Q&AI wanna make friends.
dongdong Asked 3 years
Frank fang replied 3 years ago

Yes.that is you here.

vanessa_lxl replied 3 years ago

Come to Cloud… Friend us. 🙂

1 Answers
iamuwajimaya Staff answered 3 years

Sort of cheating, but I recently wrote an article about this exact thing:

Can I make a friend with you?
If you have to ask someone to be your friend, you are definitely not friends. Think about your real friendships. Did you ever need to ask your best friend, ‘so, are we friends now?’ No, of course not. It just happens. 

I know you Americans like basketball
Not all foreigners (Americans, in this case) love cheeseburgers and basketball. Instead of being put into a certain category at first sight, most people (yes, foreigners too) feel respected if they are taken as individuals rather than some exotic stereotyped rare species. Instead of assuming, you can just ask, ‘so, how do you feel about basketball? Do you watch it much?’ The tone is totally different and much more inviting.

It is my honor!
Nothing is more uncomfortable than being treated like a king (or maybe I should say, a precious zoo animal). It’s Chinese culture to try and make outsiders feel welcome and comfortable (which is great), but by trying SO HARD to make foreigners feel comfortable, it is likely you are doing the opposite, making them feel isolated and unwelcome. How ironic. To be treated specially is to be identified as an outsider. So, what can you do? Just relax! Let me carry my own bag. Treat me like you would treat any Chinese friend. That will make me feel at ease. 

Look, it’s a foreigner. See how tall he is?
Sometimes living here really does feel like living in a zoo. Let me give an example. I was in a small town and went to a bathhouse. I was taking a shower (Naked, obviously. Sorry about that). Anyway, I was in the big shower room with about 50 other people. Every one of them was watching me with 100% focus and concentration. At last, a group of old men came up and stood around me, smoking and talking about me like I was a tiger in a cage: ‘Hmm, interesting choice of shampoo. Wow, he sure is white. Wait, why isn’t he using conditioner?’ Needless to say, I didn’t love the attention. So, the point is, foreigners are just as stupid as everyone else. There’s no need to gaze at them and speak of them as though they were an object without feelings.
Another quick story. I was in Chengdu once and, after poking me curiously a few times, a young lady grabbed my ass! Not in a sexual way but in a very scientific way, like: ‘I wonder if a foreigner’s ass feels the same as a Chinese ass.’ Feeling violated, I ran away. It took me a few days to fully recover.

I want to get a foreign boyfriend / girlfriend
I want to make a foreign friend to improve my English
If your goal is to date a foreigner and you don’t care WHICH foreigner it is, good luck to you. You will very likely end up with someone interested in you for equally shallow reasons (sex, probably). I’ve met plenty of people with this intention and it’s very easy to identify. The feeling is, ‘you are foreign, and that is my only requirement’. If you want have a genuine relationship with anyone, foreigner or otherwise, change your priorities. Become interested in the person, not the nationality. 
Girls, if that’s you, there are plenty of foreigners who have come to this country for one purpose, to have sex with as many young girls as they can. Be careful and judge intentions. Judge your own and judge theirs. Just my advice. 
I’ve actually had people say, ‘I want to be friends with you because I want to improve my English.’ What a bad feeling that is. Friendship is not an exchange of services, so there should be no pressure either way. Be genuine. Make foreign friends, fine, learn some English by the way, fine, but if you start expecting a service, start expecting to pay. 
I’ve got lots of Chinese friends, and if you’re one of them, it’s because you’re cool enough to NOT expect me to be your English teacher 24/7.

Put on slippers! Eat this!
Pushiness is a pretty big no-no in Western culture. When it comes to what we wear and what we choose to eat (personal choices), the freedom to choose without pressure is necessary. Now, I totally understand that pushing is part of Chinese culture, but for foreigners who are new to the country and haven’t adjusted yet, forcing choices, or even food, might be off-putting. 

Wow! Your Chinese is amazing!
In the nation of humility, I was rather surprised to find that a lot of people get very excited about every little thing that foreigners do, and don’t hesitate to call even simple things ‘AMAZING!’ My Chinese language skill is quite awful, it really is. You can ask anyone who knows me. I’m about as good at Chinese as an unborn orangutan. So, I’m not sure what’s with all the compliments. This is an aspect of my experience in China that I haven’t figured out yet. Anyway, it does come across as somewhat… exaggerated. I’d be happy to learn about some good old Chinese modesty. 

So, what can we learn from all this? I think, importantly, there is a cultural gap which leads to some difficulty in making friends on both sides. I’m definitely not trying to suggest that it’s a one-sided issue. I think people who come from other countries to China should do their best to adjust and become part of the culture, but it’s important that they be allowed to do so. Next time you meet a foreigner who you’d like to get to know, start with a few simple and curious questions and see where things go. Don’t assume and don’t bend over backwards to make them feel like Prince Albert. If you treat me like a normal person, I will feel very comfortable and we may yet become great friends. 
To reiterate:
Be real, be yourself
Don’t objectify people
Understand your intentions

Your Answer