How to Deal with a Gross Roommate

When you’re in college, it’s fun to live with a roommate or roommates. You get to know new people and it’s a great way to truly learn about your own living habits.

However, living with roommates can also be very challenging. Not every personality matches up with yours and sometimes it proves extremely difficult to live with someone who doesn’t share your values, living habits, and manners.

I’ve had some interesting roommates, and one in particular was…pretty gross, to be blatantly honest. She was uncleanly and had some habits that were pretty disturbing.

The best part about living with her, though, was that it taught me a lot. Although it wasn’t always smooth sailing and was really difficult to have a roommate like this, it was beneficial in the long run because I learned so much about my own living habits, mediating issues, communicating with others, and learning to respect the differences of others.

Here are the best ways to survive a gross roommate:

  1. Don’t talk to others about it – this was a rule I definitely violated. Because, at the time, there were a bunch of us living together, we all talked about the yuckiness of what was going on quite a bit. Although at the time it made us feel better to discuss it, looking back I realize it built up the problem so much and just made it into a bigger drama. Keeping your mouth shut up about the situation is definitely the best route to go, and if you really feel the need to talk or vent about it to others, be as polite and as brief as possible.
  2. Be nice! – Even though this person is gross and is causing an inconvenience in your life, remember they are still a person. Most likely, they are not trying to skeev you out but are simply keeping up with their idea of “normal” living habits. Keep the peace and be kind, at least as kind as you can be given the circumstances.
  3. Don’t create more drama – this was another mistake I made when I was in this situation. My other roommates and I were so fed up with the grossness that we really acted immaturely, playing pranks and doing other funny but mean things around our living space. While this gave us some good laughs, in the end it causes so much more drama and was definitely the wrong move. If I could do it over again, I’d avoid doing things like that because first of all it was mean and it also caused totally unnecessary drama.
  4. Be confrontational, when necessary – when this roommate crosses a line or the situation is just getting too dire to grin and bear it anymore, calmly confront this person. Do it privately and in the nicest way possible. Remember that you have to live with this person and you don’t want to make things awkward and have a big blow-out. Talk to them calmly about what’s bothering you and let them explain their side of it, too. Be understanding of their right to live in a way that they’re comfortable and in the end, try your best to compromise so that everyone is happy and comfortable.
  5. Use it as a lesson – take this bad situation and make it into a great lesson of how you want to live and how to deal with issues. This will certainly not be the last time you’re placed in an uncomfortable situation where you feel as though your habits and values are compromised. There will be other times like it and it’s good to learn the best way to deal with it. This also teaches you about your own living conditions and how to choose people to live with that are compatible with the way you like to live.

Do you have any roommate horror stories?! Please share them!

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