7 Tips for Surviving the Roommate From Hell

By Woody Wilson| May 3, 2017

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If  your new roomie parties all night, is super demanding, has an increasingly strange smell, gossips incessantly or a has a habit that drives you crazy, then congratulations! You have landed yourself the roommate from hell.

No stress, though, because we have you covered. Here are some tips for surviving your mismatched roommate:

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1. Establish boundaries right off the bat

To be fair, your roomie can’t respect your boundaries if he or she doesn’t know what they are. Establish rules for who does the dishes, how you share food or noise limits in the first few days of living together. If that ship has already sailed and you’re already living together, do it as soon as you finish reading this article. Boundaries are important, and no, it can’t wait. Just don’t walk into your new shared habitat and act like this “ticking time bomb” roomie who broke the internet with her outlandish demands in 2016.

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2. Voice your concerns before you blow up

The last thing you want to do is bottle up your frustrations until you turn into some kind of human pressure cooker, ready to blow at the first sign of an empty toilet paper roll. If your roomie is consuming all of the consumables without replenishing the supply, make a plan for how it will go in the future. The same goes for visitors at odd hours, loud music or television, or anything else that might annoy you to the point of detonation. Be direct, clear and respectful in your communications.

For sanity’s sake, avoid taping passive aggressive notes around your apartment. They’re not as clever as you think.

3. Take the high road

Roommates can fight over the silliest things. If you find your electric bill to be $100.01, offer to pick up that one extra cent. If Wednesday is your day to do dishes, but the sink is full on Tuesday, take 10 minutes and knock those dishes out. When your roommate is being a total jerk, kill them with kindness and a triple-mocha-whatever. They may have had a tough day. Remind yourself that your internship (and consequently, this housing situation) is not forever. Just don’t be a doormat!

4. Don’t be a doormat

Being flexible in roommate conditions is essential, but not at your expense.

If your roommate from Hell is impossibly demanding, they might take flexibility as a sign of weakness and go for the jugular.

How to survive and still be kind? Maintain boundaries, be firm and be clear about your own needs.

5. Consider their point of view

If you are feeling frustrated, your roommate may be too. Call a meeting. Give yourself time to voice your issues, and do the same for them. It might turn out they have a beef with you and are acting out in retaliation! Keeping communication lines open can increase your survival rate tenfold.

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6. Go for a walk

If you’re left with a few hours alone in the apartment with nothing to do, you’ll begin to notice all the little signs that were put there with the sole purpose of driving you nuts (unwashed socks and Oreo crumbs included). Avoid this by going for a walk, calling a friend, covering a shift for a coworker, or finally doing that random DIY project you found on Pinterest last year.

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7. When all else fails, consider your options

Sarcasm aside, there truly are situations where roommate problems go beyond the usual personality clash. If you truly feel that your roommate is negatively impacting your quality of life, it may be time to search for new intern housing options. If your housing is provided by your employer, ask them how they might be able to help you with the situation. You may even know of another mismatched roommate pair who may be willing to try a roommate swap.

Be creative, communicate clearly and you will survive the roommate from Hell.

Could be the tight space causing issues? Here’s some space-saving tips for your room!

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