While travelling, sometimes I talk with people seated near me. The conversation is either started by them or by me. At the end, some people ask for WhatsApp number or mobile number or facebook id.

Facebook id is okay; no problem with that, and I will give it to them.

But one or two times I gave my number to them and then from next day onwards, I am in their broadcast list. "Good mng" "Good ni8" and that is the message I get daily and it is really disturbing for me to check such greetings/farewell message.

Some people add me to some groups and my inbox always contains more than 1K unread messages.

So, I don't want to give my WhatsApp number to such people.

How could I reject their request politely? In such a way that they won't think that I am rejecting their request because I didn't like them. They should think that there are some other reasons.

Telling that I don't have WhatsApp is not an option. Sometimes I use it but it is not an option anymore because I check my WhatsApp in the journey and they know I have it.

  • 1
    This question is of a kind I am calling "asserting your boundaries". Please edit this question to add details about the specific problem you are facing beyond learning to be assertive while polite. Jun 29, 2017 at 6:44

3 Answers 3


Hmm, that's a tricky situation. If possible, it's best if you convey the idea that your new friend is not alone in the boat. Since you said Facebook ID is fine, my personal recommendation would be something along the lines of,

Ah, I don't usually share my WhatsApp credentials publicly. Would my Facebook account work instead?

The advantages of this approach are twofold:

  1. You make it clear that this is the way you treat everyone, making them not feel "left out."

  2. You leave the door open for them to try another option.


Just say it's for work only.

If not, just say "I'd prefer not to. Sorry". It's your number, you can give it to whom you like. It's similar to your phone number or address, just tell them you don't want to give it out. If they get offended it's highly unlikely you'll see them again (unless I've misunderstood your conversation).

  • (+1) you are right here highly unlikely you'll see them again but I think you don't want to give it out. will be a little rude.
    – Sagar VD
    Jun 28, 2017 at 10:32
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    @sagarV as I mentioned you can always claim it is a works WhatsApp Jun 28, 2017 at 10:33
  • But as I mentioned in question, I check whatsapp while talking with them and they may already have seen the stuff a lot of friends message and many groups. Will it work in this case?
    – Sagar VD
    Jun 28, 2017 at 10:39
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    @sagarv hopefully they take the hint that you don't want to give it to them but if they're insistent just tell them that ou were just having some casual work gossip, if they keep pushing you, are you sure you want to be their friend in the future if they keep pushing you to give them something? Jun 28, 2017 at 10:48
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    I think lying (it’s for work only) is much ruder than the truth (sorry, I don’t like giving out my number). It’s normal not to give your number to strangers, nothing rude about it. You said “will it work” if you lie and they figure it out: it will work in the sense that they stop asking, but it will look rude and dishonest. The truth is less rude, and honest.
    – gnasher729
    Oct 9, 2018 at 14:14

Instead of giving your personal number, Ask their personal number

It is very common scenario. I have also faced this situation many times.

Instead of rejecting your mobile number, you can use following trick. If the person asks your phone number then,

  1. In reply to him, instead of giving your personal number, just politely ask his own mobile number-

"Please give me your number instead, You can ping me anytime on my Facebook messenger. I would like to call you back".

  1. Share your Facebook id to him.

He will understand easily that you don't want to share your number. He will surely not again ask you your phone number.

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