HOW DO I DEAL WITH A HORRIBLE ROOMMATE I HATE?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I hate my roommate so much that I don’t know what to do. We have 11 months left on the lease. I don’t many people around here so don’t know anyone I could switch with. Help!

—Desperate (United States)

DEAR D.:

Start out by looking at why exactly you hate your roommate. Is he/she messy? Inconsiderate? Loud? Really look at what’s going on and think about what is triggering you so much. Sometimes, too, we can even project things on someone without realizing it or sometimes we think we are annoyed by something but the real reason you are annoyed may not even be about that—you might be getting triggered from something from your childhood, for example.

Next, try to see the big picture and really get neutral about your roommate and the whole situation.

Once you are neutral, if you still want to move, start looking for alternatives while trying to switch roommates. If there’s a housing board or committee or landlord, see what kind of possibilities you have. Then, I would have a neutral talk with your roommate and try to create closure with both of you treating each other with respect and compassion. Even if your roommate does not treat you with respect and compassion, at least you will know that you did your best.

Next time, arrange to really get to know your roommate before you sign a lease together. It’s important to feel safe and have a positive living environment, including regarding whom you live with.

Good luck, my friend.

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