Anyone who’s had to deal with a crappy roommate knows what it’s like to come home from a long day and have someone else’s dirty dishes everywhere, an overflowing trash can, loud music blaring from the other room or unwanted guests in your place. Truth is, you’re not alone! And we’re all in this together. If confrontation makes you super uncomfortable, or you’re just tired of putting up with your roommate’s BS, then here are 5 essential tips for how to deal with a difficult roommate:
1. Choose your battles.
When you’re living with someone you don’t get along with very well, even the smallest things they do will seem to piss you off. But, sometimes it’s better to just bite your tongue if you know that the argument won’t go anywhere or if it only seems like a big deal because you just don’t really like them anyway. Choosing when to make a big deal out of something prevents having such a hostile environment every time something goes wrong. Since no one is perfect, it’s important to try not to make such a big deal about everything your roommate does. Decide what’s more worth your time talking about.
2. Have a friend of family member to vent to.
When you have a roommate that you get along with, it’s great because you almost always have someone to vent to about your day—even if it’s more like smalltalk. But, when you don’t get along, it’s a whole different story. This kind of rebounds on choosing which battles to have with your roommate.
For the little things you decide not to make a big deal about, but it still annoys you, call someone who’s willing to listen to you vent about your awful roommate. Talking it out with someone else will usually help take some of built up tension that you’ve been holding in. Trust me, it’ll make you feel a lot better after getting it off your chest.
3. Be willing to compromise.
Butting heads with a roommate you don’t get along with is inevitable. If the both of you are used to doing things around your living space differently, then try to find a happy medium that could work for the both of you. Not everything has to be perfect and always benefit one person over the other; sometimes compromising just comes with having a roommate. Think of it this way, if you’re trying to deal with your difficult roommate but are unwilling to compromise, can you fully blame all your trouble on them? This is definitely important an important tip when considering how to deal with a difficult roommate!
4. Be the bigger person, even when it’s really hard not to be.
Taking the high road is almost always easier said than done. Sometimes you just wanna take your roommates smoggy clothes that have been sitting in the washer for a couple of days and dump it on her unmade bed. Sadly, retaliation is probably the worst way to handle a difficult roommate. When you try to “get even” with them, it will only make them mad and they’ll do something else or continue doing what made you mad in the first place. By being the bigger person, you could just give them simple reminders to be considerate of your shared spaces. Although this can be very hard, when learning how to deal with a difficult roommate it is majorly important!
When you’re able to talk things out instead of trying to find a way to get back at them, they’ll (hopefully) get the hint that the world doesn’t revolve around them, and that they should be more open to cleaning up after themselves in a timely manner.
5. Address the issue sooner rather than later.
If someone has acquired certain living habits, most of the time they’re completely oblivious to any annoyances that they could be causing to their roommates. If your roommate continues to do something that truly bothers you or makes you uncomfortable in your own place, it’s important to speak up right away.
The longer you wait, the more they’ll think you’re okay with it or just don’t care so they’ll keep doing it. Even if it’s something small that you think may seem ridiculous to point out, point it out anyway because it’ll become a much bigger issue the longer you push it off. Talking about your issues sooner also has a higher chance of keeping the conversation as civil as possible.