"Can I be your friend?"

What is the appropriate response to this??
I always feel like such a b*****. People come up to me and tell me I look like thier friend and ask me if I am them. (first of all, if she were your friend you would know if it were or were not me) and then when I say I am not whatever my name is that day, they proceed with “well can I be your friend?”
Which I know, you know, they know, everyone knows means “Will you be my free english coach” I mean, how do you make friends with someone on sight??

Anyways, I always answer with “I have enough friends already, thank you.” or something equally rude because I don’t want to give my number to someone who I don’t know. How do those of you who have been here a while (and thus have deffinately dealt with this a billion times) do this without being rude?
I don’t want to give out my contact info to people I don’t know.
I think it is more rude to give out fake numbers.
How do you tell someone you aren’t interested in being thier “friend” without being rude??

I have had friends have this happen to them. Maybe it’s not so good to be snappy but rather give them the number to the local Hess or Wall Street. Then they’ll get the message

Yeah. But that also seems rude. I am trying to find a way to not be rude about it.

no is not rude

I’m getting the same thing by e-mail these days. I got an e-mail yesterday from some guy in China, who apparently had visited my Web site, and concluded that, since I was a native English speaker and he a native Chinese speaker, we should make friends and help each other. O–kaaaay. Fortunately in the cyberworld the DELETE button is always an option. I felt kind of bad (in a way) but couldn’t really figure out why I would want to have anything to do with the guy. I suppose at least he was showing initiative?

I think by telling them “thanks but no thanks I have enough friends” is rude. What I should have said was give them ‘your’ number=the number to a english buxiban.

Why not just say, “I have a BF/GF and he/she takes up all my free time. Sorry.”

Gosh, I wish I had your problems… :wink:


“You want to be friends? Sure thing man! Hey! I know! Let’s get some smack and do a little mainlining. Got any money you can front me? I’m a little light right now.”

That usually works for me.

It’s actually not rude, at least not from a Chinese cultural perspective. Once in a while this happens to me (when speaking to someone in Chinese, so I think this rules out the “attempt at free English lessons” theory.) Someone says, “Wo men ke yi zuo peng you ma?” It’s pretty innocuous, I think.

I think the Taiwanese and Western concept of what constitutes a “friend” are quite different. Is an internet buddy that you’ve never met in real life a “friend”? Is someone who says “Can we be friends?” and then you reply “Sure!” and then never speak to again qualify as a friend? Does someone one of your friends introduces you to once and then you never see or speak to again qualify as a “friend”? For me, the answer to the above questions would be absolutely no … to most Taiwanese I know, I think the answer would be yes. Maybe they’re just “friendlier” than me … shrug

How about…

“I’m in a real hurry right now, but I do know this great new website where there’s all kinds of people out to find friends…”

Wear headphones.
Be modest: “Oh, you don’t want to be my friend. I’m really very boring.”
Put the headphones back on.
Smile and nod. The person might be mentally retarted. I’m serious.

If they’re retarted, they shouldn’t be short of friends. Sorry.

Indeed. When I get this question from Taiwanese guys here I can’t help but sense the connotations behind it. “Can I be your friend (and hopefully be your boyfriend in the near future)?” This is the worst way to pick someone up… usually I just roll my eyes and say DUH.

I am going to rant now, because it just happned AGAIN! EXACTLY THE SAME WAY!!
Arg! Are the offerring a “creepy little boy” seminar down at one of the colleges?
Dude. I SO bet money that one of the English teachers here has put his students up to this and is LAUGHING!

I notice him following me, so I start with the evasive weaving.Jerk still follows me. (so creepy rude). Starts with the 'Hullo. Hullo, miss, hullo?" bit.

Those of you who know me will vouch for the fact that I look mean. I may be tiny, but I can REALLY MEAN until I start talking (then I look like a retarded kitten, mainly because I am). And I didn’t want to talk so I turned around with my best “Pissed off southerner” stance and glared at him and nearly shouted “what!”
And he says “Is your name carrie?”. I say “No”, turn around and keep walking.
Hullo. Hullllo. HUlllo tap tap tap (and I hate people I don’t know touching me) “Cuz you look like my friend. Her name is carrie”
“Not carrie, sorry” Walk off.
Hullo. HUllllo. Hullo (where is my gun when I need it?) Hullo. HUllllo. HUllllo. tap Tap tap
“Can I help you?” (the dude was following and tapping, I am allowed to be a b**** at this point)
“WIll you be my friend”
“I have many friends” walk off
“hullo. hullo”
“What does that mean”
“please quit following me”
meep meep Saved my friend on his scooter to scoot me home.

