How to Effectively Solve Roommate Disagreements

It is not all sunshine and rainbows when you move in with a roommate. Sometimes, personalities may collide, and things may get heated or uncomfortable. Our experts at Apartment Locating Specialists have compiled seven practical tips on how to deal with roommate conflict and keep the peace within your household without neglecting your boundaries.

1. Finding the Right Roommate

It’s essential to find a roommate who shares values with you. You want to consider what their schedule may be like. If you’re up early for work and they’re party animals who like to stumble in late with a group of friends, they may not be suitable to live with you.

2. Open-Ended Communication Is a Must

If you avoid addressing concerns, conflict is inevitable. It’s best to find time to sit down and have an open-ended discussion with your roommate so you can be on the same page about things that may bother you or that you’d like them to start doing. Don’t wait to hash out differences until you’re upset; be proactive!

3. “I” Statements Rather Than “You” Accusations

Starting statements with the word “You” can instantly make people defensive. Practice voicing your opinion using “I” statements to maintain peace with your roommate. “I understand why you left the dishes out, but I would love it if you could put them away.” It sounds more appealing than “You left the dishes out again, can you put them away?”

4. Respecting Personal Space and Boundaries

It’s important to remember it’s your roommate’s home, too. Informing each other if you’re planning to be out late or if you’re having guests over is an excellent way to ensure you’re respecting each other’s space. Mess, noise, and crowds may rub people the wrong way if they’re sprung on them unexpectedly. Consider a roommate boundaries list to avoid conflict.

5. Agree to Disagree

Agreeing to disagree when the issue is not resolved is sometimes your best choice. If the conversation or disagreement is going nowhere, it’s best to accept that you and your roommate see it differently and respectfully drop it. Having a different opinion is okay if no one is harmed in the process.

6. Be Empathetic & Understanding

We’re all human, and a rough day can result in a bad attitude. When you’re faced with a conflict with your roommate, try to have an honest talk and ask them if any external factors are contributing to their mood. A little empathy and compassion go a long way, and it builds trust and understanding.

7. Lead by Example

Conflict resolution can be challenging, especially when others don’t see their actions as a problem. Practice leading by example, resolve your shortcomings, and influence your roommate to do better by displaying your ability to work on yourself. Be sure to take accountability when you may be at fault to encourage your roommate to do the same.