Relationships

soo sick of flakey friends. :(

I am not sure what happened this past year, but I feel like nearly all of my friends have become total flakes. It's been happening with bigger events, like my birthday, an election party, and gallery shows. One by one, people drop like flies. People whom I've relied on for years, and whom I have been there for through thick and thin. It's not just with big events, it's with regular plans to get together too.

This past weekend I had a blow out with one of my oldest friends because she's cancelled on me about 4 times now, and I finally decided to speak up and she got crazy defensive. :(  People just don't seem to take their commitments as seriously anymore. It's not even just one person, it's almost all of my friends. I am trying to figure out if it's something I'm doing, if perhaps I'm being too much of a  doormat, and letting these flake outs slide without proper display of my disappointment. Usually my response is just "No worries! :) We'll plan for another time". But it's getting to the point where I'm losing my patience, and feeling like my time isn't valued by other people. It also puts a real damper on my self esteem.

Does anyone else have this issue? How do you address this without coming off as judgemental or getting into a fight over it? I just want respect, and to have the same reliability that I give to be given in return. It sucks to feel like I can't count on any of my friends. :(

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Re: soo sick of flakey friends. :(

  • Find friends who like those activities, also. I am guessing this is their way out since they do not have the same interests you have developed.

    They've made it clear more than once that they're bailing or flaking out, time to get a new friend. When they do that, i tend to think there is a jealousy issue.

    I had a friend who did the same thing. I invited her to my artist's reception for a show I was having and I found out through a friend of mine that this person was saying all these outrageous things: "you're having a Christmas party? I won't go if Tarpon is there."

    Huh? Indeed, same thing: I was there for her birthday, baked her a cake, sent her one of my goofy birthday cards, etc. And we went way back, about 15 years. Who knows what brought this on?

    I called that person and left her a message a day before my reception and told her not to attend. I didn't hear a sound out of her; not even a "what's going on? how come I cannot attend? You sent me an invitation; are you mad at me for some reason?"

    That was pretty telling. I am surmising that she knows what the content of that "not going if she is there" conversation was about.

    I should have known something was wrong when i got no RSVP back from her for my reception. Who knows what happened there?

    My friend who was having the Christmas party has not heard from her since. It was like this person wanted to dump me and my friend with the party, all in one fell swoop.

  • A few things..

    1 - Have your friends experienced any recent changes (i.e. new job, marriage, children, etc)? Anything that would make you less of a priority in their lives?  If so, give them the benefit of the doubt - know they want to see you but just can't swing it for one reason or another.

    2 - You have to nip things in the bud as soon as their an issue for you. Don't say "No worries" if you don't mean it. Because when you FINALLY do speak up, your friends will be thinking "Where the hell did that come from? NYC is a psycho b!tch!"

    3 - When you do speak up, do so calmly and rationally and without accusation. Use "I" statements instead of "YOU" statements. "Friend - I'm hurt you're missing my gallery show. I was so excited to see you and show you my work." Let the conversation flow from there.

    4 - Finally, when people show you who they are, don't think they're not going to be who they are when it involves you or things that are important to you. That's just a fancy way of saying lower your expectations.

  • Sorry this is going on, I know it sucks. I can relate, infact, I'm sure everyone can. Once I got engaged, it seemed like all my friends went MIA. I invited close to 15 friends to my wedding. All of them said they would be coming. Only 4 ended up showing up, and only one of them gave me a very poor explanation why they couldn't make it. I was a little hurt, even a little angry at them but I haven't had a need to contact any of them since. They showed me they aren't real friends so why should I be friendly? Sorry, not trying to make this about me. I guess I've just learned that people will always come and go. Even people I thought were my "best friends." That's when you just have to accept and cherish the moments you had, and just let it be and move on, that is, if they are not willing to be a reliable and true friend. Why would you waste your time on someone who isn't?
  • Yup happens to me.  One friend was just looking to dump me because she was jealous and also too lazy to put effort into the friendship because we were long distance.  My other friend works almost every weekend- so I am more understanding of that.   Just concentrate on those few friends that are there for you- I know it hurts but there is not much you can do. 
  • Just some thoughts.....

    Do any of these friends ever contact you without you contacting them?  If not, might be a good idea to start finding some new friends.  I realized awhile ago now that a lot of the people I thought were friends I only talked to because I was the one who called, emailed, etc.

