Roommate conflict can tear two otherwise great friends apart. Oftentimes, people make the mistake of assuming that, because they are great friends, they are going to make great roommates. One definitely does not guarantee the other. Resolving roommate conflict can be a touchy issue, and it is not something you want to take lightly. You probably spend more time with your roommate than with any other individual person, so having a good relationship is crucial.
Prepare For Compromise
Having a roommate is not much different from having a boyfriend or girlfriend. You have to take their feelings and needs into consideration, and you're going to have to make sacrifices. The best piece of advice on how to resolve roommate conflict is to try your best to avoid it in the first place. Try not to sweat the little things. It is impossible to find a roommate who doesn't have some bad habits. Whether it's letting the trash pile up or listening to the television too loud, you have to pick your battles, and sometimes it's better just to let some issues go. When it gets to the point that it is seriously affecting your relationship and your ability to happy in your own home, it is time to talk.
Keep Your Cool
If the issue is bigger than leaving clothes around or not doing the dishes-say your roommate threw a party and trashed the place but made no effort to clean it up-it is important to give yourself time to cool down before you approach him. If you try and hash it out while you are still fuming, you will have trouble keeping a level head, and you may say something that will permanently damage your relationship. Take some time to collect yourself, and think out what you are going to say. When you think you are able to discuss the issue in a civilized manner, then sit down and have the conversation.
Avoid The Blame Game
When approaching your roommate, do your best not to sound accusatory. Nobody likes to have his bad habits pointed out, and doing it in an insulting or aggressive manner will not help the situation. State what you are trying to say calmly and clearly, and give your roommate the chance to respond. Your roommate might still get offended, but at least you did the best you could.
If you've talked with your roommate and the problem persists, it may be necessary to find someone else to live with, and, next time, choose your roommate based on compatibility rather than friendship. There is no sense in losing a friend by continuing a living situation that is not working longer than is necessary. Sometimes, the only way to preserve your friendship is to stop living together.
Thinking about getting roommates? The best way to ensure you won't have issues with potential conflicts and clearly lay out all expectations is through a roommate agreement. Not every roommate is a match made in heaven, and even if you find an ideal roommate, that person may not turn out to be who you thought.
You can handle a little bit of a mess, but, when the food in the fridge starts to grow moldy, the dishes pile up in the sink and some weird dude named "Worm" is sleeping on your couch every night, you and your roommate need to talk. This guide tackles each offense strike-by-strike, progressing until you take the ultimate step of kicking out the bad roommate.
Interviewing potential roommates is not something you want to take lightly. This is an exceedingly important decision, and the more thought you put into it, the better your living situation will be.