My Roommate Hates Me and I Don’t Know Why. 51 Solutions!

hate roommate

51 of the best solutions I can find. The ones that really work

I had a roommate who hated me.

I found it horrible to have a home with the energy of someone hating me like that. Thoughts of not feeling safe and comfortable in my own home affected almost every aspect of my life.

People gave me great advice when I had this situation and were really kind.

Sadly it’s quite common and has happened to other people I have met and know.

This article has benefited from loads of material and experience from what people have experienced and tried.  Finding out what works and does not work.

With so many resources and great information kindly given by people who have experienced this problem, plus the days I have spent on research, means it has been like writing a book.

The top 9 solutions for if your roommate hates you:

  1. Thermostat temperature compromises
  2. Cleaning rota
  3. Give each other privacy
  4. Talk about real compromises
  5. Time for them to grow up, not be spoilt child
  6. Treat them like you would a bully
  7. Be in a good mood, so they are too
  8. Don’t give in
  9. Wait for them to calm down

Please read this guide for the full information and loads more solutions.

1, Disagreement over the thermostat temperature

cold apartment roommate

Disagreements over the thermostat temperature can lead to massive arguments.  Being too cold or hot gets very uncomfortable, and if it goes too far, it can lead to illness.

A roommate may be able to cope with being too cold for a few days or a week, but after that, it gets to them.  Even affecting their core body temperature.  The same with being too hot.

Then your roommate gets very annoyed and angry, which can lead to disagreements about other things that do not even matter.  Eventually, after they have suffered for a while, your roommate may start to hate you.

Standard etiquette is to ask your roommate before changing the thermostat, but if people are uncomfortable, they end up doing it without asking. 

The lack of cooperation increases the arguments, as there is no discussion, communication or compromise. It is just breaking trust by doing things against the other’s interests, without even saying that they have done it.

Ways to solve this:

  • Say how you feel when you are too cold or hot.  Ask how they feel when they are too cold or hot.   Use this to compromise.
  • Discuss the difference between what temperature is needed for it to be pleasant and what is necessary for you each to be able to cope.
  • Look at what they are wearing.  My roommate once asked me not to turn off the heat as he would get cold and he was topless!!!!  He is reasonable so that we could talk, and he put his top on.
  • Try wearing thermals if you are too cold; these work well.  However, it is not good to be cold all the time, as you are breathing in cold air and your face is exposed to the cold.
  • See how much your roommate is out when you are in.  If you turned on the heat at those times, would it be enough to get you by?
  • If the problem is the cost of heating or air conditioning. As this is for you, pay this extra cost yourself.  Be generous with this to win your roommate over.   Money is a big lead for people, so this solution is the one most likely to work.

2, One person is always doing the cleaning

roommate not do cleaning

Your roommate is always doing the cleaning and you do nothing. 

Your roommate is doing the sinks, toilets, kitchen, and everything. You do not help.

Maybe you do not want their level of hygiene, tidiness or cleanliness, which is why you don’t do it. 

Sadly that is why your roommate hates you though.  While they clean they think how unfair it is for them to be doing all the work   Also your roommate may feel the dirt makes things dangerously unhygienic or horrible to be around.

The best solutions I have found are:

  • You get a maid to do your bit
  • You are not as good with the cleaning, but you make up for it by doing other things.  Such as food shopping, administration of the bills and so on.  You are not paying the bills, just doing the administration work.  Show them what you do, so although you may not be doing the cleaning, you are doing other things in it’s place.

You are always doing the cleaning, and they do nothing

You care about proper levels of hygiene, tidiness, and cleanliness which is why they do not do it.   You may want it clean and sanitary.  Think it’s crazy that they do not care, but they don’t, and it’s their choice. 

Your roommate could hate you because you expect them to do cleaning work because you like things to be clean.  So you wanting things to be clean and tidy is a nuisance for them, if you are going to expect them to do cleaning work as well.

You also hate your roommate for not doing any of the work and not helping.  Why are you doing all the toil!  As you hate them for not helping, they start to hate you back too.

Your roommate feels guilty and ashamed for not doing anything to help.  They hate how you do the work, so they feel bad for not doing anything.  They would prefer you to do nothing and live in squalor than have the shame of being shown what a slob they are.  Crazy eh!

It might be that your roommate does not value things being clean, so does not want to do the cleaning work and does not care if the place is a mess.

Be careful for them getting into the habit of you being their slave

If you do all the cleaning and they do not appreciate it.  One day you stop, then they may even hate you, as your roommate is used to having you as a slave.  This normally happens if your roommate was used to their parents doing everything for them, or they have always had a maid.

Make sure they do not get used to you being like their slave, as then they think it is their right that you work as a slave.  It will become a habit for that they find hard to get out of.

When you first start with your roommate, have things as you mean to go on.  Once you establish a habit, it is quite hard to change it.

Make it clear that in return for what you are doing, your roommate should make up for it by doing different stuff to make up for it.

Solutions

The best solutions I have found are:

  • They get a maid to do their bit
  • They may do a bit to help, or more if they are nice, but it will be a compromise.
  • They are not as good with the cleaning, but they make up for it by doing other things.  Such as food shopping, paying the utilities and so on.  You are not paying for it, just doing the administration work.

People like this rarely change.  If you are going to try and get them to change and they do not want to, sadly they will hate you.

3, Roommate gets used to you being out most of the time and so having their own space

Some roommates want their own place but cannot afford to have one.

If you are out most of the time studying, working and socializing.  It means your roommate effectively has the place to themselves. Your roommate gets used to this. It becomes part of their routine and lifestyle.

Then something changes, so you are in the room more often.  Your roommate who got used to having the place to themselves does not like this.

Your roommate hates you as they do not want you to be there!

If your roommate is a more introverted person, who likes to have their own space, they may hate it even more. A more extroverted person who likes to be social may not mind so on much.

The big one though is if your roommate has a partner and they have become used to having private time to themselves, to do romantic things.

It’s like your roommate had their own room, and now they’re having to share it.

Solutions

  • If your roommate wants to be by themselves, be careful of changing how much you are out.  If your roommate is used to having the place to themselves, it’s hard for them to go back to you being around and so to share again.
  • If your roommate cannot cope with the sudden shock of you being around much more of the time.  Slowly increase the time you are in the amount of time you are in the place.
  • You may need to talk about reorganizing how you each get private time.

4, Your roommate says they are compromising but they are not

If your roommate says they have made loads of compromises, but you know they are not real compromises.

They are saying; you have not made any compromises.

Write your compromises and theirs on a piece of paper and date it.

Have two sections on the page, one for their compromises and one for yours.

You never say to your roommate that the notes are to show up their lies and false promises.  You say it is to be fair and ensure you keep to your compromises.  However, the real reason is that it will show the truth.

To be diplomatic, say you are doing it so that you can work in it together and find solutions. Not so you can shove in their face that they are a liar.

Then work on this document and write a new one with your new agreements.

The notes of what you agree to mean your roommate cannot change history and the truth is there to see!

It may take a few meetings or communications for the notes to show their lies and broken promises.  In the end, the notes will reveal the truth, that your roommate does not compromise or keep to the compromises they agree to.

There are loads of complications you could do on this page, like writing how significant each compromise is.   I found it best to make each of the compromises a short note, if this piece of paper becomes too detailed, no one can use it. 

Also, best to keep it casual, so it does not look nerdy. You just happen to do this, without any drama

After each communication, you send them a new version of the notes, keeping the previous versions as proof of what happened.

5, Your roommate spends money to do everything and has been spoilt by their parents

Your roommate was spoiled by their parents, had everything done for them and lived in a more expensive property.  This may be what they are used to.

  • They never do the dishes, as a maid did that
  • They never do any cleaning, as the maid did that
  • Your roommate wants to have the most expensive things and is upset you cannot pay for them as well

They have been spoilt all their lives.  Reality has not hit them yet.

Just make it clear you do not have the money and cannot afford it.  You have to do your dishes yourself and cannot have all these expensive luxuries. 

If they want the luxuries, they can pay for them, and you will not use them.

Keep it real, do not indulge their spoilt fantasies.   With these people, once they get away with it, they take advantage.

If they want some expensive indulgence, like never doing the dishes, they can pay for the maid to do it.  However, this maybe what got you into the problem of why your roommate hates you.

Either once you say they cannot afford it, they will sympathize, or be such a snob that they hate you for being different to them.

If they are a snob like that, show them what is normal and everyday people do.  If they do not understand that, life may well give them many rude awakenings.

6, Roommate needs to be taught the art of compromise

roommate taught to compromise

The art is that different people value different things.

You may tolerate them having a dog.  Your roommate cannot understand this as they see the dog as an asset.

They tolerate you having the place clean, and they do not like this as they think it makes everything too precious and is a pain to be around such fastidiousness.

There are many different things that each of you will do and value.  Look at all these things together to make a whole, not separately.

Even the best matched people will live differently in some ways. Even the people that are most similar are still different in some way. Real life is about compromise.

7, Getting their approval, means being like them

If you do too many things that your roommate disagrees with and conflicts with them, they may hate you.

