Communication works two ways: talking and listening. Neither one is effective without the other. To build a successful roommate relationship you need to keep the lines of communication open. This doesn't mean that you should share everything but you need to talk actively with your roommate.
A Good Beginning
It is important to start off on the right foot with your new roommate. Even if your roommate is not new to you, you are still new to being roommates and living with him or her will show you things that you never knew about your friend. You should begin by addressing potential problem areas and getting them out in the open so that there will be fewer surprises down the road. Take some time to talk about habits and preferences.
Most roommate conflicts are the result of miscommunication or, in some cases, a total lack of communication. If you can communicate effectively it will be much easier to develop a comfortable living environment for yourself and your roommate.
These tips should help you to communicate in a healthy way with your roommate.
If you are upset with your roommate, chances are that he or she is upset with you as well. Being involved in a dialogue means that you need to be able to listen and give everyone a turn to speak. Criticism is bound to happen and your normal reaction is going to be to criticize back, but that is only going to compound the problem. Learning to accept criticism is going to help you communicate and live with your roommate. If you both find that you are approaching the limit and things are not being resolved, agree to take some time away from the discussion to give you both time to process what is going on. This will also give you each time to develop feedback that is not going to be hurtful and won't be fueled by anger.
If you need more assistance confronting your roommate(s), check out this resource.
Last Modified: August 4, 2008
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