How To Spot A Social Climber

There are few things more annoying than a social climber. Unfortunately, there’s a big chance you’ll have one of these in your friend group at some point or another.  Social climbers are the worst because they often come in as just another betch, and they always have a good excuse for having no friends of their own, like maybe they claim to have just moved to the city or that they just got out of rehab or something. Whatever their reason, when you first meet this person it’s always through a mutual connection and seems innocent enough.

It usually becomes pretty clear that something is off about this person though. For one thing, they usually seem pretty cool at first, because they very carefully craft their image to be your friend. So everything about them to the way they dress, act, things they like, and mutual friends will all seem in line with yours. One sign this person is just trying to be your friend for social currency is that they will often bring up your other mutual friends when you’re hanging out, like “Oh by the way Jake says hi” out of no context except to let you know that she hung out with Jake, your college floormate who you are barely friends with now.

You can always tell someone is a social climber because they love to name drop people within your social network as if they are celebrities. They will bring up uninteresting stories about people you know just to prove that they know them, like “Once when Marina and I were working together at Red Bull we drank so much Red Bull we felt sick.” Like okay, cool story. But because of these mutual connections, you’ll feel like this person has been around for a long time, and when she suddenly starts hanging out with all your friends within weeks of meeting you, it doesn’t seem so strange. Think Brandi Glanville from Real Housewives, when she shadily started hanging out with Kim Richards to get invited to Kyle’s parties.

She’ll also try to regroup your friends, like start a new text thread with everyone that was already in your group chat, with an excuse like, “We should make Sean throw a birthday party in his sick apartment who’s in” so that she’ll now be included in your already existing group chat. And when you do invite her to things, she’ll always ask “who are you with” before she decides if she wants to come. Even when she initiates hanging out, she’ll always casually drop in “you should invite ____”.

Social climbers are also dangerous because like Chris Brown says, these hoes ain’t loyal. They might suddenly act like your best friend and make you feel like you can count on them, but they’ll quickly switch loyalties as soon as they think they can use your secrets to get in with another crowd. They jump around from different friends to seem popular, but if they can’t keep close friends for long, there’s probably a reason why.

Classic famous social climbers you might recognize include Taylor Swift, Cersei Lannister, and Jenny Humphrey.  If someone needs to be surrounded by cool people in order to feel cool, chances are they can’t hold up on their own. The best thing to do when you realize someone is a social climber is to phase them out and make them someone else’s problem. They’ll keep floating around and you might even run into them at parties, but don’t be surprised if they’ve got a whole new look and a different set of “besties” next time you see them.


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