57 of the best tried and tested solutions; they’re wide-ranging to help you get the best possible chance of success.
They cover things you can do yourself and solutions that other people can help with. Also, ways you can persuade your college to give you a different room if they’re not being helpful.
It can be tough if your roommate never leaves the room.
You may also need privacy so that you can do things with your partner and of course, can’t with your roommate watching. You could go to the shower which is fine for the short term, but in the long run, you can’t live like that.
You may need some privacy and time to yourself so that you can say sane.
Make sure you immediately make it clear to your roommate that them never leaving the room is not acceptable. Find out from them why they do this and try to find solutions with them, such as what days and times are easiest for them to go out.
This problem normally does not go away unless they make friends, a partner or other things that may make them leave the room.
Then find out if they have psychological problems, bad behaviours, habits and other issues.
If they won’t address their problems or compromise, you may have to be firmer with them, and then finally have to change roommate.
1. How to get the university to change you to a new room
If you tell the dorm or housing director, that you want a new room because your roommate never leaves it. If the university is customer service minded, they will move you.
With some, it may not be enough for them to move you, or take it seriously. It should be, but not all university and colleges are so customer service orientated.
Some may even say there’s nothing they can do about it.
If you say it’s affecting your ability to work and have a normal college experience, then it may be enough to get them to get you a new room.
The reason that you can’t work properly and it’s affecting your grades is the most powerful. We go more into that later.
For example you explain the following to the college:
a, Your roommate is sleeping during the day,so you can’t function then
Your roommate says you can’t make any noise or have the lights on as it will wake them up. Maybe they haven’t mentioned this directly, but react if you do wake them up from living your normal life.
You can’t do your work because of the noise when you type and so on, have friends over and have a life.
It may seem tolerable at first, but after a while, it’s not sustainable to always be quiet during the day. For your peace of mind, you need to be a normal volume during the day, and it’s not normal to creep around like a mouse all day in the dark.
Of course, you can lower your noise a bit, but you also need to go around in your room like a normal human being.
It can have the same effect if your roommate goes to class for a few hours, comes back and then never leaves the room.
b, Roommate up all night doing things, so you cannot sleep
If your roommate is sleeping during the day, they’re probably up all night.
Even if they do small things like tapping on their keyboard, it can wake you up as it’s is noisy. Watching films using headphones produce noises if they listen to them with the volume up and so on.
They’re going live their life at night, so they’ll create noise at various points, need the lights and so on.
c, Tell the college that you are feeling uncomfortable because of how your roommate never leaves the room.
It’s affecting your work and your psychological well being. This one said by itself, will not persuade your college to change your room.
It will help do the job though when put with the other reasons.
d, Tell your college the effects of never getting any private time
Not having any privacy and time to yourself, or be able to bring friends over. Having to do some things with your girlfriend or boyfriend in the bathroom.
You need to be descriptive about the problems it’s causing you. Your thoughts, feelings and that you can’t function. You are building your case, almost like a lawyer would in court to show the damage it’s causing you.
Explain what sleep deprivation is like, and it’s side effects. Such as how painful it is, stops you from functioning and maybe even affecting your health.
The psychological effects of your roommate never giving you time for yourself.
It stops you from being able to work and so is affecting your grades.
Stops you having a social life and being able to make the most of what the college has to offer.
And so on.
e, If your roommate never leaves the room, they probably have other problems too
For example, maybe they smell all the time as they don’t wash.
People who withdraw themselves from the outside world can pick up other unusual anti-social behaviors. They lose contact with others and in doing so loose connection with what’s seen as socially acceptable.
Maybe your roommate has other behaviors from the problem that causes them never to leave the room, such as if they’re depressed.
As they’re eating in the room, maybe there are lots of foodstuffs and crumbs around, that smell and make things unhygienic, even attracting rats and other pests.
You may ask the dorm, or housing director to notify your roommate that it’s not acceptable to do these behaviors. So your roommate doesn’t know you told on them to the housing director, they may be happy to send this communication to everyone, including you.
Maybe you can use those issues, to get the college to change your room.
If your roommate is so anti-social, such as becoming smelly, get the dorm or housing director to come into the room, so they can see what it’s really like.
It’s so much more potent than describing it, as then your dorm director will believe you. Also, stress how it may be tolerable for a few minutes, but not for weeks or months on end.
If your roommate never leaves the room, you may find that they’re also not attending classes. Once you alert the college that your roommate is never going out, it can be what makes the college sort out your roommate.
You may need to be careful that your roommate doesn’t see that you told the college that they are not attending classes, As your roommate may want revenge and cause problems for you. It is, of course, fine to have told the university about the other things.
Many universities allow for a mid-year room swap, or one at the start of a semester, as they expect some people not to get on with their roommate so well.
2. It’s harder if you had a room to yourself when growing up at home with your parents
If you were an only child or had your own room when growing up, having a roommate is a very new experience. You are used to having your private room and space.
Having a roommate is a significant change.
By realizing what’s causing the problem, you might be able to change and learn to cope with having a roommate.
It’s hard at first, but you will get used to it.
Having a roommate who doesn’t leave the room makes it harder, but not being used to having a place with someone else maybe the bulk of the problem.
3. Your roommate may have had a room to themselves when growing up at their parent’s house
If your roommate always had their own room. They may not understand and be used to the sacrifices needed when sharing a room, like giving each other private time.
Perhaps it’s time to teach them that they are no longer living at home with their parents, the room is not only theirs and how to share a living space.
4. Keep on top of the hall directors, to make sure they get you a new room as soon as possible
Ask all the hall directors if there are any other rooms. Even if there aren’t any now, students drop out of college, and things happen, so rooms eventually become available.
There are two sides to getting the best results from them.
First is to be nice so they want to help you. If the hall directors don’t like you, they won’t be helpful.
The second is to regularly and constantly ask if any vacancies have come up for rooms. This is not just because they may have forgotten, but because if you are using up their time, they may get you a new room to get rid of you and free up their time.
They realize it’s easier and uses up less of their time if they get you a new room, compared to having you bother them all the time. Be nice to the hall directors when you do this, so they don’t hate you.
Make sure you physically meet the hall directors in person. If they’ve met you, have looked you in the eyes, and you have looked them in the eyes. It will be harder for them to mess you around.
You are not just words in a message or email; they’ve met you. Emails mean you are remote to them, unknown and there’s not that emotional obligation for them, from having met you in person.
For the same reason, when you remind the hall directors, also go to see them in person.
After each meeting, nicely email them to thank them for their patience in seeing you. This is so you can prove and show someone higher up in the organization if the hall directors mess up. Such as forgetting it’s your turn if a room came up, or giving favoritism to someone else as they didn’t give it to you.
5. Negotiate privacy time with your roommate
How to negotiate
Work out how much they can cope with leaving the room for. After a while, you will be able to work this out, from seeing how much your roommate doesn’t like leaving the room, and their temperament.
To negotiate it helps if you can understand why your roommate never leaves the room.
Then work out what you can get away with negotiating. Maybe they will leave and go out for 1, 2 or 3 hours per day. This could be enough for you to regain your sanity and do any private things that you would like to do.
Generally, if a roommate doesn’t want to go out, people can negotiate between 1 hour and 1.5 hours per day at most. This is the amount of time they can go to a coffee shop for or some other minor activity.
If your roommate is very straight and up front, you can start from that amount of time. If not you will have to start with more hours knowing they will negotiate you down to that amount.
I will cover more of that elsewhere in this article.
Say your needs to help justify why they should give you alone time
To help negotiate, say your needs and justify why you need some private time. For example, maybe you need privacy for romantic times your partner, or to do those same things by yourself.
You cannot spend the whole year doing these things in the bathroom with your boyfriend, girlfriend, or by yourself.
There are other things you can negotiate. Such as when quiet times are, it’s okay to play music without needing headphones, have friends over and so on.
Bring up lots of different factors to help negotiate what you need
By having so many different things to negotiate, there are more you can use to arrange that they leave the room sometimes.
Such as if they will leave the room to get you some alone time. You will only bring friends around at times they are happy with, or bring them around less.
Find out what they want, then you can negotiate that you will do these things if they will do the things you want.
Find favors and compromises that your roommate wants you to do, they could be whatever is important to them. Then ask them for favors too, because of what you have done for them.
You will have to compromise with things as well, but hopefully, you will get your roommate to leave the room which is what you want and need.
6. Networking to find a person to swap with
This can be better than asking the dorm director to find you a new room because you can make sure the new person you will be sharing a room with is right for you.
Also, you are more motivated so will probably get the job done quicker than the dorm director because it’s for you.
If you ask the dorm director to find you a new room, they may find whatever is available and put you there. Then it’s a random chance if the roommate is a better match for you. Also, the free rooms might be so because no one else wants to be in them either.
As you get into college life, you should meet more and more people. You will find there are lots of different types of people; some you will be suited to being roommates with, others you won’t.
Sharing a room with the right person is a great experience. You build great friendships and stories that will last a lifetime. This is not just from the person you share a room with, they will probably be part of a peer group that you also love being with.
Subtly say to people you meet that you are looking for a new roommate who leaves their room as you need privacy. You only need to say this as a casual comment and not that loudly.
Say you are different from your roommate and not compatible. Not that there is anything wrong with them. If you say very personal and insulting things about your roommate, other people will think it’s okay to do the same thing to you and think you are the kind of nasty person who’s rude about others. This will stop other people from risking being your roommate, in case you do the same to them.
The people you meet may not be looking for a new roommate, but they might get into a conversation with someone who is.
Another person may even want to swap roommates with you, as they prefer to share with someone who never leaves the room. They may feel more secure knowing the person is always there, or that person fits their personality better.
As an example, the other person may currently have a roommate who’s loud and has friends back more, which they hate. You may be okay with that compromise, or it could better suit your lifestyle choices. Maybe you’re outgoing and like to party, your current roommate insists on silence.
Ultimately, there are loads of different people out there, so many different ways of living, that you can easily find a solution for you.
7. Becoming friends with your roommate
Believe it or not, this is the first thing to try. You get more with sugar than with vinegar.
I recommend keeping your friendship going, even if you are going to change roommates.
Invite them to things you are going to do and build a relationship with them. Help them all you can.
Keep it positive and be a friend. By being genuinely positive, hopefully, they will help you by leaving the room when you need them to.
This may seem obvious, but if you are annoyed that your roommate never leaves the room. It’s easy to get sucked down into wanting revenge and acting more like an enemy than a friend.
Also, by being a friend of theirs, you will learn more about them, and this will help you solve the problem. You may find out new information such as relevant issues your roommate had in their childhood, or when previously sharing rooms with others.
Of course, this does not pay off with all people; some people are just selfish and unpleasant, which is why I have put other solutions on this page.
8. Getting your own room
There might be rooms available that you have to yourself and don’t share, although they’re probably more expensive.
With the amount you are paying for college, if your roommate never leaving the room is messing up your college experience and work. Maybe this extra cost is worth it, so you don’t have it all wasted by the problem.
Maybe you can get your own room for the short term. Until the college can find you someone else to share with, or you can find someone else to share with.
Make it clear to the university though, how little time you can afford this single person room for. So they don’t just leave you with it.
It’s easy to get stubborn by saying you should not have to pay extra for a single room, as it is your roommate’s fault. You shouldn’t pay for this extra cost as you shouldn’t have yo.
In the end though, sadly it’s just you that loses out if it’s causing damage to your university experience and work. University is of course to improve the rest of your life and career. So if you are not able to get the most from it, it can affect the rest of your life.
The college may even let you have your own one very temporarily while you wait for another shared one to come up. This is where having massive amounts of charm helps for persuading them. Speak to your most charming and persuasive friends for advice on how to do this.
A lot depends on if you are an introvert or an extrovert. An introvert needs their privacy time and so having their own room and privacy is very important to them. For an extrovert, it’s not as important.
A total extrovert may prefer having a shared room and will get depressed from being in their own place for too long. So this may not be the best solution.
For most people though, once they have had their own room it’s tough to go back to having a shared room.
You may even choose to get your own room in an apartment off campus. This means you can have your own place which is of a much better standard. This site has lots of guides, to help make this an easy process.
9. Create a schedule, for when each person will have the room to themselves
The schedule makes things clear and fair. It also shows to your roommate that they don’t need to be out of the room for much of the time.
