Do You Have A Friend Who’s The Ultimate Social Climber? Here’s How To Tell

Suspect that your friend might actually be a bit of a social climber? Writer Emily Bryce Perkins shows you how you can tell


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A few years ago, I was at a party in LA – not a regular occurrence for me, I must add – when a very attractive girl approached me, thrust her perfectly-manicured hand out to shake my barely-washed one and said, boastfully: ‘Hi! I’m Katy Perry’s friend!’ Once I’d stopped laughing and changed my knickers, I said as sincerely as possible: ‘Oh! How lovely. Is she here?’ The girl shook her head, sadly, because no, Katy Perry wasn’t there. Of course she fucking wasn’t. She probably didn’t even know about the party.

What I’d just witnessed was peak Social Climber Chat (#SCS) and no, Toto, we weren’t in Kansas any more. We were in Über-ligger territory. This girl had spotted me, a mere mortal at a party in the Hollywood Hills, and wanted to see if I could benefit her in anyway. Her weapon of choice was this weird offering of social currency – the ‘who I know’ card. In reality, she’d maybe once sat at the far corner of a bar that Katy Perry was in. But that was enough. She wanted to know who I knew and if she should know them, too. Now, I’m not sure what exactly would have happened had I completed this Panina-like trade off with her, but she waited for a minute to see if I, a muggle, had anything or anyone that would be of interest to her.

But I didn’t.

She left.

I then spent the next ten minutes wishing I’d been quicker and responded with something like: “Katy Perry? Wow! I killed Kennedy.” Hindsight.

LA is renowned for that kind of behaviour, and we’re certainly not an exception over here in the UK. Many of us have flirted with a boss at a work drinks with our eyes locked on a promotion, some of us have moved away from a dull friend after, surprisingly, meeting someone far more interesting through them. We’ve all done it at some point, guys. We’ve all been there. But it’s to what gain and who gets affected by your actions that makes social climbing a bad thing. At a base level, if your actions ever make someone feel like they’re not worthy or important enough, you’re firmly at the bad end of the social climbing scale. So stop it. Right now. You terror.

The only way to do social climbing in a positive way is if you're choosing to step away from the people who drag you down or waste your time. If you’re a social climber in the sense that you like hanging out with successful people because they inspire you or challenge you, that is totally okay. It’s acceptable. Just don’t nick their ideas or rip them off, yeah?

But in case you were just thinking, ‘Oh my God, I think my friend is a social climber?' here's a super-handy fast set of questions that will help you ascertain just how much of a ligger they are. And, hey, If you think a lot of your friends and have a bags of time on your hands, why not print out their faces, glue them onto a Guess Who? board and play along with the questions. That way you can REALLY work out who the BIGGEST social climber is of them all. And kill an hour or two.

Okay. Let’s begin…

Do they constantly scan the room when you when you’re talking to them at parties to see if there’s anyone more interesting there?

Do they Tweet the most famous or influential person they met last night saying how ‘fabulous’ it was to meet them? (The option of a subtle direct message, of course, isn’t possible as the other person most certainly doesn’t follow them)

Do they ‘tag’ themselves at the location of whatever party they’re at – especially if it’s the place du jour?

Do they add people on Facebook at parties, regardless of whether the other person even knows there name?

Do they say they’re not drinking, unless it’s a free bar in which they will get utterly shit-faced?

Do they look visibly disappointed or sigh when they realise you haven’t brought that friend they clearly think is FAR more beneficial to their lives than you?

Do they ask you if you have coke and, if you do, instantly become your best friend and say that you two should ‘totally go away together this summer’, even though you both know that will NEVER HAPPEN?

Do they introduce themselves as ‘Katy Perry’s friend?’ (Srsly – if any of you are friends with that girl I met, you should totally show her this)

Do they always say: ‘Oh, how funny I’M friends with them, TOO,’ when in reality they once saw this person on a smoking terrace of a private members' club three years ago?

Do they only phone you when they have no parties booked and think enough time has passed since they convinced you they’d bank transfer the money over for that gram you said you’d split?

Do they retweet ANYTHING nice that’s said to them on Twitter and add at least three emojis to it?

Do they have a single fucking clue about what you actually do or what’s going on with your life?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you OR your friends are on the Official Social Climbing Scale (#OSCS). If one of your friends made it right to the end and you answered yes to every single one about them, they are Queen of the Social Climbers and you should immediately cut them out, not before linking them to this article to congratulate them.

Always remember, they need us more than we need them.

Follow Emily on Twitter @Miss_EBP

Picture: Rory DCS

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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