5 Subtle Ways to Make Your Roommates Hate You
It’s safe to say my roommate situation hasn’t been great this year. The chaos of leaving and returning to college all through a pandemic is already intense enough, but the universe has decided to graciously give me the wonderful gift that is shitty roommates.
Yes, bad roommates. We’ve all had one at one point or another, and if you never have, either you’re incredibly lucky or no one has told you the truth yet.
I was assigned random roommates at the beginning of my third year in university. Upon moving into my college apartment, things seem to be cordial and harmonious from the get-go. But as time went on, parts of my roomie’s behaviors and personalities started to poke out more and have made me question moving out.
If you may be stepping into a new living situation soon, take note of some of these things to avoid to prevent putting yourself in the middle of a battlefield with your roommates.
You Don’t Share Common Areas
This is what inspired this entire story to begin with. Even after multiple conversations, one of my roommates is notorious for monopolizing all of the space in the fridge and freezer. I haven’t cooked a real dinner in weeks, but you can find her half-eaten McFlurry in there along with towers of frozen ingredients.
Feeling like you don’t have a fair share of common spaces such as kitchens, living rooms, and bathrooms can get old fast. If you notice that you are the only one cooking, the only one getting ready in the bathroom, or the only one watching your favorite show on the living room couch, it might be worth evaluating if something you use daily has any structured form of it being everyone's.
You Confront Your Problems Indirectly or Not at All
Every time one of my roommates has an issue, it’s never a conversation but instead a game of telephone. Person A will have a problem with Person B and will talk about the problem to Person C, who later gives their misconstrued interpretation of what was said to Person B.
Vicious cycles of purposeful miscommunication will drive anyone over the edge. Regardless of the issue, nothing will nearly be solved as quickly or as effectively if the person it involves doesn't know what the problem is or only bits and pieces.
The key to solving 99% of problems with your roommates is direct communication with the roommate involved and not others. Planning roommate meetings and talking about your problems before they grow into something larger is essential to getting along.
You Engage in Gossip
Gossip is a slippery slope when it comes to social situations. It is so easy to get sucked into the trap of what he said, she said, and we said. But I promise you, it doesn’t get you anywhere. Better yet, it makes you look immature.
Two of my three roommates moved in as a pair and were close friends (or so I thought). But once I got the chance to spend more time with them, they quickly would talk about the other one to me behind their back. And it’s draining.
One of my biggest pet peeves is people who are two-faced. They are both very miserable girls to live with since the only thing that gives them any boost of happiness or self-esteem is putting other people down. I’d be lying if I said being stuck listening to it hasn’t damaged my mental health significantly.
You Don’t Contribute to Community Supplies
I can count on one hand the number of times in the last 7 months my roommate has bought toilet paper for the bathroom. Even after discussing we would take turns buying it, she has yet to provide her half of the bargain. Recently, I went to use the bathroom only to find she had used the last of the toilet paper… and didn’t even restock it.
It gets downright irritating fast when you’re constantly the one restocking toilet paper, hand soap, and cleaning sponges. Communicate with your roommates about taking turns or splitting the costs on community supplies to avoid tension.
You Don’t Contribute to the Shared Chores
No roommate is going to be a fun roommate if you feel like you constantly need to pick up after them. One of my roommates is famous for cooking big meals and then leaving an overflowing sink of dirty dishes behind for the next four days.
No matter where you live or who you live with, you should always at the very least pull your own weight when it comes to cleaning and maintenance. If you know you are leaving a mess behind, you should be the one responsible for taking care of it.
The root of most roommate problems typically is miscommunication or just plain selfishness. However, if you take the time the openly discuss your lifetime with your roommates, hopefully, there is the potential you can all coexist harmoniously.
Unfortunately, my roommates and I talked a lot about rules prior to moving in, but many of those boundaries faded away more as time went on. In the future, take the time to step back and evaluate how you have been as a roommate that week to others, and if it could improve, ask yourself why. If you’re on the other end of the spectrum, have an open, honest, and direct conversation with the people you’re living with.
Neither you nor your roommates deserve to live in a home full of tension, so keep this list in mind the next time you’re signing the lease of a new apartment.