How do you go from social nobody to the top of the food chain, and more importantly..can it be done? MC investigates
You clock in to work and whilst sipping your morning coffee, fire up your social media platforms. It seems to be a never ending stream of happy faces and pictures of your fabulous friends at festivals and parties, trying all these cool things that you never seem to get invited to or even know about until it’s too little too late. You can’t help but suffer from a bout of FOMO (the very real Fear Of Missing Out), and you’re determined now more than ever to attend the next big thing on everyone’s social calendar.
It’s OK, It’s Normal
From the dawn of time, people have wanted to be noticed and desired to be social and accepted by society. In William James’ book Psychology which dates back to 1893, he describes: “We are not only gregarious animals, liking to be in sight of our fellows, but we have an innate propensity to get ourselves noticed, and noticed favourably, by our kind.” So there you have it, your desire to belong in a socially fabulous crowd is completely legit.
1. Social Stalking
Instagram is your friend, and there is no need to feel bad about stalking people on your social networks. After all, if someone doesn’t put their profile on private they should be well aware that their content is open for public consumption. So you’re safe. And if it’s any consolation, everyone does it ESPECIALLY those in the in crowd. New faces are always cropping up, and fresh blood is a necessity to keep the group young and relevant! The fashion industry is a good place to start as the glamorous lifestyle attracts the most covetable social circles. Start off by looking at a few well known local designers, and see who they tag in their pictures or who comments on their photos. Think local models, photographers, socialites, celebrities and soon you will be able to map out a pattern and recognise a few names. Following is free, so what’s stopping you from being clued in real time? Just avoid being obsessed and NEVER leave creepy comments.
2. Do Your Homework
After you’ve pin-pointed the who’s who of your selected it crowd, it’s time to do some legwork and get clued in to where these people go to party and what sort of events they go to. Follow event organisers such as Livescape Asia or The Bee for starters. It isn’t difficult to get in to a lot of these events although you may need to buy an expensive ticket or a small cover charge but think of it as an investment, so you won’t have to in the near future.
3. Dress the Part
Another crucial step is to ensure you look the part. From your stalking activities, you’d have noticed a few people who stood out based on their appearance. Identify these things – a cool haircut, a distinctive style of dressing, that je ne sais quoi in the way they elegantly tilt their head in faux effortless laughter.
Study how you would fit into that equation and what you can do to elevate your look to fit in, while standing out. Remember, it’s not enough to simply fit in; you’ve got to be someone others can aspire to become. If you’re in this for the long run, it’s a lifestyle choice and you’re going to be called out if you’re merely putting up a front. It’s important to…
4. Fake It Till You Make It
We’re not saying you should start a rumour about being related to Amal Alamuddin and that you’ve been invited to Hollywood’s favourite bachelor’s wedding, but confidence is key to pulling off your cool factor. You may be a ball of nerves when meeting these social gazelles but don’t be intimidated. Recognise that everyone has done their time to get where they are and despite whatever airs they may have about them now, they are all human beings and not the demi-Gods you’ve perhaps worked them up to be. Stay calm and collected, and talk to them like you would an old friend. Think aloof, but open to conversation.
5. Work the Room
Now, here is where your stalking comes into play. Part of being fabulous is spotting who needs to be known and recognising them when you see them in person. The quickest was to social suicide is asking a socialite who they are, and the last thing you want to do is hurt anyone’s ego. Even if you are unaware of who this person is, look at how others are interacting with them and be affable when approached.
However, avoid overdoing it and try not to force a connection and look desperate lest you be deemed a ‘grouper’ which according to uber Rich Kid of Beverly Hills, Dorothy Wang, is a “bottom-feeding fish that picks up everything in its path (including nickels) while it traverses the ocean floor.” If you have a less than successful encounter, let it be and move on to the next one. Once you’ve established yourself with one or two individuals, genuinely nurture these friendships and watch your network grow. It won’t happen overnight but with persistence and a little patience, it will in time.
6. Be Yourself
This is a bit of a contradiction since we just said to fake it till you make it but the most important thing to remember out of this entire exercise is to never lose yourself or what makes you unique. If you find yourself losing that inner shine and being obsessed about where everyone else is going and what they are doing, it’s time to take a step back and go back to your core being. Develop yourself to be a well-rounded individual and work on excelling in something that you love and are good at (ie. sports, arts, baking) as this will automatically draw people to you as someone of substance and interesting to talk to. Follow the advice of the ultimate It girl, Jennifer Lawrence when she says, “If you’re going to do something that you have to lie about, don’t do it. It’s very simple. I have too much anxiety to sneak or to cheat or to lie.” Remember, your lies might come back to haunt you so always keep it real.
Finally, make a positive first-impression because believe us when we say that’s what most people will remember you by. So go easy on the gossip and hold back on complaining about everything else from your taxi driver to the state of the country because you never know who you’re really talking to at this initial stage. Identify topics you can bring up and stay away from heavy topics, but make sure to have an opinion so you don’t seem like a ditzy social-climber!
Is It All Worth It?
This all sounds like much ado about nothing and you may be asking why bother at all? The benefits of networking and putting your face out there can be good for your professional career in so many way to meet the right people and get useful information about the goings on in your industry which will make you an asset to your company. What’s the worst that could happen; you end up having a little bit of fun? Who knows, one day you’ll recognise these moves being used on you and you’ll know that all your hard work has paid off.