Everyone likes to be first… except when it comes to arriving early.
It’s uncomfortable. Small talk is required. You could even be mistaken for someone with a lame social life, desperate for friends.
Arriving “fashionably late,” on the other hand, is quite awesome. It ensures you avoid awkwardness. It displays to everyone that you’re quite important and your time is (apparently) very valuable. It’s easier to avoid strangers and find the group of cool kids.
It’s a great confidence boost.
But what if being “fashionably late” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?
What if all the perks of being fashionably late are really its major downfalls?
What if being “fashionably late” is actually harming your social life more than helping it?
The “fashionably late” attitude isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. In many ways, arriving “strategically early” will earn you much more social influence than you ever received from being late.
WANT TO LOOK IMPORTANT?
Status. Power. Fame. Glory. Significance.
Whatever you call it and however you get it, everyone has an innate desire to be important. But there’s a big difference betweenappearing important and actually being important to others. And the tactics for both are quite opposite.
How to appear important – To appear important, you have one goal:prove that your time is more important than another person’s time. The “fashionably late” attitude is very effective if this is your goal. Show up late to a party. Delay your arrival to work every day. Check your phone often. Use phrases like, “I need to be somewhere.” Get in the habit of standing people up. Don’t leave your importance to the imagination; make sure it’s common knowledge.
To appear important, simply believe that one minute of your life is equally as important as 20 minutes of anyone else’s life. You won’t be able to help arriving late.
How to be important – To actually be important to others, you have a different goal: prove that another person’s time is more important than your time. The “strategically early” mentality is just one way to communicate you value someone else’s time. You can also ask thoughtful questions. You can turn your phone on silent. You can be present and engaged. You can go out of your way to help someone (even without them asking!).
To be important, simply believe one minute of your life is equally important as 20 seconds of someone else’s life. If you treat someone like they’re the important one, they won’t be able to disrespect you.
Whether it’s a date, party, business meeting, or picking up your kids from school, your arrival time communicates a lot.
It communicates how highly you value the time of another person.
Sure, there are bigger ways to communicate how much you value someone, but it’s the simple things that reveal the attitude of your heart. And if your attitude is to see others as more important than yourself, they will automatically assign you importance in their life.
Want to actually be important? Rethink your “fashionably late” strategy.
WANT TO NETWORK?
OK, but let’s be real. Arriving early kind of sucks sometimes.
For large gatherings—say, a church service, wedding, or house party—being early kind of ensures it’s just you and the other weirdos who decided to show up on time.
You may be one of the cool people, but most other cool people still arrive late. If anything, arriving late to large events is simply an intelligent way to avoid talking to anyone new. When you arrive late, you can make a beeline for your already-formed clique of friends and minimize the risk of talking to a stranger.
This is a guest post for the website Timeless Gent. You can read the article in its entirety here.