How To Effectively Prevent and Solve Roommate Drama
There is a lot of benefit to having a roommate, including always having someone around to chat, watch movies with, and share the rent with. But sometimes things go awry and one or both of you ends up feeling upset, mad, or annoyed. To avoid this, it is important to be careful when picking who you live with and making sure you communicate expectations prior to moving in together.
Avoid potential problems by following some of these effective tips:
Before you move in together, talk with each other about what your expectations are as well as your wants and needs. If you like to go to sleep early, talk through what time you expect it to be quiet. Talk about who will be in charge of making sure the electric bill is paid so that you don’t end up getting your power cut off. We recommend using a roommate agreement so that you are all on the same page with responsibilities, financials, and rules. Here are some of the main points to talk about:
- Discuss what you will share, if you will be having friends over, and who will clean what
- Talk financials and who will be responsible for what
- Talk about shared spaces and private spaces
There are plenty of free roommate agreement templates online, here is one from legaltemplates.net.
Treat Them How You Want to be Treated
Follow the golden rule. If you want to be respected, you have to treat your roommate with respect too. Be considerate of their space and their belongings. Always ask before using something of theirs and they will hopefully do the same for you.
Ask the Right Questions & Listen
When a problem arises, talk about it early so that it doesn’t have the chance to build up. When talking, do it in person and not over text. Avoid arguing and instead talk with the goal of clearing things up. When you are initiating the conversation be sure you are on common ground and you aren’t interrupting them when they are doing something else. Consider scheduling a roommate meeting to talk about everything.
During your conversation be aware of how you are communicating. By asking questions a certain way and communicating constructively, you can keep things from getting heated. Do your best to stay calm and your roommate will most likely remain calm as well.
When your roommate is talking, listen to what they are saying and try and understand their point of view. Do your best to stay on point and avoid getting off track.
Some other tips:
- Don’t attack them or spring the conversation on them
- Try using phrases like “I feel. . .”, I understand what you are saying, but. . .”, and “You could be right, but. . .”
- Do your best to remain calm
Ask a Mutual Friend to Help
If the two of you aren’t able to come to a solution on your own, consider bringing in a third party. Pick someone who is neutral to mediate the conversation who can hear both sides and offer unbiased solutions.>
Be Open to Compromise
Try your best to come up with a win-win situation. If both sides win a little bit, you are both more likely to be happy roommates!
While not guaranteed to work, these tips will hopefully have you on your way to a more peaceful home where you can enjoy the fun of having a roommate.