Getting Along With Your Roommate
- Try to get to know each other.
- Don’t expect too much. Roommates don’t have to be best friends. Getting along with each other is all that is necessary.
- Be open — ask, listen, discuss — don’t make assumptions.
- If you perceive a problem, talk to your roommate about it sooner rather than later. When you try to convince yourself “it’s no big deal” or that bringing an issue up won’t do any good, your frustration may keep building until you blow up and say things you really don’t mean. This often results in hurt feelings. Before it gets to that point, talk it out. Tell your roommate in a mature fashion what is bothering you and help her or him understand why.
- Be sensitive to each other’s moods, everybody has good days and bad days. Try to be understanding and flexible if your roommate is having a bad day.
- Discuss what things you are willing to share and those you are not comfortable sharing.
- The room belongs to both of you. Arrange and/or decorate the room together so it meets both of your needs.
- Share successes, say thank you, show common courtesy, and let the other person know when things are going right, as well as when things are going wrong.
- When you think you cannot work things out yourselves, seek assistance from a Residential Life staff member.
Before Things Get Out of Hand
- Take some time to cool off (e.g., take a walk).
- Find a time to talk when you both have time to devote to the discussion (e.g., not just before one of you is heading out the door for class or to take an exam).
- Be direct and specific in describing the problem; avoid sarcasm, exaggeration and broad generalizations.
- Check out what you hear to determine accuracy so you can avoid miscommunication (e.g., “so are you saying you prefer we don’t have anyone in the room after 10:00 p.m.?”).
- Don’t only talk, listen to your roommate and try to understand their perspective.
- Work toward being flexible and understanding – both with yourself and others.