Dealing with an Annoying Roommate
We all have had them, roommates that have that special power to annoy us just by
entering the room. It could be the roommate pursuing a business degree who talks about
all the money he has made over the summer selling pest control. Or it could be the perky
roommate pursuing a human resources degree that critiques your outfits every morning.
Sometimes they do things that are legitimately annoying like drink your milk, snog their
boyfriends (or girlfriends) in the living room, or shave in the kitchen. Other times you
don’t need a legitimate reason to consider your roommate annoying—they are annoying
by just existing.
Here are helpful tips for surviving the semester with an annoying
Learn their schedule and know where and who they spend time with. This may seem like
stalker advice, but if you want to avoid your annoying roommates at all costs, you will
need to learn how they spend their time—so you can plan not to be there when they are
around. For example if they are a morning
person, become a night person. If they like
doing their homework at the kitchen table, do
your homework in the library, in your room or
in the lounge of your apartment.
Even if you purposefully avoid them, you will
have to interact with them or their stuff on
some occasion. In these situations politeness
and tact can go a long way. If you need to use
the space they or their stuff is occupying, ask them if you could you use the space in the
near future. If they are amendable to letting you use the space, and if they clean up their
stuff always be sure to positively affirm their good behavior. Roommates are kind of like
pets; with the right encouragement they can be very trainable. Also annoying roommates
are more likely to be nice to you if you are nice to them.
Calling a Truce
If diplomacy fails, and fights, fists and tears ensue, it
is time to call a truce. Place a note on the annoying
roommate’s door stating you wish to have a roommate
meeting. Be sure bring a moderator to make sure the
meeting does not escalate to war. Pick a night when
you are all free, prepare cookies or some other kind of
peace offering snack, and open negotiations. State in a
non-aggressive way why you have called the meeting
and the topic(s) you wish to discuss. Then take the time to talk, listen and negotiate new
terms for your living situation.
If a peace meeting results in an open declaration of war, it is time to contact your landlord
about the situation. Negotiate with your landlord the options of either moving out or
evicting your annoying roommates (if their transgression warrants such an action).
But most of the time those roommates pursuing a business degree or a human resource
degree are not so abominable that they need to be evicted. As with all least than perfect
situations that get on our nerves, all we can really do is grin and bear it and resolve to
choose better roommates next semester.
Photo Credit: Mattox , Swonson