Why are people in Vancouver so clicky?

  1. You should talk to the guy from earlier today, who was having trouble getting people to commit and show up to dinner parties. 200+ comments.

  2. I have had more luck with sports that you can talk or chat with a bit easier while doing or are set up in that you get a coffee to chat afterwards. I’m just imagining swimming is the time when I’m looking to socialize the least as it’s an individual sport more for getting into the zone. There are a lot of fun social bike and running groups. I’m introverted so I have like two friends max tho.

  3. You're not getting many serious responses because this topic shows up X times every single month. But no, you're not unlucky. It's not impossible to make new friends, but the difficulty levels are certainly much higher above most other places, and it may as well seem like "the final boss" if you're from somewhere like South America or much of Europe.

  4. Why do we need to have deep lasting bonds to begin with? Even if that is something you are looking for it is impossible to have something like that with the majority of people in run into in your day to day life. People only have so much to give and with all the stress involved with living here that is even less.

  5. A LOT of people here are transient, which is cool, but for those who are long-time residents it's been taxing. We make friends and they move away 6 months later. We treasure our true blue small group who have been here with us for 5+ years.

  6. I had a friend from Nova Scotia who viewed it this way: 'Vancouver is a city of strangers and migrants, everyone came here from somewhere else and they expect to move on in due course. The people who grew up here are in a sea of strangers and find it exhausting to make friends only to lose them when they move on again, so they keep in their groups. In Nova Scotia, if you move into a neighbourhood, the neighbours figure "well, they're going to be here for the next 200 years, might as well invite them over for a kitchen party and get to know them"'.

  7. I dunno. People rarely seem to form lasting connections because everybody eventually moves away for one reason or another. Feels like a really transient city.

  8. Exactly this. I had a few friends move out of province, or I moved to the complete opposite side of town. And I'm getting older so less inclined to invest/waste more time socializing and generally more picky about who I want to hang out with.

  9. this. I made lots of friends in my neighbourhood over the last 12 years, but getting evicted to raise rent.

  10. Several of my friends including myself moved from the lowermainland because we bought houses in a city or town that was more affordable. It’s hard to leave Vancouver. That place is amazing but it is just so expensive.

  11. Yeah, it takes time spent together (usually) to build and keep those kinds of relationships. My closest friends from 5 or 6 years ago now live in Saskatoon, Winnipeg, and Munich. We still never talk sometimes. I have a new group of closer friends but it's fairly small.

  12. That goes with Toronto too yet you don’t hear much like this about it. There’s more to it than just that

  13. It’s funny because working in my line of work in Vancouver is way more chill than any other city I’ve worked in. Compared to Toronto , any US city people here work way less so I don’t think the work can be to blame here.

  14. I think in Van people are nice and friendly but won’t be assertive and make the first move, so it’s up to you. I was born here and while I do still see my childhood friends, I’ve made lots of new ones as an adult through joining sports, school and outdoor activities like hiking and climbing . Making the first move and having common fun activities really helps .

  15. Same, I still have my high school friends, but most of my friends are people I met in my adult years. Many are not originally from Vancouver either. I’ve met people at school, from work, and from recreational sports.

  16. This is the answer. I have made tons of good friends since I moved here, but I’m the one who took the first step with all of them.

  17. That's an interesting point, I never thought of it as a potential lack of assertiveness. I'll keep that in mind, thank you!

  18. I disagree. Like the guy who posted about hosting dinner parties and can’t get people to come.. it’s not a lack of assertiveness at all. You can be active and assertive and persistent all you want, but if you keep running into flakes you’ll get the same results.

  19. I grew up here in Vancouver, and I think people here are just introverted honestly. We're not as introverted as people in Finland (apparently in Finland people will run from you if you even try to talk to them), but there definitely a culture of "going solo" here, and most people I know are pretty comfortable going about independently.

