04/24/2015 06:52 pm ET Updated Jun 23, 2015

How To Deal When You're the Friend That Hates Sports

We all know that one friend who knows nothing about sports but insists on watching with everyone only to complain, become disinterested or talk the entire time.

Well, this article is for those friends.

Calling all students who don't like sports but are friends with sporty people: here is some advice on how to handle these recurring sports gathering events.

To start, it can never hurt to be honest and upfront with your friends about your obvious dislike for watching sports. Whether the games are too long, you don't understand them or they bore you to death, letting your friends know this can be both good and bad.

It can be good because your friends may be sympathetic towards your cause and respond by trying to help make sports more interesting or allow you to do your own thing on your phone or computer during games.

This could also be a bad thing, however, because friends could stop inviting you to watch games with a bunch of people, causing you to feel left out and lonely. Maybe being alone rather than with a group being forced to watch sports could be a better alternative though so either way, choose your poison wisely.

If, like many people who fear missing out on things, you want to keep hanging out with your friends or have a significant other who enjoys sporting events, there are many ways to make these scenes enjoyable.

These methods in some cases may vary by sport but for the most part they should be applicable to any and all sporting events you may have to silently endure.

The first thing you can do is to always root for the underdog. I find that in any game, people will root for both teams. So, unless your best friend or significant other is really gutting for a specific team and will hate you forever if you cheer against them, go for the underdog.

This does, however, mean that you will have to know who the underdog is. Thankfully we have computers where you can easily look this up, so just do a bit of research before the game and you can thank yourself later for not being the person who not only doesn't like sports but also doesn't know anything about sports.

Next would be to wear spirit wear. If you know you're going to a Red Wings game, for example, wear red. If you're going to a college football game, I sincerely hope you know the colors of your own school. If not, there is really no hope and I'm sorry, but please just stay away from sporting events.

No matter what team your friends are cheering for or what sport it is, putting in some effort in what you wear or bring will go a long way in being accepted by your super sporty friends.

The next two ways to help you enjoy sporting events can be applied to any friend that may need a little help enjoying a game.

Grab a beer. You may not understand what bases loaded means or how awesome a sack is in football, but if movies have taught us anything, it's that having a beer in your hand will make you feel included. Even if you don't know what is going on, you'll at least look like you are enjoying yourself with your friends.

In certain sports, I focus on the outfits of the players. In my defense, it took me a while to be able to appreciate sports like golf and tennis.

While I now know that eagles and birdies are great accomplishments and that a tennis match is comprised of sets, my mom and I used to rate the player's outfits. This is a great way to make yourself watch the game and entertain yourself and even get a couple of good conversations going with some friends.

For example, my friends and I all agreed that during the Masters in the fourth round, Rory Mcllroy was wearing white pants that were a bit too tight for him. We don't mean to degrade his golfing abilities or sound mean; we merely thought some looser pants would make walking 18 holes a bit more comfortable for him.

Finally, if all else fails and no matter how hard you try to act like you enjoy the games and actually want to be there you are secretly dying inside: bring something else to do.

College students -- it is nearing exam time and baseball season is just getting interesting. Bring a book or even another game to do/play while your friends watch the game.

Hopefully you can now fool your friends and maybe enjoy some games by using these techniques and learning a bit more about sports, too.

By: Christy Flom, University of Michigan