The #1 roommate hassle is: “Whose dishes are these in the sink?” or “Why doesn’t he ever pick up after himself?” and “How come I’m the only one who changes the toilet paper roll?”
Does this sound familiar? I hope not, but there’s a good chance that if you are living with other people at some point you will find yourself irritated with conditions you didn’t create. Part of the answer is to get to know yourself. So what should you do?
Get mad? Nope.
Keep it to yourself? Nope.
Something in between after a little soul-searching.
Your first question to yourself should be “Is it true?” [Thanks to Byron Katie*.] Anything you have couched as “always” or “never” is unlikely to be true.
Your next question is, “Am I really any better?” For instance , you may think that your housemate always leaves his coffee cups in the sink and then you look in the sink and realize that one of them is yours.
Those two questions to yourself and your honest answers can lessen how irritated you feel. Only after you have given thought to your own behavior around this issue should you talk to your housemate. And talk you should do. Speak up so that you and your housemate(s) together can make adjustments to have the home you want. Your good housemate will want you to feel comfortable too.
For more on how to prepare for that talk take a look at this post: Turn Down the Heat On Roommate Conflicts.* Byron Katie is a therapist. She has four questions she calls “The Work” that are very illuminating. More here