger brothers and sisters to understand you're growing up.

However, you still need to have some time to yourself and shouldn't have to put up with them mucking about with your things.

Get your parents or carers to speak to them about their behaviour and to set some new rules.

What if I still have to share a bedroom?

You could suggest having times where you can use the room by yourself for a while. To be fair, be prepared to make times when you also have to give it up to whoever you share with.

If not your bedroom, you could try making arrangements to get access to the living room on your own for an hour or two at a time - especially handy if you want to watch telly only you like on a decent sized screen!

If you need to keep some of your personal possessions away from prying eyes and sticky little fingers, get a locking box or bedside cupboard and keep the key with you.

What if I have to share a computer?

Most computer operating systems allow different users of the same machine to have their own password-protected accounts. Ask whoever owns the machine if you can set this up.

Your parent's will probably want to have access privileges to check you're not looking at dodgy stuff online.

On the plus side, your siblings won't be able to mess with your files and you won't have to wade through other people's desktop clutter when you log in.

If you can't get your own account on your home computer, at least get your own email account.

Most web-based accounts come with a huge amount of space these days so you can use them as online storage by emailing important files to yourself.

To find one, try searching online for 'free email'.

How else can I get more space to myself?

Try looking outside the home. Maybe there's a shed in the garden you could deck out and call your own?

Or maybe you have a relative or family friend nearby who has a spare room you could use sometimes?

Try casting your net a bit wider too - visit the park more often, find a corner in the library or take a hike out of town and back.

Even just walking home sometimes rather than getting a lift or taking the bus can give you more time to think and relax on your own.