• Keeping Friends

From The Friendship Forums – 8 Telltale Signs of a Social Climber

Published: January 6, 2012 | Last Updated: May 14, 2020 By | 5 Replies Continue Reading

It’s not too
uncommon that people learn that a "friend" is not who she appears to be.
Instead, she’s a social climber who utilizes friendships to enhance her own
status. The original poster on a thread on The Friendship Forums wrote that with "20/20 retro vision" she realized that her friend was using her to make more prestigious contacts. Not every
social climber has the same pattern but here are some telltale signs that "can
save us some heartache":


1) She’s Status Driven
– The individual makes friends based on whom another person knows or what another
person has.


2) She’s a Name Dropper
– They can’t resist telling you about the important people they know, or the
important person someone they know knows. They’re eager to find out the names
of people you know who fits that profile, too.


3) She’s Overly Concerned
with Appearances
– These individuals go to great lengths to look like "they
belong" and make sure that you and other people they hang out with do, too.
They flaunt designer labels and attention-drawing accessories proudly.


4) She’s a Selective
Friend Poacher
– If you introduce them to someone in your social circle, they
may hijack the friendship to get closer to a more important or accomplished
person than you.


5) She’s a User
They try to use your accomplishments and/or connections for their own benefit. The
intensity and persistence of their approach goes well beyond what might be
called appropriate "social networking."


6) She Lacks Empathy
– They accumulate "friends" in large numbers who they really don’t know well or
don’t connect with on an intimate level. In general, they tend to be
narcissistic and self-centered.


7) She’s Unreliable
– They wait until the last minute to confirm or cancel a social invitation in
case they receive a better offer.


8) She’s a Queen Bee
– They try to control social circles and have no qualms about dumping,
substituting and excluding a "friend" from the group. They may resort to
belittling and gossiping to get the job done.


Bear in mind, says
one poster, "I think some people are naturally gifted at connecting to and
reaching out to other people, and their motivations are genuine." These folks
befriend easily and often "with no eye for what they will get out of it."


This is one in a series of crowdsourced posts,
written primarily by guests in The Friendship
Forums section of
this blog
(with minimal "doctoring" by me.)
Thanks to the anonymous
poster who started this thread, the person who began listing the signs of a
social climber, and all those who added to it.


Have you had any
other experiences that should be added to the list?


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Comments (5)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi, It’s Peppercat from L.A., who posted a list on signs your friendship is ending a few months back. I had one colleague/friend who was a social climber and did exactly this stuff to me back in 2008, and she almost destroyed my writing career by hijacking associates, turning PR companies against me and trying to get our shared editors to fire me. For a while,she was getting travel and events ops while I, with FAR more writing credentials and experience, was being turned away. Thankfully, hard work helped put me back on top. I just shared a press trip with her, and all the deep seated anger I had just shifted to pity. Won’t gossip about what happened, but the truth revealed itself.

    My point? Run away from anybody social climbing, do damage control, and let time work things out.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Whether they want to appear to be more wealthy, the smartest, have the most talented kids, etc… the ultimate goal is to be envied.

  3. margarets says:

    It’s not just about designer labels or expensive things. Depending on the group the person wants to belong to, being appearance-conscious could mean wearing thrift store clothes (e.g. hipster-artist types), or doing a lot of adventure travel in out-of-the-way places, or being the most pious person in a religious community. Every sub-culture has its unspoken code for who gets in and who doesn’t.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I guess 8 & 9 go hand in hand……

  5. Anonymous says:

    Let’s not forget these 2 important signs, as well.

    # 9 – Exclusion is the name of the game! – If at anytime the social climber feels her social status is threatened, (either real or imagined, normally imagined though) she has no problem purposefully excluding those she deems unworthy or is threatened by. She MUST be the center of attention at all times and if you take even a second of that attention away from her and onto you, you have now been cast as the evil one in her mind.

    #10 – Attempts At Stealing Your ALPHA Man – She makes no qualms that she is after your man who is an ALPHA MALE, while smiling in your face. If you have a good man, he’ll see right through her act but if you have a dog for a man, he’ll run to her as fast as he can.

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