Roommates are something that is almost inevitable.
You will probably live with a roommate at some point in your life.
While some brag about how their roommates have become their best friends, many more complain about their roommates and have their own “worst roommate ever” story.
Why can living with a roommate be so difficult? Because you and your roommate are different people.
You have different views on maintaining hygiene, sleeping, studying, personal space, and a whole lot of other issues.
It is already clear to you how many potential problems are possible with your roommate.
Before we describe your roommate, let’s describe you.
Living with a roommate is usually associated with going away to college.
You are starting college and moving away from home for the first time.
Or you’ve already started living with a roommate in the dorm, and you’re totally disappointed and want to quit studying because you’ve had enough of everything.
But this guide is intended for more than just those who live with roommates for education.
This guide is also for those who live with roommates because of work or relocation.
So if you moved to a new city for work and new opportunities and didn’t have the financial means to live alone, this guide is also for you.
This ultimate guide will help you deal with a bad roommate.
We have a lot of tips and tricks for you, so let’s get started.
Why is it Difficult For You to Live With Your Roommate? 8 Reasons
Before we tell you practical tips and tricks for solving the problem of a bad roommate, we need to get to know your roommate from hell a little.
Why is your roommate the worst roommate ever?
Surely some of the following reasons will be familiar to you.
1. Your Roommate is Not an Overly Clean Person
The first and most common reason for describing a lousy roommate is hygiene.
We’ll assume you’re not some germ freak who obsessively needs everything to be perfectly clean.
You only want what is necessary, which is basic hygiene.
Unfortunately, your roommate doesn’t share the same hygiene habits.
He neglects his personal hygiene, and you can feel it.
Showering every day? Changing clothes daily? According to your roommate, there’s no need for that.
If he doesn’t mind, why would others mind?
But it bothers you.
Because of his bad hygiene habits, you cannot clean any room in the apartment and keep it clean.
This problem is much worse If you live in the same room because you probably can’t concentrate because of unpleasant smells.
Even if you don’t sleep in the same room, unpleasant smells can come from his room, and there are common areas also.
It’s probably the worst in the kitchen, which you share.
Your roommate never cleans up behind himself but makes piles of mess.
When your roommate is cooking, those intoxicating smells spread throughout the apartment.
And you got ready to go out and put on a new perfume, but you were greeted by the stench of burnt food, your roommate’s specialty.
That guy doesn’t like to open the window when he’s cooking.
In fact, he doesn’t like to open the window at all, as if he is allergic to fresh air.
The bathroom is a whole separate story.
Maybe your roommate doesn’t shower every day, but he floods the bathroom when he does.
He probably stains the whole bathroom and leaves his mark on everything.
By that, we mean your towels and personal hygiene items. Your roommate has no problem with that. Gross.
2. Your Roommate Does Not Respect Your Mutual Chores
Like it or not, living with someone is like one household.
You can isolate yourself in your own room, but you can’t live like you are living alone when there is a roommate.
So some sharing of responsibilities around the apartment needs to exist.
But with your roommate, that’s impossible.
First of all, the cleaning schedule needs to be more reasonable.
You always somehow have to clean everything up because he can’t make it or has some weird excuse.
Then there are the responsibilities of paying utilities. Somehow you always end up having to go and finish it.
Your roommate prefers to leave it up to you, so he can lie in bed all day.
3. Your Roommate Likes to Borrow Things
There’s nothing wrong with borrowing things, but your roommate likes to borrow too much.
Worst of all, he does it without asking.
Your roommate loves to eat your food.
He likes to raid the fridge the most when your folks send you the delicious homemade food you’ve been craving.
In the bathroom, the same thing.
Your shampoo, shower gel, and cosmetics, he loves to use it.
He doesn’t even hesitate to use your towel.
As for clothes, he likes to borrow from you.
First, he used to ask you if he could borrow something, but you noticed he was wearing your shirt without asking.
When you asked why he was doing that, he said he accidentally put on your shirt because you have a similar one. You don’t have a similar one.
And how is it that he always takes your things, and you never take his?
4. Your Roommate Disturbs Your Sleep and Rest Time
Nothing is worse than if you and your roommate have different sleeping schedules.
Going to bed early and getting up early in the morning have always been part of your habits.
You like to show up to class or work in the morning feeling rested.
But your roommate often disrupts that perfect routine of yours.
He is probably a night bird because he sleeps all day and then is active at night.
At night, he does everything he didn’t do during the day: prepare food, study, and shower.
He is extremely noisy while doing all this.
Do you also have a problem with a roommate who snores?