The schedule is also useful to ensure you get the precious time having the room to yourself when it’s most useful. Such as when your boyfriend or girlfriend is free to come over and spend time with you there.
To make it successful, I recommend the schedule is:
- Simple, so your roommate cannot use the excuse that it is too complicated.
- Your roommate only has to leave the room for the number of hours or minutes per day, that you believe they can keep up in the long run. So they don’t do it for a few weeks but are not able to keep it going.
- The same time and days each week, so it becomes a routine and normal for them.
- You put the work into creating the schedule, so they cannot say that they will get around to it and never do.
- Discussed regularly, so that it can be improved and made better for both of you. At these meetings try and make sure any improvements do not make the schedule more complicated. It’s very easy to resolve things with more and more layers of complication until neither of you can work the schedule. The best thing is if the schedule can be made even simpler.
- Take both of your class schedules into account, because there may be times you didn’t know you can be in the room while your roommate is at class.
- Use a messaging app, calendar, or a wall mounted schedule so that you can communicate things as well as possible.
- Try and accommodate the times and days that are best for your roommate, so they have no excuse for not keeping to the schedule.
- Make the schedule as precise as possible. If your roommate really doesn’t want to leave the room, then even a short amount of time for them will count. You need to be seen to be as aware of their needs and concerns. Also, it is to make sure they leave the room the times you agree.
- Negotiate it face and face and not by text.
- If possible, have some flexible times each week that they will leave the room hfor. You can tell them a pre-agreed amount of time in advance. Like once per week, they will leave the room for 1.5 hours as long as you give 24 hours notice, and it’s not their sleep time. These flexible times may be too much to ask though at the beginning, and then you can bring them in at a later negotiation session.
- If your roommate starts by keeping to it and then begins not to, make sure you bring it up immediately with your them. It may help if you can mark, or put a check on the schedule, if someone has done something, or not done something.
10. Stay blameless so roommate cannot blame never leaving the room, on you
Stay blameless to make sure your roommate cannot blame you for never leaving the room.
For example, by saying you do not keep quiet during the quiet hours for the dorm and so keep them awake, then they have to sleep during the day.
Other excuses they could make are that you make noise at these times, so they cannot study and have to catch up at different times.
If your roommate who never leaves the room is in denial to themselves about their problem and does not want to change. They may try even harder to blame it on you.
You also want to stay blameless, so the hall directors see your roommate as the problem, and not you.
Then you can proceed with sorting out the problem, without them being able to blame it on you.
Also, you may need other students to be on your side.
It’s especially important if you get angry not to lose control of yourself and do something that has consequences. Then say or do something, you should not do.
This is especially easy because of how personal a living space is, and your roommate never leaves it.
11. Look at the psychological reasons why your roommate never leaves the room
I have known people to have such bad depression that they can’t even get out of bed.
In the same way, your roommate may not want to leave the room and do other things.
It doesn’t have to be that severe though; your roommate could be just a bit depressed. However even if they only have mild depression, it could be part of the reason that they do not want to leave the room.
A doctor would do this more thoroughly, but things for you to look out for which are signs they need to be assessed by a qualified medical professional are:
1. If your roommate is not just sad some of the time; they’re sad and depressed most of the day, or almost every day.
2. They don’t enjoy things that they used to find pleasurable.
3. Their weight changes, by going up or down by 5% in a month or more. Also if their appetite changes, such as a loss of appetite, or eating far more.
4. If they have trouble sleeping, or sleep too much such as for 12 hours per day.
5. They do not move much or move too much as they’re restless.
6. They don’t have much energy physically and mentally.
7. They have feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or guilt almost every day.
8. Problems with making decisions, or concentrating nearly every day.
9. They often have thoughts of committing suicide or dying. Maybe even planning it.
For more information I found that WEbMD, Depression Diagnosis is an excellent resource.
Social anxiety disorder
This is very common at university, and most people have it to some small degree. It’s where you find it too stressful to cope with social situations.
It could be that your roommate does not go out because when they do so, they have these excessive fears.
There can be all kinds of causes, but without knowing the history of your roommate, it can be harder to understand what’s causing it. It can be because they lack social skills, or have suffered abuse, bullying, or teasing.
They could have excessive fear, because of an overactive amygdala in their brain.
It can cause your roommate to have other issues as well, such as negative thoughts, depression, being sensitive to criticisms, bad social skills, and negative thoughts.
You may find that as well as other people; your roommate is also scared of you.
Please look at medical websites such as WEbMD, Social Anxiety Disorder for further information.
Agoraphobia is the fear of going outside and doing all kinds of things in the world. Such as going to open places, closed in spaces, crowds, standing in line, going on public transport or just being outside by yourself.
It can even lead to panic attacks when an agoraphobic roommate goes outside.
Please look at medical websites such as WEbMD, What Is Agoraphobia for more information.
12. What to do if your roommate has a psychological disorder, which means they never leave the room
Above are just some of the common psychological things that can cause your roommate never to leave the room, but many other psychological problems could be causing it.
People are personal and have their own issues and experiences.
This is how the medical resources I have found from my research, recommend you deal with psychological issues your roommate may be having.
There are also links to them in the resources section at the bottom of this article.
Be compassionate, sympathetic, empathetic and see if you can help.
Listen, talk and see if you can build a relationship.
Be careful about getting too judgemental and making presumptions, especially if you’re not sure of what is going on.
See if you can help, but be careful not to meddle.
If your roommate has an issue that they don’t want to face, or they don’t want to change. Be careful as they could get aggressive to defend themselves from having to do so.
Be a good listener
Being a good listener is also important. It will mean your roommate is happy to talk and you listen. It will help them to feel better, as you are offering emotional support. They’re sharing their problem with you.
Also by being with them and allowing them to talk, it can help them work out solutions to their problems.
By listening to them, you may also find out why your roommate never leaves the room.
Your roommate at first may not want to admit the reason. For example, if they had a past traumatic experience which is very personal, upsetting for them to talk about and they are embarrassed by it.
Be careful to keep listening though, if you start lecturing them, they may shut down again.
Make sure you do not get into their delusional bubble or become an enabler
Make sure you don’t get overwhelmed by their problems so you cannot cope as well. Of course, help all you can, but not to a level where you cannot cope yourself.
It’s also easy to get into their bubble of delusion, see their behavior as normal and begin to think it’s okay.
Also easy for them to get you to help them maintain their habits and make it worse; this is called becoming an enabler.
For example, they should go and get their shopping as it forces them to get better. If you do it for your roommate, you are helping them reinforce their habits of never having to go out.
The problem is that unless your roommate wants to change, they will love you for helping them not have to go out, and hate you for making them face their fears.
To make sure you don’t get sucked into your roommate’s delusional reality bubble of what’s acceptable, and you can cope with it all. Get support from good friends who you can talk to about this stuff.
Make sure you don’t go on about it too much though, and it’s not the only thing you ever talk about, or they may not want to be with you anymore.
Of course, if your roommate told you something in confidence, you have to respect their confidentiality.
Get support from counselors or psychologists that may be able to help and advise you. It’s very easy to misdiagnose someone, so they can also help you understand what issues your roommate possibly has, and give you advice on what you can do to help.
Your roommate seeing a psychologist or another suitable medical professional usually is the only real way to solve the problem though.
If your roommate’s parents do not know about their child’s problem, you may need to inform them. Possibly letting the university know as well if things are that bad.
You might find that the person is a recluse and has no desire to leave their room.
Mental illness is a common problem, and it’s good that people nowadays can be more open and honest about it. However, you still need to treat what you know about your roommate carefully.
Be prepared for if it gets worse
With agoraphobia, where a person is scared of going outside. If an agoraphobic person doesn’t go out, they cannot see that their fears are not as things are.
Their fears can grow and grow until they get to ridiculous levels. Your roommate is not going outside to experience reality and see that their concerns are not real. So their fears can grow and get out of control.
Even if an agoraphobic person goes outside their fears can still grow, as they can still need a medical professional to show them that their fears are not real.
All these conditions can get worse; especially if your roommate is in denial of them, so does not deal with them.
Your roommate could even become a proper hermit who never even goes to classes. At this point, a good university will eventually take things more seriously as well; however, you may need to alert the university for them to become aware. Be careful of if and how you do this.
Your roommate could develop other issues, like becoming even more depressed and unpleasant. Also watch out to ensure you are safe if things do get a bit weird, or concerning.
11. Make the most of the Resident Assistant
Resident Assistants are there to solve the problems that can come up for students, even including relationship and social issues. These include when a roommate does not leave the room and the problems it can cause.
They will have seen this problem before, hopefully, have lots of experience with it and be able to give useful advice. Everything from how to resolve it with the roommate, help you solve it, tell you who else can help you and how to get the most help from the college to resolve this problem.
It’s important to communicate with them about the problem when you first see it may not be easy to solve. Many people wait until it gets terrible, then it takes even longer to resolve.
When you first talk to the resident assistant about it, they may want you first to try lots of solutions they suggest, before they take it more seriously. These use up time so it can take even more time to solve if these early solutions are not potent enough.
As a result, it’s best to get the resident assistant involved early, so the time taken for their process does not delay things even further.
The good Resident Assistants want to know about these situations as early as possible. As the longer it goes on for, the bigger the problem can get and the harder it can also be for them to solve.
We recommend making the most of this useful resource, especially to get them on your side with helping you.
12. The Resident Assistant can help you Mediate with your roommate
A good Resident Assistant will be very happy to do this for you.
The resident assistant will invite both you and your roommate to their office.
Then they will act as a mediator between you and your roommate, so you can resolve the problem.
To get the most from the Resident Assistant, make sure you are acting in a way that’s trying to get the best solution for everyone — not just behaving in an egotistical fashion, me, me, me. All about me.
Then if your roommate behaves selfishly and egotistically in these meetings, or even is not willing to come, they will lose the support of the college staff as well. If your roommate is not helpful, the college will see that you really do have a problem and are not just making it up.
Properly listen to the issues your roommate has to say; there may be elements where they are in the right, and you are in the wrong. Lots of things could come up and you can’t be right on everything; this is, of course, a hard one to do.
Your roommate maybe making very lame one-sided excuses to try and make you look in the wrong and them in the right. That is why the mediation process has to be one of discussion so the truth can come out.
If you go in there all egotistical and demanding, you will lose the support of the college staff.
If the resident assistant is not helpful, then you may have to escalate things to the hall director. Possibly even further than that, which I refer to elsewhere in this guide.
13. If the Room Associate is not helpful
If the Room Associate is not helpful, you will need to go over their head.
You may find that when your parents go over the room associate’s head and contact the college for you, it works better than you doing it. The college may listen to them more, and socially you can blame your parents for doing it.
You or your parents may have met someone from Student Services when you first toured or researched the university. This person can be a helpful contact to get everything done quickly and smoothly. Especially if this person told you how great the university was when you first looked around it, and now feels a moral obligation to deliver on the impression they first gave of the place.
Even better, you may have met someone higher up in this department. Hopefully even better, built up a rapport and goodwill with them.
Student Services are more focused on making the university look great and realize how it needs to look good to the outside world. A bad resident assistant may not care about this which is why they are not so helpful.
I have been told of cases where universities have done nothing and then changed people’s roommates the same day or next day when the student’s parents have gone to the right level and been pushy enough.
Ultimately if your parents do contact the university directly, I recommend they try to be polite and try to win over the people they are talking to. It can work.
If it does not work the first time, be persistent. Use up so much of the university staff’s time as possible. So they decide it’s easier for them to change your room than have loads of their time used up speaking to you and your parents.
If Student Services will not do it, make your case and go up the ladder, even if you have to go as far as the Dean. Keep notes of what you have done though, so you can demonstrate you did all you could and only went this high up when nothing else worked.
14. See if there is a form you can fill in to change room
There is often a form you can get from a Room Associate, to request a new roommate. Make sure you take your time to fill this form in, so you can put things in there that will get the best results for you.
It’s easy to rush it as you are so desperate to change room and then not get the best possible results from your submission.
This form also means there is a trail of proof that you have made this request. After filling it in, take a picture of it with your phone, so you have a copy of it as proof, and can even email it to other people in case it gets lost, or the university makes some other processing error.
15. Creating privacy, even when your roommate is there
There are many things you can do so it’s like you have more privacy when your roommate is still in the room.
