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College Roommate Doesn’t Talk? Here’s How To Deal With It

Living with a roommate is a double-sided experience; it can be incredible and lead to great friendships that may even last a lifetime or turn out awful and make you miserable! But what if your roommate doesn’t talk to give you a chance to communicate? How should you deal with it?

Here are 6 tips on how to deal with a college roommate who doesn’t talk:

  1. Introduce yourself to your roommate properly.
  2. Consider your behavior and apologize if needed.
  3. Pay off your debts before it gets late.
  4. Give time to introverted roommates.
  5. Respect your roommate’s boundaries.  
  6. Accept the truth that maybe your roommate doesn’t like you.

It can be super annoying to have a silent roommate, especially since it’s someone you’re going to spend a long time with. In this article, we’ll present some tips and solutions to deal with such a roommate, ease your life, and even improve your relationship. Keep reading to learn more!

What to do when a college roommate won't talk to you.

1. Introduce Yourself to Your Roommate Properly

If you’ve recently moved to a college and have a roommate(s) that you don’t know, introducing yourself can be the best first step to opening the lines of communication. And if your roommate doesn’t step forward, let it be you that breaks the ice. 

Don’t wait too long, and hope your roommate will finally approach you. Find a suitable time and introduce yourself to them. Don’t forget to smile and let them know you’re not their enemy. You should ask them questions, too, and help the conversation progress.

Talk a little about yourself—your major, habits, likes, dislikes, and more—to get them familiar with your personality. Ask them to do the same and talk more about themselves so that you can know each other better. 

If you’re not new roommates, it can also be a good strategy to open up a bit more. You may share a room, but if you haven’t been properly introduced to each other, you may never try to get closer and know each other. You might get into an awkward relationship that’s limited to saying ‘hey’ and ‘goodnight.’ 

But if your roommate still doesn’t talk with you, it doesn’t necessarily mean that something’s wrong with you. There may be other reasons at work which we’ll talk more about in the remainder of this article. 

See How To Make Friends in College: 15 Helpful Approaches

2. Consider Your Behavior and Apologize if Needed

Sometimes, what makes a roommate silent and diminishes their willingness to talk to you is your behavior. You may not recognize it initially, but you may find interesting results if you think more about what you’ve done or said. 

You may have casually said inappropriate comments without even realizing you’ve offended them. Things like racist or sexually offensive remarks or even making fun of your roommate can make them less willing to talk to you.

Ask your roommate to open up and tell you why they’re so cold towards you. When they see you’re willing to know and listen to their feelings and respect them, they may warm up, letting the two of you better understand each other.

3. Pay Off Your Debts Before It Gets Too Late

This is a common issue among roommates and can even create a solid wall between old friends. You may have borrowed money from your roommate and forgot to pay them back. Or maybe you’ve agreed to buy groceries or other stuff together, but you haven’t given your share. 

Such behavior is completely unacceptable and can ruin your image in your roommate’s eyes. If you guess your roommate’s silence is somehow related to the money you haven’t paid, try to clear your debts as soon as possible. You should also keep an account of them so that you don’t forget any, no matter how little they are. 

If you can’t pay your debts back soon, talk to your roommate about it; assure them that you haven’t forgotten about it and will pay them back as quickly as possible. 

4. Give Time to Introverted Roommates

Sometimes your roommate’s silence has nothing to do with you, and they’re just shy or socially awkward. Not everybody enjoys talking with people or joining their social circles. Introverts are usually reticent and if you guess your roommate’s behavior is naturally this way, respect it.

It’s in an unsociable person’s nature, and the only thing you can do is give them time and space until they trust you and open up gradually. You can give it a shot and try to speak with them but remember, never force them to talk. It can make things even worse.

5. Respect Your Roommate’s Boundaries 

Another reason for your roommate’s silence can be personal problems. As roommates, you may not know much about each other’s personal lives—everybody has their own battles to fight, right? 

They may be dealing with family or relationship problems, experiencing work pressure, or just having bad days. Remember that we’re all human and respect their boundaries. Just ensure that you’re there for them, and they can talk to you anytime they want. 

6. Accept the Truth That Maybe Your Roommate Doesn’t Like You

Sometimes none of those reasons mentioned above is at work. So, what’s the problem? 

The truth is that maybe they don’t like you, and it’s okay. You may behave nicely towards your roommate, and they still don’t like you. Don’t take it personally because their opinion doesn’t define you. 

If this is the case with your roommate, simply accept the truth and move on. Not everybody’s supposed to like you, and remember that so many others do. There’s nothing to be sad about; maybe your roommate thinks you two have nothing in common, and it’s better not to communicate. 

Why Roommates Don’t Get Along

Living with a roommate can reward you with life lessons and solid friendships. However, sometimes roommates don’t get along with each other, and it becomes a nightmare! 

