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Don’t Kill Your Roommate: 4 Tips for Peaceful Cohabitation

How to Get Along with your Roommate
Written by Abby Terlecki

Living with a roommate can be a slippery slope, especially if your roommate suffers from a social dependency (you’re her best friend forever and soul sister for life).

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Differences and annoyances between roommates are to be expected. But without compromise and communication, conflict can escalate and overwhelm.


Check out the following tips to find harmony and civility with your living situation (also, make some self-evaluations, too —you may actually be the problematic roommate, so consider this your wake-up call).

Overly Attached Roommate

Living with a roommate can be a slippery slope, especially if your roommate suffers from a social dependency (you’re her best friend forever and soul sister for life). If your roommate wants to do every and anything together, you may be living with an overly attached roommate.

Need space? Make your room a “no-roommate” zone. Avoid communal spaces like the living room with wireless entertainment. You can watch your favorite shows online using your iPad and a live TV online service. Create a cozy sitting space in the corner for lounging and relaxing. If your roommate keeps intruding, maybe it’s time to have a forthright conversation about boundaries.

Inconsiderate Roommate

A kitchen stacked with week-old dirty plates. Piles of messes for days. Obnoxiously loud friends over late at night. An inconsiderate, disrespectful roommate can ruin your life. Yet, no matter how much you curse the universe at night and vent about your roommate’s abhorrent behavior, you’re still living with a monster who seemingly couldn’t care less.

Does she really not care? She may not even know a problem exists at all. Without accusation and blame, share your issues with your roommate and find common ground. Certain habits of yours could also be the bane of her existence too. If she’s defensive and unapologetic, then move out as a last resort. Cleanliness and a peaceful home are non-negotiable.

Frenemy Roommate

You moved into together because you were besties. It was the greatest decision ever! Until you were no longer besties. The dynamic of living together can steer a friendship right off course. Somewhere between Wednesday Wine Night and GNO Saturdays, your friendship started to crack. It was only a matter of time before passive-aggressive behavior and snide remarks turned you from besties into frenemies.

A frenemy is like facing a fork in the road. You can either address the underlying tension to repair your friendship or cut your losses and break up officially. Want to make it work? Open up with honesty and set some guidelines for a positive co-existence. Spend time alone and schedule plans to hang out. Include one another on activities with mutual friends, but create space or take a break from one another when needed. Don’t be afraid to terminate the friendship if it’s the only solution for a happier living situation. Becoming roommates may have actually exposed how toxic and unhealthy your friendship was at the core.

Mooching Roommate

Not only does food give us energy, but it makes us happy. And nothing is more infuriating than when your roommate finishes all your hummus or leaves a potato chip bag of just crumbs. As if it couldn’t get any worse, she uses your hair products, gets into your makeup and borrows your clothes without asking. Your personal space isn’t a store, and your belongings aren’t freebies.
Confrontation’s tough. But unless you want to keep sharing — basically everything you own — you’ll need to address it head-on. Explicitly explain what’s on and off limits. Clarify that your bedroom is your personal and private space. And as for your food, take advice from The Frisky and “make a blame-free suggestion.” Suggest you both alternate between buying house snacks, so she doesn’t keep snacking on your food and you don’t keep snacking on hers.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life – Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.™ Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

Living in Maui and paddle boarding every day is just a fantasy, sigh. Actually, I’ve accepted that I’ll never be a girl who loves to wear heels and look glamorous. I’m a low-maintenance sneakers girl with a beach-y carefree style who would rather stay in, than go out.

What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

My honesty, loyalty and my family and health.

What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?

Writing something that entertains or deeply resonates with a reader and still a goal is to write a memoir of short stories.

We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth—we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are—your Identity?

I stumble socially around new people and make bewildering sarcastic remarks to make up for my social shortcomings. I can be optimistically challenged with a cynical sense of humor, but can always count on the positivity of my loved ones to create a harmonic balance. I drink too much wine, say the wrong thing and go to work with toothpaste in my hair. Life is a comedy.

“I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!)

Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I love my family and friends who complete my universe…and my CrossFit gym.

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About the author

Abby Terlecki

Abby Terlecki sees herself as one of those creative writer-types who always prefers to tell stories with her keyboard than through her mouth. When Abby's not writing freelance articles, text messages, to-do lists, or CrossFit scores, she enjoys the outdoors and perfects her craft as a full-time writer for a digital content marketing agency in Phoenix, Arizona.

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