Snoring and yawning can be so strong that they bother you even if you and your roommate do not sleep in the same room.
It is often the case that one roommate likes to party more than the other.
So your roommate likes to blast music in the middle of the night and bring his friends over.
Sometimes they are so noisy that you are guided by the logic, “when you can’t beat them already, join them.”
In such a group, you probably relax too much and do some things you don’t normally do.
Let’s say you drink, although you usually don’t like the taste of alcohol.
So you have a massive hangover the next day, and you’re mad at yourself for wasting the day.
You might be woken up by the sounds of adult entertainment from your roommate’s room.
Maybe he is alone with himself then, or he has someone over.
Anyway, super awkward situation.
5. Your Roommate Wants to Be Your Best Friend
It is not uncommon for roommates to become best friends.
When you spend so much time with someone, it’s no wonder you get along and become friends.
However, you did not come to look for friends but to study or work.
Even if you came looking for friends, you feel your roommate is not the person you want to be friends with.
First of all, because you two are too opposite.
While he loves to talk about himself and has already told you his whole life story, you prefer to keep things private.
You don’t have any common interests in anything, and you don’t see how you could become best friends.
That doesn’t stop your roommate from trying in every way to present you as his friend everywhere.
He loves to drag you into his personal affairs and dramas, even though you don’t care.
6. Your Roommate Makes You Depressed
Does your roommate make you feel stressed out?
How often do you think: “I don’t like my roommate?” or “I can’t live with my roommate anymore?”
If you think your roommate is a bad person, it’s no wonder you feel that way.
Do you constantly argue with your roommate?
There are many reasons for arguments, as we can conclude from the reasons mentioned above, and let’s list some more.
Here are two contrasting examples related to your roommate’s personality:
– Your Roommate is a Highly Closed and Strange Person
To each his own, and we don’t want to judge anyone.
But your roommate is behaving very strangely.
It’s ok that he likes to be alone, but you notice that he doesn’t sleep all night. He even forces himself to stay awake.
He plays video games all day and night and lives in a pile of garbage that he never throws away but makes piles on the terrace.
Have you heard of the Japanese term hikikomori? These people decide to isolate themselves entirely socially and do not go out.
He probably wouldn’t even live with you, but he has to because of sharing the rent.
When you’re out, he always calls you to buy him things, so he doesn’t have to leave the apartment.
– Your Roommate is a Narcissist
The complete opposite of the previous example.
Narcissists can be highly tiresome to other people, even though narcissists usually have lots of friends.
Living together with your roommate is emotionally draining to you.
He is probably also contrarian, who likes to enter into conflicts with others.
Clearly, this person thinks he is better than everyone else.
And when he is not in a good spirit, he transfers his mood to you and does not respect boundaries.
More than that, you felt it on your skin.
How to Deal With a Bad Roommate? 10 Excellent Tips
If you recognized your roommate from all of the above, many would advise you to stop living with him.
This is the most practical advice, but you may be unable to do it.
First of all, we think about financial constraints.
Apartment prices are skyrocketing everywhere, so we totally understand if you have to live with a roommate or even more than one.
These tips cover the whole process even before you start living with a roommate.
In addition to helping you deal with a bad roommate, it will also help you be the best roommate ever.
Let’s start with the following:
1. Know Your Expectations
If you are going to live away from home for the first time, you probably have huge expectations.
So much opportunity and so much unknown.
There are many new opportunities ahead of you, but don’t be disappointed at the first obstacle, which could be a roommate.
So have realistic expectations, and you’ll do well.
2. Your Roommate Does Not Have to Be Your Friend
If you expect in advance that you and your roommate will become best buddies, you may be disappointed.
Not everyone wants a friend, but if you become friends, let it happen spontaneously.
A specific situation is if you are moving in with a friend you know very well and have been friends for a long time.
Know that someone can be a great friend but a terrible roommate.
Just because he’s cool when you hang out doesn’t mean you can live together.
Keep that in mind before you carelessly move in with your best friend.
3. Start The Conversation With The New Roommate ASAP
That’s right, start the conversation before you move in together.
We know you’ll be Googling your new roommate as soon as you discover who he is, but we don’t recommend adding him on social media instantly.
You can give the impression of someone who stalks people on social networks.
Instead, ask your landlord for their email or phone number and send them a text or email.
Introduce yourself nicely and agree on who will bring what.
Already at the start, you can notice what kind of person your new roommate is, considering how the conversation goes.
4. Discuss Your Habits and Establish Some Ground Rules
At the beginning of living with a roommate, it is best to be honest, and tell some of your habits.
