Confrontation and Roommates

Having conversations with a roommate or household member

Confrontation can be hard!!! It’s okay though because that is what we are here for. Like with any relationship, communication is key. Here are some tips and steps to working out a disagreement, conflict, or conversation with your roommate(s).

  • Good communication beforehand- Making sure you and your roommate(s)  are a good fit for each other. Coming to an agreement before living together on what it's going to be like living with each other is important. This roommate agreement template help communication before you commit to being roommates, and before you move in together.
  • In-person or live discussions are always best for conflicts- If this is something that is hard for you, still trying to make yourself comfortable! You can consider asking to talk through FaceTime or phone calls. Other forms of communication, like texting or leaving a sticky note, can sometimes lead to unintentional conflict.

  • When you are angry, it is not the time to approach your roommate(s). You want to be able to communicate with your roommate(s) without creating tension that will make communication more difficult,  even though these conversations can always be a little uncomfortable.

How to approach your roommate about an issue or conversation:

  • Express how you feel -  rather than using language like ‘you always do...’,  try to use sentences using ‘I feel...’ or ‘I..’.  Show them that you are bringing this up because it is important to you and your comfort and not about your dislike or annoyance with them.
  • Show them you're listening- things like active listening, sometimes eye contact, nodding your head are all ways you can show your roommate that you care about what they have to say to.

  • Acknowledgment and compromise-  show them that you are listening and that their perspective matters. Compromise is also an essential part of living with roommates. You want to live in a space where everyone feels comfortable, and sometimes that means you don't get exactly what you want.

What to do if you have a very serious issue or you're unable to resolve it with your roommate(s)?

  • Email or make an appointment with our department-  our staff’s main job is to be there for you. Off-campus living can act as a mediator and help you and your roommate(s)  get to an understanding or solution.
  • If possible for you, consider that living space might not be right for you -  one of the main reasons we have roommate compatibility tests and roommate agreements are because not everyone can live together. This isn't the easiest thing to do but if it's an option it is something to consider.

COVID-19, Roommates, and Confrontation

Below you will find articles that speak to shared living we found interesting and helpful.