How Should You Deal with Flaky Friends?


How Should You Deal with Flaky Friends?
How Should You Deal with Flaky Friends?

Friendships are relationships, too, but people often don’t discuss how to deal with them they way they do with romantic relationships. But, like with any relationship, when someone doesn’t make an effort to see you, you begin to feel like they’re flaky and don’t respect you. Luckily, I’ve learned how to best deal with friends like that, and I’m happy to share my findings with you!

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Don’t Take It Personally

The first part of the battle is all about your mentality. In order to deal with flaky friends, you have to tell yourself not to take it personally. It’s never your fault that someone else bails; you’re putting energy into the friendship and doing everything you should to keep the friendship growing! Someone’s flakiness is not necessarily a reflection on how much they like you or want to hang out with you.


Flaky behavior often has more to do with the individual's personal issues or habits rather than their feelings towards you. It could stem from a busy lifestyle, forgetfulness, or even anxiety about social commitments. Remember this, you are valuable and deserve respect. Don't undervalue your worth based on their actions. Instead, maintain a positive attitude and continue investing in those who value your time and reciprocate your efforts in maintaining the friendship.


Make Group Plans

Changing your mindset doesn’t take away that feeling of disappointment you get when your plans suddenly fall through at the last minute. So, make sure all of your plans with that flaky friend are group plans. If you plan a group shopping spree, movie night, etc. and one person doesn’t show up, you can still have fun. No more weekend nights wasted!


Incorporating more people into the equation also diffuses the responsibility and expectation placed on any one individual. This way, your enjoyment isn't hinging on a single person's attendance. Remember to keep the invitation loop wide enough so everyone feels welcome; this fosters a lively atmosphere that's bigger than the sum of its parts. Plus, it's a fantastic opportunity to blend different circles of friends, which can lead to new connections and interactions, ensuring that there's always a dynamic mix to keep the energy high, no matter who shows up.


Have a Heart-to-heart

Calling someone out on their flakiness can be awkward and even create a rift in the friendship. But a heart-to-heart is different. Explain to your friend that you like them so much you really want to spend time with them, but that their flakiness is getting in the way of that. All that matters is that you’re coming from a place of kindness and sincerity, not scolding them, but instead opening an important dialogue between the two of you.


When you sit down for this conversation, it helps to be clear about your feelings without assigning blame. Use "I" statements, like I feel disappointed when plans fall through unexpectedly, to express your emotions. Remember, it’s about sharing your perspective and hopefully understanding theirs as well. Your buddy might not even be aware of the impact of their actions, and this could be the gentle nudge they need to see things from your viewpoint. Open communication is the bedrock of any strong friendship, and this might actually strengthen your bond.


Be Annoying

Nothing is worse then getting ready for a day or night out, only to receive a cancellation text on your way to the car. That’s why whenever you make plans with this friend, feel free to be annoying! Text them several times before your friend-date confirming that they are available. That way, if they cancel, you may have time to make alternate plans and still have a fun day!


Double-checking can feel excessive, but with a flaky friend, it's a must. Start with a casual reminder a few days in advance, and as the day approaches, a quick "still on for today?" can prompt confirmation. If they tend to be forgetful, turning the annoyance into a playful joke can keep the mood light. "Can't wait to see you! Haven't been stood up by a statue yet, you're not going to break the streak, are you?" This way, you're expressing anticipation while gently nudging them to commit.


Make It Convenient

Planning a weekend getaway with a flaky friend can be really problematic. If they flake out on the little things, big commitments are probably even harder for them to keep. When it comes to spending time with flaky friends, the more convenient the better. You can make things convenient for them by coming to their place, scheduling a quick coffee meetup or meal, or something else along those lines.


Know the Type of Flaky

Sometimes flakiness is warranted. If your friend is currently climbing the leadership ladder at her work, or trying to maintain straight A’s and get involved on campus, she may simply be too busy to keep up with social commitments. In this case, it’s important to be understanding and remember not to take anything too personally. On the other hand, if they’re lazy, they may just not feel motivated enough to get dressed and go out some days. They might also be indifferent about the relationship and someone who doesn’t care about getting your hopes up and wasting your time. If the case is one of the last two, maybe you should consider ending the friendship.


Evaluating the root of your friend's flakiness is key. If their reasons seem genuine, flexibility and empathy are your allies. However, if their excuses are unconvincing or habitual, it could be a sign that they don't value your time or friendship as you do theirs. It might be painful, but setting boundaries or having an open conversation could salvage the relationship—or help you realize when it's healthier to step back. Remember, your time is precious, and you deserve friends who recognize and respect that.



Lastly, just don’t deal with them. You don’t have to put up with anything you don’t enjoy. Maybe it’s time to take a break from the friendship and analyze where it’s going. Is she a life long friend, or someone you should cut out of your life for good? Avoid making plans and just see what happens. If they reach out to you, you’ll know that the friendship could be worth salvaging, otherwise, it just wasn’t meant to last.

My biggest pet peeve is probably a flaky friend! I’m sure you’ve had experience with one, or several, too! Hopefully now you know how to deal with them better. How else do you recommend handling a flaky friend?

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

It's hard just giving up on a 4 years friendship you know

I've had a few flaky friends in my short lifetime. I'm bound to meet more. Thanks for the tips. 

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