Put bookcases, dressers and other taller objects between yourselves. Also, stuff on the desks so you cannot see each other.
You may even choose to put up a screen, like those used in offices and are available from many office supply companies.
There are also some cheap fabric screens that can go around your bed. You can hang them around your bed to create your own hidden space in there.
Making your desks face in opposite directions and putting things as far away from each other as possible, can help create more of a sense of privacy. It’s not just that you cannot see each other; it’s also that you cannot see what the other person is doing.
Also, act and behave like your roommate is not there. Being alone is not just that you are physically not with them; it’s that you are psychologically ignoring them.
Literally, do your own thing and don’t look at them.
16. Make sure you sort it out from the start
Why it can be easy to leave it
You may leave sorting out that your roommate never leaves the room because you think it’ll get better, or cannot face dealing with it.
When it starts, it’s very easy to think it doesn’t matter, or will resolve itself.
Then after a few weeks when you find yourself spending time outside the room, even in coffee shops, because you don’t feel comfortable in your place, cannot get the private time you need and so on.
You only realize how vital private time is when you don’t have it!
Your room is your home and sanctuary, the place that you need to feel safe and get away from the world.
Then you only deal with it, once it has annoyed you. However, by this point, your roommate’s behavior has become more established and harder it is to solve. It also has become increasingly difficult for you, as you have had to bare it for so long.
The reason you are more likely to succeed, and it will be easier if you deal with it from the start, or when you first become roommates
When you start with a roommate, they are wondering what you are like; they have to do, the situation, rules and so on.
As you are an unknown person and situation for them, they are also more careful with you.
There is nothing to change, as nothing has yet been created.
After a while, things for them will become a habit, they will feel more settled and get more complacent. If they never want to leave the room and do not have to, this becomes their habit. They believe it is their right as it has gone on for a time.
The longer it goes on for, the more they believe it is a right, and they get more and more used to it being that way.
So changing their routines gets harder as they become stronger and established.
Also, as your roommate has established this right for them not to leave the room, if you make them leave the room at all, you are taking something away from them that they previously had. So they will hate you, as you are taking something away from them.
If you made them leave the room from the start, you are not taking anything away from them, as they never had that it in the first place. Them having to leave the room from time to time is a normal part of being a roommate.
So it is best to sort out the boundaries and requirements quickly. What is acceptable from the start and what is not.
It comes down to making sure your roommate never gets into the habit of never leaving the room.
How to make sure you deal with it from the start
Think about your long term needs before you start with a new roommate. So you are ready for as many things as possible that may come up with having a roommate.
For example, things like your roommate never leaving the room may seem fine at first, but think about what it’s like to have that problem day in day out over a long time.
How to know you are justifying to yourself it is okay, when it is not
It’s easy to justify to yourself that your roommate never leaving the room is okay when it’s not. So you start tackling the problem later on than you should do, if at all.
We do this as we do not want to face the problem and do not want to admit to ourselves that we don’t want to face it. It can be for many reasons, such as we’re afraid or cannot be bothered.
Look for signs that your roommate not leaving the room is not okay with you, when you are pretending to yourself that it is.
For example, you are spending more time at social events than you would otherwise do, at coffee shops, with friends and looking for quiet places to study.
Also not getting as much sleep, because you are staying out late as you don’t want to be in your room.
17. Stand your own ground
It’s your room too!
Roommates often take and do whatever they can get away with.
If your roommate has expectations that they will have everything their way, it’s very easy to get forced into doing things totally their way.
They expect you to be quiet during the day which is when they sleep and tolerate them being up all night making noise; this stops you from having friends around and playing video games during the day.
Make sure that their weirdness and selfishness doesn’t stop you from having a life.
During the day you should still sometimes play video games and have friends around, this is normal behavior.
Of course, do not go so far that your roommate has grounds to complain. You need to compromise to a halfway place, but not all their way.
For example, you are not excessively noisy when playing video games but still play them. Have friends around a bit, but not all day, every day.
Stand your ground from the beginning; otherwise, your roommate will expect you to always fit around their routine and them not to compromise at all.
Your roommate can also subtly more and more make you do things all their way. They do it so slowly that you don’t even notice it has happened. Such as by subtly making you feel guilty when you do what you want, by making subtle noises to show you are interrupting their studying.
Your roommate also may have a wholly egotistical and warped view of what’s right, that they’re right and everyone else is wrong. This can be hard to stand up to if they have a very strong will.
Maybe your roommate never leaves the room as they push other people around, people then push them back, and they have to hide in their room. Your roommate cannot make friends because they are so pushy and have no idea how to get on with others.
You need to be bold, courageous and strong-willed to stand your ground. Some roommate are bullies and the only thing to do is stand firm, you have to do this for a long time for them to realize you are not going to back down.
If your roommate genuinely wants quiet to study, you can tell them to go to the library during your social or play times in the room.
Your roommate may say the study or library is too far or too noisy, but they have to compromise also.
18. Make sure your roommate is not in charge
If your roommate never leaves the room and will not listen to you when you ask for private time. It may be because they think they’re in charge.
They may even be a control freak or power mad, obsessed with being in control.
We recommend making sure in all things, that they know that you are both in charge or equal. So they do not use their power or push you around on this issue.
If your roommate thinks they can get away with bossing you around or always having their way as they’re in charge, they may do this for everything.
Good ways to get things more equal is:
• Make ideas a forum for discussion and compromise.
• Show when they are talking rubbish by asking questions about those views and what they’re doing. If you ask the right questions, they will eventually show up that your roommate is talking nonsense and lying. That is what a good lawyer does in court, lets the witness speak until what they say does not add up.
• Be willing to go along with mutual cooperation, but ignore and refuse to go along with any bossy commands they may give you.
If they are bullying you, to be in charge and boss you around to the point that they will go to ridiculous levels to do so, find a new room as soon as possible.
Authority is given by others, it cannot be taken!
Some people are just too unpleasant.
19. Show your roommate what normal is
If your roommate has been in the room all the time, they may have lost touch with what normal is. Being isolated in your room they’ve not been into the outside world to see what happens there.
You can express what normal is to get them to go out and justify why they should go out. Normal people leave their room from time to time!
Also why for your sake, they should go out and give you some privacy for time to time; as a normal person like you needs privacy from time to time.
Normal roommates leave the room from time to time to give their other roommate some privacy, especially if their roommate has a girlfriend or boyfriend.
Constantly reminding them what normal is, is a powerful, persuasive reminder that has the general norms of society on your side.
20. Get what you agreed in writing
Your roommate may agree that they will go out for a while each day to give you some privacy. It does not mean that they will do it, or they may start and not keep it up.
They could think they’re going to do it, but they never actually do so.
Maybe they may never intend to do it, just agreeing as they couldn’t be bothered to discuss it or to buy time.
Later on when they have never left the room, and you bring it up. Your roommate may even say that they didn’t agree to it, or agreed to something slightly different.
So each time after you chat about how your roommate agrees they will leave the room and you both come to this agreement. Just send them a short message confirming what you both agreed to.
At the end of the message I recommend also writing, ‘is that correct with what we agreed?’ Make it short and casual, so it doesn’t look odd. To be gentle, polite and so they save face, you can say the message is for your benefit, so you remember what was agreed as well.
It’s important to ask at the end of the message if what you wrote is not what you both agreed because they need to say at the time, if it is not what they agreed to.
They cannot use the excuse a few weeks or months later, that the message is not what they agreed to. You asked at the time if the message was correct and they didn’t say it was not.
These messages also mean you have an excellent record showing that they have agreed to go out each day for a short while, to give you some privacy.
In your agreement with your roommate, also agree how long they will go out for and what times it will be. The aim is to reduce the other excuses your roommate can make for not doing it, or doing it poorly. For example, saying they went out while you were in class, which of course is no use to you and they know you weren’t there to prove they are lying and don’t leave the room.
Your roommate may regularly not leave the room at the days, time and duration that they promised. The written agreement is even more useful for this. As you can use it on each occasion and there’s so much less discussion your roommate can do from just making things up.
Using a web-based messaging system to send them what you agreed is best, so the messages are backed up on the cloud and do not disappear if your phone does, unlike with text messages that aren’t.
If your roommate has broken the agreement loads of times, you will probably have forgotten and lost count of how many times they have done so. Each time they break the agreement, send them a message as well to keep count of how many times they have done it.
This is also so your roommate they can’t say you had let it go each time, so they thought you did not care about them leaving the room anymore and the agreement is no longer valid.
In legal terms, it’s called setting a precedence if a person has done something and the other side has not objected to it, so the other side must think it’s now okay to do it.
These messages are then an excellent record for you, of how many times they have agreed to leave the room and not done it.
21. Embarrass your roommate that they don’t leave the room when you are in there doing things with your partner
It’s normal and expected that you would do kissing and things with your boyfriend and girlfriend, and a good reason to want private time.
Most normal roommates would leave the room from time to time so you can do these things, especially if your partner turns up to do these things.
Start with gentle stuff and then kiss more and more. Get more and more into it until your roommate gets uncomfortable still being there.
If your roommate still doesn’t leave the room, then when you are kissing and getting into it. Have your partner look at your roommate like they’re very weird for not going, like they’re saying ‘Why are you not leaving the room, eavesdropping, or even looking at us while we are kissing?’
If your roommate is watching, you probably shouldn’t do more than kiss, but you can get really into it.
It helps that there are two of you in this situation and not one, as there are two of you with derision for what your roommate is doing.
When other people at the university hear that your roommate does not leave the room for such things, your roommate will look even weirder and a bit creepy.
People may even start to talk about it. Other people wouldn’t like it if their roommate did not give them time to do kissing and other things with their partner. So people will take your side.
We recommend giving your roommate notice of when your girlfriend or boyfriend is coming over though, so you have given them time to make plans. You may even need to tell them the day before, for example, that you will need the room at 9 pm for an hour.
If you are having trouble with them agreeing to it, you are better to ask face to face than with a message. It means you can see your roommates reactions and so act in the best way. Also, it is harder for them to say no if you are looking at them directly in the eyes.
If your roommate is not keeping to what they agree or forgetting about it, after they agreed to leave the room, send them a polite message confirming what you both decided.
If your roommate has a genuine reason not to leave the room, such as they have a big test tomorrow, on some occasions you may need to take their side. Of course, if your roommate typically doesn’t leave the room, then this is just an excuse which they have disproved by their previous behavior.
22. Make your roommate want to change room
If you’ve done everything you can to compromise, work with them, and your roommate still won’t change. Maybe they’re very egotistical, overly selfish and don’t care. Perhaps you now have to go to this next stage of being harsher as you have exhausted all the nicer options.
Be careful though not to start a war, this method is more subtle by doing things that make you an incompatible roommate. You are willing to compromise but cannot change who you are.
Then they will be the ones, wanting to move room.
For example, if your roommate is a scared kind of person who doesn’t like being around other people, which is why they don’t leave the room. Be the kind of person that has loads of noisy friends around.
You pretend that you are not doing this on purpose, you naturally have friends over a lot, and they happen to be loud kinds of people. You still be quiet for study time, even compromise in having your friends over less often, but you still have noisy friends, and that’s who you are.
If your roommate is sleeping during the day, you pretend to be naturally noisy that those times, or at some times during the day. You are compromising by being quieter, but you are naturally loud, so even a compromise is still too noisy for them.
23. Make your roommate want to go out
If your roommate never leaves the room, it can be because they want to be by themselves and alone.
You can make the room so social, that they want to go out to get some privacy and alone time.
Maybe even invite some people over, that you know your roommate will feel uncomfortable around. However, of course, not people who are bad or dishonest people, as they will cause you problems as well.
You can do this by having loads of friends around and making your room a fun place to hang out. Have a refrigerator with drinks and food in, a game system for everyone to play and so on — all things which will attract people who are very interactive and social.
Your roommate may then leave the room, to go to other places so they can be by themselves and alone.
Morally this is only for doing once you have tried offering more positive solutions with your roommate and they haven’t been helpful in return. So your roommate has chosen not to compromise and be helpful.
If your roommate doesn’t want to help and compromise, then they have left you with no other choice.
You have needs, and you pay for your half of the room! Your roommate is making a choice, not to let you have your needs.
24. Teach your roommate social skills
Maybe that your roommate never leaves the room because they don’t have any social skills.
