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Dealing With Roommate Conflict

Content annoying roommate

Even if it’s just a small quibble, roommate conflict can be a real bummer. Worse, if it’s not handled quickly and constructively, things can fester and escalate. That’s a real problem when you have to live with someone until the term is over or your lease is up.

Yes, it is true that there are drastic solutions, and in some cases those are appropriate. For example, if a roommate is doing something illegal or is threatening in some way, you should do whatever it takes to to bring the situation to an end. Your landlord, law enforcement, or RA should be able to guide you in those situations.

For now, let’s focus on the types of conflict that can usually be resolved without anyone needing to move out. We’ll look into tips on avoiding problems in the first place, then consider common issues and solutions.

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Avoiding Roommate Conflicts to Begin With

The best course of action is to take any necessary steps to avoid living with an incompatible roommate in the first place. You can accomplish this by taking some of the following actions:

  • Use Roommate Search Engines Or Matching Services
  • Be Very Honest When You Fill Out Your Profile to Be Matched With a Dorm Mate
  • Consider Substance Free or Quiet Dorms
  • Make a List of Your Absolute Deal Breakers And be Upfront About Them
  • Listen to Potential Roommates Concerns And Deal Breakers as Well
  • Don’t Settle Just to Pay Less

The more compatible you and your roommate are on day one, the less likely you will be to have serious conflicts. Communicate openly and honestly and try to get to know one another before moving in. If you can find common interests and where you need to give one another wide sway, you will be happier in the long run.

A special note for students: try to find a roommate with the same or similar major. Your study patterns will likely be similar, and you may even be able to study together. You can even introduce your roommate to best essay services reviews if they are struggling. It’s a great way to build some goodwill.

Handling Conflicts That do Arise

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It’s nearly impossible to live with another person for an extended period of time without something coming up. Here are some advice for dealing with conflicts that do arise.

  • Take a Step Back And Get Perspective. Ask Yourself Some Questions.
    • Was it intentional?
    • Was any harm done?
    • Is it likely to happen again?
    • Should I bring it up or let it go?
  • Process Your feelings

It’s perfectly okay to be upset, disappointed, or angry. You are never wrong for feeling how you feel. Just don’t let emotions drive your actions.

  • Plan Your Approach

Be calm, direct, and non-accusatory when you speak with your roommate. Let them know what the issue is, and ask them if they can make changes. If it’s a more complex situation, offer to help come up with solutions.

Be prepared to compromise. Saying, “I have to work in the mornings. You can’t have people over after nine.” is likely to cause conflict. Saying, “Can we limit visitors after nine to two days a week?” will probably get a better response.

What to do When Your Roommate is Upset With You

It can be tough when you are in the position of having done something to bother or upset your roommate. Here are a few things you can do.

  • Listen And Make Sure You Understand Where Your Roomie is Coming From

You may feel defensive and spend your time formulating a response rather than truly understanding. Don’t worry about responding right away. Just listen.

  • If You Are in The Wrong Say So

Many disputes can be resolved with a simple, unqualified apology, and an assurance that you won’t do it again. If there was a loss of some kind, offer to make some form of restitution.

  • Don’t Dismiss or Ridicule

Even if you don’t believe you are in the wrong, don’t dismiss your roommate’s concerns or emotions. Instead, express empathy and suggest a solution or compromise.


By selecting a compatible remote, being a thoughtful listener, laying down some ground rules, and keeping the lines of communication open, you should be able to avoid major roommate conflicts. This will lead to harmonious living for all.