Also, listen to him and the way he functions.
Try to find some mutual agreements now to make it easier for both of you in the future.
Be sure to emphasize if you have any allergies or health problems that you need to watch out for.
5. Make it Clear to Him That His Lack of Hygiene Bothers You
We know this is an uncomfortable topic, but if you’re not going to put up with your roommate’s lack of hygiene, you will have to have this conversation.
Here are some tips that can make this awkward problem easier for you:
- Be direct, but don’t be rude and offensive – it’s embarrassing to tell someone they smell bad because we might offend them. Not everyone has the same standard of hygiene, but basic personal hygiene should be respected.
- Make a cleaning schedule – everyone is responsible for their own room, but for the kitchen, bathroom, and all common areas, it is best to have a plan of who cleans when. Keep the schedule in a visible place. Of course, it also applies to taking out the trash because it’s not fair that you’re the only one doing it.
- Do not clean for him – except in some specific situations, say if your roommate is sick. Maybe your roommate is too spoiled by his parents, who didn’t prepare him well for life. In any case, you don’t want to be his mom or his maid.
It is also not difficult to open the windows to air out the room after preparing the food.
Food that has long been out of date should not be stored in the refrigerator.
If you have pets, everyone should clean up after their pets.
6. Your Roommate Can’t Borrow Your Things Without Asking
How do I stop my roommate from using my stuff?
We know you want to put a sticker with your name on all your stuff but wait a minute.
No one likes or wants to be seen as selfish, but not wanting your belongings touched is perfectly legitimate.
Especially if you don’t touch other people’s things either.
It’s not the end of the world if you lend your roommate a coffee mug or a hair dryer, but that doesn’t mean he can use your things regularly.
If he ever happens to eat some of your food, let him buy you a new one.
Let’s say you are in class or at work, and he has nothing to eat and asks you to eat some of your food from the fridge.
You let him, but he must buy you new same food by the time you get home.
If he does that, then there is no need to be angry with him.
When it comes to things for personal hygiene and clothes, immediately draw a clear line that you will not lend that stuff to him.
7. Establish Quiet Hours
Not everyone goes to sleep at the same time.
Let’s say you are an early bird, and your roommate is a night owl.
This does not mean that your roommate has to go to bed at the same time as you.
A decent universal time when you shouldn’t make noise is 11.00 pm until 7.00 am.
Your roommate staying up all night is his business, but he shouldn’t wake you up with loud music or the sounds of a sword fight from his favorite video game.
After all, you are there to study or work and need rest; he has to respect that.
What if your roommate has guests over?
We’re going back to that topic of friendship between roommates.
You might feel awkward if your roommate has a party and you’re not invited.
But remember that if you’re not friends, there’s no need to feel bad.
If you let him invite his friends and throw a party, don’t complain later.
Of course, it is clear that his guests have to leave at the agreed time, and he has to clean up after the party.
Did it happen that your roommate has someone over, and you can hear…sounds from his room?
Let your roommate know that the sounds of adult intimacy are only enjoyable for those directly involved.
They are no fun for anyone trying to sleep or study.
Also, it’s okay for your roommate to have a significant other come over only if they know to go home instead of staying in your apartment forever.
9. Shared Space Should Be a Happy Place
Of course, the shared space should be clean, but we’re not just thinking about hygiene here.
When it comes to decorating communal spaces such as the living room and kitchen, remember that those spaces are shared and should reflect everyone living in the house, not just one person.
That means shared space should be comfortable for you and your roommate.
Everyone can do what they want in their room, but not in the common areas.
Your roommate can hang posters of his favorite movies in his room, but not in the living room if you don’t agree.
10. Settle Things With a Roommate in The Right Way
Always communicate face to face, don’t be a two-faced person.
Instead of gossiping about your roommate, tell him directly what’s bothering you.
We know that dealing with other people is not pleasant, but it is inevitable.
If your roommate does not respect the basic rules of shared housing and intentionally damages other people’s property, you can contact your landlord.
If you think it’s better to move away, do so because some people are simply unbearable.
It is not your defeat but a smart choice when no better options exist.
To Sum It All Up
“Roommates can be your best friends and worst enemies; it’s best for them to be somewhere in the middle.”
So that you can live together with them and coexist without any problems.
Living with roommates can be extremely difficult, but try to learn a lesson from it.
After all, you are doing it for a bigger purpose: your education or your job. Also, you will learn something new about yourself and others.
And remember, it’s only temporary.
It will end eventually, so don’t stress too much and focus on the bigger goal.