They don’t know how to make friends, or their lack of social skills makes them scared in social situations because of the problems they have interacting with other people.
If they are experiencing constant rejection and even being teased, they may want to stay in the room all they can.
Encouraging your roommate to be social and giving them help
Encourage them to come along to the small social things you are going to Social meetups, with fewer people there and that you know more, such as with a few friends at a coffee shop for half an hour.
So the people there are more predictable, people who you know are friendly and less scary.
Exposure to social situations
Tell your roommate that they only have to come along for a couple of minutes and can leave when they want to. Being exposed to social situations in small steps makes it not so scary for them.
The fact that they can leave whenever they want, means they are not so scared as they can take it at their own pace. Your roommate feels in control and not forced into a social situation they cannot get out of.
Often they will not want to come. Try telling your roommate it would be nice if they just popped in when you go to your friends, to say hi. Telling your friends ‘They would love to stay, but can only stay for 15 minutes and then have to go’, or something like that.
Often once your roommate is with your friends, they will have such a good time they will not see the time fly by and will want to stay. Especially if your friends are friendly and encouraging.
Afterward, ask them questions like ‘How bad was it really?’ and ‘Did you have fun?’, to help them relearn that it wasn’t that bad.
Help them to see and experience the positive sides of being social.
Teaching your roommate social skills
When a person first goes to university or college, there can be loads of new social challenges. These could be so scary that your roommate never leaves the room.
Maybe the university environment and people are very different from what they are used to. Such as if your roommate came from a small rural town and dresses differently to other people, so show them what the current fashions are around campus and what social groups they may fit into best.
If they behave differently to other people, show how people around campus behave and how to fit in.
Your roommate may have had such a sheltered upbringing, that it’s all too much for them. Especially now they don’t know anyone in this new place and don’t have their parents there for support.
They could need help with more fundamental social skills such as emotional intelligence and empathy.
If you can teach them how to be social and have social skills, they should gain in confidence and get out of the room more to be social with their newly acquired friends, even a girlfriend or boyfriend.
Your roommate probably has old friends or friends from school
Even if your roommate doesn’t have any friends at university, they probably have old friends from childhood or school friends that they still keep in contact with.
By finding out about these old friends or even speaking with them, you will find out what kind of people your roommate is comfortable hanging out with.
Then your roommate can try to find friends at university who are the same kind of people and you can help them do it. There are so many people at college and so many different social groups; if they try, your roommate can eventually find a peer group that they fit into.
To do this, your roommate has to leave the room!
Once your roommate finds the people they fit in with, these social groups will want them to be part of their group.
25. Leave your roommate by themselves, so they’re isolated
If your roommate never leaves the room, without you, they will always be by themselves. If they have no human contact at all for a week or so, they may not be able to cope with that level of isolation.
At first, they may think it’s great, but after several days or a week the effects of the isolation will become apparent to them.
You can do this by staying with friends, family and your partner if you have one. So for a week or two, you are not in the room, even for a second. If your roommate never leaves the room, after a week, they make not like it.
It’s essential though to prepare to do this, so you do not have to go back into your room even for a second.
This may sound odd, so this is how it works.
Even in prison, where prisoners are afraid of their cellmate and most of the other prisoners, they still don’t want to be in solitary confinement where they are totally by themselves.
Solitary confinement is horrible, and it drives people crazy. Humans need some contact with other people.
So if your roommate never leaves their room, they may be relying on you for their social needs. Your roommate may not realize it, but after a while, the effects will become apparent to them, and they will crave human contact.
As a result, if you make it clear that you will always not be in the room. After a couple of weeks of you not being there, they may need a new roommate and so move.
If the university asks about it, you can say it’s because your roommate never leaves the room, so you don’t feel comfortable being there.
You tell them this because if you want to change room, the dorm or housing directors will think it doesn’t matter which room you have, as you are never using it. So they won’t change your room.
26. Make sure your roommate doesn’t say they’ll leave the room soon
If your roommate says they’ll leave the room soon, later, or tomorrow.
They do it every time, and they won’t leave the room RIGHT NOW.
They’re doing the old expression ‘later never comes,’ as each time they decide to do it later.
Maybe they’re saying they’ll do it later:
• To get you off their back.
• As cannot cope with going out and so this is a defense mechanism.
• They can’t face and admit to themselves they have a problem, that they can’t leave the room and go outside.
Once you’ve asked them on several different days and times to leave the room, they’ve said they will do it later, but never actually do it.
When your roommate again says they’ll leave the room later, reply that sadly you can’t believe them anymore because they promised so many times to leave the room and never did.
After they have done it five times, write the date and time of each event on your phone, so you can show them next time.
With these roommates, you have to get them to agree to leave the room now, as otherwise they never do it.
‘Later or tomorrow never comes.’
If they get aggressive or just can’t be bothered to go, then please use the other steps in this guide. At least your roommate’s lie that they’ll leave the room later will no longer be in your way.
27. Your roommate is having money troubles
Your roommate may be having money troubles. People often don’t want to admit this as they’re embarrassed.
They sometimes become recluses as they do not want to admit to their peers that they don’t have any money.
Say to your roommate that you like to do things that don’t cost money, so they feel comfortable. Then tell them the things you are doing that don’t cost money and inviting them along — for example, going for a walk through a beautiful area, or park.
Before you leave, make sure that you have both packed some food so along the way you don’t have to buy food from convenience stores, fast food restaurants and other places that are more expensive than a cheap grocery store.
When you have money and the person you are with doesn’t, it’s very easy to slip up and get into a situation where you both have to spend money, even if it’s for a bus ticket.
Doing these social outings will help your roommate become friends with you, and so more likely to leave the room when you ask them to.
Also, once your roommate has found social things they can do that don’t cost money, they may be comfortable to leave the room for them. Your roommate may need to change their friends for a while, from those that have money to those that don’t.
They can make friends with people who are in the same situation and so do the same free social things. They may find these friends are different people than their current friends, who have more money to spend.
28. More experienced and mature roommates, are often better at leaving the room
A first-year student roommate usually has never lived away from their parents home and has little idea how to look after themselves. Meeting new people in a new place they don’t know, can make them want to hide in their room.
Often they behave in a juvenile way because it’s their first taste of freedom, or your roommate hides in their room because they cannot cope with how other first-year students are behaving in this way.
Over time students learn how to behave better and look after themselves, and this solves a lot of the social problems. They learn how to take more responsibility and make friends, so your roommate becomes more comfortable leaving the room, and realizes their responsibilities towards you who is their roommate.
The more mature your roommate is, the better things tend to be.
Of course, if your roommate has psychological problems or other related issues which is why they never leave the room, these could stay the same or even get worse if they don’t go and see a medical professional.
29. Choosing a roommate once you know more people at university can make a massive difference
In the first year as a first-year student, you probably don’t know anyone. Many people are so different from you that it’s quite unlikely the college will put you with a roommate who’s right for you.
There are loads of stories about first-year student roommates being hilariously incompatible with each other’s lifestyles.
In later years such as Sophomore and Junior Year, you will have made friends and know people. So will be able to find the best person for you to have as a roommate.
Maybe you both agree you are incompatible and have other people you would like to share with, and so change roommates quite quickly.
A good friend of mine was put with perfect roommates in his first year, and most of those people are now his closest friends. His wife is even the sister of one of these roommates; however, that’s less common.
Most people find their perfect roommate by having met loads of people socially at university, and then they decide to become roommates.
30. Getting around the excuses your roommate makes
Never put up with your roommate excuses, especially if your roommate knows they’re excuses. They’re just wasting your time and making a fool out of you.
I say this because often people can’t face the truth of having a problem, so they are conning themselves more than you.
If your roommate is the kind of person who always makes excuses, try to predict the ones your roommate could make and prepare answers in advance. As you live with your roommate and so know what they’re like, it may be more straightforward than it would be with someone you know less well.
Typical traits to look out for are:
• They pretend things that are easy to do, are hard to do
• It’s always someone else’s fault
• They admit that they’re lazy and don’t care, don’t accept this as a valid excuse
My roommate did all three!
More specific excuses a roommate who never leaves the room typically uses are:
Other more specific ones are:
a, If the roommate says that they pay for the room, so can use it all the time if they like
Just say that it’s your room too, and you’ve been compromising so things are your roommate would like them to be.
Such as you’ve been inviting friends around and playing music much less than you would like to have been doing. However, if your roommate won’t compromise; why should you?
If your roommate states that it’s their room, say it’s your room too and list all the things that you would like to use the room for, but haven’t as you know they wouldn’t like it.
b, They need to be in the room and need silence to work
This is where not only will your roommate not leave the room, but they insist on silence when they’re there. You cannot do the things that you want to do like listen to music, even through your headphones.
Point out that the university has private study areas, loads of other people use them and they’re perfectly quiet. The university has these areas for a reason.
The room is for studying in part of the time, but also for living in and having a full life.
You may both be at university to study, but you are a person. The university has social events and societies because it’s also what students are expected to do and the room is part of enabling that.
People have to have a life and leisure behavior is normal. Other people are having friends over and doing fun things in their room.
The room is a place to live and a home.
You can even mention coffee shops as a place to study and if they say they cannot afford it, offer to pay for their coffee. You may not want to be paying for their coffees, but if it solves your problem, it might be the easiest way.
Also, you’ll probably find part of the time they’re secretly watching tv shows on their computer, using social networks, reading entertainment sites, and other things they don’t need to do for work.
These reasons remove their excuse that they need to be in the room all the time to work.
c, Your roommate says they’ll start going out regularly from next week onwards
If your roommate says, they’ll start going out in a week, by that I mean in 7 days; they don’t say they’ll begin to today or tomorrow.
It’s not going to happen!
Like when people say they will do something ‘tomorrow,’ tomorrow never comes. Whenever it’s the moment is for them to it, they say they’ll do it ‘tomorrow’.
If they don’t do it now, it’s probably not going to happen, especially if they have used this excuse before. It’s just a way of delaying things, and they keep on just delaying it, so it never happens
So express how going out in a week is not normal; people go out every day. A normal person may stay in all day once a week, but this is no more than once per week.
Comparing things to normal and socially acceptable behaviour is an excellent way to get someone to conform. It means society and social norms are all backing your case.
Also, your roommate has probably used this excuse before, tell them that because of their previous actions you can’t believe them and quote the number of times they have made this promise previously.
d, You cannot tell them what they should do with their time
Your answer to this excuse is that because of what your roommate is doing; you cannot do the things you would like to be doing with your time as well.
If your roommate went out, even for an hour a day, it would make a big difference to how you benefitted from your time as well.
Having no privacy time, or time to yourself in your room is not just affecting an hour of your day. It’s affecting all your day, and every day, because of the effect it is happening on you and your life.
Then give examples of the compromises you are making, so they can do what they would like to with their time. What the effects would be on them if you stopped these compromises of what you would like to be doing with your time.
Such as you would like to have loads of friends around who would be noisy like other roommates do, and how by you making this compromise you are not getting the most out of your time as well.
Show them what a slippery slope this excuse of theirs is, because of how it would affect them if you also did whatever you wanted with your time as well.
How to deal with your roommate’s excuses
It’s best to communicate your replies to their excuses as further questions and not conclusions, so that they can give a new answer and you can continue the dialogue.
Answering their excuses with conclusions leads to dead ends with nowhere to go. Also, it doesn’t let you progress further from the other information your roommate may be able to give you.
It’s almost like an investigation process where the investigation is only concluded when everyone has all the facts.
The conversation doesn’t get into dead ends that neither side can work themselves out of, or one side needs to do a humiliating climbdown of conceding something.
If your roommate is talking rubbish and using excuses, this makes them talk for long enough they will eventually say things you can show up their lies and doesn’t make sense. Roommates who do this ultimately discredit themselves with their lies, all you do is have to keep asking questions and point out when they do it, which is what good lawyers do.
An example of saying things as a question is ‘So you are saying I can do whatever I want in the room too, just like you are?’
When they say yes, you say ‘It’s my room too, are you okay if I have my weekly party here?’.
You are both constructively debating to try and find the best solution for both of you.
It also makes sure you progress step by step and don’t escalate them faster than you need to.
Talk about how you share the room, need to do things so you both get the best you can from the place. Also IF YOU BOTH DON’T PUT WORK INTO COMPROMISING AND HELPING EACH OTHER, the room will become uninhabitable.