    Also, some people will tell you they'll show up to something even though they have no intention on showing up.  Especially if you're inviting them in person.  We have a person here in our office that's part of our friends group. We go out to eat about once a month and invite them.  They always say they're coming, but unless it's a nice restaurant they won't show up, but they'll tell you they're coming.

    I also think as we get older, it becomes harder to find new friends as we tend to settle into routines and don't tend to really talk to new people.  When we were younger, people disappeared out of our lives, but we didn't really notice it because people were also coming into our lives.  But now we notice that all of our friends have disappeared because we don't have as many people coming into our lives.

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  • Thanks everyone for the feedback.

    It's a bit hard to explain. I've known most of these friends for years. And I guess its' becoming one of those situations where we KNOW we care about each other and love each other, and that is unquestioned. But in a way that's almost a bad thing? Because the pressure to show up and make that effort is not really there, as it would be for someone who is still proving themselves as a new friend. Now it's become, "well I can't make it to this thing, BUT YOU KNOW I LOVE YA! I'll catch you next time!". Does that make sense?

    And it sort of defeats the purpose of having best friends, because friends are supposed to be those people you can always rely on. I'm not saying that an occasional cancellation is unacceptable. I have a life, I know stuff gets in the way of our best intentions sometimes. I am more upset because I feel like that sense of importance for being there physically for one another isn't as strong anymore. And that the fact that we know our friendship is "solid" takes away the need to hang out regularly. It's so strange.

    I don't know what to say to my friend whom I fought with this past weekend. After she cancelled so many times, I simply asked her not to make plans until she is sure she can make it. She got so mad. But then apologized and PROMISED that she would come to my art opening last night. Did she come? NO. Some "emergency" came up and she apologized and said she couldn't make it. I'm just turned off. But again, she's a best friend, like a sister, and I don't feel like this should change our friendship, but I've come to the realization that she is not someone I can rely on. How do I move forward without getting disappointed when she cancels, or growing apart?

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  • image jtmh2012:

    Just some thoughts.....

    Do any of these friends ever contact you without you contacting them?  If not, might be a good idea to start finding some new friends.  I realized awhile ago now that a lot of the people I thought were friends I only talked to because I was the one who called, emailed, etc.

    Also, some people will tell you they'll show up to something even though they have no intention on showing up.  Especially if you're inviting them in person.  We have a person here in our office that's part of our friends group. We go out to eat about once a month and invite them.  They always say they're coming, but unless it's a nice restaurant they won't show up, but they'll tell you they're coming.

    I also think as we get older, it becomes harder to find new friends as we tend to settle into routines and don't tend to really talk to new people.  When we were younger, people disappeared out of our lives, but we didn't really notice it because people were also coming into our lives.  But now we notice that all of our friends have disappeared because we don't have as many people coming into our lives.

     

    I would say that with all of my current friends, it's pretty equal as to who contacts who. The few people that I had in my life who I always had to reach out to have conveniently fallen off my radar once I stopped contacting them. ;)

     

    And I agree that it's so much harder to meet people when you're older. I actually just made the decision to work from home and leave my current full time job. I'm scared Sh!t of feeling lonely and isolated, and wonder how I am to meet new people. I guess I'm going to have to make sure I get out of the house and do things. Thank god for Meetup.com. I'm going to give that a try.

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  • I don't know, it doesn't bother me when a friend cancels.  I like to think my friends have the best intentions and if they had to cancel it was for a good reason.  Not sure your age range, but I feel like my friends in our mid-20s, someone always has a new boyfriend or a grad school paper or something going on.  I know at some point I'm going to have to cancel on them and I'd expect them to think I had good intentions too.  
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  • I remembered this one time that I had to read this one "friend" the riot act --- there was a surprise b'day party for somebody in the group and I was giving it. It was a milestone b'day -- and I got "I don't knowwww if I can maaaake itttt...." you know, in that pseudo vague kind of voice.

    I said, "C'mon: this is a milestone birthday; you have to be there!" Somehow she managed to make it.

