Confronting Your Roommate
Communication sometimes breaks down and you may have to confront your roommate with an issue that one of you has with the other. If this happens then it is helpful to have some idea of how you are going to go about it. If you already have a plan on how to deal with a conflict before one ever occurs, you will be more ready to deal with it if one does pop up.How to tell there is an issue:
- Your roommate may not want to talk to you, may leave the room when you enter or may be complaining to friends about you.
- Your roommate may become annoyed with you over little things.
If you start to notice these things you should not ignore them. If a problem is addressed early there is a better chance of it being worked out amicably.
How to address the issue:
- Approach your roommate in private.
- Be direct. Discuss the issue with regard to behaviors rather than personality traits. This tactic is less likely to put your roommate on the defensive.
- Be patient. Listen to you roommate and remember that there are two sides to every story.
- Be calm and remain in control so that the problem can be handled effectively. Nothing will be resolved if you are screaming at each other.
- A roommate agreement. At the beginning of the year you may draw up an agreement and this may be referred back to when conflict does arise. Your RA can help you with this.
How to resolve the issue:
- Each person should be given a chance to present what he or she feels the problem actually is.
- Together, you should come up with a compromise that you are both comfortable with.
- Then develop a plan of action that will put these changes into place. Perhaps a timeline for the changes will help as well. No one can be expected to change overnight.
A roommate agreement can sometimes help to set guidelines from the very beginning. If you have created one of these then it may be helpful to refer back to it from time to time. Keep it current and make sure it still applies to your roommate situation. Ask your Resident Assistant (RA) for help creating an agreement.
Last Modified: August 4, 2008