Sharing a roof with someone doesn't mean you'll share the same tastes or awareness of common decency, here's how to make sure you are the victor when your roommate turns on their music and absolutely destroys the good time you were having listen to your own tunes.


  • Turn your music's volume up. This will make it easier to hear while also letting your roommate know that the music they started playing is impeding on your ability to enjoy what you were listening to. If they don't get the hint:


  • Turn your music's volume up some more. As they saying goes, "If it's too loud, you're probably being rude yourself." If they still don't get the hint:


  • Turn your music's volume all the way up. This will likely make it more difficult for you to enjoy the songs of your choice, but after a few minutes of having their tunes drowned out, and maybe even a visit from one of your neighbors, your roommate will understand that because you were listening to music first, they should probably use their headphones. Especially since they have those really nice headphones. So nice that they once had to email you a note asking you not to use them after they found "someone else's" ear wax all over them. Are they too nice for anyone to use? Even the person who owns them? If they don't start making the most of their investment:




  • Put on your headphones (even though they suck). When the sudden silence hits your roommate, they will be jolted into intense feelings of guilt. How could they let their pursuit of a good time ruin yours? After all, you embarked on that journey first. And it's not like you're driving the Lamborghini that they have locked up in their garage on that journey either--you're navigating that road in the Geo you had to buy at the checkout counter at Duane Reade when your other Geo broke down and shocked your ear. Yep, that guilt will have them waving that white flag in no time. Now if only you could avoid static friendly fire from that right earbud. If they don't take pity on you:


  • Throw your headphones out. Maybe your roommate didn't realize just how bad them 'buds were. If they still don't take pity on you:


  • Put on music that's more hip than theirs. If the shame from listening to less cool music doesn't get them to turn their music's volume down:


  • Put on music that's less hip than theirs. If the pride from listening to cooler music than you doesn't get them to turn their music's volume down:


  • Put on music that's exactly as hip as theirs. If the desire to start a band with a like-minded soul doesn't get them to turn their music's volume down:


  • Take a deep breath. This won't do anything, but at least you won't be lying to the cops when you say you exhausted every civil option.






  • Politely ask them to turn their music's volume down. Oh, they didn't even realize that you were home. Their bad. Anyway, this conversation totally reminds them of something. Yeah, last month's utility bill that you still haven't paid. It's no big deal. Not something worth burning the building down over.


Alex Watt is on TwitterTumblr and an ego trip. Photos via Shutterstock.