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Discussion Starter #1
I'm about to start my last year of college (!), and getting deep into my major's classes. I like having more in common with my peers now (a lot of people at my school don't know what linguistics is, so it's nice to not have to explain that anymore lol), but I'm having a hard time connecting with them.

Not exactly sure how to stop the constant requests for homework help / lesson guidance! Inevitably how we're doing in our classes come up, and I have no problem talking while waiting for class, but our conversations have become much less about day to day life and "Can you help me with this?" Often I struggled with the assignment just as much as they did, but when I did figure it out, it came about in a way that I can't explain (tl;dr I'm dyslexic so how I learn is impossible for me to explain). I can tell they don't believe me when I say I don't know how to help because I participate in class and am always spot on, but they don't see the hard work I do as well. :sad:

What makes it annoying personally is that I don't want to help them for the sake of it, but would rather help them, help themselves, but they want me to do the heavy lifting. I'm not sure how to be an encouraging person without hand holding (because it's mentally tiring to do twice the work), and it makes me want to drop them completely because I don't want a friendship that's based on them getting help from me.

I wish I could chalk it up to some bad eggs, but nearly all of my classmates in any class have been like this with me. I get along much better with friends whom don't share my major, but they don't share the enthusiasm I have for my studies, so we don't relate on that point..

How could I go about cultivating friendships without being used in the process?:rolleyes:
 

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Congratulations on your studies!!! You're almost outta there!

Do you see these people often in day to day life for them to talk to you about day to day life? Perhaps their main motivation is simply to talk to you/be your friend/try to understand why you're such a cool and smart person. If the only thing you have in common is that class, that might be the only thing they know they can talk about with you.

But they choose to ask "Can you help me with this?" rather than "I'm having a rough time with this. How are you faring?"... Maybe they think you don't struggle, so they don't bother asking what you thought about a particular assignment.

If you want them to see you for you and learn that you, too, are a real person, the next time they ask "Can you help me with this?", say, "Sure! When are you hosting a study group?"

The point is, they can ask you to help, but you will ultimately help them in the way you see fit. The ball is in your court(as it always has been) because you are the master. If they really just want you for quick answers, but you lead them through a method where they can learn the concept for themselves, they're going to look like a jerk in front of their other friends when they badger you for the easy way out!! :laughing:

Plus, if they have a study group so they can invite you, you're an introvert—and this is perfect! It means they can't make you give a lecture and reteach the lesson!!

Sometimes people just need to hear the exact same thing the teacher has said, but out of someone else's mouth.

Also, if you get them talking in depth about how they see a problem, you can recognize logical errors in their process. You don't necessarily have to tell them how you learn, but you can help them correct their own process. Helping them think the right way helps them help themselves. It's the old teacher circular logic of Student: "How do I do this?" --> Teacher: "Well, how are you doing it?"

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New friendships sometimes require a sacrifice in the beginning. I started one of my best friendships because she asked me to get her dinner, and I really didn't want to, but I did anyway. Soon, the dinner I prepared for her was repaid to me in friendship benefits, like hours of laughter.

So let them see that you're just a person like they are. Then try giving something of yourself and see if they pay it back. If they don't, at least you know!
 

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Congratulations on your studies!!! You're almost outta there!
Thank you!

Do you see these people often in day to day life for them to talk to you about day to day life? Perhaps their main motivation is simply to talk to you/be your friend/try to understand why you're such a cool and smart person. If the only thing you have in common is that class, that might be the only thing they know they can talk about with you.
I do! We have a fair amount in common (some to the point of having the same name, hobbies, and tastes lol!)

If you want them to see you for you and learn that you, too, are a real person, the next time they ask "Can you help me with this?", say, "Sure! When are you hosting a study group?"

The point is, they can ask you to help, but you will ultimately help them in the way you see fit. The ball is in your court(as it always has been) because you are the master. If they really just want you for quick answers, but you lead them through a method where they can learn the concept for themselves, they're going to look like a jerk in front of their other friends when they badger you for the easy way out!! :laughing:
Thank you for the suggestion! I have a habit of keeping everything under my responsibility, so if I give them enough space to decide if they really want me to help in a structured setting, it could either be truly beneficial or thwart their attempts to get by easy. The one study group I did attend this year was organized by someone else and I could keep quiet as I pleased, so I'm not totally against the idea.