You may need to do the things your roommate does, to get their approval and fit in. 

I am not saying to change what you do totally, but compromise is always needed.

If your roommate is someone nasty, they will only approve of you if you do those nasty things as well.   Like how if your roommate is a criminal, they will not like you, if you are a cop.

You can get their approval by doing nasty things, but you aren’t going to do that. 

In these situations, if you refuse to do these things, you cannot make it that such people do not hate you.  That’s why is it so easy for peer pressure to suck people into crime if they hang around with those people.  Criminal activities begin to seem normal.

However never do anything illegal and get a new roommate as fast as you can.  This person may not be suited to your lifestyle, but they will be suited to somebody else’s.

Generally, though it’s not about your roommate doing nasty or illegal things, they have different interests, beliefs, behaviors and so on.

Psychological problems

Hopefully, you can separate your stuff out and even your lives out if needed.  If they have OCD, or hoarding, then it is just in their area and not yours.  Work hard to create these boundaries.

Also research online to see if there are any ways you can help them for hoarding, or whatever problems they may have.    

If not and their attitude from you about this is overly affecting you.   It is time to move out.  There will be other people with the same challenges that may be their perfect roommate.

8, Roommate is a bully

roommate is a bully

The best way to deal with bullies is to.

Stand up to them

Usually, the only way with bullies is to stand up to them, they tend to respect strength.

No need to push them, best not to provoke them. Just do not comply with what your roommate who is a bully tells you to do. Ignore their rude comments.   Just make sure you do not get pushed around and stand up for yourself

Make sure they never see you are scared.

Stand firm, it’s your place too.

Take it as a challenge, a learning experience for when someone may try to bully you in the future.  You are learning a new skill and how to do something.

If they continue to push you around and you cannot stand up to them, or stand up for yourself.  It may just be time to move out.

Work around them

Just be in different places in the room and do not interact with them. Go unnoticed.

The main thing is to never want attention from your bullying roommate, or their approval.

This is going to sound weird. It can be hard to do for many people, as they have a subconscious desire to want attention from people. That’s why so many people want to be in show businesses.

Comedians are there making a fool out of themselves in front of others!

Even if it is negative attention and a person is getting bullied, they are still getting attention. Maybe also feeling that the bully loves them because their roommate likes that they can bully them.

This means you are doing what the bully wants, to get this attention from them.  They want to bully you, and you are playing into their hands.

If you have this instinct to want attention, that can make you do stupid things to get attention, try to be aware of it. The aim is to go unnoticed by your bullying roommate.

Be careful not to become a victim. If that happens, it’s time to try another strategy in this guide or get another roommate.

Make sure they do not see you get mad from what they do

Some bullies do it for power.  They like to upset people as then they are controlling them. 

The bully does something. The victim gets upset and angry.

It means they are controlling you and getting energy from when you get angry.

It is a power and control thing that they get a kick out of.

Don’t give a bullying roommate a reaction, it’s what they are looking for.

Teasing

Remember that if a bully says something nasty about you, it is up to you if you agree with it.   If you do not agree with it, it cannot harm you. 

It’s what you think of yourself that matters!

Never forget you have free choice and free will.

What bullies say usually is not true, they want to upset you.

If it has a grain of truth, it’s just looking at a bad point of yours, remember your good points.

Often a bully may say something is a bad point when you know better and that it’s a good point. Like you read books a lot πŸ™‚

You are great!

Spend time with people who appreciate you.

Most bullies I have seen 20 years later are not in a good place. They usually are pathetic people who have terrible karma.

Find something the bully needs you for

Some people manage to find a way that the bully needs them and so is nice to them.  I know one person where they were not bullied as they helped the bully with their homework.

9, You are different to your roommate

No matter how nice the other person may be.  Sadly many people are intolerant and hate people who are different from themselves.   

This hate can be greater with people who are the opposite of themselves.  Of course, we hope our roommate will be tolerant, but sadly maybe yours is not.

The still fact remains that most people’s closest friends are people that are the same as themselves.  They feel comfortable and at home with people who are like themselves.

I am not talking about racism here. I’m talking about behavior, politics and so on.

Like the sports jock who hates the bookworm.

The loud person who hates the quiet introvert.

Economic status of each person.

Even people with different philosophical or political views.

How to get on with roommates that are different to yourself

Work out how you are different to your roommate as this may be why your roommate hates you.  They are:

  • A sporty person, and you are not.
  • Into beauty stuff and you are not.
  • Very masculine and you more feminine, or the other way around.
  • Into loud and fun things, and you are into quiet intellectual things.  Maybe it is the other way around.
  • Social extrovert, and you are a quiet introvert.

Whatever is it, see if you can adapt, so they think you are more like them.  Find the bits of yourself that are like them and relate to them using this. There is always something.

Some people can adapt and fit in with people from entirely different backgrounds to themselves, like chameleons.  They are almost like actors.   This is a very useful skill to learn and practice. 

Many business people and successful politicians, can adapt to people who are very different from themselves and still feel comfortable with them.

If you are going to adapt to other people, so they think you are like them.  Make sure you still remember who are you are. Find some private time to go back to being yourself.

If you cannot work out what makes you different, ask your friends to come over and tell you.  An outsider with an outside perspective can see things more clearly.

In the long run, though, being a roommate is a social experience.  To get the best experience from having roommates. Find people you get on with and as soon as you can, change to being roommates with them.

You are not talking with your roommate as have nothing to say to each other

You are not talking with your roommate as have nothing to say to each other

This is normally because you are different.  You lead different lives, have different interests and have nothing to relate to each other about.  You also feel uncomfortable with each other and as everything is so unknown.

You have nothing in common.

See if you can adapt to them, so they think you are more like them.

Ask them what their interests are.  Once you find out, they may be happy to talk about it, and you listen.  People love to talk about themselves and have some else listen.

The irony is that we all have things in common, we need to see that.

10, You are in a bad mood so are annoying your roommate

If you are in a bad mood, it will infect others, and they will be a bad mood as well. 

Stress, anxiety, annoyance and all these other emotions and feelings will rub off on other people and make them not want to be around you.

People want to be around people who are full of love, happiness, and other pleasant emotions.

If you are annoyed, you will be annoying to be around

Your roommate may be doing many things that annoy you. Such as not doing the washing up and so on.

You become more and more annoyed about it.

Every force has an equal and opposite reaction. As you become angry with them and frustrated, they probably find you more and more irritating and annoying to be around.

If they are not going to change their annoying habits, like not doing the washing up, you may have to tolerate it and let it go. Otherwise, things will push back and get worse.

Just look at the positive sides of them being your roommate, like having cheaper rent.

Try and see their good sides. Also that you must have different bad sides as well, which your roommate also has to tolerate.

Make the most of it.  Everything has it’s good and bad points.

They may be a horrible person, that is their problem.

11, They are hating you or being angry to negotiate

roommate hating angry negotiate

We have all seen this in the isle of a grocery store. A child wants some candy, and their mum says no.

The child thinks they can have a tantrum, which will get their mother to buy the candy for them.

The child may say to their mum that they hate them, or will not love them if they don’t get the candy.

Adults do this as well but in a slightly more sophisticated and subtle manner.

Your roommate may want you to do something, so is aggressive and hateful in the hope you will give in and do it. It’s just a negotiation technique.

If you are in the right, they are in the wrong and your roommate will not negotiate. Just wait for them to give up.

They don’t hate you; it’s just them negotiating.

This show’s your roommate is quite a negative person though.

Hopefully, they will eventually learn you get more by being nice to people and hoping they will be nice back. Being nice is also how you have a sweeter life and get to be friends with nicer people.

However, most people take years to learn it, some never do.

12, Wait for them to calm down

Something happens that is new your roommate doesn’t like. Such as you need to be in the place more, and so they get less privacy,

Your roommate hates you for this; they now have less than they did before.

However after a while, this becomes more normal, they get over their loss.

Roommates can be especially sensitive when they first move in. They feel insecure about things, maybe there was something they had in their previous place, and you don’t have it in your current home.

Just like any loss or tragedy, time passes, the emotion goes, and things become normal. So they get used to this new standard and will not hate you anymore.

13, They have not grown up yet

Like if they’re hiding things in their room, which are meant to be for everyone and other childish things.

They have not grown up yet. Realized that everything has consequences.

Another sign of this is if your roommates behave in gangs, most people get past this one when they are children.

For this behave like an adult, this shows up how stupid what they are doing is.  Be careful not to act like a parent, as then they will still be like a child, as you are like the parent.

Also, do not go down to being a child too, then things just get silly.

This advice comes from transnational analysis in psychology, I’m OK-You’re OK, By Thomas A Harris MD.

14, They don’t respect your stuff

If you brought the cutlery and other items when you moved in.  Your roommates use them, do not look after them, or wash them up.

The best solution usually is to say to your roommate, that if they do it again, you will have to keep them in a locked box, or your room.  If it happens again, then do it.

