How To Deal: When Your Roommate's A Doommate

We’ve all had that one roommate who we just could not deal with. Maybe their lifestyle was completely different from yours or maybe you two just didn’t vibe—whatever it was, it was a problem that needed to be solved, sooner rather than later. Finding yourself in that situation again? Here’s how to deal:

Talk It Out

No, seriously. We know this is probably the last thing you want to do, but it’s so important to start off by keeping the lines of communication open. This doesn’t have to be anything huge, but you first need to find some sort of common ground and something to bond over. If you find something in common with your roommate, it’s easier to view them as a human. That way, when you need her to stop leaving her toast crumbs in the organic, churned-by-the-angels butter you bought, you’ll be a little bit nicer and a little more patient.

Look At Yourself

Look, you’re not the greatest gift to the earth either. There’s probably some things you’re doing that are rattling your roommate too. Look at it like this: People always do the best they know how until they know better, then they do better. You’ve unintentionally upset people before, haven’t you? If you haven’t today, I bet you will. In some situations, it might be better to just cut your roommate some slack.

Create Boundaries

Maybe the slack cutting isn’t working—don’t freak out yet. If you haven’t done so already, work on creating boundaries for things. This doesn’t have to be aggressive (or, ahem, passive aggressive); a simple, “Hey, you know that fancy shampoo my mom got me that we both love? Turns out, they aren’t selling it at her hair salon anymore, so I have to make it last as long as possible. Would you mind using your shampoo from now on?” will suffice. If she’s more into partying and you’re the homebody type, usually just asking her to keep the party away from your dorm/apartment/house should make it easier for you two to reach a compromise.

Get It In Writing

An entire roommate contract may not be necessary, but if you two have an agreement over who will pay what bills or anything up that type, be sure to get it in writing. Some people may be offended by this, but it’s not rude, it’s smart.

Kill ‘Em With Kindness

Resist the urge to vent about her to all your friends and then some. Chances are, word will get back and she’ll no longer be the bad guy—you will. Sure, a phone call home the next time she leaves her used tampon bare-naked in the trash (again) is cool, but make sure you’re not creating any unhealthy habits. Negativity breeds negativity.

Consider Your Options

If your roommate situation truly is unbearable, consider talking to the person in charge. If you’re in a dorm, your resident advisor will be more than happy to do some conflict resolution or find you somewhere else to live if that doesn’t work. All you got is a landlord? Look into every subleasing option possible and see if you can get out of your lease early. Although it’s not always possible, it’s always worth a shot.