This is a great idea - that way if you decide you want to talk to the person, off come the headphones, otherwise you can convincingly play dumb and act like you didn’t even hear them. They’ll be like “Oh, maybe the music’s too loud” and just sort of trail off.

I too wish i have problem like yours. Maybe they truly just want to be your friends. Sometimes I will PM ppl on this message board simply because they sounded interesting, or they live around my area, which I would like to have more friends to share…

is it wrong?

I think you should say to them “Ich kann nicht Englisch sprechen” (German) or “Je ne peux pas parler anglais” (French) or "No puedo hablar ingl

When I do make friends with Taiwanese (weird random people coming up to you on the street excluded, since I won’t make friends with them … unless they’re REALLY hot) … I make it a point of only speaking Chinese with them. If they’re really interested in me as a friend, they won’t care. If they’re only looking for free English practice, they’ll get tired of you very quickly.

Another thing you can try when they ask if they can be friends with you is to reply to them with the question “Why?” Usually that’ll stump them … If they say they want to practice their English, quote them a rate. If they say it’s because they like foreigners, tell them you’re Taiwanese. That’ll confuse them long enough for you to make your escape.

People only want to be ‘your friend’ at random because they want something. You don’t set out with the intention of befriending a complete stranger, unless maybe you have some philosophical imperative (I will make up for being such a git by being nice to the first person I meet.) today - but then the odds against your chosen new friend being a foreigner are astronomical.

So you’re being singled out because you’re a foreigner, because they want something. I imagine it’s either a free English partner or else they’re a-questing for some sex. Either way, it’s not real friendship. You make friends because you have good reason to talk to someone on a regular basis and decide that you like them, not because you like the look of them and decide to hunt them down.

So it’s not acceptable in my book. It’s fucking rude, and you’re under no obligation to put up with it.

First, ducking and weaving and walking away is no good. Try it when being pursued by a beggar in a less developed country and see how far you get. You’re giving them a psychological advantage by letting them chase you. Do not show any fear at all. You are a brusque, confident woman who doesn’t have time for this shit.

Wear sunglasses, the reflective kind. If they can’t make eye contact it disturbs them and gives you something to hide behind.

And get used to it. You’re in much less physical danger than you would be if you were being stalked in most western countries. It’s annoying, but there’s no need to feel intimidated. It’s just another bloody idiot looking for a friend. Time to be comfortably and obviously fed up. You’re trying to be polite but this is clearly an imposition and hiding it only makes things worse.

Sales people learn to ‘take control’ by choosing the ground for any encounter. Deciding who stands/sits where is a good start. Climb a stair or something then turn around to confront your stalker.
SuchAFob: Yes?
Weirdo: Is your name Godzilla?
SAF: What? (incredulous)
W: You look like my friend Godzilla
SAF: Sorry, you have the wrong person. My friends know what I look like. (incredulous and offended)
W: Will you be my friend?
SAF: Why? (hostile)
W: I want to practise English.
SAF: Teaching is my job. I charge NT$1000/hr. (straightforward)
W: I can teach you chinese.
SAF: I have a professional teacher. Are you a professional teacher?
W: No
SAF: (shrug) Thank you. Goodbye.
W: Can we be friends?
SAF: What?
W: I said…
SAF: (point to the nearest female) Be friends with her. Why are you asking me?
W: …
SAF: I don’t talk to strangers. Make friends with someone else. Goodbye.

You could also try making up some card describing yourself as a freelance teacher or rent-a-friend with hefty charges and a made-up MSN name. Just hand it over and say “I’m really busy. Can’t stop. Here, take this. Bye.”

On the reverse side you could print a little rant about how rude it is to accost girls on the street and warn that it leads to violence. Label it “Free cultural issues lesson #1