The Honeymoon is Over…

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?


8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Stephanie Williams on September 30, 2009 at 11:06 am

    the most challenging thing so far sharing a room is that i haven’t had to share anything with anybody i have no brothers or sisters at home so i have everything really to myself, and also that getting my roommate to talk is on my end i have to start the conv. or there isn’t one.


  2. Posted by Mark McCall on September 30, 2009 at 11:41 am

    The hardest thing so far to get used to is coming in when i want. See, all my classes start at or after one o’ clock. He on the other hand has 8 am classes everyday. So since i am used to going to bed whenever, i’m having to adjust to the fact that even though i can come in whenever i choose, i have to be careful about how much noise i make when i come in


    • Posted by Brenda Davila on September 30, 2009 at 11:59 am

      I know exactly how you feel, my roommate and I used to get up at different times and it took some getting used to. She for one, is a morning person and I am not. that was probably the most difficult thing by far, but in the end it all worked out. We continued to live together this year, but now have our own rooms 🙂


  3. Posted by traversswan on September 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    When we both go to sleep at exactly the same time. That’s weird to me. I prefer it if one of us is out the room or something.


    • Posted by Tosin Ogunjobi on October 1, 2009 at 11:01 am

      LOL! There’s nothing wrong with both of you going to sleep at the same time, because it can always be worst. For example, when your sleep he could be coming in makng a lot of noise and that can annoy you. So look on the bright side at least your sleeping peacefully.


  4. Posted by Rachel Slovacek on September 30, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    The hardest thing for me is actually getting up the self control to do my work whenever my roommate is finished with hers or playing a game or watching tv… Sounds weird but it is hard for me, I have to leave and go work in the common room.


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