Let me preface by saying I am guilty of most of the crimes of which I’m about to complain, so take me with a grain of salt.
A good friend of mine had made casual plans with another friend for New Year’s Eve, but at the last minute my friend received a more solid (aka “better”) offer. While her original plans were nothing more than a “hey call me if you feel up to going out Friday night,” the casual planner felt abandoned. I give my friend a free pass on this one – particularly since I wasn’t on the receiving end of the jilt – but it got me thinking… why are people such flakes?
Why do we commit, agree, RSVP, or even suggest an outing when we there’s a solid chance we’d rather be washing our hair when the date comes? On the flip side, why have we all thrown carefully planned get-togethers with extra food, made reservations with empty seats, and driven twenty miles across town with nobody to meet us on the other side?
None of us are strangers to the excuses. I have friends who shouldn’t be granted health insurance for how often they’ve been “sick.” And social media and smartphones have paved the long road from having to make a live apology to simply sending a canned text at the eleventh hour. The have-so-much-to-do-around-the-houses and the gotta-get-upearlies are simply fancy ways of saying, “I just don’t wanna.”
So perhaps we just accept and embrace the flakiness. We can make our parties pot lucks and set our dinner reservations a few seats short. And since we don’t have much control over those other flakers, maybe we set the example when making commitments of our own.
My brutally honest best friend Shannon taught me some wonderfully un-flaky phrases that get the job done. Try one next time a potential New Year’s Eve plan sounds a tad unappealing:
1) I doubt I’m going to make it, but I’ll call you if I change my mind
2) I’d rather take it easy this weekend
3) That sounds like an evening of boredom. Count me out.
How do you politely flake?