How to Sort Out Problems with a Roommate


To have a roommate is an experience in itself. Almost always, living with your roommate is a real fun opportunity. You get the privilege to share your lives, routines, meals and sometimes even the darkest of secrets. But like every other realtionship, a time comes when this relationship is not fun. There are problems and issues regarding each others’ habits, lifestyle, etc. However, one should not get tense in such a situation. To discuss and sort out problems with someone is indeed a difficult task. But few other things may help you in case of a roommate. Here are some guidelines.

Determine your problems: First, be very clear about the problems you want to discuss with your roommate. Be it your roommate’s untidiness or your roomate’s noisiness or your roommate’s usage of your personal stuff without your prior permission; set out a clear plan in your mind. A good solution will be to make a list of your problems so that you can easily come up with all the issues you have been meaning to discuss. However, when you confront your roommate with your problems, do not take out the list. The list just has to act as a basic guide for you. Do not unnecessarily complicate things by revealing that you have listed down the problems you have with your roommate.

Ascertain the solutions: After completing the list, find out how you want to resolve your issues with your roommate. Use your list and think about the possible solutions for your problems. Once you have ascertained the solution according to you, you can easily converse about the issue with your roommate. If you a new set of house rules, you should be clear regarding what all you are ready to compromise and what do you expect of her. But you should realise that your solution may or may not be acceptable to your roommate. Ascertaining the solutions will help you when finally you confront your roommate and convince him/her that you are just not merely pointing out various issues that you have. When you have an idea of your expectations, it will be easier for your roommate and you to agree to a mutual settlement.

Formulate a plan: Once the problems have been listed down and you have thought over their prospective solutions, form a plan. To confront someone with problems you have with them is difficult, specially with a roommate. If you have a plan, you brace yourself for even the worst. Think of a suitable time, place and style of approaching your roommate.

Select a suitable time: Choose a time that is convenient for both of you. Try to avoid the discussion when your roommate has an important appointment. No time is really the best for a confrontation, since your roommate is bound to feel bad. But there should be ample amount of time for both of you to speak up what you have in your minds and agree to a mutual settlement. Take up a time when your roommate is in a good mood.

Communicate gently: When you confront your roommate, do not try to overlook your roommate’s opinions or dominate him/her. Place yourself in your roommate’s shoes and then speak. Try to be patient and gentle. Do not be rude or try to humiliate your roommate. Listen to your roommate’s views and suggesstions. Give your roommate time to speak out his/her mind. If one person talks and decides alone, it will be an unfair settlement.

Be gentle: When you confront someone, you are already irritated and annoyed at some of their habits. However, remember people may have issues with you as well. So do not say hurtful words to your roommate. Anger will not be the solution to your problems.

Be receptive: The solutions that you offer may not be so good. When you share a room, you share the rules as well. Therefore, when your roommate gives her ideas, be receptive towards them. The solutions offered by your roommate might be even better than yours.

Keep these things in mind while confronting a roommate and try to rejuvinate the fun and joy of having a roommate.

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Filed Under: Family & Relationships

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About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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