If your roommate is not respecting your stuff, which will lead to arguments, and so your roommate will hate you. Just get your stuff out of the way.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Sad if things go down to this level though, as it does affect the rest of your relationship, you are not helping each other all you can.  Best to give warnings to try and prevent it from happening if possible.

If they have damaged your stuff and not replaced it, this is a perfect excuse for you not to let them use it.  Do not do anything aggressive, just put your things in this locked box so they cannot use them.

15, They don’t want to be your friend

You may think that your roommate hates you, but it’s they don’t want to be your friend.

Many people would prefer to live on their own, and they only need a roommate as they cannot afford to have their own place.

They want their privacy and do not want anyone else to know too much about them.  On purpose, your roommate wants to share with someone who is not their friend.  They also do not want to have a roommate who is a friend.

The fact that you want to be their bestie, or best friend annoys them.

16, You used to be friends

Often people used to be good friends before they become roommates.

Being good roommates has very different compatibilities than just being friends.  You may have very different behaviors for accommodation, such as tidiness, cleanliness, the temperature you like heating to be and so on.

You see your friends every so often, and you do not have to put up with each other all the time.

Either you can use your friendship so that you both want to compromise and find solutions.  Otherwise, it’s best to agree to stop being roommates, as you do not want to damage your friendship.

People have a choice here, whether to put money ahead of friendship. In this situation, being a roommate is saving money but damaging a friendship. Please put the friendship first!

17, Your roommate doesn’t hate you, they’re not interested in you

If your roommate hates you, they want to be destructive towards you.

It may not be that your roommate hates you, they are not interested in you.

As they are indifferent, they ignore you and your needs.  They’re also not gracious or decent enough to express affection or be considerate to people they are not interested in.

Your roommate may socially stick to their social group.  Maybe only people with a specific interest like computing, medicine and so on, or their country of origin.

Their indifference can make your roommate seem offhand, or rude.  If you bring it up with them, they might change.   They do not care and so never thought about it.

If your roommate hates you, then they will not respect your reasonable requests, like if you ask them to turn down the music.  They want to be destructive towards you.

If it is just that they are not interested in you, then they will do your requests, because at least they want an easy life.  To prevent having problems with you.  They have a roommate relationship with you, nothing else.

You may think they hate you because you try to be friends with them and they are not interested. If you try to make them your friend, by inviting them to stuff all the time, or using up their time with conversations.

As your roommate is not interested, it becomes a nuisance for them to resist your requests to do stuff. Then your roommate may see you as a nuisance and then start to hate you.

Often roommates get along as needed to be living in the same place and are not friends. Especially if they are different ages or lead different types of lives.

If they weren’t friends before being roommates, but are friends while being roommates. They usually don’t see each other much after having been roommates.  Great if it happens, but it is not the norm.

One of those friendships where they say they will catch up, but like at school reunions, they never do.

18, Overcome it with love

cold apartment roommate

If you treat them with so much love, be so nice to them.

They’re overwhelmed and cannot be anything but sweet.

Love and respect are powerful and can overcome anything.

For it to work though, you have to really love. That’s doing things as you care about the other person, without an agenda, or expecting things in return. Even if you can’t do it totally, doing it a bit is better than nothing.

Hard to do if you are annoyed that they hate you.  Just focus on what needs to happen, you need to create love, so there is not hate.

Hopefully, you will create a great spirit in the place that overcomes everything.

This does not work entirely with every roommate, some are that negative.  However, it always helps to some degree, even with those people.

19, You do something they hate, that you never thought of

It could be you do something that they hate, but you never considered it.

Slam the door when you leave, bite your nails, it could be anything.

Speak them and ask if there is anything they would prefer you did not do or do differently? Ask nicely, when the time is right, your roommate has time and is in the right mood.

The best thing to do with a roommate is to regularly ask them if there is anything you can do to be a better roommate.  Hopefully, you will create a culture that they do the same thing as well because they want a better living experience.

You may start with great intentions of regularly asking them, but time passes, and you forget.  It’s important to keep these things up.

Some roommates may find it is a bit funny for you to ask, so ask in a way that fits in with how they would do it.

If they are a tough guy, ask it in a more tough guy way and so on.

20, Focus on your life, do not waste it on a roommate that hates you

As long as you still feel safe and comfortable in your room, then focus on the rest of your life.

Focus on your friends, studies, work and the people who like you.  Don’t bother with people who do not want you.

Your friends can also give you perspective and reaffirm what a jerk your roommate is.

Focus on what makes you great

Focus on the great things in your life, not watering them down to appease your roommate who hates you.

A lot of people who have achieved great things, say that if no one hates you, you have not done anything.

Every politician, artist, business person who has created things, is hated by someone who has a different point of view or is a rival.

People are different, and if no one hates you, it means you have nothing there. A bit like at a politician, actor, or business person who does nothing with their life and so no one else is interested in them.

Doing something means some people think you are great and will love you for what you do. Others may hate you for it. However, if you do nothing and try to please everybody, the people who like you will not have any interest in you anymore. As you are just doing mediocre stuff to try and appease everybody.

Be true to yourself. Everyone has a role to play in the world. Focus on what makes you great and what you believe is right.

21, Your roommate likes privacy when they have guests over

This is something that can go miscommunicated between roommates.

Personally, if I have friends over, I love my roommates to join.  ‘More the merrier.’

It’s not like when I have a date coming over, and maybe I want some privacy for a romantic dinner.

The clue is your roommate stays out when you have guests.

Maybe they expect you do to the same when they have guests.  Privacy is important to them.

Your roommate sees having guests over as personal private time. Maybe they would like to have a prayer meeting or talk about personal things.

For some roommates, this is a bid deal and could be a reason why your roommate hates you?   Especially if what they invite their friends over is important to them and very private.

When your roommate has friends over or says they would like to have roommates over. Ask if they would like privacy and so how long their friends will be over. Then you can coordinate that they have friends at the same time, as it is convenient for you to be out doing other things.

22, Cultural differences

I have seen cultural conflicts that have led to problems.  Only because the roommates did not understand each other’s cultural backgrounds, were not interested in learning them and also compromising.

The roommates thought it was personal, just about them.  It was nothing of the sort. They were not aware of the other’s cultural differences.

I have seen first hand where American people have lived with Swedish people or other people from Scandinavia.  American culture is more socially open, Swedish people on average are much more private.

American culture is more casual.  Scandinavian people like things to be very exact, organized and very clean.  A tiny maintenance problem in a room like a poorly painted bit wall, cannot be tolerated.

Other examples of differences I have seen are between Japanese people and Californians.  Californians are louder and freer spirited, compared to the average Japanese person who is quieter and more disciplined.

Japanese people never touch each other in their social interactions and feel very uncomfortable if you do. Whereas it is common for Californians to do this.

Each culture is different. The answer is to ask about and learn about your roommate’s culture if it is different and you are going to live together in harmony. 

The conflicts are solved when each roommate learns about the other’s culture and compromises.

People also love it when you respect their culture and background.

The first thing is to ask questions about the other person and regularly check you are meeting their needs.

Peace and love people, yeah!

23, Getting your RA to change your room

If you are at a more customer service focused university and you have a good RA. They will change your roommate when you ask them to, by getting you into another room.   

Check out your new potential roommate and room before you move.   Speak to people in neighboring rooms to find out about your new roommate and room.  Maybe it’s available as nobody else would like to be there either.

24, If the university will not change your room

Maybe your roommate has a friend who will share with them instead of you.  Also, you have a friend who would like to share with you, so you swap things around.

Some universities will only change your room if your roommate threatens your physical safety.  Even if they were going to move you anyway just because you asked them, this could get them to do it more quickly

If your roommate crosses certain lines, then it should be quite easy to get your RA to change your room.

Swearing, threats or anything like that.

Even if most of the stuff they do is not so bad, they only have to cross the line once.

Once the university has a legal liability, they move more quickly.

Other things that can get the university to move your room is if your roommate hating you is getting in the way of your education and causing you to do poorly in class.

25, They want their own place and don’t want you to be there

Your roommate hates you because they want to have their own place, they don’t want to share it.  They are unpleasant to you, so you want to be out as much as possible.

Stand your ground on this one, no need to be aggressive to them.  Even if you are not as strong as your roommate, you can make them give up by being persistent.

Don’t give them attention when they are doing this. If your roommate can see you reacting and noticing, they may think what they are doing is working.

You could even stay around more when they are unpleasant, so subconsciously they know you go out more when they are not unpleasant to you. The aim is not to reward bad behavior.

Also, try not to interact with them when you are there.  Not even saying hello when you arrive or in the mornings.  Goodbye, when you go.  To help them have the illusion that they are by themselves.

26, Your roommate has psychological problems

Bipolar is a common one, two people I know have had a roommate with this issue.

Bipolar

If your roommate has bipolar, the first thing to appreciate is it is nothing to do with you.  You did not cause it, and it’s not your fault.

Your roommate will have times they are extremely happy and on a high.

Other times they are really sad and depressed.

They go between these two poles.

These mood swings have a massive effect on all their actions, emotions and thoughts.

I know someone who had bipolar.  They resolved it by a therapist showing them they were going after thrills, highs and excessive excitement.  Like a roller coaster, every up has a down.

