How to Get Along with Your Roommate This Year

By: Tyler Lehmann

Living with another person in a 10-by-10-foot room is difficult at best, disastrous at worst. Still, sharing a dorm room is an invaluable experience because it teaches you how to get along with someone who can be very different from you.

To lessen the chances of a meltdown, it’s important for roommates to understand each other’s personality types. That way, when a conflict arises, you’ll have a fuller awareness of why it’s happening.

A simple yet insightful test, the Gary Smalley Personality Types Inventory uses animal characteristics to illustrate human personalities. Finding out which animal you’re most like is not only entertaining, but it’s also easy to remember.

Here are Gary Smalley’s four personality temperaments:

  • Lions seek dominance. They like taking charge, and they’re very competitive.
  • Otters seek influence. They make friends easily and get very enthusiastic.
  • Golden Retrievers seek stability. They are peacemakers and enjoy routine.
  • Beavers seek agreement. They are often reserved and always read the instructions.

To find out which animal your personality fits, take the Gary Smalley Personality Types Inventory. You may find that you have a primary type as well as a secondary.

Use your result to keep yourself in check when tension mounts between you and your roommate. With an awareness of your tendencies, you’ll be better equipped to find solutions that are beneficial for both of you.

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