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How to Deal with a Bad Roommate

Sorry. Murder is not an option.


  • Step 1: Confront the problem Let the person know you’re unhappy. He may not be aware he’s doing things that bug you.
  • Step 2: Get feedback Ask him what you do that annoys him. This way, he won’t feel he’s being attacked.
  • Step 3: Negotiate Negotiate. Tell him that if he stops blowing his nose in the dishtowels, you’ll stop doing yoga in the nude.
  • Step 4: Set some rules Decide on some house rules, like how loudly and when music can be played; how often friends can come over and/or sleep over; how clean the bathroom and kitchen should be, and how to handle offensive smells in those rooms.
  • TIP: Consider drawing up a 'roommate contract' that spells out the house rules. Many colleges now require them for dorm mates.
  • Step 5: Alter your schedule Adjust your schedule to minimize the time you’re together. For example, make plans to go out on evenings he’s planning to kick back at home.
  • Step 6: Kill him with kindness Kill him… with kindness. Bring home the cookies he likes; offer to wash the dishes when you know he’s running late; make him chicken soup when he’s sick. If you change your attitude, he might do the same.
  • Step 7: Terminate the agreement Still not getting along? Take steps to terminate the arrangement, whether that means speaking to a Residence Assistant about getting a new roommate, or asking your landlord if you can break your lease.
  • FACT: Gene Hackman and Dustin Hoffman were once roommates.

You Will Need

  • A bad roommate
  • A calm disposition
  • And a willingness to compromise

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