31, Other reasons, your roommate never leaves the room
As you are in the situation, you cannot see the problem with so much perspective, as you’re involved in it all.
The following list shows other reasons which maybe why your roommate never leaves the room.
Once you realize if it is one of these problems, you can start to take appropriate action or help solve the problem.
a, They’re being bullied
Your roommate is scared to go out because of their bullies.
Have a look at why they’re being bullied. Maybe your roommate doesn’t stand up for themselves, so help them to do that.
Teach them how not to fall apart or react when a bully says something nasty, so the bully gives up as it’s not fun anymore.
Maybe your roommate behaves or dresses differently to other people, and that makes them a target, teach them how to fit in and why they should do so.
If someone is being bullied, out of their frustration and learned behavior, they can, in turn, bully other people. Make sure your roommate doesn’t bully you or take out their frustrations on you.
Be there to support them so that they can face the outside world more easily.
b, Your roommate is addicted to something in the room
People can be addicted to many things that are best to do in your room, such as television, or computer games.
Your roommate may show many signs of being an addict, including withdrawal symptoms if they stop for a while and even becoming aggressive if you try to stop them.
They could be addicted to these things so they can escape from some other issue in their life or personal problems.
If they are addicted to something illegal, you may need to tell the college, especially if it could affect you, or you could get implicated for something you haven’t done.
c, They may not have any friends
Your roommate may not know how to make friends.
So invite your roommate out to join you, to help them meet and make new friends. They may be too scared to go out by themselves but will be fine doing so with you.
The disadvantage is your roommate may end up in the same social group as you, so never leave you. You may prefer to invite them to join you at events where they can meet other people outside your close social group.
This one can work very well, especially if you support and help them to get new friends. So they are not doing it alone.
Otherwise you could teach your roommate how to make friends of their own; however, this needs them to want to learn.
If you get the opportunity to watch how your roommate interacts with others, you may be able to see what they are doing wrong and advise them. As your roommate never leaves the room, you may need to invite your friends to come over and then see how your roommate behaves with them.
d, They are very shy
Ways to spot this, are if your roommate will not look at people the eyes and their eyes dart around a lot. They won’t engage with people directly and don’t want to talk about anything personal. Look for body language cues such as crossing their arms to protect themselves,
They shy people I know tend to be quiet around people they don’t know so well but open up once get to know them.
Sometimes a shy person can appear to be quiet and snooty, but it’s just they have low self-esteem. They find social situations intimidating, uncomfortable and scary which can make them defensive and standoffish.
Ultimately shy roommates often try to avoid leaving the room and social confrontation unless they have to. They’re also usually very good at making themselves invisible to others.
The people I know who are shy find it’s best to have a small number of close friends they can confide in and trust. Friends who don’t push them be stand out, be loud and accept them for who they are.
Shy people don’t want massive amounts of recognition and attention as they find all human interaction painful, so others have to be careful and gentle with them. You need to be very careful of the feelings of a shy person; often they find social interactions hard as they’re so sensitive!
Often shy people often want to eat and do things on their own.
e, They are homesick
Your roommate is homesick and misses their parents and home. Technically it’s called separation anxiety.
Homesickness with a roommate usually is very visible, because of how much they are contacting their parents. Also, maybe receiving things packages and post from them.
Other signs are anxiety, decreased motivation, not having a good time when others around them are, irritability, loneliness, a negative outlook on things, social withdrawal and wanting a connection with someone who will make them feel better.
Homesickness symptoms are different from depression because they feel better when they go home, but a roommate with depression won’t.
Homesickness usually eventually passes once your roommate gets used to and comfortable with their new home environment.
It’s not something you can push your roommate too hard with, and homesickness is a normal feeling. Your roommate will cope better if they’re relaxed and in a good state of mind. Sometimes your roommate misses things like a home cooked meal, nice bathroom, their comfortable bed, and their friends from home.
Making friends, getting involved with campus activities and going to classes will all help, and it’s essential they have a healthy balance of these things.
Your roommate should also put pictures up from home and make plans of when they know they’re returning home.
A small percentage of college students quit because of homesickness, but typically people get better over the first semester until they are fine. Your roommate should go and see a counselor if homesickness is stopping them from living a healthy college life, not leaving the room is one of these signals.
You should also watch to ensure your roommate is not drinking alcohol or taking drugs to cope with their feelings of being homesick.
f, They are a loner
Your roommate prefers to do things by themselves and be by themselves. Your roommate is not a social person.
Being a loner can cover all aspects of their life, from how they do their work, working with others and not having a social life.
The best answer to this is social pressure, so they’ll hopefully compromise.
They see that it is easier for them to compromise with you than have constant friction with you. As this friction means your roommate is doing more stuff involving you, and so are even less doing things by themselves.
Interestingly, your roommate would probably do very well if they shared with another loner. They would get on fine and probably be very happy together, as they would both ignore each other. Having them, change roommate is often the best solution.
Don’t try and turn a loner into a massively social person; they’re unlikely to change unless they want to and will hate you for pushing them to be something they don’t want to be.
g, They are a massive introvert
Such a huge issue, I have given it it’s own section below.
32, Understanding introverts
I’m more of an extrovert, but I am fortunate to have lots of more introverted friends who have described it to me.
An extrovert gets energy from being around others.
An introvert is drained of energy when they are around people, as having to do so uses up their strength. As a result, they cannot do it for long and need lots of alone time by themselves to recharge.
By creating a calm and supportive environment in your room, where they can get their alone time, your roommate may feel more confident and comfortable to leave the room and go out.
Never push an introvert never to have any alone time, although once your roommate has recharged, they should leave the room to give you the time you also need there.
My last roommate and I used to watch tv together for about an hour, and then he would go and spend time by himself which he called ‘introvert time.’
Some introverts are loud and seem to be extroverts, but they are compensating to try and cover it up.
33, How to get your sensitive roommate to leave the room regularly
Common misunderstandings about sensitive people
People who are not sensitive have a hard time understanding and believing this one, but it’s real and essential. A less sensitive person often thinks they’ll be better results from a sensitive person by pushing harder; but this does not make a sensitive roommate work better, it just crushes them, so they’re even less able to function.
Pushing them is not going to help resolve where a sensitive roommate never leaves the room. If your roommate is very sensitive, they’re already having a hard enough time with whatever force the world you are putting on them.
Less sensitive people often think their sensitive roommate is lazy, high maintenance, dramatic, weak and having lots of other selfish traits.
Of course, your roommate could be sensitive because it is a symptom of them having things like ADHD, autism, an anxiety disorder or Sensory Processing Disorder.
A less sensitive roommate may do things to a more sensitive roommate which are a big issue for the sensitive roommate, but the less sensitive roommate hasn’t even noticed that they’ve done them.
It’s estimated that sensitive and highly sensitive people make up 15% to 20% of the population, so there’s a high chance that this issue relates to why your roommate never leaves the room. People are born like this; it’s not something they can change, even if they want to.
If you have ‘thick skin,’ you can cope more if people are a bit rude to you. It can be challenging to imagine, that another person can be so much more affected by the same criticism.
What being a roommate is like for a sensitive roommate
If your roommate is a very sensitive type of person, they may have a hard time coping with being around other people, especially in large social groupings and situations. They’ll probably need to hide in their room more and have more downtime than the average person.
The whole world seems harsh, jarring, uncaring, overwhelming and they’re upset more by injustices and other negative things. So they’re startled easily and traumatized by other people’s disapproval of them.
They are more easily overwhelmed by things their senses of touch, taste, smell, and sight perceive.
All this can cause them to get headaches such as migraines, dizziness, nausea and to become weak when they are overwhelmed.
How to communicate with a sensitive roommate
Gently ask your roommate about what they’re sensitive to and their needs.
Play to your sensitive roommate’s strengths; sensitive people normally want to resolve these issues, are doing their best to stop conflict as they can’t cope with it. They are comfortable to constructively talk about their sensitivity issues if you ask about them in a sincere, gentle, encouraging and supportive way.
If you are pushy, insensitive, aggressive or impatient, your sensitive roommate will shut down. If you do any of these, then apologize to your sensitive roommate as soon as possible. Also if you think you could do any of them, take a break and come back again.
It’s essential to stay calm at all times and encourage them to be calm as well. Of course, you’ll get frustrated at times, but deal with those away from your roommate and with friends, family, or a counselor.
Don’t say anything negative to your roommate about them being sensitive, or any of their behaviors which come from that. If there’s an issue, say how it affects you, not about how they did it and so putting further force on them, for example ‘I have a hard time when I don’t have the room to myself for an hour a day.’
When your sensitive roommate is feeling something, recognize it as being valid and say that it’s okay, with phrases such as ‘I recognize you’re very sad, it’s okay to cry.’ Whether it’s stress, feeling overwhelmed and so on you are saying it’s okay to have those feelings, and you are there for them.
How to resolve when a sensitive roommate never leaves the room
Help your roommate in positive ways so they can leave the room, such as making it a place where they can calm down, feel safe, secure, valued, appreciated and accepted.
Ensure it’s not too noisy, light, and you don’t do any overwhelming behavior such as being loudly excited.
Then your sensitive roommate will be able to leave the room more often and for longer each time.
You aren’t going to stop them from being sensitive, but can help them to function better with it!
34. Room rules
Well written room rules can make it more palatable that your roommate never leaves the room.
They can cover all the details that come up, such as when the lights are on, how many are on, what times roommates can do things, acceptable noise levels and so on.
You may even be able to make a room rule that roommates should leave the room for a certain amount of time each day, or every other day to give others privacy.
35. Keep it positive
In your annoyance that your roommate never leaves, it’s very easy to want revenge and to get angry. Raising the conflict level and making things worse.
This anger and desire for revenge can even tempt you into creating arguments with your roommate about other issues. Not just that your roommate never leaves the room.
Your relationship can descend and get lower and lower.
Then you are both wanting revenge on each other and things escalate, it can go wrong really fast. You can even start to lie and do all kinds of things to get your way.
In the end, your conflicts may not be about your roommate not leaving the room. They’re just about getting revenge for all the other things you have done to each other.
As you live in each other’s living are, you are both vulnerable to what you could do to each other, and so conflict on this level is not a good idea. It also wastes loads of energy, causes preoccupations, is generally destructive and uses up time you could be putting into your studies and other productive things
Try and keep things positive. You get far more with sugar than with vinegar.
Do good things, so your roommate is in a pleasant living environment, which makes them, in turn, be and behave better. Also makes it that your roommate wants to do good things back for you.
Also if things do descend to a low place, it creates an unpleasant living environment.
Of course, you still have to defend yourself, or your roommate may walk all over you. Everyone has the right to protect themselves; just try not to escalate things. It’s fine to get angry to defend yourself, as long as you use it correctly and for the right reasons.
Make sure you defend yourself with the right intentions, so you are justified in your actions. You are doing things to defend yourself, not just to take things unfairly.
Just keep it positive; it’s about finding solutions that are right for both of you in this situation.
It’s not about scoring points from fighting each other.
If you are positive, happy, affectionate, giving love, good, kind and honest, it will also affect your roommate so they will behave better.
If you’re full of negative emotions and feelings, they will also affect your roommate, who will also then behave worse.
The old story is that it’s better to feed the good trees in a garden, so they grow and push out the bad weeds. Than kill the bad weeds. Then the gardener has good trees and a lovely garden, rather than nothing because they have killed everything.
Also, a good life comes from putting energy into creating things. If you destroy and you haven’t created anything or done anything constructive, there won’t be much to your life.
36. Build up your roommates confidence, so they feel up to leaving the room
It’s possible that your roommate doesn’t want to leave the room because they do not have enough confidence. Lots of people have this problem, don’t want to admit it and hide it.
Speak to them in a way that builds up their confidence, this helps to solve the problem because they get enough confidence building stuff from you to feel they can leave the room and face the world.
You do this by focusing on their good sides to complement their positive sides, everybody has some. It can have a significant effect on your roommate which makes it a pleasure to do.
You build up someone’s confidence with more than just the words you say about their positive sides. Non-verbal communication are also part of it such facial expressions, posture, emotions, feelings, and tone of voice. So you look at them in a positive way, the tone of voice you use when talking about them is positive, with positive feelings and so on.
You are giving them love and respect.
