We have all known someone who fails to keep plans from time to time. In fact, we have probably all been that person at some point in our lives. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, emergencies pop up and we have to cancel at the last-minute – it happens. Then there are the people who do this type of thing far too often and the worst part is, they don’t seem to think it’s a problem. These people are flaky. Their behavior implies they do not care about your time or your feelings when they continually bail on you at the last-minute. It’s simple, don’t be a flake.
Tell me if you’ve ever had this conversation with someone:
You: What’s up
Them: Are you home?
Them: Can I come by?
You: Uh, sure, what’s up?
Them: Just want to chat
You: Ok, when are you coming by?
Them: I’ll be there in, like, twenty minutes
You: Ok, I’ll be here
Them: See you soon
Maybe you were doing the dishes or laundry, or about to vacuum. Maybe you were going to take a nap or watch a movie. BUT, whatever you were going to do, or were doing, you would gladly put on hold to have a chat with your friend, right? So you tidy things up enough for company not to be disgusted by your lack of housekeeping skills if you’re anything like me. Or if you’re really like me you don’t even bother with that nonsense because anyone who really knows you won’t care – but that twenty minutes comes and goes. After forty-five minutes you text your friend and ask if they’re still coming. Fifteen minutes later when you’ve gotten no response you text again with a few question marks??? Still no response.
If this has never happened to you please go ahead and skip to the comments section to let me know that I am alone in ‘the battle of the flaky friends’ because this is a huge pet peeve of mine! However, I am quite sure I am not alone and this epidemic should not be ignored. Even if what I was doing, or was planning on doing, is seemingly inconsequential in the larger scheme of life my time still matters!! I have feelings and being blown off for who-knows-what is simply not okay.
Keeping your word is supposed to mean something, especially in a world that is so disconnected. Yes, I said it – we are DISconnected in our constantly over-connected (in the wrong way) lives. Just because we can be plugged into the world-wide web every second of the day does not mean that our connections with real life people have improved at all. In fact, I think many would agree those connections have diminished. You try to have a conversation with the person in front of you and they aren’t listening because they are having a conversation with someone via text or Facebook or twitter or checking Instagram or pinning something on Pinterest or snap chatting or, or, or… Have we completely lost sight of simple manners? Why make plans at all if you’re not going to show up or let the other person know that you’re not going to show up?
Keeping your word and doing what you say you will do shows your true character. It is the judge of your character and lets others know what to expect of you. If you continually go back on your word, others will know to expect nothing of what you say you will do and trust will falter. If others can’t trust you then perhaps they won’t be there for you when you need them. Friendship is a circle, it’s reciprocal – it doesn’t work otherwise. Each person gives and takes, if one person takes more than they give on a continual basis the other person will feel abused and eventually let go of the abusive relationship as that is what’s in their best interest. This logic extends past friendships to almost any kind of relationship, really.
When you think about it, who is it really hurting when you flake on your friends? Who is it going to hurt in the long run, when you’ve burnt those bridges and gone back on your word one too many times? What do you want your friends, family, co-workers, or other acquaintances to think of your character? How does it make you feel when someone flakes on you?
Strength of character is important. Being dependable is an important quality of character. You may think it’s no big deal to blow someone off once in a while but try to think of how it makes you feel when the situation is reversed. We all have busy lives and our time matters, everyone’s time matters. When someone sets aside time to spend with you, they are saying that you matter enough to make time for. Simple manners go a long way in a world that seems to have forgotten many of them. Let your friend know if you’re running late. If you can’t make it, let your friend know why you can’t make it. Just please, don’t be a flake.