How do you deal with your tutor taking an instant dislike on you?


I am 27 and attending graduate school in Europe. Before that I worked for a few years at some large firms.

One of my classes at school is taught by a middle aged professor who is also a practising architect.

From the very first class, I realised that the guy took an instant dislike on me. Sometimes he looks disturbed when I am speaking to him or stares at me with an awkward / annoyed look. 

I honestly don't know what I've done wrong here, as I am always on time, I participate a lot in the class and bring quality work every time.

I am concerned that my grades are going to suffer regardless of my actual performance, so I am looking for some advice on how to deal with this.

What do you think?

Feb 24, 20 3:48 pm

I had similar experiences on two separate occasions in undergrad.  I'm not quite sure what motivated their dislike, but I certainly know both instructors took every opportunity they could find to lower my grade.  

If at all possible, change instructors immediately.

Feb 24, 20 4:47 pm
Non Sequitur

or... it's all in your head.

Feb 24, 20 4:50 pm
On the fence

Sometimes in life you will find that you need to learn how to deal with people who do not agree with you nor like you.

Feb 24, 20 5:11 pm

That's a given. The case is that this person is marking my portfolio and there is nothing I can do, since I didn't do anything wrong in the first place to generate their dislike. On the other hand, I am a very strong student and always have been.

Non Sequitur

Is your work and quality as a student drastically less than you've convinced yourself it to be? Perhaps this is the answer.


Oh fuck off troll.

Non Sequitur

there ain't no trolls here.


Oh please, go back tο your mum schoolboy.

Non Sequitur

really? Ok there wanker. My question above was legitimate. I've seen plenty of students think they were getting the short end of the stick by their studio profs while all it was in the end was that they were just OK students with a un-naturally high opinion of their work.


That's just your autistic perception. Now go away little boy.

Non Sequitur

I’m fine. Thank you.


If your instructor shows he/she is not font of you I would advise you to change to a different studio group ASAP. This could greatly impact your studies. Is this a semester only class or are we speaking of a thesis instructor? 

Feb 24, 20 7:54 pm

It's a semester project, but still one that I have to take in order to complete all the credits required.


tyth, if you can't change to another class / studio (which it would likely be too late in any given term or semester for any good result to out by changing class. However, if you have the professor's name, you might be able to minimize classes you have with this professor. It isn't always possible to have 2 or 3 offerings of the same course but by different professors. This is probably true in most education programs in most colleges/universities. It is usually the common general education type courses that you have the most chances to avoid a professor that you just don't work well with.

Having said that, there are always the possibility of running into a professor who just doesn't like you. It could run the gamut. You just don't know. It can simply be because you look like someone they have a strong dislike for a variety of reasons and when they see you, they are reminded of that person and whatever it is that they have a problem with that person. It is unfair but there is nothing anyone even God can do to change it. Psychological help... maybe but they can't heal the psychological issues. You can't pop a pill and they are magically healed. However, they can facilitate the psychological healing via counseling process. That is how it works. There can be many other reasons for a person. Can it be based on some sort of racism or ethnic issue or some sort of nationality related matter. For example, will there be people in say France or Britain with disdain for Germans? Yes. Some of it relates to World War II. Could this be related to something more contemporary like are you of Middle eastern / arab ethnicity. I am not saying the hatred is justified or that it would be justification for discrimination in academic grades and all. Middle eastern terrorists have caused problems in Europe and around the world. Did they kill someone the professor cared greatly for, be it a family member, a good friend, or whatever else.

We can easily hypothesize a great array of possible back stories. We do not know. It can be none of that altogether and be like Non Sequitur said and simply be because you are seeing yourself as a victim and looking from the lens of the "perceived" victim and seeing the professor is treating you negatively. Is it discrimination if the professor does not believe in giving As to anyone and is a hard grader and treat all students like crap. Is it you or is it everyone? If it is everyone then it is probably not discrimination or a particular hate of you or any student but that everyone gets low grades because the standards for Bs or if they do give an A.... would have to be beyond the level of Frank Lloyd Wright level of work. An "A" student would have to be phenomenal. Better than any Architect of the past and present even the professor (most likely would be). It isn't discrimination or personal hatred or dislike of a particular student, in that scenario.

For a little while, try to take a point of observing how the professor treats other students. Emotionally detachment is key to this. Detach yourself. Perhaps that is what the professor is trying to get you to do. In this profession, you need to emotionally detach yourself to some degree. Architecture as a profession has a common motif of duality. While you need to tap into the emotional side to harness the "artist" in you to design greatly at times, you have to turn off the emotion with Vulcan-like control of emotions so when you present your work, you need to be detached emotionally. You need to look at architectural design as not fine art sculpture work but an applied/industrial art with functions that need to be addressed and turning off the emotions to look at things objectively without emotions distorting your judgment. It is an art of discipline of emotional control. If you ever design something that will be reviewed publically there will always be those who don't like your work or it may seem like they don't like you and your work when in fact it is not that they don't like you personally or your work itself as much as they don't want the changes that would essentially force them out of their homes like gentrification. Some people in the world sees architecture as the work of the minions of the devil and that developers are the devil. To them, that is how they essentially equate it. To extremist of environmentalists, humans are evil and human development is satanic and therefore architects and anyone who designs buildings, builds them, etc. are satanic minions. They might not use these colorful terms or would say they would in public... ever. Given that there is also the counter-culture that doesn't believe in God(s), Devil(s), demons, etc. and would see such use of terms as signs of psychological illness. 