Signs of your roommate having low confidence can be that they have to put others down, including when talking about others. They do this to make themselves feel they are better than others, but it’s a negative path which never has good long term results.
37. Other ways you can get privacy if your roommate never leaves the room
Library and study rooms are not truly private as other people use them. There are lots of people in these mainstream places as everyone knows them.
I spend a bit of time looking for places I can get alone time. The forgotten, unused and unnoticed places in a college that no one else has searched for and so found. They are usually badly maintained, boring and not well decorated, which is why no one else is interested in them.
Look around areas of the campus where your Major isn’t based, other areas of the college you wouldn’t otherwise go to and exhibits that no one else goes to either.
You may find private places that no one goes to and the college won’t care if you hang out there. They’re not lockable so you can get it, but private as at least no one else goes there. They are places that everyone else finds disinteresting.
Sheldon in the comedy show ‘The Big Bang Theory’ found a room like this in the basement of the campus where he found a private place to do things.
Most campuses have basement storage areas somewhere that no one uses and goes to, or even a large landing on a stairway which goes down to one. An alcove at the end of a corridor that no one sees. You can easily make these places your own, very comfortable and a nice place to be.
Universities are huge places and large administrative organizations, so there’s usually some place or places that have been forgotten.
When you find them, don’t tell anyone about them, at least until you are going to leave the university. If you tell someone, they may say they’ll not tell anyone, but they speak about it to at least one person. That person then tells someone else and so on.
If you mention it to the university, they may feel they have to make it off grounds for some administrative purpose. Of course, only go into safe places, and you can quickly leave in an emergency.
Some people go for walks at night, as long as they feel safe and that’s a great way to get alone time.
38. Make sure you don’t swap your roommate for someone worse. Easy to do when you’re desperate!
The Room Associate could swap you to a room with a roommate who’s far worse than your current one.
Your new roommate may not have the same problem of not leaving the room. However, your new roommate could have new and different issues that are far worse, such as being a thief, violent, a bully and other far worse things.
Maybe the problem is entirely different, such as with the room itself or coming from a neighbor to the room.
Make sure when a Room Associate, other student or anyone else is offering you a new room or roommate, that you are open minded to all the problems there could be there.
When you are trying to get a new room part way through term, there usually are fewer rooms to choose from, as it’s not like the start of term when everything is empty.
Your new room could have an empty bed for many different reasons. One of which may be that the last person there didn’t want to share with your new roommate and no one else wants to either.
The college or the person offering you the room may have had trouble finding someone to share with your new roommate. Now you’ve come and solved their problem!
If you’re being driven crazy as your current roommate never leaves the room, it’s very easy in your desperation to think that anywhere else will be better!
Research your new roommate
Before you move to a new room, do some research on what your potential new roommate is like.
Speak to people in neighboring rooms and confidentially ask them about the roommate there, the room, neighbors, the building and so on.
If people you ask trust you to keep what they say confidential, they’re more likely to be honest with you. As they may be worried about getting in trouble by saying something negative about a person, and it getting back to them.
Spend time chatting with them about other things first, so they relax and get to know you. After they feel comfortable, ask the more difficult questions they may be worried about answering.
You want them to feel that this conversation was not about you wanting to find out about your new potential roommate, it was just a friendly chat with someone that maybe moving onto their floor.
You also may not like the room’s neighbors, and they may not like you. Good to know these things before you move in!
Research is key. However when you’re very upset with the lack of privacy from your current roommate and possibly even going a bit crazy as a result. It’s tempting to miss out this step from being desperate and moving room impulsively.
39. Using it to your advantage that your roommate desperately wants your attention
If your roommate never leaves the room, you could be their only source of company, and so they keep on wanting your attention.
Your roommate may be in denial that they want attention from you and think they don’t want it. You will be able to see that they do want it though.
Like if when your roommate is watching a television show, and they say ‘Wow they did that’ when something happens. Laughing especially loud when watching a comedy to get your attention, and showing off that they’re having a good time.
Speaking unnecessarily loudly when calling a company for technical support in a way that they want you to hear the whole conversation.
Then they’re wanting attention from you, to show off and so on. As your roommate never leaves the room and doesn’t have a social life, you are their only source of attention.
This is an advantage for you. It means there is something they want from you.
You will give them attention if they do what you need, such as to leave the room every so often. If they never leave the room, completely ignore your roommate like they’re not there.
When they talk to you, be like you do not care, and they do not exist or matter. Being clear to your roommate that you will give them lots of attention if they leave the room every so often to provide you with some privacy
Doing this, even when they say something to you will be hard and upsetting for you to do. Keeping it up and not giving in is every harder. If it’s not, then you are a bit of a sociopath and need to be concerned. However, it needs to be done.
There will be awkward silences, make sure you’re not the first to break these silences which is very hard to do.
To make it work best, be clear with your roommate that you’re doing this as you cannot cope with them never leaving the room. Also expressing the problems that they not leaving is causing you.
You would love to give them attention but can only do this if they also give you the privacy you need from time to time, by leaving the room.
40. Practice communicating why your roommate never leaving the room is causing you a problem
You need to be able to communicate with others why this issue is causing you problems.
If other people have not had this problem in their lives before, they may not be able to understand why it’s a big deal. It’s harder for someone to appreciated and sympathize with an issue, that they have not been through and experienced themselves.
You need other people such as your friends, other students, the college and so on to be on your side.
If they ask you about it and you have not thought through and prepared how to describe this situation, you’re probably not going to say the things that are most effective and persuasive for them to believe this is more than a minor problem.
Prepare the answers you are going to give
Just like how a good politician has prepared the answers to the questions they will be asked, or a speech they are going to give. Also, practice how you are going to say to people about this issue.
To do this, you need to be sure about why it’s causing you a problem that your roommate never leaves the room.
a, You need private time to be with your partner. If you don’t have a partner, but need private time for doing those things by yourself that you would otherwise do with a partner. Secretly doing them in the bathroom is not possible. Express that you are human and have these needs.
b, You need to be on your own for a short time each day to relax and unwind. It’s not possible to do this if you feel watched and have to watch what you’re doing. If your roommate is there, you still have to be aware of who is around you and cannot truly relax in the same way.
c, Private conversations, such as with a boyfriend, girlfriend, family and so on.
d, You are a sensitive introvert and so need some time by yourself. Without that, you lose it. Even extroverts need some of their own time by themselves for this reason.
I hate to say, but you might be that your roommate not leaving the room is not the actual problem, and I have seen this before. You are using that they never leave the room, to justify to yourself why you actually don’t like them. The real reason could be you are jealous of them, find them annoying as they’re angry all the time, different to you, or something else.
It is easy for us to con ourselves why we don’t like someone. We don’t want to face the ugly truth and would like something more justifiable to be the reason.
41, Take the roommate matching form seriously
If you’re reading this guide, it might be a bit late for this, but maybe your college has given you one for finding a new roommate.
The good forms are quite detailed and the students at those universities that have them, end up being mostly happy with their roommates. Sadly not all colleges and universities use roommate matching forms to help match students up with roommates.
Take it seriously, fill it in carefully and thoughtfully.
It’s easy to skip through it and not pay proper attention to answering the questions, even forgetting to do it until it is too late.
You might rush it if you’re so annoyed by your roommate, that you want to get it in as soon as possible, and so don’t carefully check you’ve filled it in in the best way possible.
How well you fill in the roommate matching form does matter and make sure you double check what you put. You especially don’t want to give your college the excuse that they did what you wanted on the form, or it’s your fault because you missed something out or weren’t clear.
After you’ve filled it in, take a picture of it with your phone, so that if the college makes a mistake, you can prove what you wrote on the form.
42, How to communicate with your roommate to get them to leave the room
I’ve found it’s not just what people say to their roommate; it’s how they say it.
How to do the communication
Being polite goes a long way. Try to be polite with your roommate even when you’re very annoyed by them, and what they’re doing, so you don’t feel like it.
You will find you get a lot more from your roommate by being polite. Also, you’re not giving them the excuse that you were rude, so they don’t have to be helpful back.
Listen to your roommate to find the answer to the problem
It’s so easy to talk, as you’re so annoyed by your roommate never leaving the room that you want to control the situation and tell them what to do. However, by talking, you’re blocking off your roommate telling you why they are doing this and so finding a solution to the problem.
Listen to why they don’t leave the room, and what they say, for example, it could be because of a problem going on in their life. They may have been saying this reason before, but it is not the answer you wanted to hear, so you hadn’t listened. This is a hard one to master.
Listen to their opinions, theirs may be very different from yours, and you need to cope with that — also, a hard one to do.
If your roommate doesn’t say the reason, ask them questions to get to that point and listen to their answers.
Speak to them like a friend in an open and friendly way. You are trying to get them to talk by asking them questions which carry on from what they said before, this way you will get them to keep talking and find out the most from them. People love to speak, and they’re giving you information when they do so.
What to say to your roommate
Ask your roommate about their needs for privacy, as hopefully, they need privacy too.
Then express how you need privacy as well. Talk about your needs and how without privacy you cannot be a good roommate. Make sure you talk about your needs and not just your wants.
If your roommate doesn’t need privacy, they will have different needs that they hope you will respect.
Help your roommate all you can. Hopefully, they will then help you too by giving you privacy when you need it.
If your roommate won’t, you will have to discuss the implications of how you can’t help them if they don’t help you.
How to express yourself
Speak from the heart, with the emotions and feelings about your need for privacy.
People are mostly moved by emotions and feelings, as well as logic. Like how you are moved by a good actor performing in a film, or television show.
For example, if you are an introvert, explain why you need to have time by yourself. What happens to you if you don’t get it, and how it feels and hurts. Express your feelings like a good singer or actor would.
Not saying the fact itself, also express your feelings and emotions. If you haven’t done this before, then definitely practice it.
Start subtly and then be more direct
At first, start saying in casual terms what you need, just as gentle comments. If that doesn’t work, get a bit more firm with your roommate.
After that, you may need to get more formal and have proper discussions with your roommate about the issue, if they’re willing to do that.
If you have tried the easy ways and they’ve not worked, you’re entitled to go in a bit stronger.
Don’t be passive aggressive
If you don’t have the courage to face your roommate, you can end up being aggressive, but in a way that you’re pretending not to be.
This is being passive aggressive which will frustrate you and eventually annoy your roommate, as you’re making out that you’re not aggressive, but in fact, you are.
You can try being subtle at first, but if it does not quickly work and your roommate does not get what you are trying to say. Being direct is essential.
Otherwise, you will get more and more annoyed. Your roommate will also find you more and more frustrating to be around, and both of you may not even know why.
Being direct about things can cause conflict and so be scary. Sadly if being subtle has not worked with your roommate, then the situation will probably get worse, especially as your roommate will see you as a pushover.
Behave like an adult with your roommate
Behave like an adult with your roommate, so if they do childish things like making childish excuses, it’s clear to see because of how they’re behaving in comparison to you.
If you are childish, your roommate will be childish too, or they may behave like a parent with you acting like a child, and so boss you around.
If you behave in an adult way, they’re more likely to behave in an adult way too.
Adults take responsibility and are more likely to come to the best possible solution which is why it’s best for you both to behave like one.
This knowledge and experience all comes from Transactional Analysis in psychology which shows this. If you act like a parent, your roommate will act like a child. If you act like a child, they will act like a child or a parent. So it is best to act like an adult, so your roommate also acts like an adult.
I recommend the book in the link above which is all about Transaction Analysis in psychology, a great book, subject and life skill to learn.
Make it relevant to your roommate
People engage and relate to communications where there are examples they can relate to and so empathize with more easily.
For example, maybe your roommate’s sister or brother was not good at sharing a room with them when they were younger, and they can relate to examples from that.
If they like celebrities and television, maybe you can use an example from a television show, or celebrity they like.
Talk about a similar situation that happened to a celebrity your roommate likes, that illustrates your point. Ask them how that celebrity would behave if their roommate were never leaving the room?
An example that they may understand. Maybe your roommate likes a particular time when you are not around to speak to their mum, especially if they’re a bit homesick. Then say that you are not able to have this as they never leave the room, which maybe something they can relate to and understand.
Otherwise, you will be talking to them, and they won’t engage and relate to what you’re saying.
Make it fun
If you’re going to talk with your roommate, make it a fun talk, like if you had a social chat in a bar. Then they’ll be more happy to have it and may even listen to what you’re saying.
