Even in the calmest of student houses, there will always be the odd occasion when an argument breaks out amongst your housemates. Whether you’re in the throes of the quarrel or just a bystander, here are some tips for solving disagreements in your student house.
Understand what the disagreement is about
If you’ve just walked into the middle of a heated discussion between your housemates, it could literally be about anything. Listen to both sides of the argument and try to get to the heart of the issue. It could be that your housemates have just got the wrong end of the stick.
Try to remain balanced
It’s only natural to agree with one side of the argument more than the other, but try to see everyone’s point of view. Listen to their points and try to empathise – it’ll make it a lot easier to come to a happy resolution if you understand what they want to get out of the discussion.
Stick to the point
Try to make all of your points constructive and relevant. Try not to segue into other topics, as more often than not this will just escalate the argument. For example, if you’re discussing whose turn it is to take the bins out, there’s no point bringing up another disagreement you had about bills that’s already been resolved.
Watch what you say
As with anything in life, it’s important to think before you speak. We’ve all been in the situation where we’ve said something we’ve regretted, and it’s easy for an argument to spiral out of control because of a comment taken badly by an upset housemate. Take a few seconds to think about your point before articulating it. A slight rewording might make all the difference.
Put it behind you
Once you’ve come to a compromise, let it go and start afresh. Not moving on from past disagreements can only cause further disruption to your student house, so it’s important to learn from it, apologise if necessary, and then draw a line under the whole thing.