“My roommate wants to live with me again next year, but I don’t know how to tell her no. I don’t want to hurt her feelings!”
You sweet thing, you’re too kind for your own good. I see this happen all the time.
Your current roommate is so sweet and nice, but she drives you crazy. Either she’s always in the room, or she’s super messy, or loud, or is always eating your food, or your schedules are just polar opposites. Whatever the issue(s), the bottom line is: you really don’t want to live with her again.
For those of you who think it would be better to just not bring up the conversation, suck it up, and live with Loud-Laura again, let me tell you why that’s not the best plan.
1. You will resent her.
By October of next year, you are going to completely resent her.
2. Any chance of having a friendship with her will be gone.
If you part ways now, you could maintain a friendship. If you stay roommates, see #1. Resentment leads to no friendship.
3. You will be mad at yourself for not saying something.
4. You will never want to go back to your room.
Don’t put yourself in that situation. It’s not freshman-year-random- roommate-assignment anymore. You can make decisions that will hopefully give you a great living environment where you like to hang out and study. Don’t agree to live with this girl again, and then spend the next 9 months avoiding her and your room.
5. You are doing yourself a disservice by not practicing confrontation.
Yes, confrontation is hard, but you will have to do it your whole life. Start practicing now.
6. You’re not being nice to her.
You think you are being nice to her by not telling her you don’t want to live with her, and thus, saving her feelings. However, you’re not being nice by essentially lying to her and pretending that you still want to room together. However, what if you tell her the truth– that she needs to make plans to live with someone else– and that ends up being even better for her? Don’t you think she could find a better roommate for herself? One that doesn’t resent her?! I bet she can.
I know you know I’m right. It just doesn’t take that sick feeling away when you think about telling her. So this is what you’re going to do.
1. Set a date/time goal for yourself.
By this Friday at noon, I’m going to tell Loud-Lana that I don’t want to room with her again. Tell a trust friend or family member your plan and ask them to keep you accountable. (Email me if you want– I’ll keep you accountable!) Also, keep in mind, the sooner the better. She needs to start making new plans for living situation.
2. Schedule a time with her to talk.
Ask her out to coffee or lunch, or even set up a time to talk in the room. You just want to make sure it’s a good time for her to talk and your sending a signal that you need to talk about something important. By just saying, “Hey Lana, do you have some free time tonight? I want to talk to you about something.” When she’s says, “Uh yeah, I’ll be done with class by 8.” You say, “Great! I’ll meet you here. Maybe we can go grab a Sonic Slush.” You can keep it casual, but by setting up a time you’re giving her a heads up.
3. THE TALK.
What are you going to say? Think through the reason you want to communicate to her as to why you don’t want to live together. In my opinion, a great reason is, “I want to stay friends with you and I think we’d be better friends if we weren’t also roommates.” Sometimes great friends are horrible roommates. Of course, if you don’t want to be friends with her next year, don’t use that one. I’ve also heard things like, “As I’m thinking about my living situation next year, I feel like I need to do something different– (I want to find someone who has a similar schedule as me, who is as OCD as me, who is…whatever.)” Just pick ONE reason you are going to communicate with her and stick to it. Make sure you reiterate that you care about her and don’t want to hurt her feelings. Say that this has been a really hard decision but you feel like this is what’s best. Remind her again that you care about her. Apologize if you did hurt her feelings and tell her that was not your intention.
Because it’s not your intention, right? You don’t want to hurt her feelings. But, news flash, YOU don’t make her feel. And YOU are not responsible for how she feels. As long as you communicate openly and with kindness, you are not at fault.
So do it. Set a deadline for yourself, tell someone you trust to keep you to it, and then tell your roommate, you love her, care about her, but feel like it’s best if you don’t live together again. Practice confrontation and honest communication. You are doing yourself and Loud-Laura a favor. I promise you.