How Can You Tactfully Handle Roommate Differences?
Whether you’re living on or off campus, university life typically means sharing facilities with complete strangers. During your time there, you’re likely to encounter at least a few differences. While it may be impossible to avoid conflict entirely, you can use the following steps to avoid major arguments and solve any problems that crop up in a tactful way.
- Practice Good Communication, Not Passive Aggression
Something that may seem like a minor issue to one person could actually be a big deal to another person. Instead of staying quiet when you’re upset with your roommates and expecting them to know they’re doing something wrong, tell them. Most of the time, you’ll find that they’re reasonable people who are happy to adjust their behaviours so you can all live in peace.
The same also goes for major issues, too. Whether you feel the chore distribution is imbalanced or your roommate’s loud music makes it impossible to study, always try to talk things out instead of going behind your roommates’ backs and complaining to friends. And, be sure to cool down first so you can approach the problem calmly and politely — this will increase your odds of resolving it successfully.
- Don’t Complain About Every Little Thing
Sometimes, you may need to step back and ask yourself if an issue is really even worth discussing. There are going to be little things that annoy you that don’t actually matter and simply come down to a matter of preference. Avoid pettiness and overlook small differences, such as how your roommate stacks the cups in the cabinet. Remember, you may have similar habits that bother your roommates, too.
- Be Willing to Compromise
While your roommate should be willing to bend on certain issues, if you approach every problem expecting them to change, you’re going to be disappointed and unhappy. In fact, such demands are often the cause of fights. Whether the disagreement is about how often people can come over or how clean your housing should be, always aim to find a middle ground. After all, some compromise may be necessary on your part, too.
- Change Your Own Behaviours
Strive to be respectful and considerate in everything you do. If you want your roommates to respect your wishes, you need to be willing to change your own behaviours when they ask, too. Moreover, when you make a request, it’s a good idea to ask your roommates what you can do in exchange. This will show that you’re committed to creating a better living environment for everyone.
- Set Reasonable Expectations
It would be great if your roommates turned out to be lifelong best friends, but in many cases, this doesn’t happen. In fact, you may not even end up staying in contact after you move out. This is fine — what matters is that you get along well enough to live together now. This may require adjusting your expectations.
It is much easier to prevent problems when you have your own room. Although this is rarely possible with on-campus housing, you can have your own private space with student apartments. Hamilton students can live the college student experience conflict-free by staying at West Village Suites. Unlike on-campus housing, you’ll have your own bedroom in a suite that you’ll share with as few as just one other person. Contact us today to book a tour!