Your housemate works in air conditioning and drives in an air-conditioned car. When he comes home he finds the house unbearably hot. You work outside in the hot sun and love to have the windows open. So what if the house is 80 degrees – it’s summer!
Ooops! You have a disagreement. What do you do? This depends on how strongly each feels about their position. You need to communicate so that you can find a compromise.
Here is a formula for resolving housemate issues.
- Find a time to talk face to face.*
- State your issue – just the facts. “When I come home from work the house feels hot to me.”
- Add why it is a concern for you. “and I’m uncomfortable.”
- Ask: “How do you see this issue?” Give the person a chance to respond with their view.
- Paraphrase what that person has said. ” So what you are saying is __________.”
- Ask: “What would be a good compromise that satisfies both of us?”
By the time you have gone through the first two steps—airing of differences and paraphrasing to clarify understanding— it should be easy to find a compromise. Make sure you build the compromise together, this will improve the chances that each of you will follow through on it.
Take these steps to cool down the temperature on any housemate issue.
* Texting and email can make conflicts worse! Don’t use them to air a grievance.