Okay who has ever done this: you have plans to meet up with a friend, but you have just realized that you don’t really want to hang out with them. It’s not really for any personal reason. Maybe you’re swamped with work or just don’t want to drive there and the thought of having to meet up with someone – even if you love ’em – is draining all of your mortal energy. But, you don’t want them to be mad at you for canceling.
The thing is there is a way to bail on a friend without it being a totally rude gesture. It just takes a little planning, thought and maturity! If you don’t want to be miserable sitting through an undesired hang out sesh or you don’t want your friend getting mad when you cancel plans, this is for you. Here are 10 tips on how to cancel plans with friends.
Give Her A Lot Of NoticeThe second you start thinking you kind of want to cancel, it's best to act. Waiting until it's within an hour of when you're supposed to meet up? That's not really giving your friend time to make alternate plans, especially if you've been planning on making this cancellation call for most of the day. If she can figure out a new plan, that'll minimize the chance she's annoyed at you. A call is also more immediate (and more personal) than a text or email. Source: Shutterstock.com
Don't Just Not Show UpI feel like this goes without saying, but the absolute worst way to bail on someone is to just not show up. Okay, once in a while we may honestly forget, but if you are just planning on not going and using "I forgot" as an excuse, that's really unfair. Using not showing up as your plan cancellation method is guaranteed to get a friend mad (and honestly, rightfully so). Source: Shutterstock.com
Be Honest...I will admit that I have lied to get out of hanging with a friend, but honestly, I spend my "relaxing" evening avoiding the hang out super stressed that she'll find out... and sometimes she does. Avoid going into an elaborate lie about why you have to cancel your plans. Not many of us are great liars anyway, and there's that chance she sees right through it. Honesty is a safer policy. Source: Shutterstock.com
...But You Don't Need To Give All The DetailsYes, be honest, but just as you shouldn't make an elaborate lie, you also can be a little selective with all the truth you give. Saying "I just really don't want to hang out with you," can come off a little harsh. However, something saying "I'm not not super up into hanging out" isn't a lie, but lets you be a little more vague to make sure everyone's feelings stay intact. Source: Shutterstock.com
Say SorryIt may seem like an obvious one, but an apology can go a long way. Especially if you have been texting your plans, sometimes it can be hard to sense tone. You don't want your "have to cancel" message to come off as abrupt, and an apology helps to make it clear that you aren't relishing in your plan cancellation. Again though, making a phone call can eliminate those tone issues and you can always say a sincere apology. Source: Shutterstock.com
Don't Bail On Them For Someone ElseDon't just want to hang because you're tired or overwhelmed? Okay. But ditching your friend so you can hang out with someone "better" really isn't cool. There are seven days in the week - you can probably make time for those other friends without bailing on your friend. It's likely she'll find out and that can do a lot of friendship damage. Source: Shutterstock.com
Sometimes You Can't Really Cancel...It's your friend's birthday dinner? Just because a quiet night at home sounds more appealing, this is a situation where you really need to just bite your teeth and go. For special events, you don't have as much leeway when it comes to bailing without hurting someone's feelings. These don't happen all the time though, so really just try to enjoy yourself in the moment and schedule some time to relax on your own later. Source: Shutterstock.com
...But Also Know Sometimes It's NecessaryIf you have a family emergency or you feel super sick, you have every right to bail on those plans. Trying to hang out when you're sick probably won't be fun for you or them. Sometimes you just need to take care of yourself and your friends know that. These are situations when you shouldn't need to stress about your friend's reaction because a friend should understand those unforeseen circumstances. Source: Shutterstock.com
Offer To RescheduleOne of the best ways to show that this cancellation isn't personal is to be proactive about rescheduling. It shows that your need to cancel really is because of the date or time or even, and not them as a person. It will help calm your friend's worries and keep her from seeing you as flaky or rude. Source: Shutterstock.com
Don't Make It A Regular ThingIf you are regularly breaking plans, it's likely that your friends are going to stop counting on you when it comes to keeping your hang out promises. Could there be a deeper reason that you seem so hesitant to meet up? Or maybe you are committing too much and need to be more selective with hangouts from the beginning so you're not canceling so much. If you aren't canceling plans that often, your friends are likely to be more understanding and not get so mad when it does happen. Source: Shutterstock.com
Have you ever gotten into an argument with a friend over canceling plans? How do you let a friend know you’re not up to hang out without making her upset? Tell us in the comments!