We have to realize that it can have absolutely nothing to do with you. The professor may very well be doing this in order to break you of emotional attachment to the work and get you to exercise emotional detachment discipline. Remember, you can always draw it again or do it better. Why did the professor do this (if this is the case) from the beginning? Professors talks to other professors even in prior terms and professors talks about students in their classes with their other professors. It happens. One professor may have expressed his or her concern about a particular student to other professors. This happens in work place as well about employees. What do you thing a "performance review" is? If you didn't know this until now, welcome to the real world. It isn't the "ideal" way things are said to be done or suppose to be.... why the arguments of "suppose to be this and that" because frankly people will do what they want and what they will and if something that "suppose to be" is an inconvenience then what is "suppose to be" is ignored.

This is what the Trump Administration does at an unusually problematic way. I know, I'm underplaying the severity. What the professors do and this professor does is not particularly unusual albeit it is not necessarily proper or appropriate but not something that would convince administration of a college or university to fire or do anything more than admonition, especially if the professor is someone with tenure. 

Feb 24, 20 11:00 pm

talk to him directly and firmly. if you feel at all threatened set up a meeting with him in a visible meeting room. you don't give much evidence for your feelings her, but tell him you feel he regards you differently and you expect fair treatment in class. if he has any concerns ask him to send you an email which you can discuss after having time to review.

i had a difficult boss once early in my career who was unnecessarily aggressive and hostile with me in the office. after a couple days resenting it, i came in early one morning and waited for him to get in and get settled in his office then walked in and asked him directly if there is a problem with my work, that i expected professional treatment from him, and any specific problems in my work he could write down for me to follow up and improve on.

he didn't have much reaction but said no specific problem. he continued to be kind of a dick but wasn't so aggressive after that, and we were able to continue working together without problems for the remainder of that project.

some people you'll never figure out, and will never enjoy working with, but you can make sure they don't harass you in a professional environment if you're firm.

Feb 25, 20 5:10 am


Wood Guy

You could start by asking for a meeting. You might say something along the lines of you feel like some people take an instant dislike to you, including this professor, and you would sincerely appreciate constructive feedback as to whether there is something you are doing, not doing or could do differently. Then--and this is important--listen to their feedback. Take notes, even, and review the notes after some time has passed. 

This approach should disarm them and shows that you understand that something is off and that you have the maturity to face it head-on in a non-emotional manner. 

Or switch classes. But my approach is better practice for real life. If it doesn't work, then switch classes. 

Feb 25, 20 9:18 am

You mentioned Europe.  Is he just  -  French?

Feb 25, 20 9:57 am
Non Sequitur

oui oui.


Menona, the OP didn't specifically state which country but did mention Europe. I hypothesized France as an example to illustrate a point being made. I don't know what the ethnicity of the Professor is, either. tyth (the OP), could elaborate a little more about his / her ethnicity for example, or the country where the school he / she is attending. This can clarify some things.


Your professor (or your boss in later life) is responsible for making a collegial environment for all. If he can't take a few minutes to know each class member and say 'good morning' and make small talk for a few minutes every class period he really shouldn't be in the classroom. 

Feb 25, 20 6:56 pm

Rest in peace to your grade! :)

Feb 26, 20 2:24 am

Well that gives me high hopes thanks.


I had two instructors that had a hard on for me. For whatever reason I don’t know. Sometime you just don’t rub people the right way. They both gave me the lowest passing grade to move on to next studio. Who cares,,, you move on and that’s jt

Feb 26, 20 8:39 am

Well I do care because I want to graduate with a good GPA. I was an excellent student at my former school and I am very hard working and really motivated to do well. It just seems so idiotic to me that this one person determines what my future will be like regardless of my efforts.


Definitely confront the professor when you have enough context and frame of mind to speak objectively to their "unprofessional behavior".  I would have the 'spiel' ready to beforehand and attempt to appeal to their 'professionalism' as your way forward.  If you decide to stay in the class,  write everything down that you found out of line (getting into tiffs with the professor does not count). You have to be able to point to where because they acted "x" your instruction was negative impacted / withheld/ diminished  beyond just personality differences. Beyond that, you have to stay on top of the work load / deadlines so they can't point to that. If you feel compelled to challenge your grade at the end of the semester you will have specific references to challenge it with but be prepared for the bad grade all the same. (No one cares about grades, btw._ Most instances academia "endures" this kind of thing. The professor might not change their behavior in any significant way, but you will have learned to stand up for yourself, which is a hell of a lot easier to do in academia than the professional world.

Feb 26, 20 8:02 pm

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