I have an university course in which I (Software Engineering) was assigned to a group of close-knit friends of a business career. Lastly, it has been impossible to work with them, since:

  • They have unreasonable expectations about the work I can perform in a frame of time. E.g. Having the MVP of an app and a web dashboard from 9pm to 5pm of the next day.
  • They define unreasonable responsibilities from me. Eg. When we discussed about the project, they expect I should guess and ace every one of the features they expect to see. After a week of polling them (4 of them, in the group chat) with messages asking them to review the Minimum Valuable Product (an app), I have gotten no review of the features. Furthermore, they have threatened to remove me of the group if they are not "satisfied" with the output when given to the teachers
  • They expect an unreasonable prioritization of the course from me. When I took part in an international 24 hours programming contest representing my university during a weekend and explained that I would not be able to work or communicate during that time, I was met with "We want solutions, not excuses". Which would be a reasonable answer from my boss, but not from peers, since we should be seeking for consensus and not unilateral efforts.
  • They are four close-knit friends, so they are majority and act in a dictatorial way.

How can I communicate to my group that I'm not happy with the way the team is currently working? I have even considered working all alone, but that would be too much of a burden to me. If moving to another group were possible I would do so, but I don't think it is (we are already mid-term, every group needs an engineer). Anyways, I would ask the professor for that change as last resort.

  • 1
    Just for clarification, how does the amount, difficulty, and quality of the work you are being asked to do compare with that of the other group members? Are they dumping extra work onto you to make things easier on themselves, or might this be a particularly highly-performing group?
    – Upper_Case
    Nov 2, 2018 at 14:37

2 Answers 2


They dont sound very friendly to me the way they are being the cause of so much stress for you. You need to be firm and upfront with them. Tell them that its a Group Project and everyone is supposed to put equal effort along with showing mutual respect and consideration. Talk to your professor and make him aware of whats going on. Dont leave out the threatening to kick you out part.

EDIT. Why op needs to do this ? well OP can either let things be how they are and hope for things to sort out own their own or stand their own ground. There is a difference between being rude, demanding and someone who wont let others take advantage of them.

Next time you meet them, talk politely but clear and firm. Stand, sit straight and look in the eyes.Talk to the point and avoid small talk or topics not related to your project. That would show that you are here to work and not make friends and chit chat.

Tell them all what you have done so far in the project and ask them about their progress. Discuss ideas, ask for suggestion and give them your input about their suggestions or ideas. That would show that you are involved.

As a last resort, go to your professor and be honest about the whole situation. Tell your professor about them threatening to kick you out of the group. Discuss what options you have in all this.

  • 1
    This is a good suggestion, can you please expand on how and why the OP needs to do this? High quality answers have further explanation on these. For example, if the OP is firm and upfront, what would that look like? What suggestions do you have to create a confident attitude in the OP? What are some tips for what OP can say to the professor? What did you mean by the last sentence, "Don't leave out the threatening to kick you out part"? To understand why, check this meta post for more info. Thanks!
    – ElizB
    Nov 2, 2018 at 14:58

"We want solutions, not excuses". - explain that it was not an excuse. It was information that you won't be available. There is a difference between excuse and explanation.
You need to stress point one and two to them. Explaining why they are making this a problem. If they want a solutions they need to work on them.
Explain that you all need each other for this task to be completed. They need to take responsibility for their part and cannot expect from you to make up for their lack of effort.

On side, personal note - threatening you with removal from the group is bullying. They try to force you to work harder using only "stick" without any carrot.

You should talk to your professor. Not about change but about problems with that group. Submit at least part of documentation to have a proof of your work and involvement.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.