Healthy Communication

Here are some of the most common and ineffective ways of dealing with flat problems. If this is you or someone you know in this list it might be time to break free and get some stuff out in the open before someone gets hurt.

The Bottler (passive aggressive): Quietly seething about the problem, slamming doors, personalizing everything that’s said and avoiding the person that’s bothering you, relying on indirect communication

Gang mentality: Getting some of the flatmates onside so there is someone to bitch with. This often leads to bitching becoming a form of entertainment and gossip, with daily instalments passed between the gang but never addressed with the person in question to achieve a positive outcome.

Too polite to cause a bother: Waiting for the problem to miraculously sort itself out, even though no-one else knows you are having a problem.

Bullying: playing practical jokes, testing the other person’s limits, using your intuitive knowledge of what’s annoying to wind someone up.

None of these methods actually let the person who’s bothering you know what’s wrong or what they can do about it. Most people can actually come up with creative solutions so long as there is open communication and goodwill.

Approach issues as things that need to be worked on together, not everyone else’s problem. Use respectful language and “I” statements (e.g. “I feel this could be improved by” rather than “YOU need to do this!”) and avoid placing full blame on the other person.

If you’re struggling with effective communication or reaching a resolution, or things have gone too far and you’re experiencing a flat fallout, come and talk to some at OUSA Student Support for assistance with managing these situations.