If it’s a boring chat, your roommate will not want it and will probably not even be listening to what you’re saying. Their attention will drift off into something else, and they’ll try to get away as quickly as possible.
Of course, if this fun and friendly way hasn’t worked, the next chat may need to be more serious!
Keep it simple and speak slowly
It’s very easy to think your roommate understands what you are saying when they don’t.
People often don’t put much thought and attention to what other people are saying. They say yes and nod when they’ve not even listened to what you have said.
So speak slowly and make your points simple, so they do understand.
After you have said something to your roommate, try asking your roommate what they think, to find out if they’ve understood or even listened, to what you have said.
Asking them this is also a way of helping create a dialogue to find the best solutions.
Be careful of making any criticism personal
You may need to make your criticism of your roommate personal later on if they’re not cooperative, but that’s when the gentler things you tried haven’t worked.
Until then with them, talk about the act and not the person.
For example, you are upset that your roommate never leaves the room. It’s not that you think they are rubbish as a person.
You are upset at what they are doing, not at who or what they are as a person.
It’s a very easy trap to fall into, and then your roommate is offended because you have attacked them as a person. So it’s harder to solve the problem with them as they want revenge and to get even.
People like to talk, and not so much to listen to what other people are saying.
If you listen correctly and look interested in what your roommate is saying, they will talk, and you can mostly just listen. You won’t need to say much as they’ll do most of the talking.
If you let your roommate talk a lot, they may even come to the conclusions that you are hoping they would come to, with only a little prompting from you. Such as they should leave the room more, they didn’t realize how little they were doing so, or their reason for not going out is no longer valid.
Your roommate may also contradict themselves and so show themselves to be incorrect, as they talk so much. Both of which are useful to you.
If you need to prompt them, you usually only need to say a few choice words at the right moment, you don’t need to say much. You don’t want to interrupt their flow of talking or put them off by having to listen to you.
If you let your roommate talk and you listen, they’ll be happy to have this meeting as people love to talk and have someone listen to them. You also don’t need to say much, which is easier for you.
You only say a little when it’s useful to your aim of getting your roommate to leave the room, and ensure what you do say is precise and effective. You are focused on the one thing of just getting them to leave the room every so often. So you can make sure, you only say what’s needed for that to happen.
As you have listened to what they have said, their values, opinions, ideas, needs and wants. You will hear from them information that you can use to resolve the problem.
Also, when you do talk, they should listen, as you have let them do most of the talking.
If you and your roommate have conflicting personalities that annoy each other
You could find that your talks are not making progress, because you have conflicting personalities which annoy each other.
Your roommate is chilled out, and you are intense and full of stress.
They are into heavy metal music, and you are into easy listening light music.
See learn how you can adapt to them, so they feel comfortable with you and then will get through to them.
If you are a stressed person and your roommate is a light, relaxed and chilled out person. See how you can chill out, so they feel you are like them.
Of course, you need to remember who you are, and so spend time by yourself every so often where you can go back to being yourself. Also not sacrifice your morals, to adapt to them.
Emotions and feelings
Have you ever wondered why people get angry in meetings for no reason?
Also why people can be happy in meetings for no reason in meetings and other places as well
This is the answer:
• If you are angry, others around you will feel angry.
• If you feel sad, others around you will feel sad.
• If you feel happy other people around you will feel happy.
• It’s the same with other emotions and feelings
It’s the same with moods; how one person feels affects the others.
How you feel, will affect how your roommate feels and acts!
Any negative emotions of feelings you have whether it’s anger, frustration, stress and so on will just annoy your roommate, make them want to get away from you and get revenge for bringing this toxicity into their life. This is especially hard when you are feeling these emotions because they won’t ever leave the room.
So when communicating with your roommate, try to be in a happy place, as this will make them happier as well, and then easier to work with.
That’s why there’s a saying in sales ‘Happy people are best at selling.’
Choose the best moment to speak with your roommate
Before you start chatting with your roommate about them never leaving the room, take a moment to be aware of how you feel. If you’re not in a good mood that day, maybe wait for another one before chatting with them.
Also if your roommate is busy, stressed and annoyed; wait for another time when your roommate is in a good mood, such as they’ve had some time off or received some good news.
When people are in a good mood, they’re more open and generous.
43. Ask if your roommate is okay
Maybe your roommate never leaves the room because they have a personal problem of some kind. Such as they’re upset by something in their family, are being bullied, not made friends and so on.
If you have not asked your roommate if they’re okay.; there’s a chance they have a problem, and you do not know as you haven’t asked.
They could even have a problem with their relationship, and you never knew. Maybe this problem is making your roommate so depressed that they don’t feel like going out, or something like that.
Loads of stuff could be going on for them, and you have no idea about it.
You need to ask as long as you think they will be okay with that.
Your roommate may not want to admit their problems to others, but hopefully, you can build a relationship with them that they know you are helpful and will keep it private.
Knowing their problem is halfway towards you being able to help solve it, and you can be more understanding. As you are aware your roommate has a reason behind their behavior, and it’s not just them being difficult for no reason.
44. If your roommate’s a bully
If your roommate is a bully, they may not react well to you asking them to leave the room from time to time, to give you privacy.
With bullies, you need to sort it out early. Once a bullies sees you as a victim and have gotten away with pushing you around, they will think they can get away with bullying you and be harder to deal with.
The only ways I know are:
a. Find out what you can do to help them, then they may help you in return.
Some people have resolved the problem by offering to help their roommate with their homework and studies. Then the bully will help them in return, even protecting them from other bullies.
b. If the first method above hasn’t worked, bullies only respect strength.
Stand strong, be firm, and don’t let them see you’re afraid of them.
Probably best not to attack them in any way, as that can lead to retaliation. You don’t want to raise the stakes, but everyone has the right to defend themselves.
Make your wishes clear to your roommate that you need them to leave the room every so often, but try not to provoke them.
Be persistent about not changing your views on this one. Eventually, they may get bored and realize it’s easier to leave the room every so often.
Persistence is an amazingly powerful way to win something, especially if you are weaker than the other person! You may not win on a particular occasion, but you are looking at the long term.
c. Make sure they don’t see that they have upset you.
If a bully sees that they have upset you, it shows them that their bullying is working.
They may enjoy seeing that they are upsetting you, and it may be a power thing for them which is why they do it.
The bully may also be wanting attention and like how they get it from you when they bully you.
If they get a reaction from you, it may fuel them further. When a bully does something, it’s the reaction from you that they feed off so don’t give them one.
Make sure you don’t give them attention for the negative things they are doing, by ignoring your bullying roommate and not reacting to what they’re doing. So they will eventually get bored and give up.
This plan takes time to work and so is hard to keep up, as they’ll keep going until they’re sure they will not get a reaction from you. Especially if you have been giving your roommate a response to their bullying for a long time, so they expect you to react and will have gotten into this habit of behaving this way with you.
d, Change roommate as soon as you can
I have known people to become friends with the person who bullied them, but this typically happens years later when the bully has grown up.
If your roommate doesn’t quickly stop bullying you, try and get a new one as soon as possible. Nothing good will come from being bullied, living under their tyranny will lower your self-esteem and cause you other problems as well.
There are loads of great people in the world to be roommates with, and it would be a great experience sharing a room with them.
Why settle for second best.
If your roommate’s bullying gets serious, then immediately report it to college who should move you.
45. Using or solving the other problems caused by your roommate never leaving the room
Other problems told to me by people whose roommates who never leave the room.
By sorting these problems out, your roommate may start to leave the room.
You can also use these symptoms to show that your roommate not leaving the room is also causing these other more serious problems. These other problems can help persuade the university to change your room, so you have a different roommate.
Smells in your room might be because your roommate thinks they don’t have to clean themselves. No one will find out how dirty they are, as they never leave the room for anyone to see them.
Maybe your roommate doesn’t leave the room as they’re too embarrassed by how they smell and look because they don’t clean themselves.
Point out to them how delusional this is. Cleaning is not just for social reasons; it’s for hygiene.
Your roommate may even have health problems such as bad skin, that you can point out to them are caused by not cleaning themselves enough.
Their bad hygiene could be affecting your health as well because they touch things that you do and so on.
b. Dirt from your roommate eating all their food in the room. Your roommate has so much food in the place and eats there all the time, as they never leave. Crumbs on their desk and the floor all go moldy and horrible.
c. Weird sleep patterns and times. Often made worse because your roommate never leaves the room and so is not in touch with other people and the world.
As a result, they lose touch with social conventions.
Your roommate may also close the curtains when they are in the room, like some other hermits I have met do, even losing touch with when it’s day or night. A lack of natural sunlight can also lead to vitamin D deficiencies, so they get more colds and other health problems.
d. Regularly moving stuff around and rearranging, to try and make the place perfect.
Their obsession for this may even make them do things without asking you, or move around your possessions with your your permission. This is because your room is their entire world and so they have to make it perfect, because they do not have anything else.
Also as they never leave the room, they have nothing else to do or moan about.
e. Asking when you’re going out, as they want to have privacy; even though they are not giving you any!
You can show them how one-sided, insane and delusional this is.
46. Your roommate sleeps during the day and is up at night
Other people may not think it’s much when you first tell them.
Until you then tell them the implications that your roommate won’t let you use the room properly during the day and stops you sleeping at night.
During the day your roommate won’t let you type, listen to music, move around or even flush the toilet as it wakes them up. They may not say this directly, but do it through their attitude, expressions and general passive aggressiveness which grates and wears you down.
Then your roommate makes noises such as the typing on their keyboard all through the night, listen to things so loudly on their headphones it’s like they have regular speakers on in the room, and so on.
Also, they move around so much that it’s unnerving.
How to sleep while your roommate is up and awake
A good quality eye sleep mask can work well.
Also good quality earplugs, I used the foam ones with my noisy roommate, but there are wax ones which some people I know find more comfortable as they mold more into the shape of the ear canal.
I don’t know anyone who has used plastic molded earplugs. Also, I haven’t as to me they seem more expensive, and I cannot see the benefit of them, although I have never tried them to know.
If your earplugs are nonwashable, only use them for one night, and the next night you should use new ones because bacteria will grow on them and can cause you to get an ear infection and even hearing loss.
I have to admit to having done this once, and I started to get sore ears, I only realized later on when I read the instructions on the pack what was going on. It’s also really tempting to do if you run out of them, but please never fall for that temptation.
If they are washable, make sure you do so as per their instructions before using them again.
If you have used them as per their instructions and your ears get sore from earplugs, maybe use them for half the week which is what I had to do when using them in the long term.
You could also try using a different design, or noise-canceling headphones for the rest of the week.
Some people prefer noise-canceling headphones, but others think they are a more expensive and complicated way of doing, what earplugs do.
You may need to find a solution that works best for you. However, once you get it right, it can solve the problem.
You may get all principled saying you should not have to do these things. However even with a new different roommate, boyfriend or girlfriend, they might snore, or the curtains may not block out enough light.
When first sharing with a roommate and there are new noises, such as your roommate typing. Many people at first find they cannot sleep. However, after a week they get used to this noise, and they have no problem falling asleep to it. As this can take a week though, it is a horrible week that you are getting less sleep with.
I once went camping, and the noisy generator stopped me getting to sleep for about five days, the sleep deprivation was driving me crazy. After five days I got used to it and could get to sleep without any problems.
How to deal with your roommate being asleep all day
If you feel you cannot do things like turn the lights on, type on your computer, have friends over during the day and so on, all because your roommate is asleep.
If your roommate is passive aggressive when you do anything during the day when they’re trying to sleep, call them out on it and make sure they speak to you straight. Passive aggressiveness is giving them an excuse to be rude and then pretend they’re not being so.
Although it’s good to compromise a bit, you still have to live and do things in the room like a normal human being. Otherwise, over an extended period, you will start to go crazy!
It’s their choice to sleep at night during the day and be awake during the night; they’re the ones being anti-social and not normal. You make sure you fit in with your friends, work, classes and the times the rest of society functions by being awake during the day and asleep at night.
Make sure you stand your ground by using this fact and do the things you should, and I recommend doing this from the start.
If your roommate works a night shift, maybe you are not suited to sharing a room. Nurses who do odd shifts often share a place because they all know the deal.
If your roommate gets used to having it all their way, they start to get used to that, feel entitled, and will be harder to pull them back from their current habits.
