She’s endlessly annoying. She’s the forgetful friend. The tired friend. The phone-killing friend. The flake friend. We all know her and we’ve all been her, but how’s a girl to deal with the perma-flake friend?
My parents raised me to be a full-blown, honorable commitmentphile. I admit my own guilt in occasionally cancelling on a play-date, but generally, I stick to my plans as if they were carved in stone. And why? Because I feel like consistently bailing on friends shows a lack of respect and consideration. But then again, I know not everyone feels this and way and bailing on plans isn’t always rooted in this theory. A friend could cancel consistently for a variety of reasons. Maybe she really does get busy or fall asleep narcoleptic-style. Or maybe it’s a bigger issue. She could be dealing with relationship, financial or other personal problems, zapping her bankrupt of the energy or funds to meet up.
I try to keep this in mind when a friend turns flakey. At the moment, one in NY revealed herself as a secret perma-flake. It’s a sad conclusion on which to arrive but after forgetting, not calling about and straight-up neglecting plans we made together–it’s the only one I could accept. And although I feel frustrated with her behavior, I recognize that the real reason behind it likely has nothing to do with me.
Instead, with these wishy-washy type of buds, I tend to instate what I call the renewable one-time-tolerance flake policy. If a friend stood me up once, I’d still hit him or her up to hang again. But if that happened twice–and within a short window of time–I’d stop calling for a spell. After a month or so, I’ll likely try initiating another date. And should this friend first approach me for some hangage, I’ll always accept if I’m free. However, I don’t hold my breath that those plans hold up either. It’s not holding a grudge, it’s changing your expectations and lowering your dependence.
What I feel like the first thing to realize is that the reason you are annoyed about someone flaking is because you like them. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t mind skimping time spent with them, or worse–you’d feel relieved that they didn’t show. So it might be best to accept the fact that this person has his or her faults in sticking to their word. This might not be the friend you invite as your plus one to Friday’s bangin’ concert or the first person with which you expect to gush something big happening in your life. But that doesn’t mean that this friend can’t be fun when the cards are stacked just right.
Do you have a friend who flakes and if so, how do you deal with it? Are you a flake friend yourself?