Housing & Dining

Preventing Conflict

Sharing Your Style

Communication extends beyond just verbal discussions. It is important to share how you react to situations with your roommates/suitemates so that they will be able to better “read” you. Here are a few things you should discuss with your roommates/suitemates: 

  • How do you usually react when you are upset about something?
  • When you are upset, is there something that will usually cheer you up?
  • When things are going really well, how do you usually act?
  • How would your roommate know that you would prefer some time to yourself?
  • How do you normally express yourself when you are angry?
  • What are things that typically make you angry?
  • What are things that stress you out?
  • How will you communicate the fact that you are tense or stressed?
  • What things are likely to annoy you?
  • How will you communicate that you are annoyed?
  • How do you like to relax?

Managing Conflict

If conflict arises during the year, it is important to address the issue when it happens, rather than letting it fester. While it is sometimes uncomfortable to talk about these issues, the earlier they are discussed, the easier they are to resolve. Here are a few tips for addressing issues with your roommates/suitemates: 

  • Get everyone in the conflict together to discuss the issue. Try to avoid talking about the issue with your neighbors or friends; it is better to address the issue directly.
  • Give everyone a chance to talk. Each roommate/suitemate should be allowed to discuss how he or she perceives the situation and how her or she feels about it. It is important to allow each person time to express him- or herself and for others to ask clarifying questions to ensure that you are all on the same page.
  • Use “I” statements. For example “When you (said, did, etc.) (what the offending action was), I felt (hurt, angry, insulted, etc.).
  • Listen to and validate each other’s positions on the issue. Try to understand each other’s perspectives even if it is different than your own.
  • Come to an agreement on what the conflict is about together.

  • Negotiate and identify possible solutions. Everyone should agree to be willing to compromise something to determine the best solution.
  • Take action. Together, talk about what necessary changes will be required to ensure that the solution will help achieve a harmonious living arrangement. Make a commitment to make the necessary changes and set a time frame for these changes to begin.
  •  Plan ahead. Set a future date to evaluate the situation and to re-negotiate any differences if necessary.

If you have discussed the issue with your roommates/suitemates and feel that you need additional help in resolving the conflict, contact your Resident Assistant.