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I am that flaky friend

ihmmyihmmy Registered User regular
And I'd like to stop, but I don't know how. If it's a one on one thing like a coffee or going for a beer, I'm waaay less likely to cancel on someone. But if it's a big group of people, it's just so draining. I know my flakiness comes from a combination of a) introversion b) over-scheduling myself c) anxiety (generalized, in relation to this means my stress in one area bleeds into all others) and lately d) being busy/exhausted from work.

Legit reasons don't stop friends from being frustrated with me, I'm sure. But I also don't want to go to some event and just be a big energy vacuum, a void of despair and blech-ness. Does anyone have tips on being less flaky/cancelling less on friends?

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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Just be more honest about shit you'll commit to.

    I have friends like you, and all I really want is for you to tell me no when you're not going to come, so I don't end up planning around you.

    What is this I don't even.
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    QuidQuid Definitely not a banana Registered User regular
    Same here. All I ever want is notice that someone isn't going to make it. I don't even need a reason. I just don't want to sit there for 45 minutes waiting to start something.

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    ScooterScooter Registered User regular
    Agree with above. If you don't want to go, just say you don't want to go. There's no law that says being social means accepting every invitation you're offered.

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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    Stop being flaky, start saying "no."

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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Just be more honest about shit you'll commit to.

    I have friends like you, and all I really want is for you to tell me no when you're not going to come, so I don't end up planning around you.

    Oh God this. All we want is to know.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    If you feel you'd be a "void of despair and blech-ness" at an event, then perhaps this event, and the people who invited you to it, are not right for you. Answer the next invitation with a "no".

    MSL59.jpg
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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    If you feel you'd be a "void of despair and blech-ness" at an event, then perhaps this event, and the people who invited you to it, are not right for you. Answer the next invitation with a "no".

    Less this, more the already mentioned anxiety and work-related stress. I'm in the same position... sometimes I'm up for bringing our dog to the dog park with some friends, other times I want to sit at home and stare at the wall.

    Difference here is that I say "hey, nah, not today." Which, as others have mentioned, is what OP needs to do.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    WhiteZinfandelWhiteZinfandel Your insides Let me show you themRegistered User regular
    One of the factors here: do you know when you're going to be up for stuff or not?

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    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    One of the factors here: do you know when you're going to be up for stuff or not?

    Sorry, yea, this too. I didn't mean "hey, don't be a shitheel," because I get that it can be really tough sometimes. :\

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
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    ihmmyihmmy Registered User regular
    One of the factors here: do you know when you're going to be up for stuff or not?

    Not until it's a few hours out and I realize I have no energy for it or am totally in the wrong headspace. I always give notice because hey, I enjoy not being the worst person they know, but I still feel like I cancel on stuff way more than the average bear. Moreso for group events like parties, where it's probably not planned specifically around me being there, so much as I am a guest on the list. Maybe I just need to start answering most requests with a "probably, will confirm closer to" than a straight up "heck yes"

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    LailLail Surrey, B.C.Registered User regular
    I am very much like you. I'm super busy and often exhausted from all my commitments, and depending on the group I can become quite introverted and very anxious. My friends all know how busy I am, but I've also started letting a select few know about how draining certain events can be so they understand a bit more when I cancel on them. And like others have expressed above, if you usually just tell people "hey, I'm out for tonight" right off the bat instead of humming and hawing about it, they usually take it better.

    Also, when they show displeasure when you cancel, it's likely more that they are disappointed because they wanted to see you, and not so much that they are mad at you.

    If you want to become less flaky though... when you're invited too an event, if you're like me, you probably know right away if it'll be one you'll likely cancel on. At that point, decide THEN if you are legitimately interested in going or not. If you aren't, say no. If you are interested, tell yourself you're in and commit to it. No excuses. Go, even if it's just for a bit.

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    CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    Try to suggest activities that you'd be less likely to cancel more often. I make sure I only commit to going downtown with my friends once a month, because I know for a fact that I won't be able to handle any more than that. Instead, I suggest going out to eat, or hanging out at somebody's apartment.

    Another thing you can do is find ways to make the things that exhaust you less draining. I will bring my own tea to a friend's place, and don't give any fucks about how rude that is because if I have my tea, I know I can stay longer. And afterwards, I do something like pet my guinea pigs or draw because that relaxes me and I can bounce back faster.

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    ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    My husband is the flakiest of friends. His best friends who love him like family will joke about expecting him two hours later than whatever time he gives, to bag on 3/4 of the events he agrees to, and to call to say he won't make it for one of those three. They joke, because otherwise they just end up pulling out their hair.

