No one wants to be the flaky friend.
We all have one. They’re the pal no one can count on. No matter how many times they say they’re going to show up, you just know you’re going to get that last-minute cancellation text that ruins your evening plans.
But even worse than having a flaky friend is being the flaky friend. Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t help it. You think you’re all gung-ho about a certain activity, but, when the day actually rolls around, the idea of lying in bed and binging Netflix is just too tempting to overcome.
Being the flaky friend turns you into someone no one wants to hang out with. Eventually, people will stop inviting you to things because they’ll know you’re just going to cancel. Being a good friend takes a certain amount of reliability, and the flaky friend just doesn’t have it.
So how do you change your flaky friend status? Keep scrolling for our best tips on how to stop flaking on plans.
Flaking is basically a bad habit. When you do it a few times, you realize that it’s simply the easier option. Unfortunately, once you’ve gotten yourself in a routine of flaking on plans, it’s hard to break out of that mold. To put an end to your practice of flaking, treat it like a personal challenge. Promise yourself that you won’t cancel plans for one week. Once you accomplish that goal, up your challenge to two weeks. If you can do that, try three—and so on and so forth.
Once you force yourself to follow through consistently, showing up to things will become your new habit. It may take a little work and a few days of angrily dragging yourself off the couch, but it will also help you to leave your habit of flaking far behind you.
Sometimes you flake on plans simply because you over-scheduled yourself. You thought you could do everything, but after four days of constantly hanging out with people, you feel like you seriously need some alone time. That’s totally okay, but it does get a little tricky if your much-needed self-care leads you to cancel plans with your pals.
The solution to this is simple: To keep from flaking on plans, simply schedule fewer activities. If you only see your friends once or twice a week instead of every single night, you still have lots of time to rest and take care of yourself. Not only will you benefit from a little alone time, but you’ll also keep your friends from being annoyed with you for a last-minute cancellation in the name of self-care.
Along with scheduling fewer events, you should also focus on only making plans that you intend to keep. It’s so easy to say yes to anything and everything, especially if you’re nervous to tell people you can’t make it. While it may seem like no big deal to you to cancel on plans that you never really wanted to follow through on in the first place, the people you’re canceling on will remember.
Before you make plans, ask yourself if this is something you really want to do. If you’re not really that interested and you’re only saying yes because you’re too scared to say no (or even worse—saying yes just because you want to be invited), don’t agree to the plans. When you plan activities that you actually want to attend, you’re much more likely to follow through. It’s easy to be a flake if you just say yes to everyone all the time. Don’t be afraid to say no. It may mean your social life is thinner, but it will also help to squash your reputation as a flake.
While the flaky friend always seems like the worst person, sometimes your flaking behavior stems from a fear of being honest. Someone was nice enough to invite you to their birthday party and you’re too afraid to admit to them that you already have plans that day, that you’re worried you won’t know anyone there or that you simply don’t want to go.
Part of ending your reputation as the flaky friend is being honest. You have to be able to tell people when you’re not interested in doing something. Whether it’s a workout class that you couldn’t care less about or a party that sounds more stressful than fun, you should feel good about honestly and politely telling someone why you can’t attend. Once people know your underlying reasons, they’ll understand why you chose not to attend. Beyond that, being upfront from the beginning also keeps you from flaking on plans later on.
Sometimes all it takes to convince yourself to go somewhere is a simple thought about how the people around you might feel if you cancel. Let us enlighten you—every time you cancel plans, your friends are annoyed with you. Even if you had a legitimate reason, they’re still irritated. You ruined their evening and they don’t appreciate it, especially if it’s a common occurrence.
Before you cancel your plans, remember the impact that flaking has. Not only are you ruining your friend’s night, you’re also creating lasting bitterness and annoyance in your relationship. The more you do it, the more tension you’ve created. Showing up to things shows people that you care. Before you cancel, remember that your relationships might suffer as a result of your flaking.
Looking for more advice on being a good friend? Click HERE for how lowering your friendship expectations can change your life.