Updated: Mar 24, 2020
The most important thing you can do is assert your right to choose.
Being considerate and compassionate of another persons anxieties is important and it doesn’t mean you have to accept ‘extreme measures’.
In conversation with your roommate communicate that you understand their point of view and that you have no intention of putting yourself or anyone else at risk.
If you can, try and get them to talk about what they really fear or are anxious about.
Acknowledge you hear them, empathize and understand their situation.
You need them to also understand yours.
One important feature of the response to the coronavirus is social distancing—which is about limiting large groups of people coming together.
You might also explain to your roommate this doesn’t necessarily mean not seeing your friends, and that you have to decide what's best for you.
This situation might give you the opportunity to flex those assertion muscles, act on your needs and maintain the relationship with your roommate.
Dr. Anna Rowley