How do I bring up issues with my roommate?

Photo of River Club Apartments See More From:
River Club Apartments
River Club Apartments offers a roommate matching service to find the most compatible roommate for you.

Bringing up issues with your Athens apartment roommate can be daunting if you are a person that avoids conflict. Most people haven't had to bring up issues about their space with anyone other than their family. This also applies to rooming with someone during your first year at UGA. Some people can be afraid of asking for things or starting conflict but remind yourself that this is also your space for the time being, and you should have a say in what happens in it. Here are some tips on how to bring up any issues you might have with a roommate, whether it's doing dishes, taking the trash out, or being disruptive.

Don't let issues sit long

It is tempting to let things go on to avoid conflict. You might give them time to settle down or figure it out themselves. While I wouldn't suggest jumping on them the moment something you don't like or aren't comfortable with happens, you don't want to wait. One way to keep this from happening is setting boundaries early. The idea is to let each other know early on what you expect of a housemate. Having a sit-down conversation with everyone living in the apartment is a good start. Leaving an issue unresolved for too long will let any anger you have to build up toward that person. When you do decide to talk to them, all that anger will come to the surface and make it hard to have a calm conversation.

Talk about it in person

Little issues are ok to text, like one-time things that aren't likely to be repeated. This could be forgetting to lock the door or leaving laundry in the dryer. If anything seems like it is not the norm for your roommate, they could just be having an off day. However, when you notice repeated behavior, it is easiest to bring it up in person. That way, you can gauge each other's reactions to the issue. This also will let the other person know that you care enough about the issue to make time and meet in person. Another reason is that it can become harder to talk openly, and you might resort to only texting each other. This can make the living situation awkward and not enjoyable.

Remain calm and open to conversation

Living in Athens off-campus housing with someone you might not know well can be difficult. However, when you have conversations, you want to remain calm. Escalating the situation will not be good for either roommate. Also, be open to listening to their side of the story. There might be a reason that the issues have been happening and addressing that will make it easier. If this is difficult for one person to facilitate, think about having a mediator. This could be another roommate or shared friend that can make sure the conversation is helpful and not one-sided. 

These are the opinions of writers and not the opinions of or any of our advertising partners.