First of all, not to brag, and I’m not sure if it’s even something people brag about these days, but I’m an extremely punctual person. Whenever there is a social gathering of any sort, I’m usually the first or one of the first people to show up. Sometimes I’m early, sometimes I’m just on-time, but in this day and age, everyone’s always late (unfortunately) so being on-time is pretty much considered early. In my experience of getting to social gatherings early, although it can get seem uncomfortable, I’ve found there are great upsides to being one of the first people to arrive.
Let’s dig into the phenomenon of people being late first. Why are people so often late to social gatherings (dinners, parties, activities etc.)? Rarely is it a ‘legitimate’ reason such as feeling sick or having an important emergency come up. Usually it’s a combination of procrastination and just not wanting to be the first to the gathering when few to no people are there yet. Picture this, you’re going to a friend’s party and don’t know many other people that are going, maybe you don’t even know this friend that well. If you’re one of the first to get to the party you feel like you’ll have to have awkward chit chat one-on-one with the few other people who are early too. Sounds uncomfortable right? Once you get past that though, I’ve found there are some great upsides of being early.
Here are the advantages of arriving early to the party:
1. It’s the best time to connect with friends individually before it turns into the big party
Once everyone’s at the party you will form into groups, and have conversations as a group. It is much more difficult to share potentially more personal things in groups because the likelihood of you being equally close to all the people in the group isn’t as high. However, if you’re at the party early there are little to no groups formed. You can chat with your friends one-on-one and talk freely about whatever you’re comfortable talking with each other about. It will also help build your personal connection with friends since you are just interacting with them individually.
2. It’s the best time to meet new people
Say you’re going to a party where you don’t know many people, if you get there late, everyone’s formed into their little cliques already and it’s super tough for you to introduce yourself to a group of people and join in on all their conversations. Even if you are able to join the group, now you gotta try to remember five names and five sets of personal details, all of which you will surely forget.
However, if you get to a party early, you get the chance to meet new people one on one! You are able to build a personal rapport with the person and actually get to know them. Also, when more of their friends show up they’ll introduce you to them too and you get to know each of those people one by one as they come. Then before you know it, you’re PART OF THE GROUP! One early arrival and five new friends later, you’ll be converted into an Early Erica.
3. Shows the host you give a shit
The planner or host of the party spent weeks or months getting people together, setting up their space, and getting snacks/drinks/cups etc. The least you can do, to show some appreciation, is not show up to their event an hour late. I guess these days most hosts expect people to be late, but it’s still pretty shitty, it shouldn’t be the norm. Show up early, show some appreciation to the host, and help make their party great! When they have another party in the future, you know that you’ll be one of the first people they invite.
Those three reasons should be more than enough to get your ass out of your house an hour or two earlier. Show up early, and reap the benefits of building friendships, making new friends, and being the party guest everyone wants to invite.