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Politics Between Roommates: How to Not Sour Your Relationship

by | Sep 30, 2012 | Renting 101 | 0 comments

Politics between roommates can be intense, especially if you are polar opposites on the political spectrum and it’s an election year.  But with About.com‘s helpful tips, Democrats and Republicans CAN share an apartment, even if they don’t share a candidate.
First of all, agree to disagree.  Donkeys and Elephants are often friends or even spouses (James Carville and Mary Matalin have been married for almost 20 years), so there’s absolutely no reason you can’t live together.  You just have to be careful not to let your differing political views poison your relationship by being respectful of your differences.  You may think your roommate is completely wrong in their opinions, but most likely they feel the same way about yours!
Resist the urge to convert your roommate to your way of thinking, even if you feel that the whole world would benefit from sharing your point of view.  Maybe your roomie likes to hear your opinions because they aren’t exactly sure where they stand on the issues, or perhaps they enjoy a good old fashioned political spar with someone from the opposite camp.  In that case, it’s fine to discuss politics, but otherwise it’s best to just leave it out of the conversation.
Try hard not to let your roommate’s views get to you.  If your roommate is a fan of talk radio (or tv) pundits and continuously spouts their rhetoric, try your best to ignore them or ask them to please stop talking about it.  By the same token, if you’re enjoying some political punditry on your shared tv and your roommate is home, if they say they’re bothered by it, volunteer to watch in your private space.
Finally, keep all your campaign swag like buttons and posters in your own respective bedrooms.  Or, if both sides are amenable to it, declare your own zones in the shared spaces where you’ll display them.  Remember to respect your roommate even if you don’t respect their politics, and you’ll be able to continue to live together even after November has come and gone.

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