Living with roommates can be fun and some even turn out to be lifelong friends. But, even if you’re friends with your roommates, you’re bound to find things that annoy you. There may be things about you that upset them, as well.
At some point, there may be roommate arguments that break out. When these fights come up, you need to resolve them. No matter whose “fault” it is or what the problem may be, here are some ways you can address the issue and come to a resolution.
1. Call a roommate meeting
Let your roommates know that you have a few concerns and you’d like to get together to talk about it. Figure out a time and place that will work for the parties involved. If possible, try not to hold the meeting at home as it can be awkward for those who may not be involved and tension can linger in the area.
By holding it at another location, it helps everyone to stay under control. If feelings are hurt or someone gets angry, it gives everyone time to cool off and not be in the same place for a while.
2. Consult the roommate agreement
If you don’t have one, you should definitely make one. A roommate agreement is a contract between all of the inhabitants of a rental that clearly defines the rules. If the issue that has come up is anywhere mentioned in the agreement, there’s no reason to fight about it anymore. Everyone signed their name and acknowledged they would live by those rules, so nobody has a valid reason to go against it.
3. Express concerns and issues
Let your roommates know what’s bothering you. This should be done in the friendliest and calmest way possible. Be direct when expressing your feelings – don’t beat around the bush or it may confuse everyone else and take longer to say what you really mean.
You also need to let the others put their feelings and problems on the table. Be respectful of each other and listen when each person is talking. This way is fair to everyone and all of the issues can be out in the open.
If you and your roommates can’t be calm and mature in discussing problems, invite a mediator. Find an unbiased party that’s not involved with the problem so they can facilitate and run the meeting for you.
Even if you don’t feel like it’s your fault, let the others know you’re sorry that they’re upset and they’ll likely do the same. Even if others don’t want to apologize, at least you’re doing your part. Don’t be passive-aggressive, or the problem will never truly be resolved.
5. Offer solutions
Let everyone give their input on what they think will help fix the matter. It’s important to let everyone propose a solution so that it’s fair and each voice is heard. Again, be respectful of each other’s opinions and try to be understanding.
6. Decide and compromise
Once all potential solutions have been given, everyone needs to decide collectively what will work. If there’s a single solution that everyone agrees with, everyone needs to live accordingly.
Not every problem will have one simple solution. If that’s the case, everyone will need to compromise. Each person probably won’t get exactly what they want and will need to make concessions. If everyone gives up a little part of what they want, you should come to a solid compromise that will work for everyone in the end.
7. Let it go
Once it’s over, forgive those who have upset you and try to get along with them. You don’t have to be best friends, but since you live together, you might as well let go of bad feelings so everyone can live in peace.