What’s a flaky friend?
No one likes to be called flaky; however, the reality is that sometimes, our behavior can be viewed as sometimesy by the people we care about. Psychology Today defines flakiness as “generally meaning having a habit of canceling plans shortly before said plans are about to begin—is a trend generally attributed to people’s overscheduled lives, conflicting commitments, and constant access to each other through personal technology, or a combination of all three.” If this sounds anything like you, continue reading.
Sign #1: You cancel plans more than you execute them
Everyone has to cancel plans with friends at some point, but a tell-tale sign of a flake is a person who constantly cancels. People who are genuinely busy are upfront about their schedules and are cautious about making plans that they’re not certain they can keep.
Solution: Pause before agreeing to plans — even if they sound good in the moment
Although you may be feeling great and up to it in the moment, avoid immediately agreeing to plans. Instead, tell your friends you’ll confirm at a later time. Take some time to reflect quietly about whether or not you really see yourself attending and whether you have the time to actually do so. Only then should you agree to go.
Sign #2: Your friends make jokes about your constant absence
You’re for certain the flaky friend when your girls frequently make jokes about your absence. Despite having the best of intentions, the reality is that you’re not around much and they notice. The jokes may feel hurtful or even annoy you in some way.
Solution: Own up to it
Almost all jokes contain an ounce of truth and when you’re the friend who is always MIA, your girls are bound to make a joke or two about it. Instead of getting in your feelings, own up to it and laugh it off. You can be a little flaky at times, but you still love your girls the same.
Sign #3: You frequently leave your friends hanging when they’re in n
One of the truly problematic parts about being the flaky friend is that you’re viewed as unreliable. If you’ve repeatedly let your girls down in their time of need after you’ve promised to help them in some way, it’s time to change that.
Solution: Under-promise and over-deliver
When a friend is having a hard time, all you want to do is make it better. It may feel tempting to promise the sun, the moon, and the stars just to put a smile back on their faces; however, it’s better to simply offer a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear until you’re completely certain about what you’re able to do to help. Only promise to do what you’re certain you can do and if you happen to be in the position to do more, let it be a nice surprise.
Sign #4: Your friends express that they’re hurt by your absence
For some, flaky behavior is hurtful. Your constant absence may cause your friends to feel as though you don’t care about them or that they’re not a priority in your life. This can place a strain on the friendship and cause you to lose good people.
Solution: Be transparent about your situation and try to be present in other ways
While you know that you mean no harm and there may be valid reasons for your absence, it doesn’t mean that your friends won’t be hurt. To make amends, be transparent about what’s keeping you away and try to be present for your girls in other ways.
There are other underlying reasons for things that can cause a person to frequently cancel plans including depression or anxiety. If you happen to be reading this because you are on the receiving end of some flaky behavior, understand that it may not be personal. Instead of holding grudges, check on your girl to make sure she’s okay. You never know what she may be going through.