There are so many things that you have to worry about as an adult, like your home insurance and social media affecting one another, paying your bills on time, taking care of your mental health, and keeping your relationship with friends and family healthy.
Having to resolve conflicts with a roommate on your own just seems like a heck of a lot more stress to deal with when you consider all of the other tasks that you have to juggle as an adult. Unfortunately, when living with a roommate, there may be instances where you have to deal with that added stress.
When tension is built up, and there is a problem stirring in the roommate-relationship, it can make being in your own home uncomfortable. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can resolve these problems without an upper-power or outside source intervening.
Talk it Out with Your Roommate
The first thing you should do is try and talk it out with your roommate. This can sometimes be the best way to resolve problems because the issue may turn out to be something as simple as miscommunication. With miscommunication, having a calm, open conversation about what is bothering one another is a quick way to solve the problem.
Even if miscommunication is not the issue, talking it out allows you to begin to communicate the standing issues and helps to lay everything out on the table. Once all of what is bothering you is put into the air, the two of you can talk about ways to remedy the situation.
In most instances, communication is effective and can bring you closer to your roommate. If possible, communicating about little things that bother you before they turn into big problems could prevent conflict from being an issue at all.
Even in civil cases that make it to court, all parties are urged by legal counsel to attempt to fix the problem by communicating openly. Talking things out is an old remedy, but it’s an effective solution.
Be Honest and Polite While Talking
The only way to make talking it out with your roommate work is to be honest and polite when communicating. In addition to being open and courteous, you should be upfront and firm as well. You can be upfront without being rude. If you are unsure of how to do that, a quick google search could help you.
The trick to being upfront and polite simultaneously is by not being too blunt to the point that you come off as harsh and uncaring. This can hurt your roommate’s feelings or incite a bigger argument if what you said triggers a negative emotion from them.
Lastly, any problems you have with your roommate should be communicated with that specific person first.
If you bad-mouth your roommate or vent to a second roommate or friend about the other person, your feelings on the matter could be translated poorly.
And if your roommate finds out that you were talking about them behind their back, any attempt to mediate the situation after that will be difficult.
Negotiate and Re-establish Your Boundaries
If the problem at hand revolves around the lease or roommate agreement, the best way to attempt to solve it is by negotiating the contract and re-establishing boundaries. Re-establishing boundaries is the most crucial step in the negotiation because crossed boundaries can make your living situation unpleasant.
Who wants to live somewhere they are uncomfortable? Just as you should re-establish boundaries for yourself, you also need to consider your roommate’s limits and comfort level.
When negotiating specific terms, you both should touch base on the lifestyle changes that each person needs to create a peaceful living environment for everyone. Yes, re-establishing boundaries are critical, but compromise plays an essential role in conflict resolution, too.
It is close to impossible to come to a mutual agreement without compromise.
After negotiating the rules and terms for living together, you should write them down and sign the agreement. Sticking to these re-established boundaries is essential to keeping a healthy roommate-relationship.
Stick to the Roommate Agreement
Re-establishing boundaries and negotiating the terms and rules are a great way to resolve conflict. Still, it is just as important to stick to the roommate agreement established at the start of this living arrangement.
Sticking to a roommate agreement or lease agreement is one of many ways someone can avoid being taken advantage of by a roommate.
The terms and conditions you came up with at the beginning of your lease could fix any problems you have. A roommate agreement is a legally binding contract, and if one or both parties are not adhering to the agreement, improving the situation can be as simple as reminding them of what they signed up for.
It may not sit well with them at first approach, but you both were consenting adults when you signed, and you both must honor that agreement.
Following the agreement could stop any misunderstandings when it presents itself because both you and the other person agreed and signed on certain terms.
Over time, your roommate may have simply forgotten about some of the agreements, so refreshing their memory could lead to an apologetic roommate who is willing to fall back in line with the terms.
Avoid Conflict as Best as Possible
The best way to deal with conflict with your roommate is to avoid it as best as possible. You can do this by following your roommate agreement and having an open line of communication between roommates.
It is also ideal for informing one another about any issues that occur within the apartment. Handling household problems as a unit can remove the risk of miscommunication and create a stronger bond between you. You may even end up being so close that you add your roommate to your car insurance policy.
Alternatively, respecting the different views you all may carry is another excellent way to avoid conflict as best as possible.
Know When to Pick Your Battles
Before entering into a rental agreement with a roommate, hopefully, you were aware of the legal risks of renting with a roommate. If you were not, you should take some time to look into those risks, but if you find yourself facing legal risks, it is best to leave it in the hands of the police, a lawyer, or the court.
Knowing when to pick your battles with a roommate can save you from a heap of stress and unresolvable conflict. If you created a well-constructed roommate agreement, and re-negotiating is not helping the situation, it is best to seek outside help.
In a worst-case scenario, the roommate could merely be unwilling to compromise and does not respect people’s boundaries. Engaging with a person like this is not recommended.
Most importantly, avoid trying to resolve conflict with someone who poses a threat to you and anyone else in the home. Seek immediate legal help if you feel you are in danger.