    And the sad thing is, they probably would have been okay if he'd said "nah, not this time," or at least called earlier in the day to let them know he wouldn't be there.

    People are generally okay with whatever you want to do as long as they feel like they know what that is. And there's another option that no one has really brought up: if it's the sort of thing that, due to timing or social circumstances, you have a hunch you might not want to do later, you can flat out say no but mark it on your calendar. Then if that day comes and you feel like going out, you can call the person who invited you and say 'hey, is that thing still on, and would anyone mind if I showed up? I have more time/energy than I thought I would today."

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    As long as you show up to one on one stuff, no one cares. If you don't want to be at a party and go anyway you will just bum everyone out.

    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
    but they're listening to every word I say
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    Jim SharkmagicJim Sharkmagic That's the Sharkmagic magic. England, UKRegistered User regular
    Are you into something like tabletop gaming that you could do every week and commit to with a small bunch of people? Failing that, just do what others have said and make sure to say "no" instead of "maybe".

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    GafotoGafoto Registered User regular
    It's sort of a self-correcting problem. Your friends will just stop inviting you to things because they know you won't show up. Just say no when they invite you and say why.

    sierracrest.jpg
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    WassermeloneWassermelone Registered User regular
    I actually tell people I'm introverted and that most of the time I'll decline, but to keep inviting me to things because once in a blue moon I'll actually go out.

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    CryogenCryogen Registered User regular
    I used to be like this, too. I found that part of the problem was I was agreeing to go to too many things, because of the theory that if you just force yourself to do things more often you will 'get over' your introversion and enjoy being busy and out all the time. I came to realise that this simply made me stressed.

    Now I make a point of not overbooking myself. I like my time to myself, and I need it to effectively recharge my batteries, so I make sure there's enough of that time available. My good friends I've spoken to about last-minute events and that I'm very unlikely to agree to them because I'll have already put myself in the headspace of having time to myself, many events I need time in advance (ie days, not hours) to plan around so I still have enough me-time. Casual friends tend to organize in advance anyway so that's rarely a problem, and I've learned to be comfortable declining things I'm not that interested in.

    I'm much happier with how I organize my life now, and I find that I bail on far less things because I'm not preoccupied thinking how busy I am.

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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Gafoto wrote: »
    It's sort of a self-correcting problem. Your friends will just stop inviting you to things because they know you won't show up. Just say no when they invite you and say why.

    Pretty much this. Once you become completely unreliable you just stop getting invited to anything except the really big events where everyone gets invited.

    What is this I don't even.
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    wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    edited September 2013
    It's totally ok to not be a big fan of large group parties. I'm the same way. It's also totally ok to avoid them entirely if you find you never enjoy them, but there are also strategies for handling them with your personality type.

    For me, I just need to find a way to make my own sanctuary space within the chaos of the big crowd, or I need to find a smaller, more personal connection with a person or two within the big crowd.

    For a sanctuary space, a comfortable area near an activity works well. For instance, if there's a group watching tv, or playing foosball, or whatever, you can hang out near them. You can just be standing there with a drink by yourself, but social-wise you're not being (or appearing to be) a total recluse. You also make yourself approachable for people who may want to talk with you on the more individual level you like.

    When you make that more personal, individual connection with someone, narrow your zone to just you and that person. Now it doesn't matter that you're at a big party, you're just having a small conversation in a place that happens to have a lot of other people. Just don't cling to that person for dear life; they may want to gracefully depart to converse with others. That's when it's handy to be near the foosball table or something, because when your conversation department departs, you're not awkwardly standing by yourself. You're hanging out watching people play foosball.

    edit: just thought of another one. Take breaks! If I'm getting overwhelmed by a party crowd, I'll take my drink onto a back patio or something by myself. If someone else comes out, chances are they're looking to escape the crowd as well and we'll probably be a good match for chit chat. When I go back into the party, if someone asks where I disappeared to then "just went out to get some fresh air" is a perfectly socially-acceptable answer.

    wonderpug on
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    WhiteZinfandelWhiteZinfandel Your insides Let me show you themRegistered User regular
    ihmmy wrote: »
    One of the factors here: do you know when you're going to be up for stuff or not?

    Not until it's a few hours out and I realize I have no energy for it or am totally in the wrong headspace. I always give notice because hey, I enjoy not being the worst person they know, but I still feel like I cancel on stuff way more than the average bear. Moreso for group events like parties, where it's probably not planned specifically around me being there, so much as I am a guest on the list. Maybe I just need to start answering most requests with a "probably, will confirm closer to" than a straight up "heck yes"

    That's what I do. It's a lot easier to just honestly tell your friends (the closer ones at least) that you're not sure.

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