Getting into fights with the people you live with is inevitable. Whether that be your parents, siblings or friends, trying to resolve these issues can be frustrating and time-consuming. College roommates are no different. If you’re struggling with the relationship between you and your roommates, here are some things you can try.
Find time to talk when you’re together:
Communication is always essential, but not all forms should be treated equally. Shooting a quick text can sometimes help with conflict, but will rarely work for larger issues. Find a time where all of your roommates are available so everyone can discuss. This allows everyone to give their own perspective and prevents misunderstandings.
Take a break:
If tempers are running too high, simply step back. Sometimes it can be easier to leave an issue for tomorrow when everyone has gotten more sleep and time to think. This normally helps if a fight has been going on for more than an hour.
Small acts of kindness:
Maybe you’re at the grocery store and you spot one of your roommate’s favorite flavors of ice cream, or you notice that they haven’t had time to water their plants recently. Try to do small things for your roommates even if it is just cleaning the table off at the end of the day. This can go a really long way in letting your roommates know that you’re thinking of them and want the best for them. Many times, conflicts arise because one or multiple people are feeling neglected.
Spend time together:
Oftentimes, conflicts arise when you or one of your roommates is stressed. When life gets busy, it can be even more important to let the people you live with know that you still have time for them. Maybe plan a small dinner and take time to cook with them, even if it is just Kraft Mac and Cheese.
This step is probably the most difficult to act on. Everyone gets frustrated from time to time. Before you approach the issue, be mindful to consider how much it truly changes. Is this something you will care about tomorrow? If not, it may be better to let it go for now.
When consistent problems continue to pop up, it might be time to agree on some basic guidelines. Some people may prefer to write out weekly expectations for each roommate. This may sound a little silly, but if you find yourself fighting about cleanliness and household responsibilities this can help everyone take responsibility for an equal number of tasks around the house, dorm room or apartment.