Moving in with a new roommate can go one of three ways – you become BFFs, you become acquaintances who respect each other’s space, or you become enemies living in a passive aggressive war zone. And the later can really put a damper on your comfort, mood, and sanity. But it doesn’t have to be this way – you can learn how to live with someone you don’t like in a peaceful and agreeable environment. Follow these quick tips below on how you can learn to live in peace with your roommate.

Set Ground Rules Early

To avoid becoming passive aggressive, and living with built up anger, set the ground rules as soon as you move in. Have a sit-down and walk through all of the living basics and find compromises when you disagree. Outline cleaning habits, overnight guests, parties and events, shared and individual belongings, and bill payments. Setting ground rules early can help you avoid disagreements further down the line.

Outline Chores

To avoid arguments about tidiness and lack of cleanliness, set up a chore chart. You can add a mandatory penalty to help convince your roommate to get their chores done on time. For instance, the person who doesn’t finish their chores needs to buy the groceries for that week. Just make sure you both agree on how the chores are being divided along with the incentives or punishments.

Respect One Another’s Schedule

Not everyone will have the same work or study schedule that you live with. They may work late and you may start work first thing in the morning, where the last thing you want to hear is a social gathering at 2am. So, nip it in the bud and discuss the dos and don’ts associated with each other’s schedule.

Track All Expenses

If you plan to share household items, make sure you keep a detailed record. And if you owe your roommate money, pay them immediately to avoid any accidentally forgotten payments that can stir up frustrations.

Talk Face to Face

Text messages and notes often can result in miscommunication. Instead, talk to your roommate about the problems face to face. This way you avoid any misunderstandings when it comes to tone and meaning, and get right to the core of the problem.

Get to Know Them

Every once in a while, spend some quality time with your roommate. Getting to know each other better will make it easier to talk about some of the bigger issues. And when you get to really know someone you often find out that some of their annoying habits are actually a result of life challenges and stress. It’s often easier to let some of the smaller things go when you know why they are really happening.

Learning how to make peace with your roommate can help improve your living atmosphere and your mood. Remember to sit down with your roommate right from the start to get on the same page – you will be happy you did.