Whether your roommate is a perfectly respectable human or a demon from hell, living in complete harmony all the time is pretty much impossible.
To help you get through the days until you can afford your own place (DREAMY SIGH), BuzzFeed talked to clinical psychologist Andrea Bonior, Ph.D., author of The Friendship Fix, and Harlan Cohen, author of The Naked Roommate. Here are their best tips for staying sane.
1. If you have an issue with something your roommate does, talk about it ASAP.
2. But don't bring up stuff when you're actually irate.
3. The magic conversation starter for when your roommate is doing crazy or annoying shit: Apologize for not setting clearer expectations.
4. Make sure to use ~I statements~ and suggest possible solutions.
5. Don't fight passive aggressiveness with more passive aggressiveness.
6. Texting is fine for hashing out the little things, but save the big conversations for in person.
7. Try making a joke about something first to see if they'll get the hint.
8. Hold yourself to the same standards you hold your roommate to.
We have the tendency to write off our own behavior as a fluke, but see other people's behavior as indicators of who they are, says Bonior — aka, I didn't pick up toilet paper on the way home because ~I had a long day and forgot~, but my roommate didn't pick it up because he's a disrespectful dick.
To make sure you're not holding your roommate to unreasonable standards (and to make sure you're being a good roommate too), Bonior suggests assessing yourself as objectively as you do your roommate. Are you actually doing all the things you want them to do? If you can keep that in mind, you'll be more chill and forgiving in the long-run for it.
9. If you two have wildly different standards when it comes to cleanliness, figure out different but equal ways you guys can contribute.
10. And honestly, if you have the means, just consider hiring someone to do the deep cleans.
11. Master the art of figuring out if your roommate is taking your shit — without being accusatory.
12. If your roommate is having wall banging-ly loud sex, sorry, but you're going to have to talk to them about it. Directly.
13. And if their annoying SO is over all the time, either set some boundaries, reestablish expectations, or ask them to pay rent.
14. If your roommate wants to be your BFF and you're not about it, keep your distance emotionally and hope they get the hint.
15. And if they're being super clingy or hovery, find sneaky ways to assert your boundaries without being unkind.
It's not a crime if you don't want to hang out with your roommate all the time, but if they're not taking the hint, make sure you're not leaving things up to interpretation.
"Be subtle about communicating your plans in a way they can't assume they're involved," says Bonior. "So if they ask you what you're doing this weekend, follow up sharing your plans by asking, 'How about you?' Or if you just want some space in the apartment, don't have body language that says you're OK to sit and talk for an hour."
And don't just say you're ~super busy~ because they may take that to mean that you'll want to hang out when you free up.