After coming to China for the internship, you may find out that many Chinese people are very friendly to you. They are always willing to help you and patient to answer your questions. However, it’s always difficult to tell if your Chinese friend is more like an acquaintance or actually a close friend? Because there are some things that are unique in Chinese culture when it comes to how you treat someone you’re close to.
- They’re no longer “polite”to you
You need to be polite when you first meet someone, of course, but when Chinese people are close to someone, they often stop with all the polite gestures.
For example, if your Chinese friend tells you to stop saying please and thank you with him, it means you have reached a certain familiarity and comfort level with each other.
- let you pay for the bill at a restaurant
If you are doing an internship in China, you may have already get used to the fact that your Chinese colleagues or friends will always pay for the bill.
Well, if a Chinese friend in China ever lets you pick up the bill, then you know they consider you to be a close friend. If they pay every time, then that’s probably because they feel like they are the host and you’re the guest.
- They don’t care which language you speak together
Sometimes you will find many people really like to talk to you during your internship in China, but actually, they may just want to talk in English… When it’s a true friendship, not just a language exchange partner, it doesn’t matter which language you speak.
Moreover, a good friend is comfortable pointing out any mistakes that you might make in Chinese, and they also aren’t embarrassed when you correct their English.
- You can joke about differences between Chinese and foreigners
You can poke fun at her choice of hot water no matter it’s how hot it is in summer! And you’ll laugh when she points out that you pretty much always wear plastic flip flops, which to her are only to be worn in a public shower.
Also, she won’t get mad or upset when you are saying something negative about China, and likewise, they are comfortable saying negative things about your country as well.
- You’re practically family
Family culture is very important to all the Chinese people. If your friend’s parents know all about your life and if you are always invited to his family events during your internship in China, congratulations to you! He must very like you and take you as a very good friend!
If you’ve got a Chinese friend who fits these descriptions above while you are doing an internship in China, you can be pretty sure that he or she counts you as a close friend. It’s not always easy to get to that point with someone from another culture, so consider yourself lucky when it happens!