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 Post subject: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:45 pm 
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Remembers When Veganism Was Cool
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How do you all handle them? I've been good friends with this person for 2 years, but every time we make plans to do something, she always has an excuse. 2 months ago, she was on her way out the door when the power co. showed up, threatening to disconnect her power (apparently her bill was paid late), necessitating canceling our plans. Last night, we made plans again, but she texted me that her babysitter was sick, so we rescheduled for tonight. No surprise, I get a text tonight that the replacement babysitter's sick (who is the other babysitter's sister). She wants to reschedule for Tues but at this point I just want to tell her to fork off. I feel like her time is obviously much more valuable than mine (to her), and I'm left hanging when she cancels on me, when I could have spent my time doing things I need to get done. What would the PPK do?


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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:50 pm 
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Ugh, I know so many people like this. I don't know how to solve the problem, though. After a while I figure that if they keep canceling, they obviously don't really want to hang out (and definitely don't value my time) - so I stop trying.

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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:51 pm 
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I had a friend from my old school I was really close to, but she started dating this one particular guy and anytime we'd made plans she would always cancel them at the last minute to hang out with him instead. And I seriously mean every single time, even if it was just to give him something he left in her car. In the end I pretty much just stopped talking to her because I was tired of it.

Although that's the pretty passive way to handle it.

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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:09 pm 
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Some people are just disorganized. It's not a personal affront to you (though you may be offended by it when it ruins your plans). I think the thing to ask yourself is if the friendship is worth the "price of admission," as Dan Savage would say. If you enjoy hanging out with this person, and that overshadows the fact that she's disorganized and often can't follow through on plans, then just try to remember that her flaking is in all likelihood not a reflection of how she feels about you but rather just a reflection of how she is. If that price of admission is too high for the value you place on the friendship, then I'd just let it die.

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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:24 pm 
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I definitely feel the pain of flakey people, but it sounds like her excuses in the case are at the very least plausible. Maybe next time you reschedule or make plans with her, just have something else planned, just in case. For example, do you play an instrument? Just plan to practice during that time and if your friend shows up then hooray. That's a weird example but hopefully you know what I mean.

I've dealt with flaky flakes a lot (I mean, I live in California), and I've learned this is the best way to deal with it. Just make a time, then go on the assumption that it won't happen so that you're doing something constructive instead of sitting around seething about it. If it continues then you can think about a way to positively and constructively approach it so that she knows why you're putting the friendship on hold and it leaves the possibility for it to be repaired if she can find the presence of mind to think about how it affects you.

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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:46 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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i have a bunch of flakey friends. some of them have anxiety or depression, that makes it hard for them to follow through on plans no matter how hard they want to, that i can totally accept.
the people who just don't give a shiitake, those i just don't make plans with.

i can be pretty flakey myself in periods, but it's always because i try to take care of my head, and sometimes, as irrational as it might seem, i have to cancel last minute because i just. can't. go. out. the. goddamn. door.
luckily most people know this, but it is always a little awkward and i always feel really bad about it.


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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:51 am 
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shiitake happens. especially when you are poor. car problems, ability to pick up an extra shift, need to fix your plumbing, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:39 am 
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ugh yeah. i've had a lot of flakey friends over the years and it takes a while to determine whether or not their excuses are valid or if they really just don't want to hang out with you.

I had one super flakey friend whose excuses i believed for a while until one time she said "im gonna take a shower and then come over" and then she never called me back and then later said that she forgot. I think that was the last time I tried to hang out with her.

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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:20 am 
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I would make plans that aren't with just her. Like, get a group of friends who want to go somewhere, and invite her. If she doesn't show, you still have other people who will, night salvaged.

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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:46 am 
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I had a boyfriend like this. The answer was to go around to his house instead of meeting him out because then no babysitters needed and they can't really forget to turn up.

That, and text regularly to make sure they remember the meeting - nothing obvious just 'really looking forward to saturday' or 'do you want me to bring some wine for tomorrow night'.

