If you’ve found yourself thinking — or telling your friends — “I hate my roommate,” this article is for you. Perhaps at first, everything was easy enough. Maybe you and your current roommate were childhood friends, peers, or coworkers. Or, perhaps you met through a “roommate wanted” ad on Facebook, Craigslist, or Bumble BFF. They seemed nice enough during the roommate screening process, but you just haven’t clicked since moving in together.
Either way, that part’s irrelevant. Today, you and your roomie are certainly NOT getting along. It’s never a great feeling to find yourself in a living situation with someone you do not see eye to eye with, but you’ve got options. Read on to learn how to navigate living with someone you currently can’t stand.
Get Some Space, Take a Breath
Hate is a strong word — and hating someone often comes from feelings of misunderstanding, anger, frustration, or stress. Taking some time to yourself may help you gain clarity. Whether you’ve just come fresh off of an argument or arrived home to find the sink full of dirty dishes — yet again — it’s important to stop and take a moment to decompress.
Before you confront your roommate or make any rash decisions:
- Take some time to be alone and collect your thoughts.
- Remove yourself from the space physically if you can.
- Head into your bedroom or leave your apartment, dorm, or house altogether and seek refuge in a space where you can unwind.
Try journaling, listening to music, meditating, exercising, or any activity that usually helps you get back to calm, cool, and collected.
Assess Your Situation
Step one: determine whether or not your situation is safe for you to remain in — both physically and mentally. If you’re feeling threatened or are experiencing physical or verbal threats or abuse, remove yourself from the situation immediately and indefinitely.
If you’ve determined your situation is safe and have reached a calmer state of mind to find that what you’re feeling is annoyance, frustration, or anger, there may be steps that you and your roommate can take together to salvage the situation. Determine if there are specific instances or repeated behaviors that have led to you feeling negatively about your roommate (not doing their share of chores, failing to pay rent, not respecting your privacy, stealing, etc.).
From there, it’s time to determine your next steps.
Determine Your Next Steps
Now that you’ve pinpointed the problem(s), it’s time to start thinking about what you’d need to create a happier living space. It could be that you and your roommate need better rules and boundaries. Or, they could stand to take on a little more responsibility in tidying up.
In many cases, how to be a good roommate depends upon setting fair and reasonable ground rules and establishing boundaries. Both can go a long way in salvaging a roommate relationship — at least until the lease ends. Get prepared to chat with your roommate by outlining some of the problems you’ve been having and steps you could take together to resolve them.
If you’ve determined that no amount of talking, chore charts, or boundaries will remedy the situation, that’s okay. Your next steps may mean figuring out how to get out of a lease with your roommate and moving out. If your current living situation is causing you immense amounts of stress, it’s likely in the best interests of your physical and mental health to move on, anyways.
Communicate with Kindness and Compassion
No matter your next steps, it’s crucial that you clearly communicate your intentions and needs with your roommate. Here are a few things to keep in mind before you talk it out.
Don’t Speak When You’re Boiling With Anger
When you’re experiencing anger, your instinct may be to raise your voice … or you may tend to bottle everything up inside. But, neither option will result in actual conflict resolution. Wait to speak until you’re able to do so calmly and from a place of trying to resolve the issue.
Use Smart Communication Tactics
While it can be difficult, there is a way to speak your mind honestly, effectively, and kindly even in challenging situations. Practicing active listening can help ensure that you work with your roommate to solve the problem instead of against them.
Take control of the conversation and prevent things from escalating to unfriendly territory by refraining from name-calling, insults, or accusatory statements. Instead, focus on using “I feel..” statements that will help get the message across to your roommate. Present your potential solutions. Then, be prepared to hear their side.
Remember: The end goal of this conversation isn’t to place blame but instead to come to a level of agreement on how things should be from here on out.
Walk Away if Things Get Heated
Remove yourself from the conversation if your roommate isn’t being reasonable or you feel that the conversation is escalating into an all-out fight. Quickly and calmly put the conversation on pause and let your roommate know that you’d like to talk later when you’re both in a better headspace.
Move Forward with ApartmentSearch
After speaking with your roommate, you may have agreed that it’s best to enact some new roommate rules or that it’s time to part ways. Should you decide that moving on solo is your best bet, you’ll want to start looking for a new roommate or, better yet, apartment-hunting. Sometimes, the only solution for getting over roommate woes is to move on — and move out! If you’ve been sharing furniture with your roommate or need to make a break (and quick), consider renting stylish, comfortable furniture from CORT in the meantime.
If you’re ready to break up with your bad roommate, ApartmentSearch is here to help. Our advanced search filters can help you quickly find apartments for lease near you that fit your budget and needs.