    I also hate the "friends" you send invitations to and they don't even respond. RSVP, it said: did you get the invitation, I wonder? or is it muldering in your pile of mail, unopened?
  • OMG hubby and I are going threw the same thing! We got married in June after being together for years and we had his best friend and gf in the bridal party along with our siblings. We saw our friends throughout our engagment once a month or so and they helped out with anything wedding related. Well we havent seen them since July...they got engaged in August and we still havent seen them since...i dont talk to his finance by phone/text, so hubby usually makes the plans...but everytime we've been trying to get together somethings come up or he's blown off hubby when the 2 boys make plans...either overtime (cuz hes a workoholic) or other things...but they've had time to hang out with other friends (they menchioned stories about get togethers with other couples) so Im not sure what the issue is. Though we are finally getting together tomorrow after much haggaling for a date, we will see them at night for like 4 hrs.. Whoopie....ask me if I want to go to their wedding next year? Don't think so....
  • I went through this at the end of college. Yes I know that life changes were happening but I had a friend who could never commit to making plans with me, but would go out with other people all the time. Eventually I just stopped making any effort and the friendship died. Yes it was sad, but I had also figured out it was one sided. If you are always making the plans and trying to get people together that great, but maybe see what happens if you let one of them take the lead on stuff. I hope that you can figure it out but it sounds like these are friendships that are going through a growing phase. You may love them like sisters and have been friends forever but that does not mean that you will not grow apart. 

     

    Sorry you are going through this  

    ~Emily~
  • And i just witnessed this one tonight -- I think every flake noted in this post is drinking the same damn water:

    A friend of mine is having a party. She invited 4 neighbors of mine who are my friends; she knows them also.

    The friends were a go for the party -- but somehow today, it's a no go. I am not sure what happened here myself, but I think it's pretty pecular. If you do not wish to attend the party, call the hostess and say "I am sorry but our plans were changed last minute; we won't be there tomorrow." (you got tickets to see some kind of basketball game last minute? And this other person just can't make it? this is uh weird)

    And make a rain check on it, just to be kind and as a make good and to show this person you aren't blowing her off! Even a "how about we all get together for drinks down the block before the holiday rolls around; want to do what with us?"

    I feel like the onus is on me, now that K and J and T and D cannot attend that party.

  • I too have gone through the flakey friend thing. My best friend of 25 years went M.I.A. on me the minute i announced my enagement. Sometimes you have to just accept that some friends in our life are only for a season and are not meant to be in it for the long haul. The H and I had such a bad experience planning a wedding with our family and friends that we just opted out and got dressed up got married at my uncle's church and went to my Husband favorite resturant Longhorn. And I couldnt have been happier! So you just have to enjoy your life minus the people who dont care enough to be a part of your special occasions.
    We've been married since 08-31-12
  • image TarponMonoxide:

    And i just witnessed this one tonight -- I think every flake noted in this post is drinking the same damn water:

    A friend of mine is having a party. She invited 4 neighbors of mine who are my friends; she knows them also.

    The friends were a go for the party -- but somehow today, it's a no go. I am not sure what happened here myself, but I think it's pretty pecular. If you do not wish to attend the party, call the hostess and say "I am sorry but our plans were changed last minute; we won't be there tomorrow." (you got tickets to see some kind of basketball game last minute? And this other person just can't make it? this is uh weird)

    And make a rain check on it, just to be kind and as a make good and to show this person you aren't blowing her off! Even a "how about we all get together for drinks down the block before the holiday rolls around; want to do what with us?"

    I feel like the onus is on me, now that K and J and T and D cannot attend that party.

     

    Wow Tarpon that does seem pretty crappy, and peculiar. Do you think they were all together and decided to blow off your friend's party? That's so very "Mean Girls". lol. I think part of this is communication and how it's changed with technology too. Like, "Ok I don't feel like making the effort to leave the house and meet up with this person, but I'll leave em a facebook comment, and that's good enough!"  I feel like a text or facebook comment is NOT equal to a phone call or hang out session. Texts/facebook are great for acquaintances and people you care to keep in touch with, but your GOOD FRIENDS need to suck it up and make some freggin face time.

    Also what you said about a raincheck I totally agree with. A cancellation is much more palatable when an alternative is offered. If it's just a "no I can't make it." with no effort to make it up to that person, well that is just flat out rude in my opinion. 

    Grr. 