They chose to behave a way that they were gently happy and no longer had the big ups and downs.  That is a personal story though, from a person, I am not qualified to give medical advice.

An excellent guide to help you is Mayo Clinic, Anger management: 10 tips to tame your temper

Paranoid

Your roommate thinks you are a threat or will cause them problems.  Maybe they had an experience of this in the past from someone else, or in their childhood.

I believe this is a good guide on paranoia and how it can be treated Mental Health America, Paranoia and Delusional Disorders

My experience of a paranoid roommate

I had a roommate who was paranoid.  A friend of mine was temporarily in town, and two of us wanted to offer them a spot in our place to stay the night. 

The third roommate got angry saying the guest might steal something.

It was not a close friend of me and another roommate, but we knew them and their parents. 

So we went ahead and did it anyway.   We were not going to be ridiculous as the third roommate was paranoid. Being two roommates against one helped.

Fear leads to anger, and anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering (Yes that is Star Wars).

When someone is scared, they can then react angrily.

Their paranoia is not about you, and it is in their head and their problem.

Just be aware of their nature and do the best you can. Make sure you know it is not about you, even if the paranoid person thinks it is.

Depression

If your roommate doesn’t want to get out of bed and this has gone on for a while, that is a sign they may have depression.

Other signs are more subtle. Like if your roommate feels guilty, worthless and hopeless every day, not just on occasions.

I believe this is a good guide on how a medical professional diagnoses depression WEbMD, Depression Diagnosis

Roommates with depression can take it out on the other roommate.

27, Your roommate cannot sleep when there is even the smallest noise

Your roommate is a light sleeper, or very sensitive to noise.

They go to bed at 10 pm, but you go to bed at 1 or 2 am.

Watching tv as quietly as you can, your roommate can hear it even though you are in another room, or using headphones.

Your roommate gets woken up from the slightest noise from you, even though louder sounds are coming from cars and other things from outside that do not wake them up.

They claim they have a medical thing like insomnia which means you should treat them differently.

Even flushing the toilet wakes your roommate up.

Things you can do are:

  • Mention how your roommate’s demands cause you stress and reduce your quality of life.  You cannot use the place properly.
  • They should use earplugs, or noise canceling headphones.  You are happy to research these for them. Just make sure your roommate makes the final call on which to buy, so does not hold you liable to pay for them if they do not work out for them.
  • Many light sleepers or insomniacs have high stress levels and are worriers.  Look at what’s causing your roommate’s stress and worries.  It could be stress at work, exams, personal problems, traumatic incidents in their life like when they were a child.
  • Show how much you are already compromising.  Moving around the place slowly, not having friends over past 10 pm when they would typically stay until much later and so on.
  • Suggest they see a therapist if they are an insomniac.  Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and other things could resolve the stress problems that are stopping them from sleeping.
  • Make sure they have a calm time, not watching tv or using their phone 1 hour before going to bed.
  • Say how your roommate cannot blame you for their issues, you are as helpful and reasonable as you can be. Others would not even do as much as you are doing.
  • Say how you are doing all you can, and they should be thankful. Show all that you are doing.  If your roommate is going to be dismissive of all the things you are doing, you should not bother.  Try not to go too far with this one, as if your relationship goes down to that level, it helps no one.
  • Get your roommate to use something to mask the noise, like a fan or humidifier.  A sound blowing at a wall, will not change the temperature in the room much, or use a lot of electricity.  Devices that create a low, consistent and predictable noise are easy to get used to, and so use to get to sleep. Unlike other everyday sounds that are erratic, unpredictable and so more disturbing.
  • Get your roommate to use a noise making machine, like a white noise machine.  A free way to do it is with this Youtube video that produces white noise for 10 hours or this Youtube video that produces brown noise for 8 hours. Some people find brown noise better for sleeping.
  • If you are using the toilet after your roommate goes to sleep, you could offer not to flush it until the morning.  Yes, it is pretty yucky, but it shows how much you are putting yourself out for them. It may sound outlandish, but older people with bedpans only have them emptied every so often.  Some people need to flush their toilet less often to save water.
  • If you are not flushing the toilet until morning for your roommate, they owe you!  It should also create a positive spirit of you both helping each other.  Many other roommates would not do this, and they should know it is not normal.  They should love you for doing.  If they don’t, they are self absorbed with no understanding of how their issue affects others! Just make sure your roommate is not pushing you around too much as it can get ridiculous.
  • Make your roommate appreciate that their sensitivity to sound while they are sleeping is their problem.  You are happy to help, but they should be doing all they can such as wearing earplugs.

28, Your roommate is an aggressive or controlling person

 Don’t give them your power

It’s up to you if you submit to them.  Just stay calm and psychologically in your own good place.  Their aggression is their problem, don’t get involved.

Think about your own good things and do not get involved with their rubbish.

You have free will, and it’s up to you if you get involved.

A bit like when another driver is beeping their horn, it is their choice and their problem.   You do not have to engage.

Keep smiling, they have had no effect on you.

Never forget you have free choice and free will.

Stay calm

Once you are no longer calm and centered, the aggressive person can win.

In martial arts, the fighter has to stay physically balance and centered.   Once they lose balance, they cannot fight from an effective place and win. As they’re not balanced, the opponent can easily knock them over.

It is the same psychologically and emotionally.

Slow deep breaths and other techniques to stay calm are useful.

Keep your posture vertical, not cowering down like you are in submission.

Never let them hear any fear in your voice, or see it from how you behave. Don’t let your roommate see you flinch if they try to rattle you.

 It’s their issues and problems, not yours

Aggressive people have made their choices to be aggressive.  They’re aggressive with everyone, wanting to fight and argue. It’s not about you and not your fault.

The main thing is if your roommate is looking for a fight or argument, do not give them an excuse.  I’m not saying to act like a coward, but try not to attract attention or do things you know will annoy them, like holding a red rag up to a bull.

They may have also had problems that made them go that way, such as coming from a dysfunctional family.   They were mistreated as a child and are now doing that to others.

It’s good to help your roommate and get close to them if you can, but you cannot sink yourself in the process if your roommate is the kind of person that will be nasty to you in the long term, even if you have tried to help them.

However, some people are aggressive but loyal, like some dogs are. If anyone is nasty to you, you are in their gang; they will defend you until the bitter end. Just be careful not to play with fire.

 You have the right to defend yourself, but not attack

Every living creature has the right to defend themselves, but not attack others.  If a country is attacked, it has to defend itself, but should not invade others.

Like when you were at school.  You need to stand up for yourself, so you are not bullied, but must never bully others.

If your roommate is nasty to you, you have to defend yourself, or in the long term, they will walk all over you.   You have your needs, both for yourself and so you can help others as well.

Defending yourself is a human right.  

Emotionally, psychologically as well as physically.

I’m not saying to hurt people, but if someone is nasty to you, stand your ground.

If you are in physical danger, call to get help as quickly as possible..

If someone says something nasty to you, be ready to say something nasty back.  It’s like having two hands at the ready, one to be nice and give to people and the other prepared to defend yourself. Just be careful not to raise the stakes.

You might have to practice this one, going to a stand up comedy improvisation class is an excellent way to practice put downs if someone says something nasty to you. Make them fun, funny, entertaining, creative, original, and people will love you for it.

So people are not too offended, and you are not raising the stakes. Say the joke with love as it is to entertain other people and provide them with fun. It’s the way you say it emotionally that’s as important as the words you use.

The comedian Ricky Gervais says he is good at it because people in his family used to tease each other for fun all the time.

Remember to tell the university if you feel threatened or unsafe in any way, do not take these matters into your own hands, or you could get into trouble.  The university also has a legal obligation to make sure you are safe.  To ensure the university honors this, you may also need also to tell them in writing.  You may also need to report things to the police.

In all cases of violence, the first thing to do if you can is run and get away.

Recognize their destructive behavior

An aggressive person who is nasty can seem credible like they are aggressive for the right reasons.  However, then you notice all their behavior and views are about destroying things.

They talk about what is wrong.   Not about creating and what is right.

The problem with these people is that once they have destroyed everything, there is nothing left.   That is what evil is about.  They are not just protecting good people from bad people. They’re destroying everything.

You do not want a fight, but you also cannot do what they are doing.

So if you have to respond, say polite things to them as a diplomat would:

‘I respect your opinion, that’s just not my way.’

‘Interesting, I will think about that.’

and so on.

Just not being aggressive.

You are saying what you do, and you are not saying they have to.

If you need to, show where the hole in their argument is, which is usually a fact or point of view they have left out.

Mention consequences that you are concerned about, which are the result of immoral behavior.  Consequences are a great way to show the long term effects of things that may seem great in the short term.

Never provoke these people, they want a fight, and you do not.

Remove the excuses they have for being aggressive

If your roommate is a bully, then you cannot do this as they are looking for things and may even make them up.

However, with an aggressive roommate, it’s best to treat them with respect still, as that is something that can trigger some aggressive people.  They may even be aggressive to try and get respect.