Also, if you get them talking in depth about how they see a problem, you can recognize logical errors in their process. You don't necessarily have to tell them how you learn, but you can help them correct their own process. Helping them think the right way helps them help themselves. It's the old teacher circular logic of Student: "How do I do this?" --> Teacher: "Well, how are you doing it?"
Ooh, I see! I'll try this next time!


New friendships sometimes require a sacrifice in the beginning. I started one of my best friendships because she asked me to get her dinner, and I really didn't want to, but I did anyway. Soon, the dinner I prepared for her was repaid to me in friendship benefits, like hours of laughter.

So let them see that you're just a person like they are. Then try giving something of yourself and see if they pay it back. If they don't, at least you know!
Fullheartedly agree! I think I'm trying to define when sacrifice becomes being taken advantage of!
 
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In a competitive class where grades are curved, sometimes it's good to help people. I used to help people out all the time. I would learn a lot by teaching others. The side effect is that they would grow dependent upon my help sometimes and then not do very well in class. Overall that helped me also because it helped me with grades. You are very generous indeed for recognizing this and trying to benefit others.
 

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First let me say wooow you're amazing! good job!

Secondly, about the title of the thread: man, I don't think there's a solution to this. I never found it, to this day. I think it's just one of those personality things and preferences. I've always hated being asked to help someone with their studies. Helping and asking for help was like... a culture.. in my uni years. People did it constantly, and I was always avoid avoid avoid. It would never occur to me to ask anyone, and I don't want to be asked either. This is because I hate teaching, showing, explaining. If I enjoyed teaching, I would be doing it no problem.

It's one thing when it's a very specific question that can be answered in 5 seconds standing in the hallway. I will also feel free to ask for help if I know it won't take the person more than 5 seconds. But lesson guidance and long explanations? Uuufff no.

I can tell they don't believe me when I say I don't know how to help because I participate in class and am always spot on, but they don't see the hard work I do as well.
Oh man I know that situation! Ugh. It's a reminder than people are selfish, tbh (lol I'm being sooo unhelpful xD)

It seems like people use the study-together time as a bonding time. It's like... studying together and going to the movies are interchangable for them. Like... they bond while working? I don't understand this mindset as it doesn't exist in my mind :/ Work and human bonding don't mix. So maybe it's a matter of different perceptions about life, and that's just how it is. Like if someone's 1st love language is gifts, but you score a zero in gifts... you just perceive bonding differently and it's incompatible.

What makes it annoying personally is that I don't want to help them for the sake of it, but would rather help them, help themselves, but they want me to do the heavy lifting. I'm not sure how to be an encouraging person without hand holding (because it's mentally tiring to do twice the work),
The only thing that comes to mind is that whenever I was in that situation, I tell the person "Give me a specific question that I can answer, specific!". I don't do open-ended study sessions, "lesson guidance" or "help me study chapter 8" "help me do the essay". Those are broad aproaches, and that would be exhausting and time consuming. They need to narrow down their problems to specific points that they don't understand, things you can answer very straightforward.

How could I go about cultivating friendships without being used in the process?
Don't give in. Don't do what will suck your energy and time; you have your own stuff to tend to, and if you help someone it has to be because you feel good and excited about it, not a chore. You already have enough chores in your life. So I say keep saying no, train people to come to you only if they have specific Qs you can answer in one sitting and fast and that won't consume you, and just keep dodging the bullets. At the same time, initiate contact by asking people to go for a coffee or something. This was very common when I was in uni. I would dodge bullets so much that people would think I was asocial, so to contrarrest this I knew I had to show people that I was available for human contact -outside of homework- and so I would ask people out to go downstairs to the coffee shop, and we would talk about life in general. If they ask you for help in that situation, keep dodging. Tell the person that you're too busy, have a lot on your plate, and you're exhausted.
If you know what you want (human friendship, without academic chores) stick to it, and stick to your boundaries. Yes it feels shitty to be a debbie downer and walk around saying no to people, but it's part of the boundaries. Ask people out and prepare for rejection, but also prepare for yesses.
 