  20. There's a funny meme going around Twitter about Nordic countries and the lack of hospitality. Apparently they don't feed their guests (like kids on playdates) and they definitely don't want to be friends

  21. I don't see it. There are tons of both extroverts and amazing introverts who want moments of genuine human contact here. Honestly just go out. Stop going to bars. Go to events. Go to a small music event (not Rogers Arena or the Orpheum), go to a gallery opening, go to a dance event, go to a dance CLASS, go do anything other than the anti-social kinds of events that keep feeding the notion that this city is a hard nut to crack. It isn't. You're just going to stuff that supports your self-fulfilling prophesy that Vancouver is cliquey and introverted.

  22. So true, especially when you are building true friendships - the kind when you involve someone in your life, and not some person you are killing time with. You make plans, memories na plan activities. Then poof - that friend is moving back home and you have to kind of rebuild around the vacancy. It’s very draining. What transient people fail to understand that is they are coming and going - we are here to stay.

  23. I came here to post this same thing. I have been here for decades, watched all my high school and university friends leave. Subsequent friends from jobs have come and gone, despite saying they were here for good, as have my kids' school friends as families as they've outgrown their condos. Vancouver is not family friendly unless that family has a physician or a PhD parent. Now I just hang out with the people who share the same obscure sport hobbies as me and don't bother putting any effort in to new relationships because everybody leaves. It's exhausting.

  24. I could be just be a relatively boring person, but whenever I've made friends with someone new in town they eventually get a new friend group of their own and don't keep in touch.

  25. I'm sure there's some truth to what you're saying but it's also a bit of a viscous cycle, self-fulfilling prophecy type thing. I have a friend who moved to Vancouver almost a year ago already with the intention of staying forever, or at least super long term, but after failing to make any connections with anyone he'll probably move back east after his residency is over in a year or two.

  26. Even though I make more money now, I cannot afford to go to the bars and socialize 3-4 times a week like I did in more social/transient cities that I lived in. I have a core group of friends that are still around from when I previously lived in Vancouver, so I’m set for my friends, but sometimes I look back at the days where you sit at the front of a bar by yourself, and by the end of the night you’ve got 3-4 people chatting and arranging outdoor activities for a future day. Vancouver isn’t that kind of environment. I would recommend anyone in there twenties who wants that to leave Vancouver and move to a smaller town.

  27. Honestly I get tired of newcomers who complain about Vancouver. Somehow the complaints have a different flavour when they come from other people that were born and raised here… not that I love that flavour either. This just dawned on me when I read your comment. A lot of newcomers complain until they leave and I’d just rather not put my energy into that.

  28. Vancouver is actually far less of a city if transients than most global cities. New York, LA, Toronto are all way more transient than Vancouver is. It’s easier to be a transient in those cities than Van because so many others are and they are way more accepting of transients.

  29. I moved to Vancouver from elsewhere in BC without much of a network and found it’s been fairly easy to make friends. By the sounds of it I’ve been lucky.

  30. It's weird: Everyone i know has a similar story to you and yet when im out and about, it's impossible for me not to have spontaneous conversations/heart-to-hearts with people. I know that's not the same as making friends, but i do feel genuinely connected to all the people I meet!

  31. I'm an old person with earbuds and I get a lot of people flagging me down for directions. Happy to oblige though.

  32. I was born and raised here, husband and I’s friends are from school or various workplaces throughout the years… we’ve never successfully met up with new people that we’ve clicked with outside of those two places.

  33. I dunno, I'm a born and raised Vancouverite and make friends all the time. A big chunk of the people in the city aren't even from here so it might not be Vancouverites who are the unfriendly ones you're running into.

  34. i have been in vancouver for 11 years and haven't had trouble making friends in my time here. i have had friends from work, friends from internet groups (like local fb groups), friends of friends of friends, friends from hobbies. but i also have moved to 4 different cities, in 2 different countries, and not found it hard to make friends. so maybe there's a personality type that makes friends easily.

  35. After relocating to Vancouver about a year ago myself I have definitely noticed that people are for sure nice but I wouldn’t say they’re overly friendly. Classic catch 22 though. No one befriends outsiders because I am told they always leave after a couple years anyways. Yet I would think less would leave if they were welcomed in by the locals and were able to create their own sense of being part of the community.

