No matter who your college roommate turns out to be, there may come a time while you live together that the two of you butt heads. Whether your roommate is as familiar as a best friend or as unknown as a stranger, the chances of running into an argument with them are always there, and when tension arises, students may not know exactly what to do or say to their roomie. If you’re looking for ways to neutralize a heated confrontation or ways to prevent future ones, here are some good ways you can handle an argument with your roommate!
Talk It Out
Of course, this is how you should resolve any and every argument with your roommate, or anybody for that matter.
Communication is key. If there is a disagreement of any sort, make it a priority to talk it out with your roommate, because the longer there is tension, the more uneasy it is being in the room while they’re there.
Working out a time for you and your roommate to sit down and discuss the situation directly together is exactly how you should handle it.
Make sure to get your side of the argument across, but also let their voice be heard and listen to what they have to say. Not all arguments end with an agreement, and even if they don’t, it’s important to at least understand where your roommate is coming from, and for them to understand your side as well.
Maybe you and your roommate need time to be apart and dwell on the issue at hand, and that’s ok.
If an argument with your roommate starts boiling over, it might be best to just get out of the kitchen to allow the pot to simmer down. No need to stir any further and create an even greater mess.
Aside from the cooking references, time away from your roommate will allow you to go focus on other things that calm you down or make you happy. This will put you in a better mood when the time comes to return to your dorm room and have a more civil conversation with your roommate.
Sometimes something as simple as an apology can calm down an argument with your roommate. If you come to realize that you may be at fault, own up to it. If you feel that you weren’t at fault, apologize for contributing to the tension that has become the elephant in your dorm room, because the longer this fight goes on, the longer it will take to be on common ground with your roommate again.
Once there is an apology in place, a conversation on what is going on or wrong in the dorm room is easier to hold without any anger.
Talk It Through With A Neutral Party
I mean, it’s worth a shot, right?
Sometimes you and your roommates are too hard headed to get through to each other during an argument. A third, non bias voice could potentially help each of you understand each other’s point a little better.
If your campus has a counselor, your issues could be brought to them. Someone who’s job is to listen to both sides and to help explain each side to the other person.
If you have multiple roommates, one or all of them not involved in the argument could step in and try to diffuse the situation. I’m sure they would hate for you and a roommate to argue as much as you and your roommate hate arguing with each other. Extra roommates should be looking out for the betterment of the house as a whole, so they could be neutral parties to help tone things down.
This is taking resolving an argument with your roommate to the extreme, but at the end of the day it’s better than continuing to butt heads with no end in sight.
Now that you have a few ways to help put a stop to an argument with your roommate, you should also know what NOT to do in the heat of the battle.
No Friends From The Outside
If they don’t live in the same dorm room, apartment, house, or wherever you live, they have no business putting in their two cents to the argument.
Friends and any other students from outside of the living space should not be allowed to have input on any argument between you and a roommate. Who are they to say to say who’s right and who’s wrong, and what either of you should do in a place they don’t inhabit themselves?
Friends in particular can tend to be biased and side with their friends, and it becomes a pair or a group ganging up on another student and it only escalates the problems.
What happens in the dorm room stays in the dorm room!
Let It Blow Over
Never, ever just ignore or walk entirely away from an argument!
Having a mentality that “it will resolve itself in due time” is the absolute wrong way to go about it. Your roommate is likely somebody you’re going to see on a daily basis, and there will always be tension lingering in the room if the argument isn’t settled in a timely fashion.
Letting things blow over also includes letting things pile up one after the other without addressing it immediately. Being passive aggressive about a situation isn’t strong communication and can make it uncomfortable for you and your roommate to live together.
Giving space can help calm things down, but that is with the goal of returning to the issues and going through them together. Letting things blow over is just asking for more trouble!
“I’m Right, You’re Wrong”
Throwing your roommate under the bus during an argument is not cool.
Telling your roommate that their in the wrong will just add fuel to the fire. Don’t go off on a rant about how they are wrong, and don’t bring up all the instances that you’ve let pile up over time and throw it all in their face.
Most importantly, don’t interrupt your roommate. Let them speak, let them be understood. Don’t cut them off just to bash them and continue calling them wrong. Putting down your roommate will quickly make things a whole lot worse!
Arguments with a roommate are no fun, but when two people with different ways of living are put into one space to live, tensions can flare up. That is why it is important to know how you should (and shouldn’t) handle an argument with your college roommate!