Living with someone that you’re not used to being around, can be very hard at times. Everyone has different habits and is accustomed to different ways of living. When your roommate does something that really bothers you, it’s important to note that he or she may not even realize what was done wrong. To them, it might not even be a problem. Here are a few tips that will work for handling confrontations with your roommate, or otherwise known as the “roommate rumble”:
- Never yell!! Remember, you have to live with this person. Raising your voice will most likely make your peer feel attacked. This could result in additional friction between the two of you. Instead, approach the situation calmly and maturely. This will make him or her feel more like your roommate rather than like a child being scolded by a mother.
- Don’t make it seem like he or she does everything wrong. Before you approach your roommate about the problem, bring up something good that they’ve done first. For example, “Thanks for cleaning the bathroom after you showered yesterday, it looks great!” Then proceed to your point, “Next time, can you please just ask me before you use my body wash and shampoo though? I’m running a little low these days.” This will make your friend feel appreciated and not like you’re just being critical.
- Give a reminder instead of a demand. If your roommate isn’t completing chores, be sure to say something along the lines of, “I realize the past few days have been really hectic for you, when things start to calm down for you, just remember that you have dishes in the sink that still need cleaning!” This will show that you notice their slacking without being mean or accusatory.
- Be understanding. If your partner has been moody or seems tense, offer to talk about things. Tell them that you notice they seem stressed and that if they need someone to relate to, you’re always there. The fact that you recognize their state of being and are willing to help may provide them with a sense of comfort around you.
- Be selective about what you bring up. For example, if a person has lived eighteen years with a certain habit, the chances of them breaking the habit now are highly unlikely. Yes, her chewing gum loudly might bother you, or his constant biting of the nails might make you cringe. When this happens, there is a simple solution, leave the room!! There are so many other options for you, who says you have to stick around?!
If you follow these tips, there is no doubt that you and your roommate will have a healthier relationship. No one said that living with someone is easy. However, avoiding a fight is always worth it!