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Thread: Friends who are flaky/ don't show up

  1. #1
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    Friends who are flaky/ don't show up

    Hey!

    I have a friend who I love very dearly, however recently she has been very flaky.

    The last few times we have arranged to meet, she changes the location or time... then the 2nd from last time she was half hour late, the last time she didn't show up where I was meant to meet her, I messaged her and tried to ring, no answer... then she said she was a bit further down from where we were meant to meet and had gone for food (we were meant to go for food together).

    I thought we were close and this behaviour is just odd, its ind of put me off hanging around with her?

    What are your views?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    Friendships often evolve. I have/had a friend who made me miss the first 20 minutes of a concert because of her tendency to be late and lose things, including tickets. I vowed to never invite her to a concert again, but continued to do other things with her. Her life circumstances have become complicated and we are no longer close anymore.

    Another friendship was slow in forming, and now we're regularly meeting up.

    Yes, I'd no longer make plans with her when it involves a certain place and time whereas you'll be waiting around alone for her. Versus a "I'm hanging out at home today if you want to stop by." And then it wouldn't matter if she comes or not.

    I'm not into discussions of their behavior and have a tendency to just let the friendship fade away, but others might broach the subject to let the person know how you felt and hopefully prevent that behavior in the future.

  3. #3
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    I am really sensitive to this stuff because I jump through hoops to be where I am supposed to be on time and am usually early. I cancel for emergencies like my child is sick and I'm on my own or I am sick/contagious or a work emergency came up. If the plan seems risky I explain it is tentative. And I was on time before texting before internet before voice mail - and no I do not like the text at the last minute that either cancels or says the person is extremely late (meaning not just 5-15 minutes late). So I am on one side of the spectrum. I have less and less patience for flakiness so I give one or two chances and then I am done unless it is an emergency.

    Here is an example where I am flexible. Today I'm meeting a friend who is very ill and just out of the hospital. My son will play with her son while we visit. Her home is a 30 minute drive, not near public transportation so we're going to take an Uber. She's cancelled on me in the past for health related reasons - and one or two times seemed a little flaky but ok. Even if she cancels on me last minute today (which will mean my son will also miss seeing a movie instead) for health reasons I will be inconvenienced and will be fine with it. I know the risk given her health condition and I want to show up for her and inconvenience myself for her given her condition. So in times like that, I bend a lot.

    I would keep in touch with the friend and stop making plans to meet up unless you have nothing else to do and/or others are involved. Yes, I'd be done making plans but not with the friendship necessarily at all. Sorry this happened!

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by flatsquirrel
    Hey!

    I have a friend who I love very dearly, however recently she has been very flaky.

    The last few times we have arranged to meet, she changes the location or time... then the 2nd from last time she was half hour late, the last time she didn't show up where I was meant to meet her, I messaged her and tried to ring, no answer... then she said she was a bit further down from where we were meant to meet and had gone for food (we were meant to go for food together).

    I thought we were close and this behaviour is just odd, its ind of put me off hanging around with her?

    What are your views?
    I would be pissed if my friend stood me up like that, especially if I'd gone out especially to meet her. It's inconsiderate.

    The flaky-friend thing isn't always a cut-and-dry situation though. Some flaky friends, despite their lack of consideration, actually do want to be your friend. Some of my flaky friends are still in my life after 20+ years of being unreliable. I can't rely on them for plans, and I can't get rid of them!

    I do have to say that these flakes have generally been front and center when I've gone through tough times. And that's really a friend at the end of the day.

    What I learned to do is accept them as they are. I don't rely on them and when I make plans with them, it's a 50/50 bet that I'll actually go out vs have a free night to myself (which is gold now).

    I think it does help that the days where I need to have plans to go out every night are long gone.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Is this the smoker you asked not to smoke around you? Is this recent or has she always been unreliable. Either she's avoiding you or has zero respect for you and your time. It may be best to pull back from this. It's not wise to accept being blown off repeatedly. Let her reach out, pick the time, date, place and do not go there without a firm confirmation.
    Originally Posted by flatsquirrel
    The last few times we have arranged to meet, she changes the location or time... then the 2nd from last time she was half hour late, the last time she didn't show up where I was meant to meet her, I messaged her and tried to ring, no answer... then she said she was a bit further down from where we were meant to meet and had gone for food
    Last edited by Wiseman2; 07-21-2019 at 10:54 AM.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Batya, I hope your friend is feeling ok and you enjoy your visit today.

    OP: I'd ask her to call/text beforehand or let you know if she's late. Some people do tend to always be late and there's really nothing you can do about that except ask them to please let you know and don't let your plans change for them. You shouldn't have to get upset about it or work yourself up. It's not good for you.

    What I have also done in the past is ask someone to meet me at a place where you will be. Continue doing your errands and, for example, if you're at a gelato shop having a gelato or looking at cakes for someone else (ie ordering something), ask her to meet you there and tell her to meet you 15-30 minutes prior to when you think you'll be finished. Finish your business and if that person is not there (no text/call etc), simply say you have to get going and would love to do this another time.

    People have commuting time too so factor some leeway there. If the person acts surprised or asks, for example, why you're meeting at a cake shop you can tell them you never know when they're going to show up so meet you there. Most will get the point and realize they're not always on time. You've then done a couple of things: run an errand and met a friend/gotten your point across. Go on about your day and don't let these things get you down.

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    Thanks Rose - heading out soon for that plan. OP I wanted to add -silver lining -makes you appreciate reliable friends so much more. I agree with leeway on commuting time but within limits -we're adults so unless there's an unexpected train delay or huge accident people should respect each other's time and leave with plenty of time for traffic conditions. I just met a friend for a quick lunch -she is always reliable and when she can't make it it's for real reasons that are completely understandable. For this plan for example she was so frazzled in the days leading up she changed the time three times always asking if it was ok with me (had to do with a flight time and drop off of her kids at an airport) but when we confirmed we each arrived when we said we would and no waiting time -and that's with dropping off her ex husband and two young kids at our local airport. And she's constantly busy but she is reliable because she cares, the end. And I really appreciate it!

  9. #8
    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
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    If this bothers you so much, then just talk to her. Sitting around assuming will only cause you more grief about it.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    Great thing about friends is you can have as many as you want and for pretty much whatever purpose you want. For that very reason, while I don't really worry about changing anyone's behavior, I especially don't tend to that unnecessary drama with friends. I acknowledge who they are and amend my attitude toward them accordingly. If they're still worth putting in an effort to keep around in a more diminished capacity, no biggie. If they're not, then nature just takes its course.

    If your friend's a flake or otherwise not punctual, don't plan things that risk your own time. For instance, invite her over for lunch or a movie. If she's later than planned, all you've really done to put yourself out is put on pants. Or invite her to events you'd be going to anyway. As much as it annoys me when people are late, and as obviously discourteous as it is, it's rarely if ever personal. No one leaves their house late with an evil smirk thinking, "I'm going to waste 20 minutes of Susan's time today." Doesn't mean you have to keep giving them the benefit of your scheduled time, but I'd try not to take offense.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member LC8328's Avatar
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    Another possibility is that your friend has social anxiety. I have that as well but I'll admit I don't stand people up if I say I'll be there. People with social anxiety adore their friends but the prospect of going out, meeting them, etc terrifies them. Just throwing it out there.

    FWIW though, I agree with Smackie that talking to her might be a good idea, but if it appears hopeless then you might wanna do what j.man says and accept she's like this, working around her flakiness.

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