  36. Vancouver, or the lower mainland, has too many people from so many different walks of life for it to be classified as anything (i.e. friendly, introverted, hostile, etc). You have so many different nationalities, ethnicities, income groups, languages spoken that there's something for everyone.

  37. So much this. I don't understand all these posts. I've lived all over N. America and it is the same everywhere. Some people you click with some people you don't. Sometimes it takes having a coffee or a beer with someone to figure it out. Do things folks! Make things happen yourself. You create the content. Expecting a bunch of people you invite to show up and do something is about building up confidence that it is going to be a good time. Invite a couple over for dinner with you and your other. Or even just invite another person to try some new restaurant you've been curious about. Ask someone if they wanna do the grind or something. People will always bail, keep at it, you will build authentic relationships.

  38. It's not you, but after 10 years of trying hard to settle into a friend group, even though you have friends in many other places, you start to believe it is you.

  39. perhaps a city of introverts...keep working on it. introverts are the best friends once they click!

  40. This is going to get buried, but be generous without any expectation of reciprocation. Do stuff and invite other people along; make it easy for them.

  41. interesting take, I've used that term but only when people are being disrespectful in ways they wouldn't be in their own neighbourhoods. like girls peeing on lawns near the PNE instead or looking for restrooms, or most of the rioters. People who throw garbage out their window on Denman but would never do it on their own street. I've often felt like "whooooo we're in the city" vibes makes people rude. I am a really friendly person though, talk to people and converse with strangers a lot. I recently made a friend after chatting with her son about how my dog had the same coat for rain. we chatted for a bit and I literally said, do you want to be friends?" and we are friends now! so ... sometimes those prejudices come from witnessing crummy behaviour from suburb kids, but I'm open to new people and will try to check my assumptions.

  42. Depends on who you are, what you do, and who you surround yourself with. Either you party or you have hobbies. Or you bond over your work/passion. If you’re a “sit around and chill” kind of person that won’t get you past middle school. If you’re desperate to infiltrate friend groups and make someone your friend, it’s awkward and you’ll get rejected most likely. Because that’s not genuine. People make friends because they have things in common, not just to “be friendly”.

  43. It’s not just a Vancouver thing. It’s a every city thing. I’ve been to WA in the US and had the same issue. The only time I made any friends was international people who were also looking for friends and willing to explore. Maybe change up the people you are seeking friendship with

  44. I've been told it was a Pacific North West / West thing. I met an American family who moved here and she says she's seen the same flakiness and cliquey behavior all the way down to California.

  45. If you can't make friends with people born and raised in Vancouver who already have their friend groups, how about making friends with people like you who aren't from here?

  46. I am on a number of cities subreddits from about the world (mostly English speaking) and I see these sorts of posts too. Same with “my city is getting dirtier and more homeless or more crimes etc.). I think something else is at play beyond just Vancouver.

  47. My observations - Vancouver can be transitional, with a lot of folks here attending school or on short term work visas that stay a few years and then leave. It’s a lot of effort to make friends / connections with people only to have them leave in two years.

  48. International student (1st yr UBC) here, I can certainly relate to your experience. Although I've met a lotta people in my few months here I've only made 2 friends and even then I only see them once a month or so. Most are simply too occupied in their own bubble which is normal, the issue is the bubble is level 3 armor rated

  49. I genuinely think the main factor is that everyone has a affordability dark cloud looming over their heads at all times and that messes up normal social brain function.

  50. Are you from a big city? Small city or even town? Because I feel it's no more or less superficial than Hong Kong, for example. - and no, race don't come into it.

  51. This subreddit gets a lot of these pity party posts. There are 101 reasons why it's hard to make friends. It's not some special Vancouver secret ingredient.

  52. It kind of says something if you blame the city for failing to generate any kind of relationships with people.

  53. Honestly I found that shared interests such as a hobby or a club can go a long way to breaking the ice with people. Be it joining a running group, getting your geek on at a gaming night, taking a cooking class. Also don't get too hung up on a specific age bracket, I have friends my age 50ish, but also hang out with people in there 20s and 30s as we share hobbies. If you just put yourself out there things will happen organically.

