Arguably there is a perception amongst people who arrive in London that Londoners are difficult to get to know. For example in 2014, one newly arrived Macunian called Bry, explains, “I moved to London, more specifically Walthamstow 3 weeks ago as I started my dream job at Bloomberg. Long story short, I have lived in Manchester my entire life and moving down here has been a complete overhaul of my life. I found what I thought was a decent houseshare and moved in but the saying you don’t really know someone until you live with them is true and its taking alot of adjusting on my part. I love going to work as it keeps me occupied for the entire time I am there but when I have to come to the house, I end up sitting in my room waiting to go to sleep. I would love to go for a beer with people and explore what I imagine is a fantastic city, however my housemates keep themselves to themselves, and the guys I work with all live out of the city and tend to go straight home after work. Hopefully I will be at the next London reddit meet up but for now all I can do is rant to you guys about it!”
Some go further and argue that Londoners are somehow cold and difficult to get to know, by their very nature, as if its easier to get to know strangers elsewhere. There could be an element of truth to this.
However some of it may be to do with the time in one’s life that one moves down to London. Many people who move to London move at a time when they have finished university. The thing is, is that when you go to university it is your first experience of moving to a city, and it is an exceptional period for the fact that you are usually moving to live besides many people who are also moving all at the same time, and who happen to be the same social class and age as you, all of which creates a culture of getting to know one another, promiscuity and what appears as friendliness. However by the time you arrive to London you are arriving to a population that is already estabslihed in part, certainly in terms of your work colleagues and your flat mates so it is not so easy to make new friends.
Having said this, the same dynamics that apply at university apply in London. People who move to London are all the more likely to make friendships with other people who have just moved to London. Over time however as their relationships become filtered and then sedimented, they too become that smug, self-satisfied population that new arrivals experience the cold shoulder of.