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@entheos -- thank you so much for your reply! You gave me a lot of insight I can't even begin to quote it all!

This was very common when I was in uni. I would dodge bullets so much that people would think I was asocial, so to contrarrest this I knew I had to show people that I was available for human contact -outside of homework- and so I would ask people out to go downstairs to the coffee shop, and we would talk about life in general. If they ask you for help in that situation, keep dodging. Tell the person that you're too busy, have a lot on your plate, and you're exhausted.
If you know what you want (human friendship, without academic chores) stick to it, and stick to your boundaries. Yes it feels shitty to be a debbie downer and walk around saying no to people, but it's part of the boundaries. Ask people out and prepare for rejection, but also prepare for yesses.

I feel like this is what I should work on most. I've only been able to do it a few times (my non major friends attend a different campus and this is when I put it into action), inviting others out for just a chat, and it works really well. My transportation is pretty rigid right now so I can't just go off campus (the other one with my major sharing friends), but that should change soon, so I'll practice this! I absolutely despise being a Debbie downer, but griping about it behind the scenes doesn't work out, so I ought to be more proactive. Thank you again. :)
 
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As a younger INFP, it never would have occurred to me to make profit off of helping others. But I think a lot of INFPs lead tragic lives, and I think part of that reason is that we don't like the world's rules, because we always see a potentially better world. But life is full of scores of people who will gladly use you completely to their benefit and smile at you the entire time. If you have something people want, capitalize on it. Take care of yourself be proud of what you have to offer; know that you deserve to be compensated for your troubles. Just my humble opinion.
 

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...or -- practice the skill, of being in control, of what you let, happen to you.

Some of the best advice I received at college was "...work yourself out of a job..." in regards to *helping people*.
 

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I'm about to start my last year of college (!), and getting deep into my major's classes. I like having more in common with my peers now (a lot of people at my school don't know what linguistics is, so it's nice to not have to explain that anymore lol), but I'm having a hard time connecting with them.

Not exactly sure how to stop the constant requests for homework help / lesson guidance! Inevitably how we're doing in our classes come up, and I have no problem talking while waiting for class, but our conversations have become much less about day to day life and "Can you help me with this?" Often I struggled with the assignment just as much as they did, but when I did figure it out, it came about in a way that I can't explain (tl;dr I'm dyslexic so how I learn is impossible for me to explain). I can tell they don't believe me when I say I don't know how to help because I participate in class and am always spot on, but they don't see the hard work I do as well. :sad:

What makes it annoying personally is that I don't want to help them for the sake of it, but would rather help them, help themselves, but they want me to do the heavy lifting. I'm not sure how to be an encouraging person without hand holding (because it's mentally tiring to do twice the work), and it makes me want to drop them completely because I don't want a friendship that's based on them getting help from me.

I wish I could chalk it up to some bad eggs, but nearly all of my classmates in any class have been like this with me. I get along much better with friends whom don't share my major, but they don't share the enthusiasm I have for my studies, so we don't relate on that point..

How could I go about cultivating friendships without being used in the process?:rolleyes:
I was in your position in college too and it was hard indeed. It was hard to say no. I regret some of it because of wanting to be liked, at least enough to make university life easier since we were a small class and it was hard to ignore people. For the most part I tried to give vague answers so that I would direct them to what they have to pay attention to without sacrificing too much time. And for the most part that was enough.
I had a good relationship with them so it wasn't as bad as it seems with you, we did hang and were friendly in general. Some others who were bad students and only cared to use me, I coulnd't avoid every time but I did try to do the vague answer thing until they either understood what I'm telling them or (usually) realize they are way behind me and don't understand half the things, in which case they usually withdrew from the topic on their own.

Perhaps you should tell them they need to study harder and that you can't help them because you don't have the time. Besides, that's likely what they need in the first place.