  54. I want to be kind, and careful not to invalidate your point. At the same time, I have encountered people with this attitude and I find it really off putting. Imagine you live here and you have limited free time and energy. Who would you want to be friends with?

  55. The issue is that lots of people may start off as the A type then slowly become type B because of repeated negative reinforcement.

  56. Where did you come from? I’m used to it again now but when I first moved back from alberta it took some getting used to.

  57. People who move here from somewhere else often leave again within a couple of years. Once you’ve experienced that a couple times, it makes you hesitant to establish strong relationships with “outsiders”. I’m not saying it’s right or fair, but it could be a factor.

  58. I don't talk to like anyone from highschool. Most of my friends over met in adulthood by following hobbies and interests I like. Ei board games and live music. Nothing bonds two idiots like elbowing each other in the pit.

  59. Not that any of you will care about some rando in Toronto commenting on here, but if you think Vancouver is "cliquey", Toronto has it beat: people in Toronto only want to know you if you can do something for them (career and money usually) and they're flakey AF. Only keep in touch with 2 people from prior jobs as people seem to come and go in other people's social lives here.

  60. You're not crazy. I'm from Vancouver and spent years and years and years trying to connect with people there. I've lived in London (6 months), Edinburgh (2.5 years), Kyiv (1 year), and now Boston (10 years) and Vancouver is by and far the hardest place to really connect with people.

  61. I'm gonna go with social anxiety? I have people I love and wanna hang with always. But also have a very hare time going through with it half the time. I have 2 very close friends I spend all my time with and the rest dreaming of a life hanging with all the other people I wanna hang with.

  62. Took me about 6 years to find my people. It was so exhausting that now I feel that my social capabilities feel maxed out also having work appearances to keep up. Not trying to be an ass, this city is just draining.

  63. When I was younger Vancouver was the place to be for younger people, A large group of my friends moved out there to work and to experience life in one of Canada's most vibrant cities. Then the recession happened, and then foreign and wealthy local homebuyers purchased most of the real estate. The city has now become gentrified due to this, the interesting street culture and small shops vanished or were greatly reduced( as they did in Toronto and elsewhere ) and the city cores began shifting their venues to cater to these people. It's really simple it just became to unaffordable and the people who were left don't make culture, this combined with the difficulties faced by most people these days and you get alot more people closing off and being wary of strangers. It's not just Vancouver it's pretty much the entire world. Blame coivd, blame the wealthy, and blame our ineffective governments.

  64. I think a big one too is if your in with people that are active there's a lot of balancing scheduling with the weather. If it looks nice priorities change and people will bail on plans to go do their favorite activity (witch often times they literally moved across the country to do here)

  65. I think about this a lot and my theory is that most people who are from Vancouver, grew up here and haven’t really lived anywhere else tend to be quite cliquey with their friends. I mean, I get it— this city is gorgeous, why would you want to leave? But people who grew up here and stayed here don’t have the experience of moving somewhere new and having to make new friends. I find they tend to be polite, but not as welcoming or inviting. Whereas people who have lived elsewhere have experienced how much an invitation (and a follow through) to hang out can mean. These people are the ones that I tend to make close friends with.

  66. Not the least all of the couples in the park or full up places in Yaletown on a weekend, or all of the moms and pops taking their kids to school. Totally fake, real people don't actually get together.

  67. I'm glad I was already married when I got here, cuz this describes the rest of my experience here to a T

  68. You’re not crazy. In my experience living here for around 25 years now, I found Vancouver to be superficial. That’s not just my opinion either. It’s a commonly shared observation shared by many people I’ve known through the many years I’ve been here. I’ve more so stopped trying to socialize throughout the years and keep to myself. Minimal arts scene, live local music is near non existent. There seems to be a lack of culture and inclusivity. I am sure some people will object to what I say but that’s been my experience coming from elsewhere and establishing myself here. Welcome to Vancouver.

