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When you’re living with others, it’s common that issues may arise. There may be disagreements amongst you about the small things but every once in a while, big arguments could occur as well. When sharing a space, there are so many idiosyncrasies that you have to be aware of to make sure there is peace and harmony at home. It’s normal. The good thing is that we can prepare ourselves for those moments. To help with that, we’ve thought of three things to try when conflict may arise in the house.

Write it Down

It may be worthwhile to establish rules ahead of time for when these moments come up. How do you like the dishes to be handled? What are the rules for inviting company? Which way does the toilet paper go? Write a list of things that may come up in the future based on how you prefer to live your lives. As you write this list, feel free to have open conversation and dialogue about your preferences. This might be a proactive way to address issues without actually having to argue about them. In this case, you can identify the things you are most passionate about while also being open to the things your roommates are equally passionate about. This creates space for understanding before conflict. 

Talk it Out

This is the classic one. Talking it out can often be the hardest thing to do especially in the midst of a conflict. Understanding can only come through conversations that are open and honest. Try to keep the conversation productive by avoiding any personal attacks. Don’t give up when it gets a little uncomfortable but instead, try to persevere through it and take your time explaining your perspective.

Give it Space

There are times during conflict where you will not see eye to eye and talking doesn’t seem to help. In these moments, it may be wise to simply give it space. Let it breathe. Take some time to step away from the situation and come back to it hours later. You may even discover that it’s easier to talk about something through text or email rather than face to face. In these instances, it’s okay to give it room as long as you don’t forget about it altogether.