Of course, you do not actually respect a roommate who is a bully, you are just pretending. That’s is the irony that bullies get. They think people respect them, but in reality, they hate them and do not.

Respond don’t react

Responding means you have thought about it and done what’s right. 

Reacting is just the lowest thing, like doing something back without thinking about it.

When an aggressive or controlling person does something to you, it’s easy to react.  Want revenge or do something back.

This escalates things and makes them worse.  It’s also often not the cleverest thing to do.

You need to do something from your choices and because it is right.

Once you are just reacting, the aggressive and controlling roommate is controlling you.

To stop yourself from just reacting, think of consequences and doing what is right. Maybe you do have to do something back, but at least have thought about it and done the best possible thing.

Often they are childish and stupid

People who are intelligent and grown up, know that being aggressive and controlling does not do them the most good.  Clever people know that life is about creating things and building good relationships with people.

Recognize your roommate’s limits. They are often controlling and aggressive because they are childish and not that smart.  They don’t know any better.

Of course, do not be arrogant and excessively proud about being wiser than they are.   Just see it for what it is.

29, Stop the cycle of revenge

It’s so easy when your roommate does something to you, to want revenge, to get even. This makes things worse, and your roommate hates you even more.

Justice is for the sake of others, so they learn a lesson.

Revenge is different. It’s for yourself.

There is an old Chinese proverb ‘A person who goes out for revenge, should dig two graves.’  Ie. one for the other person and the other is for you.

So if your roommate does something, you do something back, and it goes on from there.  It can get even bigger because each person wants to win, by having done more to the other person, than what was done to them.

Maybe if your roommate does something, just take it to stop the cycle of revenge, to end it there.

Realize that for the time being, you and your roommate are not going anywhere else.  Ultimately no one wins, you both just loose things.

Of course, you still need to stand up for yourself and defend yourself if needed.

30, Your roommate is a control freak

Yes, this was above where the person is controlling and aggressive.  However, there are things specific to control freaks.

A control freak roommate may not start out being aggressive but tells you what to do. Then aggressive or passive aggressive, only if you don’t do what they tell you to do.

Controlling behavior leads to decreased trust, conflicts and arguments on all sides.  It’s also not nice being controlled and pushed around by your roommate all the time.

Reasons why your roommate may be a control freak

Your roommate is scared

People often want to control others because they are scared of them and have high levels of anxiety.

Maybe your roommate has had experiences in their past that stop them from trusting others.

This anxiety can causes them to want to control things, as a defense mechanism because they are scared of them.  This behavior includes your roommate controlling you because they are scared of what you may do.

If this is the first time your roommate has lived away from their parents, it can be an especially scary time for them.

Their childhood

How their parents brought your roommate up, can have an effect in them becoming control freaks.  For example, if they have a parent who was a control freak and they learned this behavior.

Power mad

Some people just like power, they like telling others what to do. 

This power madness can be visible in other ways. Like if your roommate is talking all the time in a way that is telling you what you should do, say and think. 

Like they are a commander or leader, telling others what to do.  What they have yet to learn is that power is given and cannot be taken.

Solutions for having a control freak roommate

Focus on cooperation, working together.

Make them feel safe, so they do not have to control things.

If your roommate gets controlling, if possible do not comply and also subtly go away from them if you can.  This means you are not rewarding their controlling behavior. 

 Of course, sometimes it may be best to go along with it, nothing should be done to the extreme.

Try not to do things that will make your roommate feel not in control, insecure, or scarred.

Try and stay secure and calm yourself, so your roommate is the same.

I recommend Psychology Today, Do You Have a Controlling Personality? and Psychology Today, 20 Signs Your Partner Is Controlling

31, Your roommate’s outburst suddenly came from nowhere

They meant to tell you sooner

Your roommate may have been wanting to tell you for a long time that you are too noisy, or some other issue.   They did not though.  All this time your roommate has been getting angrier and angrier until your roommate hates you.

Then they explode. They are insulting you, shouting and being mad.

To you it is like it came from nowhere, the signs would have been there if you had been looking closely at your roommate.  However, you had not noticed.

So when someone explodes with anger towards you, it can be something you have been doing all along.  Your roommate did not tell you early enough.

Make sure they are comfortable to tell you whatever they need to

Your roommate may not have felt comfortable to tell you what was upsetting them.  Maybe because they’re especially sensitive and meek.

It can also be because you tend to get aggressive when people tell you things you don’t want to hear.  That’s why your roommate has not been able to tell you what they need you to do differently.  Only when it was annoying them, did they explode and tell you.

Try to create an atmosphere where you want to know what your roommate needs and thinks. You do not have to agree with them, but you want to hear it, so you can make a decision, work out a solution with them or compromise.

They are having a personal problem and just want something else to take it out on

This is as basic as it sounds.  Your roommate has a sudden problem and is annoyed.  They do not want to face their problem and cannot cope with it.  So they take it out by saying you are doing something.  They snap.

It could be that someone else is mistreating them and they take that out on you.

Leave them to calm down, then speak to them once their emotion from the situation has gone away.

Anger management

A sudden and unexpected outburst from a roommate is harder to cope with, as you are not ready for it.

It’s so easy to see red and want revenge.  Try out what your roommate’s problem is, listen and if they’re in the right, then do what is needed to make things right.

If they are wrong, then you need to stand up for yourself, but don’t make it worse by wanting revenge.

Often there are parts you are in the wrong for and parts you are in the right for.  The same with your roommate.  Things are grey, not black and white.

Just keep your self control, do not do anything silly, especially things you cannot come back from having done.

This is a good guide from the Mayo Clinic on Anger Management

32, Give each other space and privacy

If roommates do not get some privacy time each day, or every second day, they may start to go crazy.

If both roommates are always in the room at the same time as each other, you are both not getting any privacy.

Sooner or later one of you, or both will start to go crazy.  Most people need privacy at one point.

Including if you want to do personal pleasurable things that you need privacy for. Same for bringing a boyfriend or girlfriend back. Hiding in the bathroom does not work in the long run.

So talk about this and make sure that at least for an hour a day, or an hour every second day.  Each roommate will be able to have some alone time in the room if they want it.

Even married couples or people living together in a relationship need some alone time. They usually both have to ensure they each get privacy from each other for a while for their general well being.

This advice is for if you are sharing a room, if there is more than one room, then it may not be this problem.

Problems that can stop roommates having the place to themselves from time to time

A roommate may never want to leave the room.  They could be addicted to a computer game or tv program.

Have psychological problems such as agoraphobia which means they are afraid to go outside.  Depression and social anxiety disorders can also make them want to stay inside.

These are useful guides to those psychological conditions:

Agoraphobia: WebMD, Agrophobia

Social anxiety disorder: WEbMD, What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Depression: WEbMD, Depression Diagnosis

The roommate who stays in their room all the time is often the one who gets annoyed with the other roommate. 

As the roommate never leaves the room, they become more isolated and lose touch with the everyday world. Their whole world becomes the room, so they are more easily irritated by any problems there and lose out on having a full life.

Make sure your roommate has privacy for their romantic time with their boyfriend or girlfriend

A big thing issue with roommates is when one of them gets in the way of the other having privacy with the other’s girlfriend or boyfriend.

Make sure when your partner wants to have someone over, you give them privacy if they need or want time.  Also that you make it easy for them to have boyfriends or girlfriends over.

If your roommate has to ask your permission for their boyfriend or girlfriend to come over and it is more than just out of politeness. You have become a nuisance, and they will start to hate you for that.

Getting private time with boyfriends or girlfriends is a massive one. Romantic relationships are of course important to people and roommates can be very sensitive about it!

It may not just be your roommate who gets annoyed. Their partner may be getting annoyed as well if you are getting in the way. As they complain about it, they may make your roommate even madder about it.

33, Noise

Noise is something that can make your roommate hate you.

Some people don’t have good concentration, and any noise stops them from being able to focus on their work.

In the same way that many people hate noisy neighbors or hearing noise from their neighbors.  Many people see having a roommate as a severe disadvantage because of the noise they create.

The noise you create may not be enough for your roommate to say anything, but they may still hate you for it.

Always ask questions about this one.  Things that can annoy your roommate are:

  • Speaking to friends on the phone, more loudly than you need to for your friend to hear you on the other end of the phone.
  • Having music louder than it needs to be for you to hear it. Even headphones can make a noise.
    Please note the word ‘needs’ and not the word ‘wants’.
  • Having a friend over for a chat, when your roommate has a big test the next day.  You could easily go somewhere else to have this chat with your friend.

Please note the word ‘need’ and not the word ‘want’.

When a roommate wants quiet and is thinking about how you are making noise.  They are often not thinking about you wanting to have the sound on loud to enjoy a movie, just the volume you need, to be able to hear it.

Especially me with my roommate!  Grrrrr

We also address elsewhere in this guide, if you make noises that stop your roommate from going to sleep, like snoring.

34, You keep messing things up

Most people mess things up when they’ve just left home and are living with other people, like being a freshman.   Living with people that you are not your parents is a new skill to learn, please don’t beat yourself up about this.

