Roommate Woes? Time for Olivia Pope

I’m sure you heard the horror stories about things that can occur when you have a difficult roommate. From excessive people in your space, to your roommate always in your things, things can get pretty difficult. No matter what it is, there are ways to handle your roommate woes with tact and class – even if it means getting the authorities involved. With that being said, you need a fixer ... Olivia Pope style. Here are a few ways to try and fix it yourself:

  • Don’t let problems fester
    It’s easy to think things will get better, but as they continue to frustrate you, that frustration can quickly turn to anger. Talking things out in the early stages can prevent things going south further down the line. They won’t know how you really feel unless you voice it.

  •  Don’t retaliate
    Remember the situation when the roommate put feces on the other person’s toothbrush and did some other dirty things? In a situation like that, it would be easy to completely lose it and take things to another level. While that may seem like the best alternative at the moment, think about it – what would you gain, and why put yourself in a situation where you could also get into trouble?

  •  Have face-to face conversations
    Although text is easier to get your thoughts out, it leaves too much room for interpretation. Getting together and talking things out face-to-face makes things easier in the long run. With this type of meeting, things will be clear and to the point.

 Once you start talking, consider the following:

  1. Be factual and describe all the events that are making you feel uncomfortable. This is so they will have a clear picture of what’s really going on from your viewpoint.

  2. Ask for what you want. Let them know in detail what it is you want to happen, what you want to stop, and what you will not tolerate.

  3. Be mindful of how you are speaking. Even if you are angry, take a minute to dial down the aggression. Hopefully, this will keep the conversation respectful and they will be willing to change.

  4. Be ready to negotiate. In life, everything is a compromise. Know what your limits are, what you are willing to add a little wiggle room to, and what you won’t budge on.

  5. Repeat everything you agreed on. You’re doing this just to make sure everyone is on the same page.

  6. Know when to give up
    If your roommate is not trying to compromise on anything, it’s time to let it go and find a new roommate. When things are escalating for the worst, get a mediator and report the situation to someone who has the power to get some changes done.

Life in the dorms or an apartment can be rewarding if you have the right roommate. Sometimes, people don’t mesh well and that’s okay too. Now you know how to civilly get things accomplished – or at least try. Don’t let one bad apple spoil the entire bunch.