5 types of terrible roommates and how to deal with their behaviour

According to an article on Bustle.com, more millennials are living with roommates for various reasons including the fact that renting is cheaper than buying.

Living with someone is sometimes easier said than done, however.

Do you have a rooommate that drives you nutty? See if they're one (or, god forbid, all) of the ones on this list. 

The messy roommate

Dirty socks, dirty dishes, and dirty laundry is the order of the day and they don't seem bothered by it one bit. It's one thing when they live on theiir own, in their own mess, but it's another thing when they leave your shared space messy too. They're often unaware of the effect they have anyone else who isn't like them, so they often seem nonchalant about the mess they leave behind. 

READ MOREMore adults live with roommates than they did 30 years ago - here are 20 questions to find the perfect one

The party roommate

Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, there is a limit when it comes to how many parties happen at your place, but to this roommate the limit does not exist. This is the roommate that is always ready to host a party with or without your consent. More often than not, the party animal is usually a person who likes being around people very much or doesn't like being alone. With the first option, you can meet your roommate halfway by suggesting other ways that they can express the wild side of their personalities.

The shady roommate

Things just mysteriously disappear around this roommate. Sometimes it's something minor, like when they drink your carton of milk and say nothing about it. In rare cases, they will actually take your things - even clothes and money - and deny it when asked about it. This is frustrating when you know exactly the person is and what they're doing but you're awkward about how to deal with it especially when they keep denying it. 

READ MOREYou don't have to feel guilty about living with your parents - unless you're not pulling your weight

The selfish roommate

This is the roommate that never pitches in for groceries, or takes long showers so there's no more hot water for you. This roommate might just be the worst one because their selfishness makes them hard to live with. People like this either don't know how to share, or they know but simply don't want to because they always look out for themselves. 

The clingy roommate

You come home and all you want to do is sit in silence and watch your favourite series, but there they are. This is the person that assumes living together automatically means being best friends. They don't want to leave you alone; instead they enjoy coming to your room and spending hours and hours there until you have run out of hints to throw at them that you want them to leave you alone. 

Here's what to do


Being a passive-aggressive person in situations like this will not help you very much. Most of the time, people don't even know that what they are doing is bothersome, so it's important for you to communicate clearly and to let your roommate know what is bothering you. Point out to them what the problem is and express your frustration in a cool, clear, and deliberate manner.

Clinical psychologist, Garret Barnwell says: "Relationships present an opportunity to learn more about yourself and to grow in the process", so use the opportunity to handle your frustration in a practical, matured way. Be honest without being hostile. 

Set boundaries

"You can’t control the actions of others if you would like to form healthy relationships, but you can be clear on your own boundaries. Expressing what you expect from a relationship - what you do not like, what is hurtful, how you would like to be treated - is important," says Garret. Letting your roommate know what you can and cannot tolerate will highlight all the things they should and shouldn't do.

READ MOREHow to call out problematic family and friends

For example, telling your clingy roommate that you only want to hang out with them on certain hours of the days or certain days of the week allows them to understand that they need to find other things to do or people to see instead of being in your space all the time. 

Negotiate and find common ground

Garret writes that "a boundary should not have a double standard or be absolute. Double standards may mean that while you don’t tolerate the other person being messy, you may be messy on occasions. There should be a give and a take." Attempt to find common ground with your roommate to resolve conflict. For instance, you can communicate with a roommate who never contributes to anything and let them know that they should pull their weight too. Set up a timetable to indicate when and how they should contribute. 

Express what specific action you wish to see, such as “if you put out your dishes before you go to bed then I can wash them in the morning.”

Handling a difficult roommate really depends on how well you communicate your concerns and how matured they are in respecting them. At the end of the day, it is important that you both understand each other and come to a mutual agreement about living conditions. However, if the cases become extreme and aren't easily resolved, Garret suggests you seek a professional to help you work through more complex situations.

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