Standard rookie mistakes are locking yourself out, forgetting to lock the door, not cleaning up and so on.

More serious ones are eating someone else’s food.

What you can do about it

Say sorry and make up for it

The first thing to do say sorry.  Always best to do this in person with your roommate and not by leaving a note.  Then you can get the emotion and feeling of how sorry you are for having done it.  It’s more personal and you can look them in the eye.

Also immediately more than make up for it.  If you ate just a portion of your roommate’s cereal, buy them a whole new box.

Then as long as your roommate did not go hungry from not having any food left, they would be happy you did it as you bought them a whole new box.

You could give them the money for a whole new box, but then they have the bother of having to buy it.  

If you make up for it just by giving your roommate the money, it does not go as far as if you also do the work as well to sort it out.  It looks like you threw money at the problem and did not want to put yourself out for your roommate, as you do not care enough.

So also do the work to fix it, such as going out to get a new box of cereal.

Win back their trust

Some things it’s hard to make up for, like not locking the door when you leave.

My roommate had a friend stay over, and they not only did not lock the door. They left the key in it! 

I never wanted my roommate to allow their friend to stay over again and told other people about it. I was annoyed; a thief could have stolen my laptop and lots of other things.

The main thing here is not to lose your roommate’s trust.

For any tasks where you may forget something, write a list of things you need to do.

Such as a list of things you should do when leaving.

Things you should do each day.

And so on.

May sound over the top, but it’s better than getting it wrong, and then your roommate hates you.

Pilots have checklists to make sure they don’t miss anything out when doing specific processes.

Double check things and leave extra time for doing so.

Buy more food than you need, to make sure never run out.

Going above and beyond

Doing little extras like the washing up even if they’re not your things or your turn.  Being proactive with chores and doing more than your share can a long way.

If your roommates are people who do not care about cleanliness and doing the dishes, see what matters to them.  Maybe if you buy them all pizza that night, hang out and have a good time, they will like you again.

If you do something extra and it’s something they care about, they will be thankful.   You can more than make up for it.

Just make sure you help with something they care about, not something you think they should care about.

If you have more than one roommate

If you have more than one roommate, there’s often one roommate who likes you less.  Befriend the roommates that like you more, then it is the majority that like you, against the one that doesn’t.

Your roommates are not likely the people you are closest to and your best friends.  So I wouldn’t worry too much about how much they like you and is not something to obsess on.

The main thing is to have a great relationship with the people in your life who care about you.

Don’t justify it to yourself

If you ate your roommate’s food, it’s easy to justify it to yourself.

‘My roommate has loads of money, I don’t and am hungry.’

‘Everyone takes advantage a bit.’

A sign of this is if you look at yourself, me, talk about I and me. Not the needs and welfare of the people as well.

It’s hard to face the truth, and once you realize it, you should feel regret for what you have done.  Then learn from it and be a better person.

You may think it’s okay to have eaten your roommate’s food, but you want to be the best person you can.  These things will be why your roommate hates you and could lead to other people hating you as well when they find out.

Everything has an effect and consequence.

35, Social conflict

You don’t get on with your roommate.  Even if you weren’t roommates, you would still rub each other up the wrong way.

Maybe your roommate comes from a working background, and you are more of a snob with a big trust fund.

You are quite nervous, and for your tough roommate, you are just too different.

Your politics are different, and your roommate is very political.

You said something without thinking first, or you did not know about their life story. This made them hate you and you cannot unsay it.

 The answer is to learn how to adapt to different people:

  • Just show people the sides of yourself that match them.  Their beliefs, interests and so on.  There will always be sides of yours that match theirs.
  • Learn how to adapt to different people, so they think you are like them and feel comfortable with you.  If you have a posh voice and your roommate a more normal one, see if you can tone it down a bit.  Of course, you then will need time to yourself every so often to remember who you really are, never lose touch with this.
  • Try not to show off and rub things in your roommate’s face.  It’s easy to try and be the winner, by showing off you have more money and achievement.  This makes your roommate hate you.  It can also make them envious and jealous.

This can be hard because your roommate sees you all the time, not some of the time like you do with normal friends. 

That is why if you have not had a roommate before, or lived with a partner, it needs new skills and is a learning experience. It’s a great skill to have though and an excellent learning experience.

36, They find you embarrassing

Your roommate may find you socially embarrassing.  They don’t want to be seen out with you, have friends over and so on.

Ask them about this stuff. It could be a good learning experience for you to improve your social skills and learn how to fit in with different social groups.

It will be a change, but a good thing to learn.

Your roommate may have friends that you do not want to be like, that’s a personal choice.  If certain things define them that you do not want to do, like things which are illegal. You are right not to do those things.

Just fit in all you can, but never break your morals.

37, You’re sensitive, and they’re tough

This recommendation comes from my direct experience.  Your roommate is a tough person.  They’re not used to caring about other people’s feelings.  Their attitude is they have stuff to do and get on with it.

Maybe they’re more of a doing personality type, and you are more of a feeler. They’re not interested in feelings. 

You may be very sensitive.  Very open to the world and easily upset if anyone does anything that could hurt your feelings.

Your friends are more like you, who are interested in and care about each other’s feelings.

Maybe your roommate does something you have a hang-up about, insecurity, chip on your shoulder about, or presses your buttons.  So your roommate upsets you more easily and you upset them.

It might be a good experience having a roommate from a tougher background.  Especially if you come from a more precious and protected background, so the learning experience will be useful. Just like how college is a great place to meet and learn to get on with lots of different kinds of people. 

If not, have a chat with them about it, most people will compromise if they know you have good intentions, but are sensitive and easily hurt.

When I first got to know a friend of mine, they thought it okay and funny to make some cutting comments.  I got upset, then he got upset by my reaction, and it turned into a massive argument.  Once he realized a few months later that I’m very sensitive,  we talked about it and he handles me accordingly.  We then became good friends.

You could give examples to your roommate of things they don’t like, but you are fine with. However, for your roommate’s sake, you don’t do them.  This is to show that you compromise for your roommate.

If your roommate normally behaves like a tough person, including with their own friends. This is who your roommate is, don’t try to change them, especially if they don’t want to change. They will hate you for this.

38, Your roommate says nasty things about you to others

You may think your roommate hates you because you heard them say
something to someone else about you.  Often though this is just standard gossip. People gossip about others, even their best friends!

People may have close friends, but they will not like every detail of even their best friends. All my best friends have their good and bad points.

I do as well! I’m honest but get stressed easily which can be annoying to be around.

Listen for if your roommate says the same about other people, even their best friends.  If they do it more than necessary, they’re either full of hate, or love to gossip.

Your roommate could have a valid point; maybe you’re doing something that’s unfair.  See it from their side.  Your roommate has a right to speak to their friends about things to get advice and support if they are true.

Your roommate could be a bully though, and they are not fair.  You may not be getting on socially. 

Have a look at the advice in other parts of this guide about getting on with your roommate socially and if they’re a bully, as they also apply here.

39, Your roommate is an angry person

My roommate had a previous roommate who was like this.  His roommate would get angry, stomp around and it was not pleasant to have this going on in his home.

During one of their angry phrases, they would also get mad at him.

Another friend had a roommate who was angry, and they took it out on him as well.

Recommendations for this are:

a, See if their anger is justified and what is causing it.   Are they are taking things out of all proportion? If so keep hold of that thought and observation.

b, You can be angry on the inside, but stay controlled on the outside.  So you can be calm, reasonable, not shout and escalate things. 

Stay calm, speak slowly and softly to try and calm your roommate down. This will influence them to do the same.

c, Never insult them as a person.  You can ask them not to do something because you don’t like it, but not say that they are an idiot for doing it, or they are that kind of person.   

You also say it’s because you need it, so it’s about you. Not about your roommate, because they should not be doing something.

So you do not say they are an angry person, you ask them to stop shouting because you don’t like it.

d, Just because your roommate is angry, does not mean you have to be involved with it.  Just disengage physically, emotionally and psychologically.   There is no reason you have to be involved, leave it as their problem.

e, Giving sympathy, compassion, empathy, love, and respect to your roommate are powerful things that can make things better for them.  They may even hurt less and calm down.

f, At the right time, when they are in a calm state.  Say that they may benefit from getting anger management therapy.  Do this after they are mad if your roommate did wrong when they were angry.  Your roommate, later on, should have a regret stage unless they are a sociopath.

Tell them that anger management is not unusual and self-development is always a good idea.  Also, look up the anger management techniques so your roommate can use them. 

g, Always watch out for your safety.  Some people can do stupid and dangerous things when they see red and get mad.  They do not look at the consequences of their actions.  Get out of there and call the police if you have to.

I recommend looking at these resources, Psychology Today, 5 Ways to Deal with Angry People and Mind Tools, Dealing With Angry People

Other tips that have worked:

Get the anger out of their system

An old friend of mine is very loyal; he’s like a dog.  He likes a fight though and to argue.

Fortunately, he has football to vent his anger and desire for a fight.

If he has not got something to get angry about and fight with, he finds something in his life to argue or fight about.

