Most of us want to make friends in uni! After all, humans are social creatures who seek out one another for comfort and fulfilment. Being in uni is also fun, and being able to share that journey with others makes it more meaningful. However, in your quest for friends, there are some things that you may want to steer away from doing if you don’t wish to annoy the people around you! Here are some common things that people tend to do that causes their attempts at making friends to backfire.
1. Oversharing too soon
What is oversharing? Oversharing is when you divulge too much information about your personal life to someone you just met or don’t know very well. I’ve seen it happen before, and it can be quite uncomfortable when you’re on the receiving end.
For example, I’ve had someone rant to me about their family and how much they hate their parents on our first meeting. It made me feel awkward and unsure of what to say because I didn’t know the person well and didn’t want to come across as condescending if I gave advice. I also didn’t want to build codependency by giving emotional support to someone I didn’t consider a friend yet.
So that’s something to definitely avoid doing! Oversharing so soon can make someone feel like you’re not interested in being a friend to them. After all, people usually try to find a common ground by talking about shared hobbies and favourite foods. Oversharing turns that conversation one-sided with the focus being on the one divulging information, and since it tends to be emotional, the other party will feel reluctant to end it. They will simply make a mental note to distance themselves from you next time!
How do you avoid oversharing? Try to stay in the moment and be curious about the other party! Ask them questions and avoid going on a tangent about yourself. If you’re asked about yourself, answer the question and try to bring it back to something you both are interested in and know about.
2. Always asking for answers to homework
It’s important to seek help and clarify when you don’t understand a concept. But trust me when I say that people can tell if you’re just not willing to put in the hard work and are just leeching off them. Always asking for answers will make you look like a slacker. Worse, some people may think you’re unreliable and are befriending people just to use them.
I’ve experienced this myself when I see people messaging me and tons of other people asking for our answers even when they’re not close to me or those people. I’ve also had many friends complain to me about specific people always asking for their notes and not taking any themselves.
It’s important to also contribute and not just take! Make sure to help your friends when they’re the ones in need. This can mean helping them through problems in a module they’re weaker in or simply reminding them to eat and to sleep during hectic periods. It’s important to be a friend first before you even consider getting someone’s help! After all, no one is obligated to do anything for us, and we should treat people equally regardless of whether they can help us or not.
Gossiping when you first meet a group of people will make you look bad. However, many people do it, not knowing or caring how it makes them look bad because when it works, it’s a good way to bond with others.
However, when you gossip about someone, people will think that you’re perfectly capable of turning around and gossiping about them too! This will make them unlikely to trust you even though they may laugh at your jokes. Gossiping also prevents people from getting to know the true you and the things you like. They only know about the things you hate, and that’s not a good way to start a friendship!
There are many ways to develop a friendship without resorting to bad-mouthing someone. In fact, you can employ some positive “gossip” by talking about how some professors are really great at teaching or saying nice things about your mutual friends. You can also talk about neutral things such as schoolwork, family, and viral news. Being true to yourself will make you look like a more down-to-earth person that people will trust!
4. Being glued to your significant other
Avoid being “that” couple, the couple that is always seen together no matter what and goes over to each other’s houses or dorms every single day. This will make it hard for people to befriend you as they will have to get to know both you and your significant other. Also, no one wants to be a third wheel especially when it comes to someone they don’t know very well yet.
I’ve seen people lose their friends after starting a new relationship because they insist on being with their partner all the time and even bringing them to outings that they shouldn’t even attend. For example, I know someone who brought his girlfriend along to a gathering with his university friends. However, she wasn’t 18 yet at the time and they were all meeting at a bar to drink.
That’s not to say you can’t hang out with your significant other if you have one! Just make sure to keep your priorities in check and to ensure both of you limit public displays of affection so that your friends can be comfortable too. It would also help if you live in the moment and avoid talking too much about your significant other to your friends, whether you’re fawning over them or ranting.
Making friends doesn’t have to be hard at all! Just have some self-awareness and keep the tips above in mind, and you’ll be fine. Most people are friendly and open to making new friendships in uni as long as you’re nice and able to hold a conversation. Good luck, and may you make good friends for the journey ahead!