We know that sometimes it can be difficult to live with roommates. Disagreements between people are sometimes unavoidable, especially in a roommate situation where people live together and interact on a daily basis. Conflicts usually occur when changes are needed and when behaviors, thoughts and feelings need to be re-examined. Don’t be afraid to talk with your roommates about what’s bothering you. If you know how to deal with conflict positively and productively, all involved can benefit from the situation.
Ten steps to resolve conflict
- Get everyone involved in the conflict together.
- Each roommate should take a turn describing his/her perception of the situation, how he/she feels about it and what he/she wants.
- Together, come to an agreement on what the issue is.
- Everyone should be willing to compromise something to come up with a solution.
- Together, describe a situation that would be a compromise.
- Come to an agreement on the described situation.
- Talk about what changes will be needed to bring about an acceptable situation.
- Together, make a plan of action that will help achieve the desired new situation and set a time frame for these changes.
- Make a commitment to make the necessary changes.
- Set a future date to evaluate the situation and to re-negotiate any differences if necessary.
These steps sound very simple, but to make them work, you need to stay calm, positive and flexible.
The key to a successful dispute resolution is effective communication. To resolve conflict, communicate with each other on a one-to-one equal basis, and avoid behavior that will break down communication.
Remember, start early and try to be open and understanding. It will make everyone's program experience manageable and memorable. If you try these techniques but are still experiencing conflict in your apartment, don’t allow the situation to escalate. The Disney Internships and Programs Service Center/ Programs Office can offer additional assistance, including mediation counseling. Please ask for help!