Living@Guelph - Choose Your Own Adventure Living
Resolving Roomate Hassles

Living in a room or an apartment with one or more roommates who come from different background and value system is not always easy. But it is an experience from which we can learn about others and ourselves. These steps can make sharing your space an easier transition for both of you.

Preventing Hassles:

  • Take the time to sit down and talk about your preferences, habits, and dislikes.
  • Decide on some "rules" upon which everyone can agree.
  • Respect the other people and their property.
  • Cooperate and try to give and take with other people.

    If Hassles Come Up:

  • Communicate using "I messages" ( ie. "I feel upset", "I don't understand") Describe as clearly as possible the situation and what your problem is. If it concerns a house rule, describe it as such.
  • Don't attack the other person with negative statements.
  • Ask for the other person's perception of the situation.
  • Actively listen to the other person.
  • Try to work out a common understanding of the problem with the other person.
  • Brainstorm solutions to the problem.
  • Choose a solution which you all can agree on and then try it out. Agree upon a time to discuss the solution. If it is not working, work out another solution.

    Minimizing Hassles:

  • Don't tell everyone else how bad your roommate is. If you are having problems talk to your roommate(s).
  • Try to understand your roommate's point of view. Not everyone looks at life the same way you do.
  • Be specific in your requests.
  • If you do hold onto a number of complaints and then approach your roommate, work on the easiest problem first.
  • Do not attack your roommate, it will only lead to them attacking you.
  • Don't put down, yell at, or ignore your roommate. It will only lead them to do the same to you!