Today is Day 3 of our focus on communication. Today we are going to discuss….roommates. Most of you have them, whether you live on or off campus. For some of you this might be the first time you have had to share a space with someone who is not related to you.
Some of you might have embraced the idea of having a roommate. Maybe you thought that your roommate would be the person you would play guitar hero with all night long or the person who would let you raid their closet when you needed just the right outfit. Things might have started off great, but now you might be fed up with their (insert annoying habit here).
Does it mean you need to move? No. However it is time to talk to your roommate. You might be tired of their dirty clothes all over the floor or fed up that they sleep with the TV on. Whatever it is, have you talked to your roommate about it?
Most roommates will have an issue at some point, but rolling your eyes and posting how irritated you are with them on Facebook is NOT the solution. You need to communicate with them, let them know what the issue is and find a compromise both of you can live with. Most people don’t realize that (insert habit) annoys others and most are willing to compromise if they are told it is causing a conflict.
I have a lifetime roommate, my husband, and I have a habit of going to sleep with the TV on. I didn’t know it was an issue until he said something. We talked about it, I explained that I need the TV on to fall asleep, he explained that he can’t sleep well if the TV is on all night. So, we compromised…I go to sleep with the TV on but set the sleep timer. Now we both are happy and sleeping well 🙂
Here are 4 tips that can improve communication with your roommate:
Talk to your roommate directly when something is bothering you. Don’t discuss it behind his or her back because this can cause a breakdown in trust between the two of you.
Be direct. Be clear about what is bothering you. If you don’t tell your roommate that there is a problem he or she won’t be able to do anything about it.
If you create a win-win situation then the conflict is more likely to be resolved. Evaluate the needs of both sides before a solution is proposed. And make sure the solution is acceptable to both parties.
Respect each other’s differences. Everyone has different values, lifestyles, expectations, and communication styles. Get to know each other and establish common ground. It is easier to solve a problem with a friend than with a stranger.
The more you communicate with your roommate the better the chances are for having a positive living situation.
Tell us in the comment section: What has been the most challenging thing about sharing a room or apartment?