4 Strategies for Dealing with a Bad Roommate
Have a bad roommate? Communication is key; so is setting boundaries. If you find yourself in conflict with your roommate, keep these tips in mind, as you try to change the situation for yourself and turn a bad situation into a livable one.
When you live with a roommate, learning how to coexist harmoniously with that roommate is crucial. Even if you’ve found the perfect New York apartment, dealing with a bad roommate can quickly sour the whole experience. If you find yourself in conflict with your roommate, keep these tips in mind, as you try to change the situation for yourself and turn a bad situation into a livable one.
1. Work on Communication
Good communication is key to successful cohabitation. It’s normal to want to avoid confronting someone who is annoying you or irritating you, but when you’re sharing the same space, you can dodge these issues for only so long. When roommates do things that bother you, don’t be afraid to let them know. But you should also think carefully about how you choose to put your message across. To minimize drama, be polite yet direct. Voicing your thoughts in a sincere, approachable way should help motivate your roommate to see your point of view.
2. Use Empathy
When conflict arises, you should also put yourself in your roommate’s shoes. Think about how the other person might be experiencing this scenario. There are two sides to every story. Everyone is different, and the way you live, eat, sleep, and handle problems is going to be different. So make sure to take the time to really get to know your roommate; it will help you understand where they’re coming from. The more you know about your roommate, the more effectively you will be able to communicate with them and handle potentially uncomfortable situations.
3. Set Boundaries
Bad boundaries makes for bad roommates. Walking in on your roommate going through your clothes or eating your leftovers can be justifiably upsetting; if you haven’t given your roommate permission to do these things, it’s a violation of your space and privacy. Right from the get-go, work with your roommates to set some lines that should not be crossed, and make sure everyone in the home respects those lines. If one of you needs to some quiet to work or study at night, the other shouldn’t be bringing friends over or having a noisy party. Setting boundaries includes outside guests: To prevent having issues with too many strangers being in the apartment, make sure to designate limits. These conversations are critical. No one wants to live in a place where they don’t feel safe.
4. Explore the Worse-Case Scenario
If nothing else works, then the two of you should sit down and talk about your options. At the beginning, you most likely you signed a lease. If one of you needs to move out, discuss subleasing options. If things are really bad, you may need to involve your landlord, and an extreme case might involve looking into eviction. But that’s a last resort, and you should try working things out with your roommate first.
Remember, having a bad roommate is fixable, so don’t fret!
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