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Living with Roommates

Ways to Prevent Conflict

  • Discuss rules and standards for the apartment.
  • Set standards for cleanliness, visitors, quiet hours, etc. If these are discussed early on, they can prevent a conflict situation from arising. A healthy living situation involves respect for all roommates.
  • Be willing to work together to compromise. Once a compromise is made, work towards keeping your promises.
  • Communication: Successful relations are built on communication. If you are having an issue, communicate the issue to your roommates in a mature, respectful manner. By addressing situations early on, you are preventing a major conflict later on down the road.

Ways to De-escalate a Conflict

  • Give "I" messages and not "you" messages.
  • Take responsibility for your feelings to avoid blaming others.
  • Learn to listen to the speaker as if you were a mediator or counselor.
  • Ask questions to encourage the other person to help look for a solution.
  • Speak slowly and calmly. Take deep breaths to relax.
  • Keep your legs and arms uncrossed, and don't clench your fists. This gives the signal that you are emotional and irrational.
  • If necessary, ask for a short break to regain composure and recollect your feelings.