The roommate from hell

I’ve got a chance to move on, but I’m scared of making the wrong decision again. 

Our elder helps this letter writer weigh up her options about a change of roommates.


Dear EWC

Hi, I’m kind of in a tricky situation. I’ve a roommate and it’s been hell on earth. Always snooping on what you’re doing and like bitching about everything to her boyfriend all day long. I’ve been mentally struggling with stress and anxiety because of her behavior. I’ve got a chance to shift, and I’ve got two options but I’m worried about making the wrong decision again. One option: quiet girls, but they need to switch off the lights at nine. Second option: little bit loud girls, but idk anything about them. Could you advise me on what to do? I’m stressing about making a bad decision again.


Shorty replies

I am honored to be the Elder answering your letter today. I apologize that this response has been slow in coming, but I hope that I can still offer some support for the advice you are seeking.

Sometimes in life our choices are limited. Learning how to make a decision and accepting the outcome (making the best of it) is part of becoming a mature adult. I am glad that you have an opportunity for a second chance at choosing your living arrangement, but there are no guarantees that new roommates will help you to be stress-free. What I advise is to consider what is the most important in making you feel comfortable and accepting that there will still be things that may cause you stress at times. The key is to work out solutions with your roommates so that everyone feels heard and everyone offers compromises for the good of all. 

I advise that you ask each group how they handle disputes or find solutions to meet their individual needs. Are they open to doing some things a bit differently for you if you support their main requirements? I suggest that you start with whichever group seems most likely to offer what you need. If it’s the second group, see if you can get together to talk about their likes/dislikes, their schedules, how they settle any disputes among themselves – this should give you an idea of how you might fit into their existing relationship. A talk like this also gives you a chance to tell them more about yourself and what you can contribute as a roommate – if they appear to not be interested or shoot down your ideas, you should realize that you will be expected to do things their way, which could add to your stress. If you have this same talk with the quieter girls and get a feeling that they might be a better match with your personality and needs, perhaps there would be a way to work out a compromise on the lights out time (earphones, shielded lights, etc.). I know it’s not easy to sit down and do this with people you don’t know, but it is the best way to make an enlightened decision about which roommates would be the least disruptive and most supportive of how you would like your home life to be. 

Once the decision is made, give it your best shot to make the new arrangement be successful. Just like any living arrangement (roommates, marriages, friends), compromise is going to be necessary to get along. Find things you can do to help out your roommates so that you can feel comfortable asking for their help when you need it. When there is a problem, don’t ignore it or let it become worse – rather than stewing about it or blaming someone, have a sit-down and see if a solution can be found. I also recommend that each of you find some private time for yourself, either out of the apartment or being alone while the others are out. It is very challenging to be together all of the time without getting on each other’s nerves. When you feel yourself stressing, take a walk or go to a movie or read a book – something where you can feel relaxed and can be doing something for yourself.

I hope my advice has helped you to feel less stressed about this decision. You will be able to work this out. Best of luck to you in your new lodging and with your new roommates. Take care.


Article #: 500174
Category: Friendship

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