Every betch has experienced the stop and chat at some point in her life. Sometimes they can be annoying, but we generally like them because when handled well, they may offer an opportunity to #1 talk shit later. They're also a way to show the world that you're friendly and can pretend to be interested in others.
You know you've been hit with the stop and chat when you realize that you just found out major things about someone's life that you would never know had you not run into them or seen it on your news feed, like what they're doing for the summer or how their mom is doing.
You wouldn't do the stop and chat if you weren't completely one-on-one with this person because you ran into them somewhere like on line getting coffee or waiting for a fitting room. The stop and chat is mostly a sober thing, you might not even acknowledge this person at a bar in a social setting.
It's always a pleasant conversation that lasts somewhere between two and six minutes. She's one step above the #41 fake smile-and-wave girl, since she's usually in an outer circle of friends. Let's say she's two groups removed. The smile-and-wave girl is the rando girl who went to your high school whose life you don't give a shit about, but you give the smile-and-wave to mutually acknowledge that you attended school together.
Hopefully you come away from a stop and chat with some interesting gossip to share with anyone who cares. "Saw Katie Smith at the mall yesterday, she looks like shit." You will casually mention this to your high school besties later.
Your conversation might end with an acknowledgment that you might be in the same place in the near future, like Brandon's birthday pregame next week. See you there!
The stop and chat is also one step below the catch-up, which is like a more extensive stop and chat with a person who you've hung out with before, but not very often. You haven't seen each other in a while but you already have her number and might make tentative plans to have lunch or something. Whether or not this is an empty gesture remains to be seen in the follow-up.
Disclaimer: The stop and chat is not an excuse to do a chat and cut, not close enough. That's the catch-up.
The betchiest way to handle the stop and chat is the following:
1) You don't want to be seen looking like shit, so be careful what you wear to certain places. You think you're just running out while hungover to quickly grab a #54 iced coffee in your pajamas with eye makeup down your face, but you never know who you might see. There's no greater annoyance than running into an ex-boyfriend looking like shit and being forced to partake in the stop & chat.
2) Beware that what you say in the stop and chat may be repeated to multiple people, so you shouldn't reveal too much personal information, or information about anyone else. Oversharing is dangerous and takes a stop and chat from a friendly encounter to an impending contorted rumor. "I'm just here buying Plan B for Alex!" can soon become "I Heard Alex Jones is knocked up!"