Help! I Have A Flaky Friend And Don’t Know What To Do

As a notoriously early person who follows through with commitments, I get really annoyed when people flake on me. But there’s always that one friend who just can’t seem to be on time or who cancels plans at the last minute. And they’re the WORST!

Sure, there are times when I’d rather lay on the couch all day and binge-watch episodes of Scandal while eating a whole bag of Cheetos (I’ve totally never done this ever). But when I tell a friend I’ll hang out with them, I always follow through. Because friendship! There’s really nothing that gets under my skin more than a friend who blows you off.

And yet I still have those friends. I have this one friend who I love to death, but recently she’s become the biggest flake ever. It’s really, really getting on my nerves. We’re really close, but lately every time we make plans to hang out, she comes up with a last minute excuse to back out. And usually I’ll see on Instagram or Twitter that she’s out with another friend!

If you don’t want to hang out, then don’t make plans! It’s that easy. I’d much rather know beforehand so I can plan to do something with someone else. It’s so annoying! And if you’re going to flake on a friend, don’t put it on social media where they can see it.

I think it’s really tough on me because I often go out of my way to do things for this friend, but she can’t even bother to have lunch with me or text me back.

gretchen i am such a good friend

This is basically how I feel. Source: helloosunshine

And she doesn’t just break lunch and dinner dates. She avoids texts and phone calls even when I have something really important to talk about. I think I’ve been trying to keep the friendship in tact because I don’t want to go through another friend breakup, but it might be time to let it go.

The hardest part about dealing with a flaky friend is that it’s so difficult to talk to them about it. How can you talk to someone who’s become a total pro at avoiding you? It’s virtually impossible! I’ve called and texted. I’ve even Facebook messaged her! All with no luck. I don’t know what there is to do except talk to my friend and let her know how hurtful her actions have been.

I want to know what y’all think. How do you deal with a flaky friend? Have you ever brought it up before? Did she know she was being flaky? Tell me in the comments!

At least this friend isn’t a frenemy, right?

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Posted in: Friends & Family
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  • ivan

    If someone flakes on you without even a call or text, then you walk away. Meaning never call them, never text them, no FB, no IG, nothing! You wait for them to reach out to you. The best way to get someone’s attention is to remove yours and walk away! If you don’t respect yourself then why should anyone else. If it’s a really good friend or BFF, maybe give them chance to explain when they finally reach out to you, and just calmly tell them that flaking is not acceptable and it hurts you. But if they do it again, then def drop them for good! You ALWAYS go by people’s actions not words.

  • Lucilla

    Just about had it with her. Lost money on a weekend rental because she flaked. Twice went to pick her up to go out, as per our plans, and she was asleep. She just flaked on the morning of our night out which we planed for weeks. She is a fake. She gets so excited about the plans. She keeps texting how she can’t wait, then boom. It gets deep into my skin and I can’t help but recent her. Deleted her number and will get a new number this weekend. On top of this, a new friend of six months who is a liberal, saw I am pro-Trump on facebook and she has cut off our friendship. Can a person have different opions/belief? SMH.

    Rather be alone.

  • Nish

    I know the feel ;-;
    It’s Halloween tomorrow and I was supposed to be going trick-or-treating with my friend. I was really hyped because it’s my birthday too, and she knows how excited I was for this.
    But about two hours ago, she texts me to say she’s made plans with other friends, she doesn’t have time to come over. And I was so disappointed because we had a whole day planned together.
    I’m wondering if I should just let the friendship go, because she clearly isn’t trying and she only texts or calls me when she’s upset and needs advice or something. It’s just, if i do let the friendship go, I only have maybe one or two other friends and it’ll make school difficult in the lessons where we sit next to each other. (we’re both 15)
    Ah, friends.

  • Claire

    Yep, I relate to this whole thing. In my experience, this is someone I’ve known since I was a toddler, so it used to be difficult to think of letting her go. And she had several bouts of improving temporarily, followed by returning to her old, super-flake habits. But because I have known her so long, I can confidently say that flaking out is her common denominator. It’s a part of who she is. She always, always, always returns to this default. And I’m not willing to accept it. But when this happens to most people, they give the flake a lot of chances. I can tell you from experience that it will continue. They receive way too much benefit to stop doing it. (They love having a great friend they can rely on while they themselves do whatever is the most convenient for them, on the whim of the moment. It’s a very comfortable way to live. Why would they change? After all, if they disappoint someone, dealing with that person’s wrath is easy for a flake to avoid, and ultimately it means that there’s still more reward for doin’ their own thing. They like doing whatever, whenever, more than they hate another person’s visible disappointment, which is something they’re already good at avoiding anyway. So their worst case scenario is that they avoid you for awhile, which they were bound to do anyway. It’s win win for them!) So because a flake can only change temporarily, I’ve found that it’s best to just let ’em go. Spending time by yourself or with other people feels better than waiting on pins and needles to find out if your plans will be canceled again. They will. If for some reason you want to keep this person in your life, same day plans are the only option. A therapist office once gave me a great analogy for this – they said that if they have a patient who ends up canceling at the last minute or ends up a no show x number of times, they no longer allow that patient to make appointments in advance, regardless of whether or not that person is paying on time etc. Because that patient is stealing time away from that therapist who could be helping other people instead of blowing off a whole hour. So they tell the patients that their only option is to call each day to see if there’s an opening that same day, and that’s the only way they’re allowed in. They’re not even allowed to make next day appointments, they’re only allowed to make same day appointments! So that’s your only other option with a flake. But I think it’s far better to let them go. Your time on this earth is precious, don’t give it away to someone who doesn’t treat it as precious too!

