How do I deal with my 'flaky' friend?
June 9, 2011 2:29 PM Subscribe
We are both late-20s females and are close friends. I like and respect her a lot. However, I feel she can be selfish and inconsiderate at times, leaving me inconvenienced, frustrated and hurt. When I talk to her about this, she excuses her behaviour as 'flakiness'. How do I deal with this?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (28 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The most recent such incident happened last weekend. My friend currently lives in a different country and was staying with me for a few days after coming to town for work. In planning what we'd do on her visit, I suggested we go to a party I'd been invited to. She agreed it was a fun idea and accepted the invite on facebook. We talked about it a couple of times once she was here. On the day of the party, I left for work and we arranged that she would meet me at my workplace at 5pm, have a drink and then leave for the party shortly after.
At 4pm she texted saying she was with another friend (of hers), "but plan is still to go to party". She then became a bit evasive, suggesting I meet her at the party later, and that she wanted to eat first. The party was a bit of a trek to get to and I don't know the people too well, so I didn't want to go on my own. I explained this and tried to convince her to stick with the plan.
After I'd waited around until 7.30, she agreed to grab some food to go (rather than eat at the bar she was at) and we arranged to jump on the tube and meet each other at the other end. I got off nearly an hour later to find a text from her saying she didn't feel like going to the party and was going to hang out with the other friend instead.
I felt pretty pissed off. If she'd said earlier that she didn't feel like going to the party or wanted to spend time with someone else that would have been fine, but we had confirmed plans. At this stage I had relied on her and was looking forward to going to the party together. Otherwise, I might not have gone to the party at all, or might have gone for a while and then met up with her later. She didn't apologise other than "sorry to be a bit flaky". This was her last night in town so I didn't see her before she left. I told her that I was angry about the situation and she left me a note - affectionate and conciliatory but not apologising.
1) Am I being unreasonably annoyed about her cancelling? This was a definite plan, not a maybe. Other friends said they might come and on the evening decided not to, which didn't bother me at all. Even if she'd called me up last minute and said she really didn't feel like going that would be fine, but her behaviour felt unthoughtful and didn't acknowledge that she was putting me out.
2) How do I deal with this aspect of her personality? This is a recurring clash. I have noticed that her other friends get annoyed when she cancels on them too, but generally it's them she's ditching rather than me so it hasn't come up all that often.
Other relevant information:
1) We had a major disagreement a while back as flatmates. She was the leaseholder and knew for over a month that the landlord wasn't extending our lease (as we had earlier been told would happen). However, she didn't tell the rest of us because she was (unbeknownst to us) planning to move countries, but didn't want to say anything until she made her mind up about the move. This left us with only two weeks to find a new place to live, which put us in a really stressful and difficult position. We talked it out and after a while she sent me a decent apology, which I accepted. Since then things have been fine, and while I don't hold it against her as such, it does colour my view of other incidents, such as the one last weekend.
2) Similarly, a mutual friend of ours was left with nowhere to stay when they went on holiday together and were supposed to be staying at the apartment of a friend of Flaky Friend. Flaky Friend went AWOL and Mutual Friend was unable to contact her.