You can negotiate, such as if they want the blinds fully closed all day, that’ s not fair on you. It can lead to you getting a vitamin D deficiency and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is a kind of depression, all from a lack of natural sunlight.
Maybe negotiate just having the blinds closed when you are out of the room, or for a couple of hours per day. Another compromise may be to have them half closed.
You need to compromise a bit, so your roommate and everyone else sees you as being fair, but then they have to do the same as well.
If your roommate is delusional and thinks they are in the right, is very strong-willed, or a bully. It’s easy to start believing that they are right and you are wrong.
To help you check you are correct and not fall for your roommate’s delusional arguments, stand firm, speak to your friends so they can give you emotional support.
Of course, do not wing and wine to your friends about how awful your life is, or they will not want to talk to you; ask for their advice and help.
47. Don’t try and make your roommate change as a person if they don’t want to change. What to do instead.
If your roommate would like to change as a person, such as they want to leave the room, but can’t bring themselves to do it, then they may change.
If they don’t want to change how they are as a person, then they won’t.
Generally, people rarely change.
For example, if you try and do things so your roommate will change from being a loner to a social person, and they do not want to change, it will rarely work.
You are getting your roommate to do things they don’t want to do, and they won’t like this. They’ll be angry that you are trying to change them when they do not want to.
Your roommate has free will, free choice, the things they want to do won’t like your attempts to take that away from them.
I have never seen it work when someone tries to change how their roommate behaves if their roommate doesn’t want to change. Their roommate reacts negatively, which makes it harder to work with them and do the other solutions in this guide.
This is why negotiating a solution that solves your problem, and is a good compromise for them is usually best. You are not getting your roommate to change as a person, just make compromises and sacrifices as people make in any healthy relationship.
A compromise maybe your roommate going out of the room for an agreed amount of time each week, but not trying to convince them that they’re a person who loves going out.
See how they already work as a person and negotiate a solution around that.
For example, if your roommate has Anthropophobia, which is the fear of people. As well as encouraging them that people are not as scary as they think they are. You will probably have more success getting your roommate to leave the room if you find a solution that works best for them with how they already are. Such as, they may prefer leaving the room at quiet times and after dark, as there are fewer people around.
The compromise comes typically about when both sides eventually realize that the other side is not going anywhere.
48. Signs your roommate is not going to change
Wouldn’t it be great if your roommate changed by learning as they went along.
When they do something wrong, they realized the consequences their actions had caused, and they learned from them.
Sadly most people don’t want to change; they feel uncomfortable with it, hate it and are comfortable with their habits. Usually, roommates will only change if things are so bad, they have to change to avoid the disastrous cliff edge they will go over if they don’t.
Sometimes the situation needs to be allowed to go to the edge, so your roommate has to change, and so this can be the best solution. They do something so wrong it will get them thrown out of the college if they don’t rectify it. Of course, don’t let things get too stupid or dangerous.
Signs that your roommate will not change their behavior for how they share a room is if their parents have spoiled them, they have always got what they wanted and expect the same to happen with you. They have a massive sense of entitlement.
After being in the world for longer they may learn that the world does not just revolve around them, but some people never do, and you certainly can’t wait for that to happen.
49. When it’s time to cut my losses and move out or change roommate
If your roommate sees it as their right to be in the room all the time, and will not listen to logic, reason, or anything else from anyone else.
You have tried getting other people to talk with your roommate, friends, Room Associate, counselor and they won’t listen to anyone.
Your roommate has a psychological problem causing them never to leave the room, they won’t face that they have it or get professional help.
Your roommate is not friendly and doesn’t want to do things for others, so no good will ever come from them as all they do is take.
Of course, try and make friends with your roommate with the hope that if you help them, then they will help you. However don’t go on for too long with this one, if it isn’t working then repeating the same things are unlikely to work.
Many roommates take all the can from the situation, but never help back in return. They’re too lazy, selfish and so on.
The best option for your own sake with these types of roommates is to move room, or change roommate as quickly as you can. Make sure you take the time to make sure you’re new roommate will be great to live with is and the best possible.
In the end, the biggest thing that works is sharing with the best roommate, then you can trust them more, and will only need to use these guides for the basic stuff.
In the meantime use the tips in this guide to make things more comfortable until you get a new roommate.
50. If you are getting health issues from their behavior
This situation can start to affect your health.
For example, if you resent that your roommate never leaves the room and you are having to live with all the problems it’s causing.
Resentment is a dangerous negative emotion that can contribute to serious health problems. You may get other negative emotions and feelings that can also damage your health.
The problem could be causing the room to have bad hygiene, you not being able to sleep and loads of issues that are affecting your health.
If you are starting to feel resentment or the situation is affecting your health.
Nothing is worth your health! It’s time to move room, no matter what.
51. Making sure your expectations are in line with what can reasonably be expected
Have you had a roommate before, have you lived with anyone before, did you share a room with a sibling when you lived at home with your parents?
If so, how did it go?
If you haven’t done this, your expectations of sharing a space with another person may be higher than the practical reality.
A bit like how holidays look great on websites, but the realities always have some negative points.
It’s easy to expect some idyllic relationship with your roommate. However, like every relationship, both of you will be a bit different from each other and have your problems.
By setting your expectations lower, you may have an easier time.
It’s also easy to have fixed expectations and ideas about how you should do things. Your roommate may have different ways of doing things which can also have their good sides, or be even better. It’s hard to be open-minded to these things, but they can rescue the situation.
Maybe your roommate is used to doing things that help him or her to leave the room every so often, but you have stopped your roommate from doing them. Such as an OCD ritual which may annoy you, but for them is a coping mechanism.
Maybe the fact your roommate never leaves the room, is even a good thing, because it means no one will take your stuff as your roommate is always there.
52. If it could get serious, write notes of what’s happening
If your roommate never leaving the room could cause serious problems and you are concerned things could get legal, or there could be a dispute the university needs to get involved with.
As well as sending notes to the university by email, keep notes for yourself as things go along, so you have proof of what’s happened.
If things ever get to court, you need to make a complaint the university needs to investigate, or your roommate makes a complaint about you, you can use this notebook as evidence.
The best way to do this is to keep a handwritten notebook with pages that cannot be taken out of the journal, as they are glued in.
Each time something happens, you put it in your book.
These dated handwritten notes are court-worthy proof because would be visible if you take pages out of a book with glued pages, it’s in pen so you cannot delete things, and there are no spaces for you to add items in later on.
Make sure you write your notes and email the university about the occurrence, quickly after something has happened. So write both the date and time the event occurred and the date and time you are writing the notes.
From a legal point of view, the sooner your notes are after the event. The more reliable the court thinks they are because your memory of the event will be better.
Don’t let your roommate know about this book, so write it in a private place so they won’t know about it. You don’t want your roommate to find your notebook and take it.
This book is only for using later on if you get legal allegations that it was your fault or something the university has to investigate formally.
You may find that your emails to the university do what this notebook already does, so are not needed.
53. Get your parents to contact the university
I saw an occasion where the university didn’t take a problem seriously until the student’s parents got involved.
If you cannot function because your roommate never leaves the room and it’s impossible to operate in this situation, the university may not take it seriously as they don’t think they have to. When your parents get involved, the university realizes they do, and things could get serious.
Your parents may even have to say they’re coming today to remove you from the university and has a lawyer involved, especially if your roommate has made a threat of some sort in response to you asking them for some privacy.
Also, your parents can say how this could escalate.
When I saw a parent do this, the university’s attitude changed very quickly, and they changed the student’s room the same day.
Amazing how what the university previously ignored, said did not matter and was not possible, suddenly became possible!
54. Using peer pressure to get your roommate to leave the room
Peer pressure is a powerful way to get your roommate to conform to what is normal in society, such as leaving the room from time to time to give you privacy.
Make your peers such as friends and other people at your college, aware of your roommate’s behavior. How it’s affecting your life and the problems it’s causing, so they sympathize with you.
If you explain it well, your peers will hopefully relate to your situation and would not the same thing to ever happen to them.
When other people come into your room, they will see and say how your roommate never leaving the room is wrong. Your roommate will understand that other people think their behavior is not acceptable, especially if the people entering your room have genuine disdain for what your roommate is doing.
Don’t ask people to do this in a forced, fake, or staged way. Let it all happen naturally as everyone knows what your roommate is doing.
If done correctly, it is a subtle thing based on the truth of the situation. It can of course also backfire and go against you, if not done carefully and correctly.
You need to use it, so the right thing is done, in the right way, as it is correct.
So you are not creating a bullying gang, which is dangerous and can also turn against you as well.
Don’t gossip too much about your roommate, as otherwise people will do the same about you and it’s not the right thing to do. However, you have a right to tell the truth, talk about your genuine concerns, share your experiences with others as you need to solve this problem.
Having a roommate who never leaves the room, so you don’t have any privacy even to do things with your partner, is odd behavior.
Please do be aware that not everyone will take your side. Some people will sympathize with your roommate.
They may say things like:
• Your roommate has a right to be there
• They’re paying for the place, so can use it when they want
• You should have gotten a single room
They may not appreciate your need for privacy, often because they have not had this problem themselves, so they don’t realize what it’s like.
However problem roommates, usually cause more than one problem. Such as not using headphones and listening to noisy stuff all the time. Not cleaning themselves so they smell and things like that.
There are generally other things your roommate does that people will take your side with.
People may take your roommate’s side and not yours because your roommate is very charming, although roommates who never leave the room tend not to be so good socially.
Maybe you don’t have these social skills so much as well though; so best to take this factor into account before going in this direction.
55. Get your roommate a boyfriend of girlfriend
Getting a boyfriend or girlfriend is the most powerful way to get someone to go outside and involved with life outside the room.
Then your roommate will hopefully spend time outside or at their partner’s place!
You may think that nobody will want to be with someone that doesn’t leave the room. However, there are lots of different people out there with lots of different lifestyles.
College and the world is a big place, with lots of different kinds of people. There may be someone out there who also likes to stay at home.
If you organize dates for your roommate, it may be enough to tempt them to leave the room.
However, it can backfire if your roommate and their new partner stay all the time in your room! Then you have two people in your place…
Maybe your roommate doesn’t want to go to their new partner’s room, or their new partner prefers it at yours. Then you have to use the techniques in this guide to get their new partner to prefer to be in their room and hopefully your roommate will go with them.
56. Speak to people who have shared a room with your roommate before
You may have shared with your roommate for a few weeks, but others may have shared a room with them for a year or more.
Contact these previous roommates. They may have learned a lot about your current roommate from when they lived with them, especially if they shared for a long time. They probably came up against the same problem where your roommate never wanted to leave the room with them either.
People rarely change!
Tell their previous roommate the problem and what’s going on, they may have solutions for you, or at least give you recommendations that can help. They will also know other things about your roommate’s behavioral characteristics which can also be useful.
For example, if they talk about things that stress your current roommate out and so make them stay in the room more, such as if they’re a control freak and can’t cope feeling out of control. Also, the things that make them leave and go out, like if their previous roommate said to them that if they don’t go out once in a while, they will invite all their friends into the room instead.
Don’t rely on this person to keep a secret though; they will probably have some relationship or loyalty to your new roommate. Maybe they don’t say what you both discussed directly to your current roommate directly, they tell someone else, and it gets back to your roommate that way.
57. Don’t blow the situation out of all proportion
It’s so easy to blow this particular situation out of all proportion as you spend so much time in your room, and then you don’t act in the best possible way. You get overstressed, overdramatic and so don’t take the best possible actions or behave appropriately.
Your room is your home which is such a primal and personal thing.
It can be annoying not getting any time by yourself in the room, especially if you then can’t do private things like bring your partner back for some romantic time.
As it can affect so much of your life, you may lose perspective and think this issue inside the room is everything in your life; even the smallest problem seems massive.
This lack of perspective can make you get overly worked up about it, and so harder to find a solution to the problem.
Your roommate accidentally turning on the light when you are asleep is a natural human mistake to make, but to you, it seems like harassment.
Make sure you get out of the room a lot, interact with others and speak to them about the situation, so you gain perspective that what’s going on in your room isn’t the whole of your life. You may find you are blowing the issue out of all proportion, although I’m not saying you shouldn’t calmly deal with it.
If you’re going to win this one, you need to be in a good state of mind, and then you should be able to find a great solution using this article.
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