  69. What other places have you lived that you are comparing to? I moved here from Newfoundland and I find that it's just the same as everywhere else I have lived. I find people here are more likely to randomly complement someone passing on the street here, slightly less likely to actually intend any offered help.

  70. Vancouver is not as bad as it used to be but is known for being very socially dead. Hard to make new friends or meet people.

  71. I am an American who moved to Vancouver a couple years ago and I have to say, I totally have had similar experiences as you with regards to how people from Vancouver socialize.

  72. This should be a top comment. The weather is just too dull to think of anything other than getting in and away from all of that rain And let's not start with the flakey sunny hours, you get an hour of sun and before you know it, the gloomy spooky clouds are back.

  73. I was born and raised. I and many of the people I know here are what you discribe. You are not crazy. It’s true. Go away.

  74. Try meetup.com there's some really good groups out there, I've made so many friends from consistently going to events

  75. When I first moved here I didn't get it but now I do. Basically most people who move here move away in a few years so people who have been here for a while generally won't invest the time just to have another friend move back to Edmonton. Best way to meet people is to make friends from rec sports or some kind of club they are typically other newcomers and will want to make friends

  76. I think it also depends on your personality? I'm an introvert, although I have work friends and aquaintances here and there, I prefer a small circle.

  77. I think Vancouver has a variant of classic northern introverted work culture with a thin veneer of hippy go-with-the-flow-ness that can give the impression that it's a socially open place. I grew up here, so I formed my deep friendships over a lifetime. I think the key to finding a community here is to focus on activities. It's rare that people here (myself included) are just social. I'm obsessed with my projects and I don't have a lot of time leftover to just hang. I like to work on stuff, and if other people want to do that beside me then we can start breaking through the layers of intimacy. Most of my deepest relationships started in high school or through collaboration. My most well tended relationships are my current collaborations.

  78. Vancouver is a lifestyle city. People come here to get away from intuitionalized commercial centers like Toronto. Bigger isn't better in Vancouver, people aren't networking as part of their hustle. We are a city of niche interests and many of those interests are better in small groups.

  79. I've got working theory about this 'endemic clicky and unfriendliness' to people new to Vancouver. I think its not a particular individual attitude, just a factor of general human relationships and stages of peoples lives.

  80. We're not cliquey so much as just fucking terrible people. So don't feel bad, it's just our way. We all hate each other, and when you learn to hate us the way we hate you, you're going to fit right in. Here's some exercises to help you acclimate:

  81. I moved from Vancouver to Alberta and thought the same thing as you. People are super clicky here. It’s been 8 years and I still have no friends, just people I met. I miss my BC lowermainland friends fiercely (none of which I went to high-school nor to university wih). People in Alberta are nice to your face but that’s it. I miss the genuine people of the Vancouver area. I miss the openness. The multiculturalism. I miss the atmosphere.

  82. I always tell ppl to not choose Vancouver as a place to move to. Especially when you have other choices. People elsewhere are nicer. Housing elsewhere is cheaper and has better sprawl giving you more options. Transit elsewhere is better. You moved here. Vancouver defrauded you. Sorry.

  83. Transit elsewhere being better is bullshit. Vancouver has some of the best transit across Canada. Everything else sure

  84. Montreal native here, lived in Vancouver since 1993. Not leaving. Also lived in a few other countries in Europe as well. Vancouver is a hard town to get to know people. It's not you.

  85. Don't be hard on yourself because this isn't even strictly a Vancouver thing. You'll see this in plenty other Pacific Northwest cities as well.

  86. I feel like to succeed in making friends in Vancouver you really need to be confident and outgoing. You gotta be the leading force in most cases since a lot of people just have their friend groups and keep things close to the chest.

  87. I think a big reason for this is suburban sprawl and the amount of effort it takes to go anywhere/do anything. When I lived in smaller cities it was <10 min drive outside of rush hour to get more or less across the city so hanging out with friends randomly was no big deal. Here, even if you plan it out, suddenly it's an ordeal, 30 min drive minimum, or that much in transit.