I may be too negative, but these people ain't your friends and likely won't ever be. As soon as they have no use for you they'll forget you. Sure there's always a chance that studying with someone could bring you closer and have a friendship develop but it doesn't seem to be going that way from what you are describing.

If there's someone in that group you feel you'd want to become friends with then maybe you can focus on them and see how it goes, but otherwise don't waste your time and energy.
 

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As a younger INFP, it never would have occurred to me to make profit off of helping others. But I think a lot of INFPs lead tragic lives, and I think part of that reason is that we don't like the world's rules, because we always see a potentially better world. But life is full of scores of people who will gladly use you completely to their benefit and smile at you the entire time. If you have something people want, capitalize on it. Take care of yourself be proud of what you have to offer; know that you deserve to be compensated for your troubles. Just my humble opinion.
My line of work has a tie to tutoring, so it would be feasible, but I don't have the time currently, so about all I can do is give them the tools to help themselves.

Thank you for this comment, though. :) The bolded means a lot.
 

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I was in your position in college too and it was hard indeed. It was hard to say no. I regret some of it because of wanting to be liked, at least enough to make university life easier since we were a small class and it was hard to ignore people. For the most part I tried to give vague answers so that I would direct them to what they have to pay attention to without sacrificing too much time. And for the most part that was enough.
I had a good relationship with them so it wasn't as bad as it seems with you, we did hang and were friendly in general. Some others who were bad students and only cared to use me, I coulnd't avoid every time but I did try to do the vague answer thing until they either understood what I'm telling them or (usually) realize they are way behind me and don't understand half the things, in which case they usually withdrew from the topic on their own.

Perhaps you should tell them they need to study harder and that you can't help them because you don't have the time. Besides, that's likely what they need in the first place.

I may be too negative, but these people ain't your friends and likely won't ever be. As soon as they have no use for you they'll forget you. Sure there's always a chance that studying with someone could bring you closer and have a friendship develop but it doesn't seem to be going that way from what you are describing.

If there's someone in that group you feel you'd want to become friends with then maybe you can focus on them and see how it goes, but otherwise don't waste your time and energy.
It'd feel so good to do the bold! Sometimes I really don't understand why people expect things to be EASY. I was always taught that you really better work for something if you want it.

I've made a mental note of this whole post. Maybe it'll help me not take things so personal when they come to me. I'll just chalk it up to their selfishness showing and decide if I want to feed into that or not.
 
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It'd feel so good to do the bold! Sometimes I really don't understand why people expect things to be EASY. I was always taught that you really better work for something if you want it.

I've made a mental note of this whole post. Maybe it'll help me not take things so personal when they come to me. I'll just chalk it up to their selfishness showing and decide if I want to feed into that or not.
You don't have to do it in an aggressive manner. More like 'hey, all you gotta do is study more and it will be fine, that's what I'm doing' or something similar.
You could even tell them to ask you for specific questions they have after they study more if you are willing. Just have to make them understand you are not their private tutor. If they push you too much you could also say you don't like tutoring others and you don't want to do it. This sort of makes it less personal for them so they might accept it easier.
 

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You don’t win friends over by helping them. Friendship is about connection, not people pleasing. Once you have a rapport with someone, then you may go above and beyond for them. I’m not saying to not be kind or generous, but even you seem to realize they may not really need help so much as more self discipline and motivation, which is their own issue to work out.

I agree with charging tutoring fees too. Print a few flyers and when they ask, tell them you offer tutoring, and the set the price high enough to make it worth your trouble if they take you up on it. Also be honest - tell them you work hard and don’t have time to help everyone else. Tell them you get a lot of requests as it is. Tell them you want to use your free time having fun, not helping others do their work.

People just looking for help will drop off and those interested in you may stick around because they actually like you.

Also don’t downplay your abilities. Figuring stuff out for yourself and be willing to work hard are both signs of intelligence and talent. Not everyone has this, and they have to realize they need to make changes on their own to do better when something doesn’t come naturally. People can’t hold their hand forever. They will go into the work place and try to get coworkers to do work for them, etc. They might as well learn now they have to use their own brains to do stuff.
 
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