HCOM 214: Interpersonal COMM & Conflict

Learning interpersonal communication skills to improve every part of our lives

Managing Conflict and Power #8

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The most recent time I can remember was at the beginning of this past Fall semester. I was originally going to dorm with my freshman year roommate but there were some financial differences and we didn’t end dorming together. So I was in a double with a new roommate from Japan and 3 other suitemates. We had initially planned on cleaning up after ourselves and I agreed because I figured since we were girls and we had all put clean to somewhat clean on the roommate application that we would, therefore, live in clean common spaces.

However, by the time of Thanksgiving break the bathrooms were dirty, especially the sinks, and the trash was only taken out if I asked someone to take it out. I thought we would be conscious of our space and that there would be no need to ask others to take out the trash when there was a “cleaning log”. I would always make sure to clean up because I learned from being in college/dorms that I’m a somewhat of clean freak and If it were up to me I would clean everything and throw the trash as soon as it gets full. Despite that, I knew that if I were to always do it, I would be the only one cleaning when I’m not the only one living there. So I made a “cleaning log” but it was rarely used.

I never brought it up to them directly because I didn’t want them to think that I was a clean freak or overreacting. Plus I didn’t want us to be uncomfortable living in our suite and seeing each other every day of the semester with that tense feeling. That’s why looking back, I would have vocalized during our roommate agreement that we should have had specific cleaning jobs/responsibilities like we did this semester. Two months in and our shared spaces are clean. We all realized that last semester was horrible in that specific aspect and needed specific jobs even though we all considered ourselves clean.



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