How Do You Handle College Roommates Who Are Messy Without Causing an Argument?

How Do You Handle College Roommates Who Are Messy Without Causing an Argument?

Sarah Lawrence College Residence Life outlines a plan to help people confront a roommate using effective communication if there is a problem. The plan advises approaching the roommate in private, being direct, being patient, and giving each person involved a chance to express him- or herself.

According to Sarah Lawrence College Residence Life, most conflicts between roommates are the result of miscommunication or a lack of communication. Developing effective communication between roommates can therefore foster a more comfortable and accepting environment.

The first step to solving a problem through effective communication is to actually open up a conversation. Refrain from talking about roommates behind their backs; instead, speak to them directly about their actions. Being clear about the problem is also important, because it lays out the issue and gives your roommate a chance to understand and respond to specific concerns. In some cases, roommates may not notice that they are being messy; telling them calmly and directly may help them make positive changes.

Communication is effective only when all people in a conversation have a chance to express their sides of the story, so giving your roommate a chance to respond to any concerns is important. Sarah Lawrence College Residence Life also suggests creating a win-win situation to resolve conflict; this involves evaluating the needs of all the people involved and coming up with a solution that benefits everyone.