1. You say yes to every offer, maybe for fear of disappointing people or maybe because everything sounds so fun. You really believe at the time that you can attend the baby shower of one friend in the afternoon, get drinks with another before dinner, grab dinner with your posse and then a late night movie with someone else after, but it leaves you feeling stressed before you begin, you end up letting everyone down by being late to everything, cancelling at least one thing, spending most of your time on the phone at each event co-ordinating the next thing and creating a mutual feeling that nobody got your quality time and attention. No wonder you are exhausted and unmotivated!
2. Although you feel anxious today, you feel certain that once you are out and about you will enjoy yourself. You hesitate to make plans for right now, but make them for the future. When the day rolls around you feel sick with anxiety and don’t want to go. Most of the time you cancel or just don’t show up, and when you do you spend the whole time feeling sick and wanting to leave. You yo-yo between feeling grateful your friends still invite you at all and resentful at them for forcing you to be social when you don’t feel like it. You usually end up pushing people away and then feel sad and lonely.
3. You’re only flaky with certain people. If you like and respect someone, you will be on time and remember the plans. If on the other hand, you are less enthusiastic about your friend than they are about you…. Chances are you will easily forget the plans…. Or worse still… dread them! You won’t be motivated to get ready, you will be late and you will try and make as many excuses as possible. You usually try and get them to cancel the plans by saying how tired you are, how busy you have been and that you will have to leave early, hoping they will give you an easy out and you can pretend to feel bad, while you are secretly relieved. If this is the case, you have to ask yourself if you are actually trying to end the friendship via flaky behavior. If it’s not working a more direct approach may be kinder.
4. You are super busy. You work fulltime, you have 4 kids, they have a million extracurricular activities, you have a big family with events most weekends and even some evenings. You hardly ever make plans because you are so busy and your friends start to feel you are avoiding them and constantly ask if everything is ok. When you do make plans almost every time something crops up forcing you to cancel, and when you do have time you feel like you can hardly call on people at the last minute, or that you’re so exhausted that curling up on the couch with a glass of wine is all you really want to do anyway.
5. You’re an introvert. You would always rather be alone. Your job and your family exhaust you, and you need and cherish alone time to just recharge. You prefer seeing a movie or going for a walk alone. It’s not that you don’t like your friends, you’re happy to text or email etc… but you actually don’t want to catch up, or even talk on the phone. Communication and events are always at your discretion, in your own time when you feel like it. Honestly you feel like the world would be a better place if you were the only person in it.
TIP FOR BEING BETTER:
Think of other people and respect their time! The world doesn’t revolve around you, although I am well aware YOUR world does. Don’t make too many plans, remember the ones you do make, be on time. Do not make excuses. Let people know as far in advance as you can if you can’t make it. If you get asked to do something and you don’t want to, just say no. You don’t have to justify yourself. Let go of friends who don’t excite you and if necessary make plans that suit you such as movie nights at your place if you like to stay in. Invite people on errands if you are willing and able, such as to the dog beach if you are going to be there anyway or to the office for an hour for lunch which you’d be doing anyway and limits the time. If you prefer your own company, be honest with your friends. Tell them you can only handle one social interaction per week and explain that it may be a while before you see them again because you like a lot of space and can’t handle neediness.
You don’t have to feel guilty or like a bad friend as long as you go about being yourself and living your life in a respectful way.
If you find that you always seem to be waiting around for other flaky people and you find this frustrating, while blowing off the more reliable people in your life, it may be time to ask yourself if you have intimacy issues. Do you push away anyone who gets too close and chase after anyone who is cold and distant? Do you secretly not want to join any club that would have you as a member? Do you dislike yourself so much that you question and distrust anyone that likes you? Acknowledging the problem is the first step in getting help. Maybe it is anxiety, social or general and you may benefit from speaking to a qualified therapist? If so, go ahead and make an appointment. You might be glad you did. Your friends will be!
Your Best Friend ForNever