Make sure your roommate has something aggressive that they can get their anger out on.  Maybe sports, or watching tv programs about war and fighting.

That is why society has violent films, sports and so on. It is to get these urges out, so people do not do them in real life.

In Fiji, there was a massive problem of the young guys fighting and fights between villages.

Then they introduced rugby, and they got it out of their system that way instead.  

Your roommate is angry about something else and takes it out on you

 I have to admit that when something terrible once happened to me, I took it out on friends and family.

Fortunately, I soon realized and said sorry.  They knew it was not like me and was out of character. Also, I have done enough other good things for them in the past, that they easily forgave me.

However, I have known people who really have gone to town taking it out on others.  Even getting into fights as they wanted someone to take it out on.  Logic went out of the window, and they just saw red.

Maybe your roommate usually is not so angry, but something has happened to them.  The choices I have found from research and know are:

  • Stay out of the way until they calm down
  • Be sympathetic and compassionate so they came to you for that
  • Stand up for yourself, or at least show them where the line is that they cannot cross.  You understand that they are just temporarily angry and you will let them be angry for that reason, but there are limits.

Stress reactive behaviour

When your roommate is stressed about something, they may not be able to cope with even the smallest thing you put their way, even a comment.

Their tolerance is used up; they are at maximum capacity, so they snap back at you.

Create an environment where you can both say when you are having a bad day or an issue. 

It means when your roommate has an outburst, they can say they are stressed about something else and what it is.  You can understand and act accordingly.  Maybe leave whatever you need for a time that they have calmed down and you can talk properly.

Emotions are like waves, they come and go.

It’s all about your roommate knowing they can communicate how they feel. If your roommate thinks this sounds a bit pathetic, do it more subtly and casually, so they don’t even notice.

40, Remember what a primal thing homes and property are

It’s amazing how angry and upset people can get about a property and
having a home.

Property is a primal thing. It’s about having shelter, safety and a home in a challenging world.

If a person does not have a home space that they feel safe in, they cannot operate properly in their work and social life.

Realtors have told me how crazy and mad people often get with property transactions.  It’s just so primal and hits something inside them.

So make your roommate feel at home, never do anything to make them feel insecure, in that he or she does not have a place they really can feel is their home. 

Your roommate needs to have their area in the place, their own bed, surrounded by their things which make it their territory.  They need to feel they have space which is theirs.

41, You’re being passive aggressive

Passive aggressive is when you are pretending not to be aggressive, but you
are being aggressive.

Pretending you did not mean to say something, when you did.

For example, a passive aggressive person says a comment about their roommate but pretends it is about someone else.

Such as ‘who did this?’, when it could only have been your roommate. Saying how silly it is when people do something, when that’s what your roommate does.

A passive aggressive person does this by not being direct. 

It may be nice to ask a roommate to do something by saying it indirectly, so they don’t lose face or are embarrassed.   

If they then do not do what you needed, say it to them directly and do not mess around with being passive aggressive.

If your roommate hates you, it could be that you are passive aggressive.  You may think you are not saying or doing anything, but you are.

The thing with passive aggressive, you may think you are getting away with it, or not being passive aggressive, but you are not.  Things are now so unsaid that you can con yourself that you are not doing anything.

Your roommate cannot tell you directly, because you are being so indirect with them. Pretending not to be passive aggressive, when you are.

However, you are being aggressive, and this can make your roommate hate you.

Just be direct and sort out the problem with your roommate.

42, You are using more than your fair share of the place

If you pay half the rent and use over half of the place, your roommate may start to hate you.

Space for their possessions, so they feel the place is theirs

Imagine if the room is dominated by your posters, pictures, lamps ,and stuff everywhere.  It would not feel like theirs.

Interestingly, it’s not just about the physical space you use up, these things may not use up much. It can be about how much you make it your identity.

People like their pictures and possessions around, as it marks out their territory and makes it their own identity.  If your pictures and belongings dominate the place, it feels more like your identity than theirs, so your roommate will start to feel it’s not their place.

Your roommate will feel less secure there and also like it’s your place and not theirs.  They will be jealous as it has become your place and not theirs.

So be careful to ensure that your roommate has their stuff visible or equal space for them.   Then they feel the place is theirs as well.  

Equal area in the place

One roommate’s sleeping area may be better than the others, the only way to resolve this is if you have the better one for half your time there and they have it for the other.

The problem is once you or your roommate gets used to the better bit, it’s tough for them to move from it. This can be when your roommate hates you.

You need to swap regularly, so the person in the better sleeping area does not get used to it for too long and feel it’s exclusively theirs.

Also, if you agree to this, make sure it’s in writing!

See what else the roommate likes, there may be other aspects and spaces that you can compromise on.

Maybe you get more space to have other things and possessions there, like your music equipment. Something else you both never thought of that’s not even about physical space. For example, the one with more space pays for something, like take out twice per week and Netflix.

The only thing to do is to talk. You may need to chat with friends to see what they think as well. A second opinion is always good to ensure fairness.   

Also, make sure it’s something you will be happy with for the long term, so don’t jump to any rash decisions.  However, you need to be quick enough that your roommate doesn’t get used to anything you are not happy with.

Only negotiate what matters to you, not things for the sake of it.

If something does not matter to you, letting your roommate have it makes them happy, and they know you are doing it as a favor. It can be a good thing to do.

43, Learn about conflict resolution techniques

Conflict resolution techniques are typically used to resolve problems between people and parties and often used in diplomacy between countries, disputes in business and so on. 

Also, they are ideal for conflicts between roommates, especially if it’s causing roommates to hate each other.

Usually, a mediator is helping all parties.  Maybe a friend of theirs or yours can do this.  Otherwise, you will have to do the steps yourself, try to be as impartial as possible, so you get to the truth.

If a friend is a mediator and they are a friend of one side more than the other, make sure they are impartial. You may also want to check the agreement with a friend of yours, before agreeing to it and have time to think about it.

These are stages

Stage 1: Ask questions

Ask questions so you can understand why there’ s a conflict between you and your roommate.   Find out things like when they were first upset with you, how it began, what they want, are their concerns legitimate and so on.

It’s like being a psychologist or detective asking questions, listening and finding out what’s going on.

Find out what your roommate’s interests are and not their current position on the arguement. This helps to reach an agreement and them to compromise.  If you look at your roommate’s current position, it’s harder for them to change their position as they don’t want to lose face.

You also need to listen.  If you are talking too much, then you are being a control freak and trying to tell your roommate what to do.  This is a hard one, especially if you are anxious about the problem!

Stage 2: Look past the incident

If you only look at the argument, where you are both shouting at each other.  You can miss what’s been making it fester for a long time, which made your roommate hate you, so built up into the argument.

You may have been talking about something specific in the argument, but there could have been other things or something else that has been happening for a while.  The argument is just when it all gets too much for your roommate, and so your roommate gets even madder and explodes.

Again, ask your roommate questions, such as when they started to get annoyed and what caused it.

Speak about your needs, in a way that does put any blame on your roommate.

You may find the reason your roommate is upset, is not for the reason that even they think it is.  For example, some childhood incident has caused a particular behavior of theirs they do not know about. Your roommate may be justifying to themselves that they are mad for a rational reason, but actually, it is about something else.

By going back into the past with your roommate, you can also find it was a misunderstanding a long time ago, that made you each go in different directions. Such as your roommate thinks you said or did something, that you never did.

Stage 3: Ask for solutions

You ask your roommate what they think the solution is. 

Stay away from things about blame, as they are not helpful.  Don’t react to them.  Get back to looking for ways to create co operation, instead of conflict.

Listen carefully to what your roommate says and how they say it. Body language and all the other ways people give away information. Most communication not what people say, but how they say it and also nonverbal.

Let them vent and talk about their emotions.   Let them talk, and you will find out more information that way.

Asking your roommate for solutions is a brainstorming stage, you’re looking for new ideas.  Don’t start commenting on what ideas are bad as that will stop the flow of ideas and so is for a later stage.

Step 4: Look at which solutions could work

Try to encourage your roommate to do the solutions you think could work. So there is cooperation and collaboration.

To do this, show the positive points of doing the best idea.

Divided we fall, united we stand. 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt said ‘Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.’

Step 5: Get a proper agreement

For it to work, your roommate needs to feel there is a proper agreement, also that they cannot say they never agreed to it.

First, find ways you can make sure this problem does not come back again in the future.  Maybe agree to talk about it every week, twice a week, or whenever needed.

Then do something, so your roommate recognizes you have both agreed. At the very least a handshake or hug.  Maybe write something written down like you messaging each other, or write it on pieces of paper, and you each get one.

Tips I have found work

These helped to resolve when I found my roommate started to hate me.  

a, Look at what the situation is, not what you want it to be.  I find it is so easy to look at how I want things to be, which means I do not see how things are.

The talk show host Stephen Colbert, when he was on the Netflix show Comedians Getting Coffee said  ‘You already know what it is, it’s just what you least want it to be.’

For example, maybe I want to think that I’m doing nothing wrong and it’s all their fault.

