When I first moved out to my own place, it was all joy and happiness until real life happened. *coughs in unpredictable sapa. Initially, I figured that getting a roommate to split the costs should be the way to go. Prior to this though, I didn’t have any boarding school experience or anything that involved someone else sharing my space for a long period of time. I know you’re probably mouthing the word ‘disaster’ as you read this but the person who moved in was a friend and I was sure that if any problems came up, we would be able to settle our differences. The whole arrangement had the makings of a happy ending. Sadly, I had no idea how bad things would get.
It started with little stuff like the policing me on how neat the room had to be, to making snide comments on how the general appearance of the house was. Then there was the long silent treatment over things I was not aware I did. Bit by bit huge cracks started to appear in our relationship and there was the passive aggressive vibe hovering around everything that happened. By the time we had a blowout over something that was small, I knew that all the letting things slide for “imaginary” peace was actually causing more harm than good and had to stop. We were not actually resolving anything, there was no compromise on anybody’s part, just this build up of resentment that was threatening to reduce what was left of our friendship to dust. After we had a long talk, there were things that I and my roommate did differently, while some worked generally, we came to a better understanding of handling the issues that sprang up.
Major conversations should be carried out in person
When it is a big problem such as a sudden change in behaviour, a guest invited by your roommate that is overstaying or various other scenarios that you’re not comfortable with, it should be addressed in person not through texts, or silent treatments. A clear communication channel is invaluable and when both persons are ready to listen to each other, the matter can be resolved just as quickly.
Avoid addressing a wrong when angry
Anger colors any reaction you make, addressing stuff when you’re annoyed can cause you to say hurtful words that you can’t take back, when you’re vexed about a certain situation, in order to not let it become a case of adding fuel to a blazing furnace, talk about the situation when you have had the time to calm down.
Don’t judge the other person with unreasonable standards
Habits and actions that you wave off when it’s you who do it, should also be handled the same way for your roomie. It is often very easy to use a one off action to judge a person totally which shouldn’t be the case, instead try and assess the situation objectively when it is evident that your roommate made a mistake.
Make your friendship top priority
If you and your roommate were friends before you moved in, that should always be the top priority, especially when you notice that the disagreements are becoming too much to handle, it might be that both of you have very contrasting attitudes that cannot mix or a minor adjustment has to be made. In either case, once you realise that preserving the friendship is actually the most important thing, you and your roommate can have a honest conversation on how to move forward.