“How do I get my roommate to take her turn with the dishes without making her angry?” New Era, Apr. 1971, 36
Answer/Elder Marvin J. Ashton
“… without making her angry” is perhaps the phrase that needs the attention, and not the dishes. Maybe what we are asking is, “How can I get my roommate to do her share?” or “How can I control my roommate’s emotions?” or “How can my roommate and I understand one another’s values in a way that is pleasing to both of us?”
Which of the following possible solutions would you prefer if you were the roommate at fault?
1. Break a dish over her head to remind her that the dishes are still dirty. She won’t be angry, she’ll be unconscious!
2. Say to her, “If you promise not to get angry, I’ll tell you something.” Then tell her about the dish situation. She, of course, will be furious, but she will have to choke on her words because of her promise.
3. Post a sign on the kitchen door:
CLOSED BY ORDER OF THE CITY HEALTH DEPARTMENT—
ENTER AT OWN RISK
4. Place the dishes on the kitchen floor, so as to discourage getting to the refrigerator or cookie jar. This procedure does not ensure a calm mind on her part, and you may have to learn to deal with hostility—real hostility.
5. Bring your concerns to her attention after prayer and a good family home evening lesson on “cleanliness is next to godliness” or “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” or “you are a good roommate and I enjoy living with you, and because of my feelings for you, I thought you might want to know of my discomfort and concern for the way we manage our apartment—mainly dirty dishes in the sink.” Then, under the influence of the Spirit and your love for her, work out a satisfactory solution that is comfortable for both of you. Honest evaluation and sharing of ideas in the spirit of helping is generally successful.