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  1. #21
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grayscale View Post
    getting a roommate that you dislike is a good opportunity to learn cooperation and diplomacy
    or jujitsu...

    Just kidding...

    I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I prefer to practice those skills outside of my living space.
    Same here, bigtime. When I was in college, they (dorm folks) put a lot of emphasis on "part of being here is learning to get along with a roommate who's different that you are"... of course, there was ZERO effort put into matching people, and roommate swaps were discouraged. I always thought it more of an "it's easier for us not to deal with the paperwork" solution, because it sure was more pain and hassle for everyone else involved. I was an RA for a while in college, and that was the general impression I got from both sides of the fence, anyway.

    I was fortunate - I've only had two roommates I didn't know well before moving in - one was my freshman year fall semester roommate, and we got along relatively well, even if we didn't room together again. I do think that things between women roommates tends to escalate more often than with male roommates. That was the general pattern that we saw - guys could often work it out (or stick it out until the end of the year), but some pairings of women just did NOT work. Instantly (not even counting instances of pure spite, like the woman who decided she'd be a royal bitch to anyone assigned her to avoid having a roommate at all).

    I'd agree that the most important things are the "how late do you stay up?", "when (or if) do you like to study?", "do you have friends over a lot?", and "how do you feel about sharing common items?". That seems to cover a lot of the "blameless" situations that made up most of our conflicts. Some of the others are just inevitable, but the fewer the better .

  2. #22
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    So how about these:

    1. Are you a morning person or a night owl?
    2. Do you mind having a messy room?
    3. Do you prefer to study during the day or at night?
    4. Do you study with music on or off?
    5. Do you mind if your roommate has guests over regularly?

    (I'm not sure about #5... Does anyone NOT mind if their roommate has guests over regularly?)

    Feel free to add any I missed. When we pair roommates we just try to match them up as well as we can. I doubt everyone can get a perfect match, so which one of these do you think should take first priority when pairing roommates?

    We also have a roommate contract that we give everyone, but it is up to them to fill it out. I've heard that at UNC they require their residents to fill out contracts and only 5% of students request a roommate change. Should I try and make our contract required? (It covers 2 pages worth of specific things like "What should we do if we have an argument?" "What is your policy on borrowing things?" etc.)
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  3. #23
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Noise is a big one. Some people need it dead quiet and can't handle the regular noises in a dorm. I had a suitemate like this and it really cramped my style. I couldn't even have a CONVERSATION with 2 people in my room at 9pm without her asking me to keep it down, which was IMPOSSIBLE without reverting to low whispers or ASL.

    She slept with ear plugs and started getting on the nerves of some other people on the floor because she would also ask them to quiet down when the noise level and timing was totally appropriate. Basically she had an unreasonable demand for quiet in shared living quarters.

    I stayed at the women's coop in Berkeley once. It was a surprisingly prim and clean bunch of women. And one woman down the hall insisted on BLASTING really bad (IMHO) top 40 punk/hard rock at random times of the day. Other people would come out of their rooms and tell her to STFU and she would.

    So basically, yeah, noise is a big conflict area.

    So ask:

    Will you be mostly studying in your room or socializing?

    Do you leave the radio or TV on while studying and doing chores?

    Do you need background noise or do you need total silence to concentrate?

    Are you a light sleeper?

    Even things like:

    "Do you prefer to leave a fan on or open a window?

    "Do you prefer your room to be warmer or cooler" can help.

    They seem like minor things but it can drive people batty if they are freezing and their roommate insists on leaving the window open.

    Also, shared interests and political views helps. For instance, it can get 'Real World' really fast if you put in a conservative evangelical christian with a militant queer atheist. Or a virgin bookworm with a highly promiscuous partier.

  4. #24
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedekit View Post
    I'm going to be in charge of roommate pairing for the upcoming semester. We have basically no true method of doing this. We ask things like "What music do you prefer?" as a basis, which to me does NOT suggest two people getting along.

    I've read that the MBTI is ineffective when pairing roommates, so that's out of the question. I can probably get away with giving a questionnaire because I found a research article that suggests roommate compatibility and academic achievement are correlated. I don't know much about the enneagram, but I don't think it would be much more help than the MBTI (but I could be wrong). If anyone thinks otherwise about the enneagram I would be willing to hear you out. I could use the brief test found at Identifying Your Personality Type : The Wisdom of the Enneagram as the questionnaire if someone could show me some sort of evidence or reason it could work.

    Other than that, has anyone read anything about effective ways to determine compatibility between people as far as being roommates? Right now the only solution I have found is to ask what time they prefer to go to sleep, if they mind having a messy room, and if they would feel comfortable letting their roommate borrow something if they asked.

    We just have a lot of roommate conflicts here (most between women) and I know how stressful that can be, so I want to try and minimize it as much as I can. I'm already trying to convince my boss to let me put on a Living With a Roommate 101 lecture type thing, but having initial roommate compatibility would make the course even more beneficial to them.

    Thanks for any help!
    At the college where my daughter went, they sent her a questionnaire asking her about her living habits, like whether she was an early bird or night owl, whether she liked everything neat, or whether her room was messy.

    The biggest conflicts with my daughter and her roommates had to do with them wanting to sleep in the middle of the day, forcing her to be quiet and keep the room dark, while they would come in late at night, and not be respectfully quiet at all, and turn on lights while she was trying to sleep.

    Another problem was caused by a roommate having a boyfriend and wanting the room by themselves too much, so that my daughter spent too much time in the library so that they could have sex and watch porno films.

    That same roommate would turn on her music very loud and leave the room and not come back for over a half hour. She was also a slob, food and clothes everywhere.

    What a nightmare.

    I found an online questionaire that might be helpful.
    http://www.union.arizona.edu/csil/cs...stionnaire.pdf

  5. #25
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zergling View Post
    Any idea where the male/female difference comes from?
    Drama, I would think.

  6. #26
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryPenguin View Post
    Maybe you should set it up as one of those speed dating things that have gotten so popular lately (I am only partly joking, the idea is intriguing to me)

    Get all those freshmen/women in a room with a bunch of tables and let them spend 5 minutes with each other figuring out if they think they would get along with them or not. Maybe give them an idea of what they should be asking, but let them run with it. If anything, it would be an interesting social experiment.
    You know that's not half bad! Except I think these things are all decided before the school year even starts.

  7. #27
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedekit View Post
    ...

    We also have a roommate contract that we give everyone, but it is up to them to fill it out. I've heard that at UNC they require their residents to fill out contracts and only 5% of students request a roommate change. Should I try and make our contract required? (It covers 2 pages worth of specific things like "What should we do if we have an argument?" "What is your policy on borrowing things?" etc.)
    I think more schools might be moving in that direction.

  8. #28
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedekit View Post

    We also have a roommate contract that we give everyone, but it is up to them to fill it out. I've heard that at UNC they require their residents to fill out contracts and only 5% of students request a roommate change. Should I try and make our contract required? (It covers 2 pages worth of specific things like "What should we do if we have an argument?" "What is your policy on borrowing things?" etc.)
    yeah, I think I'd make it mandatory. I went to UNC and the roommate contract was a great way to get everything out in the open and come to agreements before either of us had a chance to be annoyed.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  9. #29
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    ...
    "Do you prefer your room to be warmer or cooler" can help.
    ....
    I would never survive with someone who wanted the room colder than 72 degrees! And I'd prefer 74!

  10. #30
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    ...it can get 'Real World' really fast if you put in a conservative evangelical christian with a militant queer atheist. Or a virgin bookworm with a highly promiscuous partier.
    I smell sitcom!

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