How open communication can lead to positive roommate relationships

Roommate issues

Roommate issues

Cassondra Siaus Reporter

Confronting anyone is hard enough, but when you are having issues with someone you are living with it can tend to be more awkward and tense. It is essential to establish boundaries with your roommate(s) in order to have a healthy living situation and relationship with the people you are living with.

According to, most problems with roommates can be resolved through good communication, compromise and respect. Luckily, some online sources and people gave advice on how they confronted their roommate.

Austin Zalin, 22, lives with three other roommates. When he has problems with his roommates, he tries to confront them in a casual way.

“Whenever I had an issue with one of my roommates, I usually would just text them and tell them how I felt with what they did. I would then confront them and ask how we could fix it.”

Then he discussed how after they talked about the issue, it usually was civil and everything would be back to normal.

Zalin said he never had a huge problem with any of his roommates that he would keep quiet about. He then proceeded to say if he had an issue, he would immediately confront his roommate so they could know how he felt.

You should discuss the boundaries and make schedules so everyone living there can be held responsible. Some boundaries and schedules you can set are cleaning and laundry schedules, having guests over to visit, a time for turning the lights out, etc. Signing a roommate agreement on these boundaries may be a good idea so each person can be held accountable for their actions. 

When working through problems, you should choose the right time to solve the issue, always talk in person when possible, focus on the ongoing issue, listen to your roommate(s) and try to solve the solution together.

You should always try and keep an open mind when discussing issues. This can lead to solving issues easier than when you hold a grudge and only stick with a closed mind. Simple solutions can be, “how can we fix this?” and “what can we do to solve this?” It may be difficult to open your mind, but it will make confronting others easier.

Ethan Gilbert, 22, had his own personal advice on how to confront a roommate.

“I suggest making it a priority to talk to your roommate immediately so there is no awkward tension between the two of you,” Gilbert said.

He also said it was important to do it in private, so you give each other that respect. 

If you are ever experiencing roommate issues and cannot get yourself to confront your roommate(s), you can always talk to your resident advisor to request a room change, your friends, family and even a therapist to seek outside help.

Cassondra Siaus covers relationships. Contact her at [email protected].