  88. I just hosted a dinner where I had invited this friend from a month before, fully knowing they would cancel last minute. They even went out of their way to confirm they were coming, but come day of the event... "oh I'm sorry, don't know what's come over me" lol tbh that was just one person and the dinner went well. I just knew this person would do this, and planned for it. OP you're welcome to my next dinner party.

  89. Have you considered that they're happy with where they are at? I think the perspective of i'm trying to make friends and it's not working out therefore it's them is a terrible way to look at things. I'm not saying it's a you thing that's putting people off. But people are busy or have other things on their mind. Career wise or personal. I know I don't have the mental and emotional space to let another person in. As i'm sure most don't at the moment.

  90. Born and raised in BBC (beautiful British Columbia)…and I feel the same way all the time! It’s hard to connect with people here! Looking for friends if you’re down to hang out sometime! 25F :)

  91. As a foreigner, I find that the locals here are genuinely uninterested in making new friends. It's nothing personal. They are just perfectly content to hang out with the very small group of friends they've known since forever and that's it. I've been here several years now and there are quite a few people I'm friendly with but my only actual friends are other forigners. And that's not for a lack of trying. I used to find it frustrating but I think that I sort of come to accept that that's the way it is.

  92. You gotta give up on Vancouverites and make friends with other expats. Way friendlier and more welcoming

  93. Honestly, my theory is that the city and region is filled with fakeness and ingenuity. Perhaps this is a result of a very diverse yet separated populations or ridiculously high economic cost of living here.. Or both

  94. I've been complaining about this exact same thing for years. Your feelings resonate with me. In my experience I feel like people in Vancouver stay with the same group of friends since grade school and don't like outsiders joining their group.

  95. Unfortunately, I lived there for 20 years, and you don’t realize it until you moved away to another country, but people in vancouver are far from genuine, obviously I have friends that I love to death, but the culture is exactly as you described it, and it’s not you, trust me, people are just stuck up and a little cunty, and fake. Again, it’s my home town and I regret that this is the case, but it is what it is.

  96. Vancouver is full of arrogant hipster douchebags. period. If you want to meet nice people here join an outdoors recreation club -ie( paddling, mountain biking , etc more down to earth types there.

  97. Vancouver only city where people ask which high school you went to. It’s just a place where lots of people who live here, are from here, as opposed to other major cities I.e London, Toronto, New York.

  98. Sorry you are experiencing this. It’s not new though. I moved here in ‘98 and had the same experience then. Took me a whole year before finding a crew the hang with. They were all childhood friends too lol.

  99. I can’t say for certain, but I think many transient cities are like this. People don’t have a sense of permanence, so it impacts the effort people are willing to put forth. If you are planning on staying in the city, I would somehow incorporate how you want to plant roots here.

  100. A lot of people that move here leave again. It's difficult to continually forge friendships and then say goodbye. I find people born and raised her have their core friend group and they stick to it, with a rotation of international acquaintances.

  101. I’ve lived here 12 years and have acquaintances but not a single person I’d consider a close friend. So I feel you.

  102. Sadly, I will have to agree with you. As much as this is anecdotal, there was also an interesting trend on my end where my good friends ended up moving abroad or to other provinces – whereas the ones who stayed had a higher ratio of flakiness, as you have mentioned.

  103. There are a lot of individual things to do here, and a lot of them are extra amazing when the weather is good. I have a hard time making plans since I am always chasing sunshine :(

  104. I lived in twelve countries including China,HKG, NY , South Africa. Vancouver is the utmost difficult place to network, make task friends that do re invite after you through a big garden party with the full spread. If you consider that lucky, than they rwinvite you to a restaurant and make your pay l your share of the bill. It's the clickiest county.. Where you go to drive the right car, live at the covenient address to visit your, and have some goodies to share. Depending the business they are into. Meme seen so many people so gain and connection oriented in my life. We rather live solo or small committee As I hate to throuw parties for takers only. And then they roll n up and you hear then in the back. Like wow he hasn't he even catetered? He cooled all himself how flaky is that.. Etc..

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