Living with another person has its highs and lows. On one hand, it’s awesome to have someone around for movie nights, chat sessions, or just to help pay the bills. On the other hand, space can get tight. Sometimes, even the best roommates butt heads. Here are some steps you can take to help mediate roommate conflicts.
Talk Honestly With Each Other
Though it may be gratifying to vent about your roommate to a third party, chances are it’s only making things worse. Any time you have an issue with your roommate, it’s best to handle thing directly and in a timely manner. Don’t let a conflict sit until you’re ready to explode. Instead, take your roommate to a neutral space–maybe a park or coffee shop–and talk about it.
Set Mediation Ground Rules
Oftentimes, roommate conflicts can get personal. We want to keep everything at a surface level and not let mediations get personal. Some helpful rules to set with your roommates before starting a dialogue are 1. No interrupting each other; 2. No calling each other names; 3. Attempt to focus on the future, no living in the past; 4. Listen respectively; and, 5. Work together to create a solution, not more problems. For more tips on setting ground rules, check out this article from mediation.com.
Don’t Be Afraid to Bring In Someone Else
If things are getting intense you may need a third party to help keep things neutral. Talk to a mutual friend who can be the neutral party. They can ensure you and the roommate are sticking to the mediation ground rules and help offer unbiased advice.
Once the conflict is handled, don’t forget to follow up. A simple, “how are you doing,” or, “are you ok,” can help your roommate dynamic. It shows your roommate you want to move forward and help them through any conflicts. Also, if you see a problem persisting, talk to them again, or create a follow-up plan for a harmonious household.
Hopefully, these tips are helpful to mediate roommate conflicts. If you have any other tips you would like to add, please leave them in a comment. We can’t wait to hear from you!