Today I wanted to talk to you about how to get along with your college roommate. Now, I have had several roommates. And, now I'm married, so I have a permanent roommate.
There's a few things that I've learned about getting along with people and roommates specifically, that I think will help you.
The very first one is to be an agreeable person.
Learn to be agreeable. This is just a good skill to have. When you're agreeable, people will actually gravitate towards you. If you're disagreeable, they'll try and avoid you. So, be agreeable.
Be a friendly person, try and find common ground, [and] be courteous. It's not hard to do. Just be a kind person.
Second , and this is something you're going to have to do together, is establish ground rules for your dorm or for wherever you're living.
This is going to include things like cleaning, food rules, apartment maintenance, personal space, having friends over, etc.
Establish ground rules. And you're going to have to do that together so that it's something you can both agree upon. Something that you might do is print this up on a sheet of paper and put it up on your fridge, somewhere where you're both going to see it all the time.
Number three is be a good roommate yourself.
Maybe the problem with a college roommate relationship isn't necessarily your roommate, but it lies with you.
This might take some honest introspection, but think about the things that you're doing and make sure that you're being a good roommate, that you're following the ground rules you established, that you're cleaning up after yourself, and that you're following the life rule of treating others as you want them to treat you.
Sometimes this is hard, but it really works! If you treat others as you would like to be treated, it's going to come back to you. So, think about that and think about yourself as well.
And, lastly, if you have a problem, (there's going to be problems and conflicts between people- it just happens- there's going to be disagreements) If so, you need to talk about it!
Talk about it in a calm and clear thinking manner. So, that might mean a few hours after the fact, but talking about it and sitting down together and being adults. Saying, "Hey, I have a problem here".
But there's a good way to do this and I call it the hamburger principle, and that's the way it was taught to me the first time I learned it. So, that's what I'm going to call it. Some people call it the "sandwich method".
So the hamburger principle- you have a bun, you have the meat, and you have a bun again.
Same thing with bringing up a concern. The first bun is something good that you're roommate is doing. You bring up something good and you tell them, "hey I really like the way that you do [this]" or "I really appreciate the way that you do [this]".
And it has to be genuine. It has to be genuine or it's not going to work.
So first, you bring up something good, something that you like that they're doing.
The meat is the concern- the thing that you're having a problem with.
So, "hey I really like that you're doing this, but something that I did notice as well was...[this]" or "Something I've been having a problem with lately is [this]".
And you want to watch your tone of voice here. Make sure it's in a very friendly tone. Try and be nonjudgmental. But, be honest! Don't hop around the bush. Be honest! The best way that this is going to get worked out is by talking about it.
So the bun (the good thing), bring up the meat (the concern), and the last bun is another good thing. You follow up with something else that you really like that they're doing.
So, you express your concern, and then you say, "however, I really, again, appreciate that you are doing [such and such]" or "I really do like that [this] is going well".
So bun, meat, bun. Remember that principle and you'll be able to express any concern you have in a clear and effective manner.
Now, just in review, how to be a good roommate or how to get along with your college roommate is:
#1 Be agreeable
#2 Establish ground rules
#3 Be a good college roommate yourself
and # 4 If you do have a disagreement, talk about it!