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  • image nyc artist:
    image TarponMonoxide:

    And i just witnessed this one tonight -- I think every flake noted in this post is drinking the same damn water:

    A friend of mine is having a party. She invited 4 neighbors of mine who are my friends; she knows them also.

    The friends were a go for the party -- but somehow today, it's a no go. I am not sure what happened here myself, but I think it's pretty pecular. If you do not wish to attend the party, call the hostess and say "I am sorry but our plans were changed last minute; we won't be there tomorrow." (you got tickets to see some kind of basketball game last minute? And this other person just can't make it? this is uh weird)

    And make a rain check on it, just to be kind and as a make good and to show this person you aren't blowing her off! Even a "how about we all get together for drinks down the block before the holiday rolls around; want to do what with us?"

    I feel like the onus is on me, now that K and J and T and D cannot attend that party.

     

    Wow Tarpon that does seem pretty crappy, and peculiar. Do you think they were all together and decided to blow off your friend's party? That's so very "Mean Girls". lol. I think part of this is communication and how it's changed with technology too. Like, "Ok I don't feel like making the effort to leave the house and meet up with this person, but I'll leave em a facebook comment, and that's good enough!"  I feel like a text or facebook comment is NOT equal to a phone call or hang out session. Texts/facebook are great for acquaintances and people you care to keep in touch with, but your GOOD FRIENDS need to suck it up and make some freggin face time.

    Also what you said about a raincheck I totally agree with. A cancellation is much more palatable when an alternative is offered. If it's just a "no I can't make it." with no effort to make it up to that person, well that is just flat out rude in my opinion. 

    Grr. 

    I agree that's why I said my one friend was lazy because she only wanted to communicate over Facebook or text.   I love the idea of a rain check.  I usually do that, but will make more of an effort that is my standard reply.  

  • Not sure how old you are, but some of the Co-ops that we have had over the past few years would not commit until just before events since they are always looking for the "best" for them.

    MW and I don't worry too much about it, her cousins are like this also, one time they tell us they are not coming to an event at my house then show up.  Another time they say they are coming to another planned event and don't.  We are to the point that if it is done at home we will plan for them to show up and if they don't we will not worry.  If it is somewhere else we will not invite them to say headaches.

  • Add me to the list. We were in our friends wedding 2 months ago. I was a bridesmaid, my DH was a groomsman, and our daughter was the flower girl. I was treated poorly by the Bride and the MOH, and other bridesmaid. I felt like we were in the movie "Mean Girls". It was so bizarre. However after thinking about it the other 2 girls were like vultures, competing with each other about EVERYTHING. If the one went to fix the bride's dress she would like at the MOH and say "This is your job you know". The MOH didn't wear a bra, was flirting with the groom, etc. I will not compete for attention so I was kind of like in the background. They were married 10/20, after the wedding we decided we would let them make the next move. We had realized that if we got together it because we called or invited them. We saw them for the first time yesterday because we invited them to our DS's birthday party. My DH has known the groom for like 15 years and he and his wife have been a couple for like 6 or so years. My supposed BFF and I have been friends for like 13 years, the past few years it's only when it's convenient for her. She said she would be at my DS's bday party yesterday the night before. She didn't show, call, or text but liked and commented on the photos I posted on FB.

    I thought I was the only one losing friends. I can totally relate having it affect my self esteem. I asked my DH if there is something I'm doing or saying that may be the reason. I've even asked myself if I'm having unrealistic expectations from people. It is true that people grow apart. We are the only couple with kids so I know that is part of it.

    Good luck to you and I hope things get better!

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  • I have grown tired of flakey people too.  I think it's a sign of our culture of rudeness that doesn't champion politeness or social grace anymore, and of people not understanding (or not caring) how to conduct themselves properly. 

    Sorry to those who are flakey--having kids, impending wedding, etc. are not an acceptable excuse not to RSVP when you are sent an invitation, or to constantly cancel because you made plans and then had an inconvenience pop up.  Everyone is busy, everyone has stress, everyone has things unexpectedly pop up.  If you can't go, then RSVP "No" in a timely manner like you are supposed to.  It's not hard to check a box.  If you say you'll go, then honor your word.  Of course, if something tragic does happen it is acceptable to cancel for a legitemate reason.  And I have no words for people who say they will attend who have no intention of going.  That's just a special kind of rude, and I just don't get it.

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