Having to room with a complete stranger while in college is already nerve-wracking and weird, but when you learn this roommate is a moody person, it can make so much worse! They seem to always be irritated, maybe they don’t listen to you or even talk to you. Maybe they trash the place and when you ask them to clean up after themselves, they get mad at you for it.
Of course, this probably happens rarely as most people try to get along as much as possible while rooming in college. However, there are always one or two cases that this happens. Before going to your RA and asking for a room change, try some of these techniques on how to deal with a moody roommate.
When They Are A Total Stranger
Most of the time, if you have a moody roommate, it is going to be a stranger that you didn’t know was going to be like this. When it comes to roommates you don’t know very well, a great way to try and get past their walls would be to sit down with them when you first move in and come up with a roommate contract. This way, you can know their boundaries and they can know yours. But you will also get to see what kinds of habits they have before you’ve lived with them too long.
If your roommate ever has friends over, you can also try to understand your roommate by asking their friends about them. I am sure their friends aren’t moody like they are and can give you a little bit more information on why they act that way. Then, maybe you can find a solution to try help the situation become lighter between the two of you.
When They’re Your Best Friend
Have you ever heard of the idea that you shouldn’t live with your best friend because you’ll end up hating each other? I think it is only partially true. Of course, there are going to be things that you and your best friend roommate do not agree on. There will times when you both have fought and it will be kind of bad for a few days.
Even though you both love each other and are probably super ecstatic about moving in together, there needs to be an agreement on certain things. So, like the previous example, come up with a roommate contract that gets all of the small little routines out in the open so that things don’t start getting messy between the two of you.
When it is friends, things can be a little easier because you can talk things out a bit more. But the danger about living with your best friend is you might learn something you really don’t like about them and vice versa, and it could very much ruin your relationship. I know it sounds extreme, but it has happened before.
A great way to cool things off for anyone, whether your roommate is someone you don’t know very well or your best friend, is giving some distance and time for the other person to calm down. Or maybe you need to take some time to calm down about something. Everyone has their moments.
Giving some space will help both you and your roommate in thinking things through a little more. Then, you can come together and discuss what was really going on. If you get into an argument with your roommate, space will help you see things a little differently and you can come back with different points and hopefully, you can both see each other’s sides a bit more.
Talking Things Out
With a friend roommate or a roommate you don’t know very well, you need to establish a clear channel of communication with each other. The thing that I found most difficult between me and my roommate was a lack of communication. Whenever I did something she didn’t like, you wouldn’t tell me about it. And then her anger towards me would just build until she had to walk away to cool down. Man, that makes me sound like an obnoxious roommate, but if she would have just come and talked to me about it, it would have been resolved much quicker.
Don’t let this happen with your roommate. If you have a problem with them, don’t hide it until you blow up. Take them aside, and in a respectful manner, tell them what you are feeling and thinking about whatever the situation is and vice versa. If you notice them acting a little strange—being distant, one-word responses, not being respectful of your shared space—that’s when you pull them aside and ask them what is going on. Don’t let them try and wiggle out of it either because the longer an issue goes without being addressed, the bigger the blow up will be.
Grow The Relationship
My biggest mistake when I went into freshman year of college was thinking I was going to become best friends with my roommate. We did become friends but by the end of the year, things kind of fell apart and I was so disappointed.
That being said, don’t go into this next year thinking you are going to become super close with your roommate. Not everyone becomes friends with the people you live with. You sometimes just have to tolerate each other. It is sad, but it is true.
You can, of course, set a goal to at least become almost like work colleagues. You say hello to each other, smile when you see each other. Maybe you’ll even get the chance to have some light conversations. Grow the relationship in whatever way you think it is going whether that is a friendship or just being roommates.