Are you in the middle of a passive aggressive thermostat fight that just won’t seem to end? Relax. We’ve all been there. Whether it’s fighting with a spouse, a sibling, a mother-in-law, or a roommate, we all know what it’s like to feel too hot or too cold at the expense of someone else’s comfort. Thermostat battles seem to always come to a head during the peak temperatures of summer, with one person wanting to keep the house at a cool 65 degrees and another saying it’s better to lose a little comfort and save a little cash by keeping the house closer to a… balmy 75.
It can be hard to compromise, especially when you already find yourself caught up in a game of tit for tat. Want to avoid passive aggressive thermostat fights in your home? Here are some healthy tips on how to resolve your thermostat woes and get a comfortable atmosphere, both mentally and temperature-wise in your home.
1. Keep a positive attitude.
This sounds easy, but if you’re already fighting over the air conditioning then you know just how hard it can be. When you have a moment to reflect or you feel your emotions starting to boil, relax and try to stay positive. Know that a resolution is in sight, the temperature will change, and that neither person is right nor wrong.
2. Don’t let feelings fester.
If you’re starting to feel upset that your roommate keeps going out into the living room to mess with the thermostat behind your back – tell them. Don’t be snotty about it, and don’t leave a passive aggressive sticky note on the thermostat. Instead, the next time you two are in the same room, ask, “Hey, did you bump up the thermostat last night?” and let the conversation go from there. Keep it cool. Address your feelings and thoughts head on. One big agitator when it comes to passive aggressive thermostat wars is not feeling comfortable expressing your feelings up front.
3. Don’t play the victim.
Don’t make the thermostat fight all about you. Sure, you might have expressed in the past that you often tend to feel warm and that it gets worse in the summer time. But don’t expect the other person to have remembered that, or to have connected the dots between that statement and why you keep turning the thermostat to a cooler temperature. Don’t portray yourself as the victim, and remember that ultimately, it isn’t personal.
4. Stick to the subject at hand.
Another problem we hear about is that a passive aggressive thermostat fight might start off about the temperature, but then it becomes about how he never takes out the garbage anymore, and how you’re always staying at home with the kids or stuck working late hours. Pick your battles, and take them one at a time. If you want to talk about the thermostat- talk about the thermostat, not your other underlying issues.
Empathy is key when it comes to finding compromise and getting someone to understand your side of the argument. Explain your situation. Listen to theirs. Try your best to be non-judgmental and let emotions take the backburner. Logic will help you find the solution to end your thermostat fight.
6. Own up to your annoying behaviors.
Have you been secretly sneaking out at midnight to change the thermostat? Have you been putting tape over the controller so it’s harder to get in and change the temperature? Maybe you’ve been intentionally messing with the vents so that the whole back of the house is warmer than the front. Whatever sneaky things you’ve been doing to try and “solve” your thermostat wars, it’s not working. Own up to your annoying behaviors and just admit that you weren’t going about things in the healthiest of ways.
7. Change your habits.
Maybe part of the problem is that you need to change your own habits in order to be more comfortable with the temperature inside your home. If you are often the cold one of the house, try dressing in layers, getting up and walking around every now and then, or even going into the kitchen and doing a little cooking near the warm stove. If you are the warm one, make sure you have plenty of portable fans in your home and living areas, and wear lightweight clothes (there’s nothing worse than complaining it’s too hot when you’re wearing a sweatshirt and jeans around the house).
8. Be willing to compromise.
Above all else, be willing to compromise. It might not end up that you get your way completely, but it probably won’t end up that they get theirs, either. Find a middle ground– maybe keeping the thermostat at an even 70 degrees, or maybe keeping it warmer in the mornings and colder in the evenings is the way to go.
9. Choose a programmable thermostat.
Speaking of compromise, a programmable thermostat will definitely help put your new heating and cooling schedule into action. Make sure your thermostat allows you to program different temperatures for different hours of the day so you aren’t always focusing on what time it is and when to make the adjustments.
10. Make use of zones.
If you can, zone your thermostat. This means that you can have one zone (maybe the living room and kitchen) stay cool while another area of the house (the office and bedrooms) stay warmer. This will alleviate the passive aggressive thermostat fights especially if you don’t both hang out in the same areas of the home.