How to Handle a Roommate Issue

Apr 14, 2015

So, you’ve already found a roommate and a place to live, packed up your stuff and moved into your new place. As you’re probably aware, living with someone else can be tricky at times and it definitely requires give-and-take. You won’t always get along, but there are a few things you can do to avoid conflicts and deal with them if they do arise.

In an effort to minimize potential issues, before or soon after you move in with a new roommate, consider filling out a roommate contract or at least discussing expectations and boundaries. It’s important to come to an agreement on things that could easily create conflicts, such as food, cleaning, guests and expenses. If you’re worried that organizing all that will be a hassle, there are apps to make it easier!

Aside from establishing boundaries and guidelines, you should also do your best be a good housemate and avoid creating conflicts on your end. It always goes back to the golden rule: treat others as you would like to be treated. It’s also important to actively communicate, which is includes both talking and listening.

Unfortunately, even if you follow all of that advice, you cannot control what your roommate does or how they react to what you do. As easy and tempting as passive aggression may be, it doesn’t do you or your roommate any good, and can often make a situation worse.

Steps to Tackling Roommate Issues

roomate issues1. Ask your roommate if there is a time you can both sit down to talk. Let them know ahead of time what it is you want to talk about, so they aren’t completely caught off guard and have time to think about it as well.

2. Establish a few rules at the start of the discussion, such as no yelling and taking turns. If the situation is too hostile, consider asking someone neutral to mediate.

3. During the discussion, try be calm, patient, respectful and honest, and ask that your roommate does the same.

4. Once you air everything out and come to an agreement on a solution, establish clear terms that you both understand and are willing to follow. If you are changing or adding something to your roommate agreement, make sure it is updated accordingly.

While confronting a roommate is never fun, it’s the only way to truly resolve an issue. Just remember: be patient, honest and respectful, and make sure to listen as much as you talk.

Best of luck talking to your roommate!

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