A guide to de-escalating roommate fights

Nathan Turoff, Features Editor

When living with someone, fights and conflicts are inevitable. Suppressing anger and discontent with your roommate, or significant other, allows the repressed feelings to build up and eventually explode. This is severely detrimental to a long-term, peaceful coexistence. Knowing how to handle and respond to such anger is crucial when sharing a dorm or apartment

Nobody likes to fight or be angry, but anger is actually completely natural. It is completely reasonable to be upset with things that bother you, but the key is to find a healthy mechanism for letting that anger out.

For new college students, sharing a room with someone is something many are not accustomed to. Disagreements and sometimes fights are all but guaranteed. Here are a few helpful tips to avoid or de-escalate common fights you may have with roommates:

  1. Open Communication

This is crucial when living with someone. If there is something small and seemingly mundane that your roommate does, don’t let it go unmentioned. Suppressing these little things will build up anger until it violently detonates like a volcano. Be open with your roommate, communicate your feelings, but stay respectful. Address any issues before they become repetitive points of conflict. This can go a long way to avoiding potential roommate fights.

The UNF Health and Wellness Center, working out is a great way to lessen stress; photo taken from UNF’s website.

            2. Taking a break

If you feel like a fight is inevitable, and you’re very close to yelling at your roommate, just temporarily remove yourself from the situation. Go out for a walk, take a breath, listen to some music, get some food, and just relax. Let your tension and stress dial down, so you can revisit your roommate in a calm and collected manner.

             3. Seek counsel

There’s no shame in asking for help and counsel from people you trust. If you just want to vent and let your feelings known, try calling or texting a psychiatrist or therapist, if you have one. You also could confide in close friends and family. Hashing things out with people close to you can go a long way toward de-stressing.

The UNF Counseling Center, a great place to seek professional advice; photo from UNF’s website.

                4. Talk to an RA

This may only be applicable to students living on-campus, but it’s still incredibly important: Talk to your Resident Assistant (RA). Your RA is explicitly trained to handle and deal with roommate conflict and lessen tension. They are well adept and prepared for all kinds of situations, and they are always willing to help you live a happy and peaceful life while on-campus. 

These are just some of the methods to help avoid and resolve roommate fights before someone says or does something they might regret.


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