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Choose Communication instead of Conflict

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

The foundation to a successful roommate relationship starts with good communication. If you and your roommate(s) can freely talk to each other about issues and activities related to the residence, then where you call home will be a lot more peaceful place. If you think about it, you are going to be spending a lot of vulnerable hours with these people. You will see them when you come in for the day to relax and when you first wake up in the morning. Those should be peaceful hours, not time where you must worry about walking on eggshells so you do not upset the other person in the room. Your home is meant to be your sanctuary, your escape from the world. If there is no communication within that space, conflict can occur that will result in a lack of peace for all parties involved.

You never know what your roommate(s) goes through daily. Everyone struggles at one point or another and with everything else we are responsible for we should not have to worry about what we say causing an argument in our own home. Therefore, discovering a way to communicate effectively so you get your point across without sounding offensive is critical for a happy home life.

Communication comes in many forms and has several advantages. One of the main benefits to communication is having the ability to clearly explain your frustrations and concerns with your roommate which could prevent a disagreement from occurring.

So how do you create good communication between you and your roommate(s)?

Here are some helpful tips on healthy communication from a variety of sources:
  • Be direct. People are not mind readers so sit down and discuss your expectations from the start.

  • Be honest. When things get bottled up or problems are no addressed between both parties it only causes pain and hurt. An unknown problem cannot be fixed!

  • Talk to your roommate directly when something is bothering you.

  • Listen to what your roommate has to say and be open to suggestions.

  • Respect each other’s differences. Everyone has different values, lifestyles, expectations, and communication styles. Get to know each other and establish common ground. It is easier to solve a problem with a friend than a stranger.

  • Keep an open mind. Your background may be “VERY different” from your roommates. You probably did not learn how to handle situations or clean certain the same way they did. Remember just because it is not your way does not mean it is the wrong way.

  • Be considerate, know each other’s boundaries and make compromises when you can't have everything your way.

Additional Reading:

“Living with a Roommate: 10 Tips for a Good Roommate Relationship.” Living with a Roommate: 10 Tips for a Good Roommate Relationship,

“Roommate Conflicts: Confrontation, Communication and Mediation.” St. Norbert College,

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