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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:39 pm 
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Thanks everyone. She always offers for me to come over to her place, but sometimes I just want a kid-free night, although hers are super sweet. I'm just conflicted as to the value of our friendship, to her. And she's dating a guy, so I wonder if he gets to hear any of her excuses.


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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:07 pm 
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I don't get it, do you assume she's lying to you about that stuff?

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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:21 pm 
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I have some super flaky friends. I have one in particular who I know totally does value our friendship, she's just...so flaky. And always late. Like really super late sometimes. I think part of it is just being on a totally different timescale from most people. Now I just don't make plans for something I really want to do that are dependent on her. Like if I really want to go to an event on time, we will make plans to meet there so that if she changes her mind or shows up three hours late and totally misses stuff, I haven't missed everything. I also don't consider any plans with her a definite until they're actually in the midst of happening. A lot of it is about managing expectations, and I now have different expectations of different friends that don't necessarily correlate to how much I care about them or them about me. The thing is, if you're going to cancel on me, I expect you to make an effort to reschedule or invite me to do something another time. If someone cancels on me several times and doesn't initiate spending time with me, that's when I assume that they do t really wan to spend time with me or that even ifthey do, the burden is always going to be on me to initiate spending time together and that just doesn't work for me.


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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:40 pm 
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We have friends like this - I honestly can't remember the last time we made arrangements with them that just happened as originally planned. To be fair, they have a whole bunch of little kids, and now the female half of the couple is pregnant again (which always hits her really hard), but it just seems like something always comes up. This was true even back before they had kids - one of them would get sick, something would come up...there was even one time when they showed up for a party on the wrong night! They're like this with everyone, so people just invite them to stuff without any real expectation that they'll come; if they show up, it's a nice surprise!

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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:44 pm 
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ScooterDiva wrote:
Thanks everyone. She always offers for me to come over to her place, but sometimes I just want a kid-free night, although hers are super sweet. I'm just conflicted as to the value of our friendship, to her. And she's dating a guy, so I wonder if he gets to hear any of her excuses.


Okay, if she's offering to make alternate arrangements, and you're turning her down, then that's another story. It sounds like the issue is less that she's flaky and more that she's a single parent, which is a damned difficult job. If you want to be this person's friend, then you're going to have to accept that her kids come first, and that she won't have the same flexibility as people who aren't parents, particularly if she doesn't have a lot of money.

It sounds like she values your friendship, but doesn't put it above her children or her boyfriend. I think both those things are perfectly reasonable. It's also perfectly reasonable if you're at a different place and don't want to deal with that. If that's the case, then it's best probably to phase out the friendship, but don't be resentful that she didn't value you, since it doesn't seem like that's the case based on what you posted here.

Really, it all comes down to the price of admission thing again.

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 Post subject: Re: Flaky Friends...
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:07 pm 
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jordanpattern wrote:
Okay, if she's offering to make alternate arrangements, and you're turning her down, then that's another story. It sounds like the issue is less that she's flaky and more that she's a single parent, which is a damned difficult job. If you want to be this person's friend, then you're going to have to accept that her kids come first, and that she won't have the same flexibility as people who aren't parents, particularly if she doesn't have a lot of money.

It sounds like she values your friendship, but doesn't put it above her children or her boyfriend. I think both those things are perfectly reasonable. It's also perfectly reasonable if you're at a different place and don't want to deal with that. If that's the case, then it's best probably to phase out the friendship, but don't be resentful that she didn't value you, since it doesn't seem like that's the case based on what you posted here.

Really, it all comes down to the price of admission thing again.


Sage advice Jordan, thank you. Absolutely her children should come first, no matter what. And I can't imagine how difficult it would be to be a single parent - she's an awesome mom in that respect. Right now her relationship with her boyfriend is taking priority over other relationships in her life, and I'm glad she's happy. It's hard not to be able to hang out like we used to.


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