This is a guest post by Brian Russel of

You’ve found yourself in the position where you can’t stand the person you are living with. Maybe you needed to have someone else to help pay the rent, maybe you didn’t know anyone else who could move in with you, or maybe the person is just one of those people who seems real nice but is awful to live with. In any case, you’re stuck for the time being with this obnoxious college roommate. What can you do to cope? Here are a few tips:

1. Approach them directly regarding their behavior.

The goal of approaching someone isn’t to get them to change their behavior. Trying to get someone else to change their behavior is incredibly difficult and takes a ton of time. However, you can approach them about inconsiderate or selfish things they may be doing that affects you both, such as eating your food, jacking up the temperature on the thermostat, or having their friends over to your apartment and creating a mess. 

When you finally decide to address your concerns, remember not to get angry. Once they see your anger, they’ll respond with anger of their own. If you can do this calmly, they’ll at least think a little harder before doing something annoying, or maybe find more subtle ways of doing it.

2. Do something nice for them.

This may be the best way to start, if you haven’t done anything to confront their behavior already. Give them their favorite food. Buy them a cake. Offer to take them out to a movie. Do something meaningful for them. It may not mean that you two will become the best of friends, but you might be able to at least interact politely with one another when you are both present.

3. If neither of these strategies works, consider moving out.

Ultimately, you don’t have the power to change another person’s behavior. If you have spent time addressing issues with your roommate and the two of you just can find a way to compromise, you might be best to break your lease early and find another place to live. You can search online to find an apartment that meets your needs and price point, and you can see whether possibly living by yourself might be a better option.

Editor’s note: If you’re in a dorm, you can also talk to your RA about finding an alternative living situation. Don’t make your dorm life miserable because your college roommate is obnoxious!

When you have to live with someone obnoxious, it makes your own life very difficult. Try and be mature about the situation and never cross the line into doing anything harmful. If you think your roommate might be doing something intentional to mess with you, don’t let them in under your skin. Try and be mature and assertive when stating your opinions and don’t let your frustration or temper get the best of you.

Hopefully these tips help, and hopefully you also learn how to identify people who will be a problem so you can avoid them in the future.

Do you have any tips for handling an obnoxious college roommate?


Featured photo credit: Jack Amick via photo pin cc