Living with Roommates. Useful Keys to Communication.

One of the biggest areas that people can struggle with is coming to terms with the reality that not everyone else is like them.

Living with roommates can be challenging. Especially for those who are accustomed to living with their families or alone. Yet, navigating the shift to living with roommates is not impossible. Hopefully, by the end of this article you will have some useful tips added to your toolbelt that will propel you to success as a roommate.

First things first, communication is a must. No matter what your personality type may be, your background, or disposition, if you aren’t willing to communicate, tension will be inevitable. Truth be told, you’ve probably heard numerous times before that “communication is key” but not a lot of people know what it means to actually communicate. Communication is defined as an exchange of information. Don’t miss the exchange part. When you are at the grocery store an exchange takes place. —You buy groceries, the store makes money. There’s a give and take happening in the transaction. When it comes to living with another individual the only way for there to be a common ground of understanding is if both parties actively participate in the exchange. Imagine that while you were at the grocery store, there were no price labels on any items communicating how much you are expected to pay. Once you get to the checkout, it wouldn’t be reasonable for the cashier to be upset if you only had $10 to pay instead of $20, because after all, how did you know?

Additionally, to be a good roommate you must be understanding and willing to compromise. One of the biggest areas that people can struggle with is coming to terms with the reality that not everyone else is like them. In other words, your default thought process might not be what someone else would think. Some prefer to wash a dish immediately after its use while others would rather stack them in the sink and deal with it when there is a full load. These are 2 totally different approaches, but both are seeking to accomplish the same thing. Here’s a reasonable compromise: fully rinse out each dish so there’s no food stuck on them and leave them in the sink until there’s a full load. This allows the individual who hates dirty dishes in the sink to be satisfied (as each dish is fully rinsed) while also allowing the other person to not feel like they have to do extra work.

If these tips are actively applied, when conflicts arise your response will be much more graceful. Unless you and your roommate are just perfect and without flaw, disagreement at some point will definitely come up. Don’t be caught off guard, but know how to handle the situation in a meaningful and effective manner.