How to Deal With the Roommate Who Borrows

By Kylie Exline on January 15, 2017

For many of us, we are still in search of that perfect roommate. You know, the one who pays all of their bills on time, who does not leave their mess everywhere, and who knows how to have fun while still focusing on earning that degree of theirs. It’s hard, I know.

There are all sorts of different kinds of roomies that exist. One of my least favorites happens to be the one who continuously “borrows” your things sans asking permission. It isn’t that big of a deal if it happens once or twice, but if it is an ongoing struggle, then there are ways to deal with it.

To discover how to handle the infamous borrower, continue reading below.

Give them warnings.

If your roommate’s borrowing starts out random in the beginning, it may stay that way. However, it may also continue down the path of destruction and lead to you never receiving your items back. If you notice they are wearing one of your favorite tees that you and your best friend bought at a concert five years ago, then I would definitely say something.

It works if you stay along the lines of “It’s fine if you borrow my clothes, just ask first.” They may feel completely bad and apologize and maybe even buy you Chick-fil-A to make up for it. Then there is the flip side where they may just blow everything out of proportion. Prepare for this sort of result.

If you notice that this is a new trend in your roomie, then drop a few warnings as it occurs. If they devour your brand new container of guac and claim they’ll replace it, you better stay on them. This borrowing mentality does not only stay in the closet; there is the kitchen, your drawers, and anything else they can get their hands on. Seriously.

Be direct.

If the warnings are not working out with this certain roommate, then you have to move on to being straightforward. I get it, this tactic is not for everyone, but it is becoming necessary. Do you want to never see those heels again? Exactly.

It is best if you are honest with your roommate in this case and that you express to them how much it bothers you. Try to think of the situation from their perspective and ask if they would like if you did the same to them. I assume their response would be a giant no. If they are in extreme denial about it and claim they have only done it once or twice and you also do it, it may be time to end this roommateship.

Sometimes being direct with someone, especially with someone that you live with, is difficult because they are under the impression that they are being attacked. And depending on your attitude and tone, it may just be that way. Make sure you go into the discussion with a plan and do not hesitate to call them out on their bull. The borrower needs to learn a few lessons every now and then.

Show there are consequences.

Okay, so this in no way means becoming physical with this said roommate. Although, a mean game of rock, paper, scissors could go a long way. If they are still in great denial about it, it would probably be a good idea to show them that there are in fact consequences for their actions.

I get it, we are no longer in grade school where this is prevalent, but clearly, they cannot see right from wrong here. These consequences might include you always locking your door when you are gone, or even labeling all of your food just so they get the idea. And in extreme cases, show them that this is affecting your friendship and you just may never be roommates with them again.

Hopefully, your roommate begins to understand that if they simply asked to borrow your items, then it would not have to come to this. In other cases, they do not always see it from your angle. Just make sure that you are not hesitant in your diction, and that consequences still exist even for adults. *Especially for adults.

If you have this certain borrower roommate, then there are a few things that you can do in order to retrieve your items back and in decent condition, I hope. Give them a few warnings, if you feel like being nice, and talk to them about it. Communication is key, remember? Then become direct with them. Do not beat around the bush and hope that they actually see where you are coming from. Trust me. And lastly, show the consequences. This is also extremely vital.

It may not always go down your desired path, but at least you tried. And more importantly, your concert tee is safe in your drawer somewhere. #Winning.

Editing, Writing & Media. FSU// Go Noles! Class of 2016.

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