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How to Tell Your Roommate When Something Bothers You Without Upsetting Them?

How to Tell Your Roommate When Something Bothers You Without Upsetting Them?Living with other people is an important part of student life. However, the attempts to get used to the habits of others can be quite frustrating. How to tell your roommate if anything bothers you without upsetting him or her? Here are the most common problems that may arise and some ideas how to solve them:


  • He/ She is mean – if you don’t live with a friend but someone you just met, then there is a big chance to have problems in communication. After all, people are different. Your roommate might not be very friendly in general. She may make disrespectful comments or totally ignore you. No matter how hard you try to reach out to her it seems like she hates you for no reason. Try to have a decent conversation about her behaviour and the reason behind it. If that does not help, then you can use advice from a mediator or a counsellor. If nothing changes over time, just consider finding a new roommate.


  • He/ She is always absent – it is not pleasant to come home from school and to see that there is nobody in the flat. That could happen from time to time, but it is not normal to be always like that. When you see her next time, ask your roommate what he has been lately up to. If he does not tell you much, then do not pry but let him share whenever she is ready. Ask him to hang out together sometimes – there is no harm in that. When you live with another person you expect to spend some time together and get acquainted with each other – it is always easier to live with a friend rather than a stranger.


  • He/ She is always in the room – that is another extreme situation. Your roommate goes only to classes and nowhere else. Maybe he/ she is just shy and does not have many friends. If his only physical activity is going to the supermarket or some domestic cleaning from time to time, your roommate might be slightly asocial. He probably likes lying on the bed, watching movies or reading a book. For you, that seems boring but for him it is relaxing. Try to be friendly with him, ask him to go for a walk with you or to join you in a meeting with your friends. Part of the benefits of the university is making social contacts with many people, who have various interests and temper. Make everything possible to get your roommate out of the room. You both have to create some memories – college time is the best time for that!


  • He/ She is messy – everyone has his own standards of cleanliness. Some people just do not pay attention to the mess and even feel better in the chaos. But everything has its own limits and there is a light cross line between the so-called ‘creative chaos’ and dirtiness. If you are the only one in the room who cleans, then that probably bothers you. Your household chores should be equally divided. For that purpose, you’d better make a schedule. Set a day for cleaning. The best option is Sunday. Write down all the details. For example, you will disinfect the bathroom and the hall, and your roommate will take care of the kitchen and the bedroom. The next week, it will be the opposite, etc. When you move out some day, then calling the end of tenancy cleaners would be the best variant for both of you.


  • He/ She always takes your personal things – while some people could be shy and do not talk much, some could be disturbingly friendly. For them, having a roommate is like having a sister back in their childhood. They do not feel any shame in browsing your stuff and using your deodorant or trying your clothes on without even asking. If you do not want to share or borrow your personal belongings, then talk about privacy and let her know you do not like the current situation.


  • There is always someone else in the room – it almost feels like you have the third roommate. Whether it is her boyfriend or a friend, the popular saying ‘the more, the merrier’ does not apply every time. That is especially true if your room is not very big. Make your roommate realise that he shares the place with someone else, i.e. you. Talk to them that there should be a schedule – maybe not a strict one, but some hours when it is acceptable to have guests. Be tactful – it should not seem like you want to kick her friends out. There must be compromises from both sides. Otherwise, the rental will be messier, have more clutter, probably the sink will be filled with plates – when there is a third person in the house, it seems like even if he is not living there, the need of domesitc cleaning more often drastically rises.


When you live with someone else, you can’t expect that everything to go smoothly. That is why you have to be patient and sincere with the other person. Whether you are in the dormitory of the university or you share a rental for private accommodation, that is a great experience not to be missed. You will have a lot of fun and build friendships that may last a lifetime!

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