Sharing space for a prolonged period of time is never easy. Be it with your siblings, your grandparents or even your best friend. Keeping the peace is a task for both parties. But unfortunately, if you’re stuck with a difficult roommate, things are much worse. The silent treatment can work only for so long and you’ll have to sort it out sooner rather than later.
Here are useful tips on dealing with problematic roomies!
1. Talk it Out
If you notice recurring behaviors in your roommate that bother you, do not keep it to yourself. However don’t jump at aggressive confrontation either. Calmy mention it to them at first – they might have a good reason for their behaviour. Try your best to empathize with them as well. Rather than accusing, just have a cool and collected conversation, those always yield the best results. Often they might lead your roommate to bring up issues they might have with you too. Talking always helps clear the air.
2. Don’t Lose Your Cool
When dealing with particularly annoying people it’s easy to snap or lose your temper. This never ends well. Aggressive behaviours will only be mirrored and may even lead to an outright fight thus solving nobody’s issues. Diplomacy is key when trying to put forth your point without seeming pushy or hostile. In the face of uncooperative behaviour try your best to stress the rationale behind your requests – most people will be able to empathize with that.
3. Establish Boundaries
Knowing when either of you have crossed boundaries is essential. If you need to get some space and clear your head, go ahead and do so. This will help you gather your thoughts and maybe even understand alternate perspectives as well as your roommate’s motivation behind his/her actions.
4. Reiteration and Intensity
The seriousness of the matter should affect your approach to it. For example, if the issue is simply a matter of excessively loud music, a slip up with chores or leaving the lights on for too long then the issue can be solved with a discussion and maybe a couple of reminders. However, issues like non-payment of shared bills, stealing etc., do not shy away from confronting your roommate. Remind and repeat as and when you have to and stress the importance and urgency of the matter so they can understand the significance of your demands.
5. Empathy and Understanding
Be empathetic and understanding of your roommate’s issues and struggles which might be the cause of the issue. Be ready to hear them out completely and do not accuse them of anything straight off the bat. Their reasons might be completely justified and it is likely you do not know the full story.
6. Know When to Quit
Know your limits. There is only so far you can go attempting to make him/her understand the issue. If the problem persists despite repeated discussions and reminders, it might be time to move out. If they absolutely refuse to change their behaviour, the tension created will not be healthy for either party. Some lines can be crossed and some cannot – know when to tell the difference. Make sure you’ve exhausted all other options before you resort to this, however.
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