Your new roommate isn’t working out and it’s causing you to feel uncomfortable and stressed in your apartment. But don’t throw in the towel yet! Conflict resolution strategies can turn your bad roommate situation into a positive experience. Here are a few tips for doing a relationship 180:
Find Similar Interests
Start your conflict resolution process by finding at least one interest both you and your roommate share. You’ll be less likely to argue and more apt to respect each other if you both love the same television show, eat a similar diet or visit the same bars. Any commonality is good and can lead to a more harmonious living situation. For example, if you both like the same shows, watch them together. This will give you an opportunity to get to know each other.
Your bad roommate situation won’t change if they don’t know you have a problem. Your expectations can’t be met if the other person is not aware of them. Ask your roommate if the two of you can sit down together over a meal or coffee and share your thoughts. Pick a time when you’re both free. You should enter the conversation with a level head and be honest, non-judgmental and open throughout the talk.
Establish Rules and Boundaries
Now that you both know what you want out of your living situation, turn the conversation toward apartment rules. You can break the rules into categories, such as personal belongings, cleaning or guests.
Find as many categories as possible in order to cover your bases. You should both share your vision of an ideal living situation, but be willing and ready to compromise because it’s likely you two don’t have the same definition of ideal. You may even want to design consequences for breaking the rules. For example, if you don’t clean on your assigned week, you have to take out the trash for the next two weeks.