Living with an inconsiderate roommate, unfortunately, is all too common of a problem for college students. It is especially stressful when living in the close confines of a dorm room. While it may be tempting to be inconsiderate too, that usually is not the best course of action.
These are some guidelines for dealing with an inconsiderate roommate.
Develop a tough skin.
One way to survive living with an inconsiderate roommate is to simply develop a tough skin. Realize that this is a short term relationship and down the rode, a new roommate can be requested. If this is the case, sometimes it is easier to just be quiet and wait for the opportunities to change roommates.
Another tried and true method is ask the roommate to discontinue the behavior. Now if the roommate is someone who didn’t realize the behavior was offensive, the roommate may be willing to change and may be grateful that it was brought to the attention of the roommate.
Confront the behavior.
If after trying to ask politely for the behavior to stop, it may be necessary to confront the roommate and the behavior directly. Be clear that the behavior needs to stop with no wiggle room for maybe.
Talk to resident assistant.
If nothing has worked yet, then the next step is to visit with the floor resident assistant. That student should be able to give advice or even visit with the offending roommate to remedy the problem.
Talk to the hall supervisor.
Taking a higher level on the chain of command can lead a student to the hall director or supervisor. There is usually some type of complaint policy to be followed. If claims are justified, then the roommate may be required to deal with the hall director. This may lead to changing roommates as it is difficult to live together once it has accelerated to this point.
Spend more time outside of the room.
If confronting the issue is not something desired, then leaving the room more is a better option. Spend more time in the rooms of friends, the library, or general socializing areas instead. Usually, the less time spent together leads to discovering that it isn’t so bad.
Realize that no one is perfect.
Sometimes it requires a person to realize that maybe he or she is not without fault either. Perhaps admitting a fault or two can lead to a productive conversation or a little more understanding of the issue.
Consider what the specific area of inconsiderate behavior is and deal directly in a preventative way. If the roommate is using food or other private items, then it is important to make sure those items are put in a private place. If it is a matter of inviting the opposite sex in the room, then perhaps it requires taking the sheets home for the weekend, not leaving when the roommate demands and so on. Sometimes preventing the issue is easier than confronting the issue.
Develop a system.
Sometimes sitting down together and coming up with a system to deal with conflicts is the answer. TV watching can be on certain nights or the opposite sex can’t be in the room after 10:00. Whatever the issue is, coming to a system that both roommates can live with is better than suffering in frustration.
Coping with an inconsiderate roommate can be done while at the same time no necessarily destroying the friendship. Try to cope by using the less offensive strategies and only contact the floor assistant or the hall director when nothing else works.