Renter Resources  

How to Coexist With Your Roommate when you Have Differing Political Views

 

It can be challenging enough to get along with your roommate regarding everyday living issues like finances, keeping the apartment clean, or having too many guests over. But, if you and your roommate have differing political beliefs, the tensions can grow very quickly. 

Here are some strategies to keep your apartment neutral and peaceful.

1. Keep the Apartment a No-Political Zone

If you know for certain that you and your roommate have opposing political views and beliefs, nothing can be gained by sharing your political agenda. The only thing that is likely to result is loud voices and likely slamming doors. To alleviate the probable tension and arguing, make an agreement that the apartment will be a neutral zone and that you will not discuss politics. 

2. Avoid Watching or Streaming Political Programming in the Shared Living Space

Cable news has become a 24-hour news cycle of politics. If you enjoy this coverage, then stream or watch TV in your own bedroom, with the door closed. If you know that tempers will flare when political pundits are sharing their views on the screen, then it’s best to avoid it in common spaces. 

3. Warn your Guests of the ‘No Politics’ Policy

If you invite guests over, share with them the agreement you have with your roommate and make sure they understand and respect your boundaries. A big fight could develop if your guests start a dialogue that you know will upset your roommate. Keep your apartment peaceful and stick to discussion about Netflix, sports, fashion and other topics.

4. Resist the Urge to be a Troublemaker

If you are having difficulties with your roommate, don’t make the leap from a messy bathroom to telling them their political views are stupid. Be mature and don’t escalate an argument from bad to worse. If you’ve made an agreement that politics will not be discussed, resist the urge to break that pact. Keep arguments on point and don’t revert to a political one.

5. Try and Clear the Air

If you can calmly discuss your varying points of view and can keep your composure, then think about exchanging ideas. If your opinions are polar opposite, this may not be possible. Your home should be a place of comfort and calmness. If it’s not possible to have a civil conversation, you will have to share your views with other friends.

6. Keep an Open Mind

Instead of reacting negatively when your roommate shares one of his or her viewpoints which you may not agree with, take a moment and approach the issue with an open mind. Listen with an open mind to learn more about how they have formed their own views.

How to Keep the Peace

It can be tempting to keep the TV on in the living area with constant political coverage. If you and your roommate have opposing political views, this is not a good idea. Watch or stream the shows you want, or listen to the podcasts you like, in the privacy of your own room, or when your roommate isn’t in the apartment. It’s also important to set guidelines about what you want the apartment policy to be. If you and your roommate argue as soon as politics are mentioned, it is wise to just keep political discussions out of your apartment. Make sure your guests understand that politics is a topic that’s off the table.

 

Roommates can get along well as long as they respect each other. There’s no reason to let politics impact your living situation. The most important issue at hand is to vote.