Western Kentucky University

Roommate Trouble

Not Getting Along With your Roommate?

 

We just don’t click. How did we get put together?

There are a lot of different personalities out there- about six billion to be exact. Don’t get down if things don’t click right away. Learning how to co-exist takes time, patience and communication. After you have given it some time and things are still not working out talk to your RA about some solutions, that’s what they’re there for!

My roommate is nice to my face, but talks about me behind my back?

First, you cannot always rely on what people say to be the truth. This could just be a rumor. Communication is key. If your roommate does something that upsets you, talk it out. Try to understand their point of view and where they’re coming from. Be honest, chances are they are not mind readers and may not know that something is bothering you. If you establish good communication early on it will be that much easier to handle certain issues that may arise.

My roommate’s boyfriend is always here. It’s so annoying, I’m tired of being “sexiled”.

Don’t let issues slide. Let your roommate know right up front if something bugs you. Things left unspoken only lead to greater tension. However when you do approach sensitive subjects it is important to remember to be respectful and avoid “always” and “you” statements. For example, “your boyfriend (or friend) is always here and it’s really annoying.” This might put them on the defensive, which could quickly turn a discussion into a fight. Instead use an “I” statement such as, “I feel aggravated when I have to leave my own room when your boyfriend is here.” Be honest with them but remember to be respectful, it is their room too.

My roommate always stays up later than I do playing her music or using her computer. I can’t sleep.

Be patient you and your roommate might not be used to sharing space with someone else. It may take time to adjust to the close quarters of college living. Your roommate may be a single child and not understand the dynamics of living with someone else so be open and honest with them. They might not even know that what they’re doing is bothering you. Talk to them.

My roommate is such a slob.

Pick your battles. You and your roommate will inevitably disagree on some things, so choose carefully which issues are worth confronting. Try not to pick on all of their habits. We’re all human and definitely not perfect. Also, practice what you preach. If you insist that your roommate keep the music down or keep their side of the room clean make sure you do the same.

Tips for Handling Roommate Conflicts

1. Communication-Communication-Communication. If your roommate doesn’t know something is bugging you it is only going to aggravate you more. Talk to them.
2. Create a roommate contract together. Talk about simple issues such as study time, guests, and messiness early on so that these don’t create bigger problems in the future. Also, practice what you preach. You cannot expect them to tidy up if you don’t do the same.
3. Be respectful. Let them know where you’re coming from, but listen to their point of view too, and figure out a solution that works for the both of you.
4. Pick your battles but don’t let the big issues slide. Remember to use “I” statements instead of “you” or “always” so they do not become defensive.
5. Don’t confront someone when you are angry or in a bad mood. This is a time when we often say things we don’t mean. Cool off before talking things out.
6. Be patient. Building a relationship with someone doesn’t happen overnight.
7. Use your RA or RD as a resource. That is what they’re there for. If you and your roommate simply cannot live together, talk to someone about it.

Helpful Links

College Roommate Problems: Solve them with contracts: http://www.sideroad.com/college_and_university/college-roomate-contracts.html

College Relationships: Roommate tips for dorm life:
http://www.iamnext.com/people/rmatedorm.html

Managing Roommate Relations:
http://www.reslife.net/html/resident_0400f.html

 Last Modified 7/22/13