Hello readers! Today’s edition of “UConn Tell Me About It” discusses what to do when your friend is in a toxic relationship and how to make friends when you don’t live on-campus. As always, I’m Homie B., UConn’s anonymous advice-giver for any and every question on your mind. Now let’s get into the advice!
Q: My best friend is in a toxic relationship but he doesn’t see it. How can I help him?
Being honest with your friends is important, so it won’t help the situation to pretend to be approving of your friend’s relationship. You should vocalize your concerns to him. Tell him what you see and why it raises red flags for you.
While communicating your concerns is one thing, bossing your friend around and telling him what to do is another. Don’t outright tell your friend to leave their partner, even if you think they should. When someone is in a relationship, it will always be their decision to leave or stay, not anybody else’s. If he does ultimately decide to leave his partner, it will be because he sees the toxicity of the relationship, not because you told him it was toxic. You can help him decide how to proceed in his relationship, but he’s the one that ultimately needs to believe in his own choices.
The most important thing is to be there for your friend no matter what. That is the best way to help: Listen to them, console them and just be there. We don’t always agree with our friends or their choices, but they’re still our friends. Everybody is a little bit messy, and we’re all just trying to navigate the craziness of life the best we can.
If you see that your friend’s partner is putting themself or him in danger, there are resources at UConn that can help. Find institutional support here.
“BE THERE FOR YOUR FRIEND NO MATTER WHAT. … LISTEN TO THEM, CONSOLE THEM, JUST BE THERE. … EVERYBODY IS A LITTLE BIT MESSY, AND WE’RE ALL JUST TRYING TO NAVIGATE THE CRAZINESS OF LIFE THE BEST WE CAN.”Homie B
Q: How do you actually make friends here? No BS about joining clubs and going to basketball games and crap. Like, how do you make actual human friends when you don’t live on-campus but come here every day?
There are really two key components to making friends: having something in common, and consistency. Therefore, the “BS” about joining clubs is important! Clubs are an excellent place to find people that you might have something in common with, and they often meet regularly.
Of course, there are other places you can find people with similar interests to you, like in your classes. But in my experience, clubs are super effective mechanisms for meeting cool people. You just need to have the courage to enter a space where you don’t know anyone and talk to people.
Once you find someone that you have something in common with, ask them about themself and learn who they are. Use what you learn about them to keep in touch. For example, if you find that you both love dogs, send them a cute dog TikTok that you see. Or if you both listen to a certain type of music, send them some song recommendations. If you have class together, ask them if they want to study with you. Having consistent reasons to keep talking is how you will build a relationship, and eventually a friendship. Go put yourself out there!