Tips for Dealing with Difficult Roommates

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Ideally, we want a roommate we agree with on all levels, but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. Living with someone can put a strain on any relationship, regardless of how long you've known each other. At some point in your relationship, you are bound to disagree, but don’t worry; this is entirely normal and can be expected.

Here are a few tips tohelp you manage conflicts when you're dealing with a difficult roommate:

Deal With Problems Right Away

The minute something starts to bother you, say something. Don’t make a big deal out of, but rather mention it in a polite way to bring it to their attention. Did your roommate leave dishes in the sink for a couple of days? Say something. Just bring it up in a casual conversation and come to an agreement. Don’t put rules on your roommate like “All dishes must be washed within one day,” as this can feel very one-sided. Instead, work together and find a plan that works for both of you. If you leave the issue unrespolved and let it fester, it will likely grow to become a more significant issue. 


Give Yourself Space

No matter how much you like your roommate, there is such a thing as too much together-time. Especially right now, with the stay-at-home orders, you may be spending a lot of time with your roommate, and this can cause issues. It's always nice to watch movies together or play games, but be sure you're also giving each other space. Although you really can’t go out and get away from each other, utilize your bedrooms as your personal space where you can chill on your own. 


Communicate in Person

It's never fun to find a passive-aggressive sticky note waiting for you on the fridge. The thing about written communication is that it can often be misinterpreted. Even if you wrote your note with the kindest intentions, it may not be read that way. Talking about issues face-to-face can help avoid misunderstandings thanks to facial expressions and tone which provide a greater depth of understanding while communicating. 

Remember, at the end of the day, you and your roommate are a team, and it takes work to create a home that is happy for everyone. When you deal with problems right away, make sure you have plenty of alone-time, and communicate in-person, you can work together to live in peace and harmony. 

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