Roommates don’t get along because one of them may not care about cleanliness, occupied space, or paying for food, grocery, or rent. They may also be irresponsible when it comes to repairing damages or keeping pets. Sharing stuff, using the bathroom and kitchen, partying a lot, and regular visitors are other common reasons.

There are many reasons for conflicts, but it’s normal; you come from different family and social backgrounds and have different personalities. Let’s consider some of the most common reasons that lead to conflict and cold relationships between roommates.

Not Caring About Cleanliness 

One of the primary reasons for not getting along with a roommate is their different approach to cleanliness. When you share a space, you bring your habits, too. And not everybody shares the same view. 

While you may like the house to be neat, dishes to be done, and the trash to be out, your roommate may have a different opinion. They may not care that much about cleanliness and think it’s okay to have some dirty dishes in the sink or throw their smelly socks around the house.

Too Much Occupied Space

You may have experienced such an issue with your siblings, too. Sharing space in a fair way can become a big deal, especially in the shared area. While each of you can have your rooms and privacy, a shared area is supposed to be comfortable for both of you.

But sometimes, roommates get inconsiderate and occupy as much space as possible—they may even not agree to pay more rent for that occupied space!   

Sharing or Splitting Food and Grocery Bills

Food is also a common reason for conflicts between roommates. Many roommates decide to share food and groceries and split the bills. However, some may procrastinate to pay their share or even don’t pay it at all with different excuses.

Even if you don’t share your food and groceries, it can become a source of conflict. Sometimes, an inconsiderate roommate eats your food or uses your groceries to cook for themselves. With the growing prices of food, this sort of behavior is completely unacceptable.

Keeping Pets

No matter how much one loves animals, keeping a pet without their roommate’s consent can become a significant problem because not all people are happy with an animal’s presence in their living place. 

Besides, one of the roommates may be allergic to animals or have phobias. So, it’s better to talk about pets before bringing one.

Moreover, keeping pets requires full responsibility; your animal friend needs to be fed and cleaned up, and such things usually lead to a quarrel between roommates.  


Irresponsibility is a big problem. Life in a college/university dorm or apartment isn’t just like your own home. Back at home, your mom and dad may have taken care of daily chores and errands. But here, things are different, and everybody should do their part.

For example, you can’t ignore it if a shared chair or sofa is damaged. If roommates fail to take responsibility for maintenance or refuse to pay their share, things can escalate and become huge problems. 

So, before sharing space with somebody, talk about such issues and make sure they understand the burden of living in a shared place and take responsibility for their share of roomie life.  

Sharing Stuff or Taking Stuff Without Asking

One of the most common sources of conflict between roommates is sharing—or not sharing—things together. When you move to a dorm or apartment, you’ll bring some personal belongings and required stuff. 

However, you may find out that your roommate uses your favorite perfume or has worn your clothes. Nobody likes a roommate who takes your stuff without asking; it’s really annoying and can become a serious problem if not resolved. 

To avoid this issue, set your own boundaries in the first place and ask your roommate to respect them. However, if you notice your roommate takes things without asking, bring it up and tell them directly—in a peaceful manner to avoid more conflict. 

Throwing Regular Parties

Some of the most annoying roommates are those who like throwing parties regularly and making noise till late at night. While it may look cool to throw parties, staying up all night every night isn’t for everyone, and it can become a big problem, especially when it includes drinking and smoking.

Roommates have different schedules and priorities, so while some enjoy partying, others may get annoyed by the noise and discomfort of having so many strangers in their home. 

So, talk it over with your roommate again and make things clear. You can ask them not to throw parties without your consent and even set a time limit for how long into the night guests can stay. A little party now and then won’t hurt anybody anyway.  

Having Regular Visitors

Some roommates are super inconsiderate and will bring their friends or boyfriends/girlfriends to hang out with all the time. Of course, having some visitors now and then and for a short time isn’t a big deal, but it can get on your nerves when it becomes regular. 

Who likes to have extra roommates in a tight space which they already share with someone else? And if you want to consider the costs: they don’t pay for their share of the apartment!


Bathroom and Kitchen Issues

The bathroom and kitchen are two of the most used shared areas and can create severe conflicts between roommates. It’s not acceptable if someone constantly occupies the bathroom while the other roommates have to wait for a long time.  

What’s more, the problem probably doesn’t end here. Cleaning the bathroom or kitchen is also a source of tension. Some people tend to leave their junk there, which might make an unpleasant scene for others.

So, it’s better to create a schedule for using the bathroom and kitchen and take turns cleaning them to avoid more problems.  

Final Words

While living with roommates can be a precious experience and help you get stronger and more independent, it can also turn into an awful experience if you don’t get along well. Find out the possible reasons for the silence of your roommate and try to solve those issues; if nothing works, accept the truth and live your life, or change your roommate if you can’t bear it. 

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