How To Effectively Handle Conflicts With Roommates | Opinion
Entering college can be one of the most exciting times in life. For most, this is the first real experience of independence, responsibility and freedom that comes with adulthood. In the midst of this new chapter, a student is now tasked with regulating their own education, extracurricular activities, and social life. While this new-found freedom and responsibility are often enjoyable and rewarding, they also come with many of their own challenges.
One of the most difficult things to overcome is moving away from family and support groups while being thrown into a new life situation. Living with roommates in a residence or apartment is uncharted territory and is a very valuable skill to learn, whether it’s a stranger or an old friend. It is not always an easy skill to learn, but it is possible to become more adept at handling conflict with roommates using communication, openness, and mutual understanding.
Communication is essential at the start of new relationships, whether they are friends, relatives or roommates. However, even with communication, conflict is still inevitable. The first way to help moderate this confrontation is to learn about the personalities, beliefs and general way of life of each. Good communication with roommates helps everyone involved to respect each other’s boundaries and helps prevent conflict. Birgit Ohlin of Positive Psychology emphasizes the importance of constant, positive communication in building and maintaining any relationship. The key to living together is to make a real effort to get to know someone.
As you would expect, not all the ways you or a roommate behave will be ideal. There will be times when they say or do something unwarranted or irritating. In many cases, being a well-adjusted roommate is learning to forgive and ignore these moments, but in some cases they will persist. When a roommate continually acts in a way that is inconvenient or detrimental to the overall living situation, steps will need to be taken to resolve that conflict. That brings us to our next tip: be blunt.
The quickest way to resolve conflicts quickly is to be directly with a roommate and tell them what behavior is awkward so that they are in the know and know exactly what they need to resolve. Silence and complacency only increase the conflict, often without the other person knowing about the problem. Cindy Lamothe for Healthline explains that passive aggressive behavior and ignoring problems only worsens the problem in the long run. The conflict must first be recognized and resolved in order to end it. Being open with roommates in uncomfortable situations is the best way to lessen the long-term repercussions.
Roommates can communicate and resolve conflicts on an ongoing basis, but without prioritizing mutual respect, these actions alone won’t get them very far. Above all, the most important attribute in any life situation is mutual respect as individuals. Kindness and empathy will never hurt a relationship. Elizabeth Scott of Very Well Mind urges people when responding to or receiving criticism to listen and try to understand the other person’s pain and react with empathy for their feelings. No matter how different two roommates are, if they are above all about respecting each other, they can overcome any conflict.
While living with roommates might seem easy, it takes more work and regulation than you might expect at first glance. Like any good and rewarding situation, it takes time and effort to ensure success. The university is full of new and exciting experiences, some more stimulating than others. Everyone faces conflict at some point, but the way they handle and handle it sets them apart from the rest. Conflicts can be big or small and vary widely, but as long as everyone involved chooses to treat each other with kindness and respect above all else, any issue can be resolved!