To see the situation for that it is, I aim to do what is right for all and see everything as one whole. Not look at what I want. Easier said than done!

When I did this, I was more impartial and able to see the truth.

b, Get your roommate away from the blame game and instead to look at what’s going to work.  Just look for solutions.

Say you don’t care who did what wrong, only that you get to what is right for everyone.

c, Conflict resolutions techniques are an investigative process.  Make sure you don’t come to any finished conclusions until the end of the process.  Until then everything is just ideas and questions.

As otherwise your roommate will get fed up and lose trust because you are concluding things that are not entirely thought through and agreed to.

d, Be precise to ensure there aren’t any misunderstandings.  Just because you understand what you are saying, doesn’t mean they do.  Maybe gently ask them what they think you mean, to ensure you have communicated it correctly (or the other person was even listening).

e, Have a sense of humor to cope with the stress. 

f, Make it fun, so your roommate wants to do this process with you.

g, Do it at a good time when your roommate is calm and in the right frame of mind.  If things get too stressful, stop and continue another time. Doing things when you are both stressed and mad, can do more harm than good.

h, Don’t make a snap decision to agree to anything. You may need to take a day or so to think about it.   Unless of course it’s what you want and concerned your roommate could change their mind. Then get it agreed quickly.

I recommend these resources American Management Association, The Five Steps to Conflict Resolution and Community Toolbox from the University of Kansas, Section 6. Training for Conflict Resolution.

44, Basic solutions for if your roommate hates you, whatever the circumstances

Spend as little time as you can with them

If you have tried to make friends with your roommate and it’s not worked.   

Accept you do not get on.  Spend as little time with your roommate as possible.  Make sure you have your own life, they’re not part of it.

When in the place, spend your own time doing your own thing and don’t interact with them.  It will be more like your roommate is not there. 

Of course, don’t do it in a rude way that will make them hate you more. Just not to chase after their acceptance or approval.

You have other friends in your life and things that are going well.  Spend time on them for the best results and not things that are not working, like trying to make friends with your roommate.

Spend time outside with your friends and just doing your own thing.

You do not need your roommate’s attention or approval.  Get that from other people.   Focus on putting energy and time into the things that are working out.

The only other reason to keep trying to make friends with your roommate is if you decide to take it on as a challenge and learning experience.   To keep on at the problem until you solve it.

It will pass

Being with your roommate who hates you is not forever.  It will pass and then not matter anymore.  Eventually one of you will move out.

Be mindful and conscious of this.

If they’re not a nice person, best to move out as soon as you can, there are other people out there who would like to be your roommate.

You are more compatible with other people, you just need to go out there and find them.

Laugh that your roommate is an idiot for being so full of hate

A sense of humor is essential.  You laugh at the fact your roommate is an idiot for being so full of hate, and you find it funny.

Of course, you do this inside and not in their face πŸ™‚

A sign of a psychopath is they do not have a sense of humor.  Life has opposing things and forces; humor is a way of coping with this. As psychopaths do not laugh at it, they get angry instead.

When something silly happens, you can laugh, cry or get angry.

Best to laugh.

When it all goes wrong, laugh at it.  (Of course still, have sympathy and compassion for other people)

45, Your roommate hates your pets

If your roommate is not a person that loves pets, in fact, they hate pets.  Then this can be a big deal.  It may seem impossible to you, but some people do not like animals.

It can be very tempting to be so self-involved with your pet, that you think everyone will and should love it.  Be sensitive and understanding with your roommate, as not everyone is the same.

Especially make sure you speak to your roommate before getting a new pet.  This is a big one.  It’s easy to fall in love with a pet so much and think everyone else should do the same. 

Many problems can come up.  Your roommate does not feel safe with your pet, you cannot smell them but your roommate can, they have personal issues with pets, even allergies and so on.

46, Other things that could be annoying your roommate

The worse thing is when these things are annoying your roommate, but they have not said.

Your roommate is annoyed by them, but not yet enough to have made them mad, and so they bother or want to say.

However, it can build up until your roommate hates you.

They may seem obvious but are easy to do. Especially if you got into a habit, or were what your last roommate used to do.

If your new roommate does not do these things, they probably don’t want you to either.

If it’s cold and you leave the windows open, the place gets colder and it increases the heating bills. The same with air conditioning if it’s warm.

Leaving the fridge in a mess. Like putting the whole pizza box in there, when there is only one slice of pizza left in it.

Excessively noisy with your partner, especially if your roommate doesn’t have a relationship of their own.

Using your roommate’s stuff, like their glasses, then not cleaning and putting them back immediately. You don’t wash them as well as they would like.

Singing in the shower or around the place, at times when they are asleep or trying to concentrate.

Being excessively long on the toilet.

Keeping the door open when on the toilet, so the smell goes everywhere.
They buy nice toilet paper; then you buy the cheap horrible ones.

Leaving hair around the place when shaving.

They take the trash out quickly, and you leave it around until it stinks.
You leave food garbage around the place and not put it in the proper kitchen bin.

Bad food hygiene, like leaving uncooked meat around that can contaminate things, open jars that attract flies, etc.

Not doing recycling correctly which can lead to fines and is terrible for the environment.

Walking around in underwear and not being appropriately dressed.

You clean, but do it poorly.

Drink and drugs.

47, Dressing and personal hygiene still matter

Usually, a person does not make themselves presentable unless they are going out. Being with a roommate is still a social experience.

I’m not saying get dressed like you are going out on the town. At least dress, so you are covered up, stay clean by having had showers and all the standard stuff.

If you are a stinky roommate that goes around naked and so on, your roommate may start to hate you for that.

If you were living on your own, you might only change your bed sheets if friends are coming over. Your roommate is a person too, and they also will not like the smell from stinky bedsheets and a messy bedroom.

It’s easy to take your roommate for granted and then they start to hate you.

Stuff like this which is unpleasant to be around may make you hateable. Harsh I know, but true.

48, Research your roommate

If you can speak to someone else who has known your roommate for a while, they will probably have some answers.

They will know how your roommate got on with their previous roommates and other people they knew. What makes them hate other people and what to do when it happens.

Hopefully, they will know more about your roommate and what makes them tick.

You will also know if this roommate is a lost cause and it is time to move on!

It’s not a time whine and complain to the person who knows your roommate, as this may just bore and annoy them. It’s time to get answers and solutions.

49, Your roommate is jealous of you

Your roommate may hate you as they are jealous. They see all the time that you have more than they do.

It can be anything that you have:

  • Material stuff like having money and nice things
  • A more attractive boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Amazing job
  • Being able to get great results at college without having to work hard.
  • Assets so you have money and don’t have to work
  • Lots of talents and skills so you can do things they can’t.

Your roommate could be jealous of something you don’t expect them to be jealous of.

You could also be jealous of them, for having something you don’t have.

They are jealous you are winning at sports. You are jealous of the excellent grades they get.

The main thing in this situation is not to shove your achievements in your roommate’s face.

It’s good to have these things, but not show them off if it will make your roommate hate you. Also, compliment your roommate on the stuff they have.

If you live in a bad neighborhood, it’s great to have a Ferrari but keep it hidden.

50, You’re the landlord, and they’re jealous of you

If you own the apartment and are renting out a room, this can be a massive issue.

Most roommates prefer it if the other roommate is not the landlord.

Your roommate can’t live without worry as they would like to, as the landlord can see what they are doing. Such as if they make a mess in the apartment, or spill something on the carpet. All the stuff they would like to cover up that they are doing.

They feel less comfortable living with a landlord than if their roommate is also a tenant.

It’s a bit like the boss at work, the headmaster at school, you don’t feel the same when around them, however much they may try and act like your friend. You can’t relax and be yourself. It’s no longer as private.

New landlords often think their tenants should love them; they’re giving them a place to live, they are a lovely person, a fair and good landlord. Sadly the reality is that people often hate their landlord and they are a figure of scorn and hate.

Your roommate doesn’t like paying money.

They feel the landlord does nothing and gets money.

People who rent had a room in their apartment often hope they will be friendly with the tenant. It can happen and your tenant may be a good person.

However often when money comes in, friendship goes out the window to some degree or another, or at some points in time.

For your roommate, they are handing to you the money they earned from their hard toil, month after month. Your roommate feels that they’re not getting anything in return, compared to if they were making the payments for a property they had bought and would eventually be theirs.

They are jealous that you own the property and they do not.

When you are the landlord things are different with a roommate, money comes into it. Just be as nice as you can with the tenant, but you still need your money.

51, It can be many small things, all adding up to your roommate hating you

Often it’s not just one thing that makes a roommate hate their other roommate.

They may talk about one issue, but there usually are others.

There are a few ones that people cannot live with, such as if their roommate is unhygienic, or they are freezing because their roommate will not let the heating be turned up.

Most of the others are things that people can cope with if it is just one thing.

So if your roommate hates you, I recommend being prepared that it could be for more than one thing on this page.

Many of the problems on this page can caused by your roommate having one psychological issue. For example, if you are lazy and not want to grow up like one of my roommates was, which caused multiple issues.


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