Post # 1
My little sister just sent me this text:
“I’m trying to study outside on campus but Christians keep coming by to try and convert me. I think it’s because I’m sitting down. They must not like moving targets. I’ve been confronted by 3 groups so far!” She said she’s been saying, “Yes, I know the Bible – I went to Catholic school. No, I don’t want to join their Bible study group, I just want to study for my midterm. Thanks.”
That’s a very sweet response but it doesn’t seem to be very effective. What would you guys do?
Oh, and she’s in BOULDER if there’s anywhere you’d think this wouldn’t happen it would probably be there!
Post # 3
That is really annoying. It happens a lot on college campuses, though–people promoting their groups/organizations, trying to ‘rush’ you, etc.
Wear headphones! Even if there is no music, lol. And ignore them…and say “sorry i’m busy studying, thanks” then put them back on.
When all else fails, just be blunt and tell them you’re not interested. Repeat: “i’m not interested” and if they pester, tell them they’re interrupting your study time and they’re being inconsiderate.
Post # 4
I would leave out the bit about being Catholic, etc. Defensiveness usually only leads to more conversation leads to justifying…
When I was in school I stuck with, ‘Sorry, I’m really busy,” and went back to whatever I was doing. Minimal eye contact is key.
And if they persist she can certainly be short with them. It’s rude to interrupt a person who clearly wants to be left alone.
Post # 5
avoid eye contact and simply ignore them…..its less rude when headphones are on like ejs suggested 🙂
Post # 6
Wow thats crazy – I would be really upset if someone did that to me on campus!
I get them coming to my door at home though and I just tell them I am an atheist and they leave me alone LOL! So even if you aren’t this could work!
Post # 7
- Wedding: March 2012 - Marie Gabrielle
I live right next to a Potbellys, a super-popular spot for groups to canvas/evangelize/survey/etc. It’s so annoying because every day they say something like “Do you care about the environment?” Hearing it twice a day every day gets uber-duber annoying.
So I guess that doesn’t help much – I need advice myself! 🙂
Post # 8
I asked her about the headphones and she doesn’t have any with her. And now she seems mostly amused by it. Maybe the distractions from studying really aren’t all that unwelcome. 🙂 I was certainly approached a handfull of times when I was in college but NEVER when I was sitting down obviously interested in something. That definitely surprised me since we had some very …enthusiastic people come through town.
@FutureMrsMartin – I would usually blame it on the dogs. “Sorry, they’re not very friendly.” And the dogs would usually oblige by barking and looking big and scary since we weren’t letting the people in. Word must have passed around pretty quickly because after the first few months we never got anyone else!
@mssnapdragon – With those I usually say, “Actually, I just signed up/donated with you guys yesterday!” That usually stops them pretty quickly. 🙂
Post # 9
caitlanc: OMG, I went to Boulder!! On top of bible study, I wonder how many times she’s been asked if she has a minute for Greenpeace??
The headphones are a GREAT tactic. But my favorite was a sign I brought with me that I safety pinned to my backpack. (I think I even still have it somewhere, I had it laminated so I could reuse it all the time…) My sign said:
“NO! I do not have a minute for:
Please leave me alone so I can study.”
I used to get asked about that crap ALL the time in the quad. Another option would be if she chose a different place to study. She’s probably right outside Alferd Packer grill by the bookstore. That’s where all the trolls roam. She could move to the library (not too far of a walk) or just outside the library on the lawn. Boulder has the most annoying/persistent trolls ever! Thus my sign…
Post # 10
“I’m sorry but I’m studying right now and would really appreciate if you let me concentrate on that. If I do want more information, I know where to get it. Have a nice day” and immediately go back to books.
Post # 11
@MightySapphire – That’s too funny about the sign! Rather clever. And I guess my assumption was wrong. I went to CSU and NEVER had anything that bad! I really shouldn’t be surprised though. Boulder is full of crazies from all walks of life! 😉 So how is living in the Springs working out for you? I haven’t spent much time down there but it certainly has a reputation for this sort of culture.
Post # 12
I usually go with a polite but curt “sorry, I’m not interested.” Repeat if necessary.
Post # 13
caitlanc: I live in the Springs and don’t have a problem—well, unless you are downtown and then you get harassed by the homeless people so I avoid it. I agree though, Boulder definitely is it’s own little world. I think people who don’t even live there and only visit once know it’s just a place of it’s own for sure.
Post # 14
@Curlysue – Actually, I guess it would make sense that there is more evangelizing in Boulder (viewed by some to be nearly Sodom or Gomorrah, I’m sure) whereas Co. Springs would be more akin to preaching to the choir. Ok. I retract all surprise that she recieved this sort of attention in Boulder. It now makes perfect sense. 🙂
Post # 15
Oh man…I went to Fort Lewis in Durango and was always hounded by those groups. I agree with leaving out the Catholic part. I tried that once, only I told them I was Mormon and oh man did they jump on that. Then they really wanted to “save” me and convert me to Christianity. That’s about the time I replied, “Uh, thanks…But I am already Christian.” Surprisingly, they always stayed away. I always thought they would have tried harder. Very happy they left me alone though!
I think the headphones & backpack sign are genius! I probably wouldn’t have been brave enough for the sign, but I definitely would have used the headphones!
Post # 16
Haha I love the comment about moving targets. Someone tried to convert me at Tyson’s Corner in Washington, DC. It was some strange offset of Christianity where they worship the Virgin Mary instead of Jesus or something. They wouldn’t take no for an answer either, so annoying.
@caitlanc: I went to UCCS and I was never ever approached by anyone about that sort of thing. The Springs was actually less religious in my experience.