How to Make Friends in College: Avoid These Toxic People

By Nur Hafiza Abu Bakar | Last modified 07 Feb 2020
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toxic college friends in malaysia

What’s so nerve-wracking about getting into college? It’s when we have to make new friends and socialise with people whom we have never met before. Building new relationships in college can be such as an energy drainer for some, but in order to make our life better, we have to start making good connections with good people.

Being able to click with someone so easily is such a blessing in disguise. Once we get into college, we will meet different sort of people, even those we’ve never encountered during our school life. You’d be surprised!

Building a new trust takes time, and we want to make sure the persons who can get into our circle are only the ones we can get along with.

School is different compared to college. We are scheduled to stay in school for half of the day and our classmates typically remain the same for years. In other words, we are already so accustomed to our school mates.

We rarely have any group work or project that will affect our final grade for the exam in school. College life introduces us to group assignment where we have to do and divide every task accordingly. Our classmates for every class or course in college are not the same, therefore, the likelihood for us to meet new people every year is high.

We found this article regarding six types of toxic people at work that you should avoid and it inspired us to come up with a similar topic related to student life at Malaysian universities and colleges. You do not want to hang out with someone who gives you negative energy that can affect you emotionally, do you?

Take this chance to de-toxic your friend list in college and see if they have one of these toxic traits:

1. The Bawang Gang

There will always be Makcik and Pakcik Bawang (not only girls who gossip!)  who just enjoy talking bad about other people, to the point where their mouth does all the work instead of their action. It’s not wrong to talk, what’s wrong is that when they start gossiping and get us into unnecessary small talks that do not give us any benefits. We do not want our time to get wasted because of people like this.

gossiper makcik bawang

Some people are very much interested in socialising rather than get their work done. If you ever get into a group assignment and befriend with someone of this trait, it can drown your level of productivity.

What can you do?
Reprimand and tell them what’s wrong. If they still insist, you can try to change the subject of the conversation. You can also nicely avoid them with your own excuses. They’re not worth your time, value yourself!

2. The Pessimist

We’ve all had those times where we are being negative with ourselves. This self negative-talk can be a toll in our life, so to have another person who likes to give bad vibes can flush down our energy and motivation.

the pessimist toxic trait

These negative people will turn and negate every occurrence or event. It’s like there are no good sides to everything. It can be depressing to have someone like this around us.

What can you do?
Do contrasting responses. If they are demotivating you, respond with positivity as much as you can. Don’t start a war; it’s bad and can ruin your relationship. But if they still continue doing it, they probably have some unsettling issues and might need your help. Get in touch with them personally and try to ask if you can help in any way you can.

3. The Free Rider

The most annoying thing is to have a free rider in any of our group project or assignment for a course. We all have to pay for a ride, nothing is free. But this free ride fella just wants things for free without trying to make an effort to pay.

free rider in assignments

Image source: LinkedIn

A free rider, in this case, is someone who takes advantage of others’ hard work. They don’t bother to help to complete the task given, but they receive the undeserving credits for something they didn’t do.

What can you do?
Talk with them and try to fix things up. If they have a problem in handling the task, ask if they need help. If they still want to free ride, just tell your lecturer and have their name removed from your group. It may sound mean, but only those who do the work deserve the marks.

4. The Competitive

Being competitive can actually boost up your motivation, only if it is done correctly. There is nothing wrong to strive for something. This usually happens when someone wants to achieve their personal goals, but measure their level of achievement with others.

competitive toxic trait

Unhealthy competition is not admirable and can defect your connection with other people. If you know someone who is like this, it can be irritating. They would often compare ridiculous things like their grades with yours, how well we studies and other comparisons which don’t make sense.

What can you do?
People with this toxic trait may be suffering from personal insecurities. It can be annoying to face them but try to practise sympathy and understand their situation. Just focus on what you’re doing. Tell them they're doing well and respond only with positivities. 

4. The Fake

This group of people just enjoy manipulating others for themselves. They will pretend to do something they like when they actually never have any interests in it. They do this to gain favours and to please others.

fake people

It is disappointing to have actually met someone with a fake personality. This hypocritical attitude will never go far as once they get caught, people will slowly lose their trust.

What can you do?
It’s hard to build a good relationship with fake people. The best option is to set an appropriate gap so that you don’t have to bother yourself much about them. We never know when they will ever change. Once the trust is broken, it will be hard to bond it back. But who knows if you can give a second chance, it can be worth it if they truly changed.

6. The Procrastinator

We all procrastinate, but here we are emphasising a constant procrastinator who always wastes theirs and other people’s time doing other things besides work. If they procrastinate to the extent where it bothers your energy and misses deadline for any important tasks, it’s time to act seriously.

procrastinate toxic trait

What can you do?
They can cause your blood pressure to rise up, to always stay and be patient can be an unfair way to handle this, but it’s probably the only thing you can do. If you can try to assist and keep on reminding them of the pending work or task, it can be a boost of motivation for them to start doing it, instead of procrastinating.

Related: Why Do We Procrastinate and How Do We Fix That?

Dealing with the toxicity of people

Not only in college or university, but we can also stumble across toxic people just everywhere. You probably already have someone in mind based on the list of toxic traits we listed above. It can be someone whom we used to spend a lot of time together, but due to an unfortunate circumstance, the relationship had to be cut off.

Life in college can be a bit of a challenge to run yourself away from these people. There would be some classes we ended up being in the same group with people we didn’t want. You can take it as a good preface for you before enter the career world.

We’re not saying you have to get immunised with their problems. You will be more aware and know what to do if the same thing ever happens again in the future.

Posted on 07 Feb 2020
Campus life, Useful Tips, Useful information