We can’t always choose our roommates, and even when you can, you may not be pleased to find out the reality of living with someone you thought you’d enjoy. Roommates can offer a great experience, but some are just plain difficult to handle. Bad roommates can be found in any part of the country – Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Montana, Nevada, etc. Here are a few ways you can deal with them.
Talk to your roommate. It seems obvious, but your roommate may not realize that what they are doing gets under your skin. As soon as the offending action takes place, gently and politely tell your roommate that you’d rather they not do that.
Offer options and compromise. You may feel like it’s your home, and your roommate just lives in it, but it’s half theirs, too. If you have an issue with something they are doing, always be willing to try different options and create a compromise that can make you both happy. Good examples are headphones for loud music and scheduling parties or late night visits ahead of time.
Create house rules. If you didn’t create rules before you moved in together, do it now. Discuss the expectations you share for each other and explain why they are important. Set boundaries, and be open to hearing about annoying habits of your own that may be driving your roommate crazy.
Spend time away from home. Get a fresh perspective and relax when your roommate is getting on your nerves. Calmly think about how you’d like to approach the situation, and plan when you’re not at the height of annoyance.
Get some white noise. Whether it’s a fan, light music, or a noisy computer, find a way to create noise that can drown out the various clinks, clangs, and habits of your roommate that you’d rather not hear.
Set up a cleaning schedule. Many roommates have trouble juggling cleaning duties. Talk about how often you expect for your dorm or apartment to be cleaned, and when each of you will take your turn to do it.
Let go. Living with someone else can be tough, but think about the big picture. Does a little toothpaste in the sink or a few late night friends really throw a wrench in your life? Pick your battles and let go of the little things.
Follow these tips to make living with a roommate just a little bit easier. And keep in mind that in most situations, it only lasts just one short year or semester, so nothing is permanent!