Laker Help Link
Dealing with Roommates
Some tips for having a successful roommate experience:
- From Day One, try to establish a pattern of honest, open communication and cooperation with your roommate(s).
- Spend time getting to know your roommate(s). Share your background, lifestyle, hobbies, interests, likes, dislikes and pet peeves.
- Tell your roommates how you think you are similar to her/him, and in what ways you may be different.
- Discuss with your roommate(s) what situations may need to be negotiated or compromised on (e.g., guests, study time, use of personal property, cleaning, security, privacy, use of telephone, sharing of room space, storage of certain items, etc.). Consider creating a written roommate agreement.
- If there is a conflict, be direct. State your needs and feeling clearly and avoid blaming (Ex. "I feel... when you..."). This approach makes the other person less defensive and more willing to listen.
- Avoid bringing up a problem when your roommate is walking out the door, is on her/his way to an exam, or has just arrived home.
Suggestions for resolving conflict:
- Set a time for everyone involved in the conflict to get together.
- Allow each person to take a turn describing her/his perception of the problem, how s/he feels, and what changes s/he wants.
- Come to a common agreement on exactly what the conflict or problem really is.
- Brainstorm multiple solutions and discuss what would be a good compromise.
- Come to an agreement on the best solution.
- Discuss the changes that will be required to implement the solution.
- Set a specific time frame for the changes to be made and commit to making them.
- Decide on a date and time to evaluate the changes.
- Be willing to re-negotiate if necessary.
If you live on campus, contact your Resident Assistant or Multicultural Assistant.
Page last modified September 14, 2010