  • TheGoddessArtemis

    My rules (flexible) for flakes:

    1) the friend flakes once or twice within a period of months with a timely, understandable reason = don’t worry about it, and stay friends

    2) a total flake with a new friend or an acquaintance (no show, no text/call) = drop the friend instantly

    3) a pattern of flaking = the friend goes to the bottom of the priority list. After sleeping in, laundry, watching a movie at home, reading a book that I am really enjoying, and anything else that I may feel like doing.

  • tiredofflakeyfriend

    I can relate to the above posts about flakey friends. I have a friend I have known since high school and we used to be very close. Obviously things change as you grow older and take on things like a career or kids. My friend has become progressively flakier as the years go and its so frustrating. The last few times we made plans and she flaked. The first time I was not too worried and did not think much as she has two kids and a busy life. The second time, we had made plans for her to come by hang out and see my new house. I knew she was going to be at a baby shower before she came over so I texted how is the shower. She told me how it was going. Then when I texted back asking if she would still be coming over, no response. The time came and went with no call or text. The next day I texted what happened to you yesterday. She texts back that she was the only friend there for the person having the shower and had to stay to help with everything. I’m thinking that’s nice of her but not so nice for me. She didn’t even say sorry for flaking on me. I was pissed because of her not even acknowledging our plans but also because we have been friends way longer than this person having the shower. I chose to move past it and although I was tempted to call her out, I didn’t. In hindsight, I should have told her it hurt my feelings and it was rude on her part to not say anything to me. A few months later we made plans to meet one Friday morning and go to a great park I wanted to show her and her boys. She said she would text me the Thursday night to work out the details. No call or text Thursday. And of course no call or text Friday. She totally flaked and did not even take a moment to say she wouldn’t be able to meet up. I’m fed up and over it at this point. If you can’t keep plans, communicate it. I know my friend has kids and is busy but my time is also valuable and I will not wait around on her anymore. Like a previous post, I’m so tempted to clean house of this flaky friend. I think her new friends may be more important than me to her and actions speak for themselves. She has told me about plans with other friends and apparently she was able to keep those everytime. I’ve decided not to say anything because if you can’t even say sorry for flaking more than once, I’m not going to tell you how I feel and waste my energy, just feels like a lost cause.

  • Shannon

    Not always and it doesn’t seem like it in your case if this friend is blowing you off for another friend – but I know from personal experience, your friend may be depressed when they are flakey or cancel plans last minute.

    I know I make plans and then the day of Ill feel horrible with no energy or just be having a really bad day and it probably seems like to the other person I am unreliable.

  • David Mei

    Is it better to ignore your friend or confront them about them being flaky?

    • IBikeNYC

      I started ignoring her the third time we had The Conversation and SHE DID IT TO ME AGAIN WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS.

    • ivan

      Always better to stand up for yourself, and calmly and concisely tell them how you feel and you don’t accept flakiness. If they do it without even a call or text…then you drop them.

  • Julie

    WOW! I’m so glad I landed here. I was having a problem with a friend I really cared about, but was super unreliable. A couple of days ago after she canceled on me at the last minute once again, I decided to kindly explain to her how I really wanted to be friends, but her standing me up may affect our friendship in the long run. I mentioned to her that I understood how busy she was and requested that in the future we not make plans. I suggested that she contact me the day of and if I’m not doing anything we can hang out and this may be the only way to save our friendship.

    I didn’t hear back for a couple of days, so I decided to give her a call. I left a message letting her know that I hope she was not mad at me. Asked that she call me when she gets a chance and hoped she was ok. I also explained that I was doing this because I cared about her and didn’t just want to write her off and would like for us to have a good friendship where we can communicate with each other. No response.

    Though I felt bad feeling I may have lost a friend, I still had no regrets, because I really did not like her making me feel like she wasn’t respecting my time. I have had times when I didn’t feel like hanging out, but I never cancelled. I just don’t like to do that unless its a must, so why should she feel ok doing so with me? Anyway, to make a long story short, I feel so much better knowing I’m not alone in this and made the right decision in expressing how I felt.

    I would never set out to hurt anyone, so this type of behavior never makes sense to me. I recently had to break up with a boyfriend of five months for the same flakiness. He wouldn’t let go and couldn’t understand why i didn’t want to continue to try. Hellooo..I’ve talked to you about this many times. I have been trying. I had to tell him I was dating someone else for him to leave me alone. His friend tried to talk to me to get him in my good graces, telling me he cared so much about me, but this is just how he is. Claiming they are best friends, but he treats him this way as well, but he is a great guy. Huh? If the person is never there for you when you need them, how are they a great person? Some people are just the way they are and there’s nothing you can do about it. You just have to let go.

    I have a great network of friends that i’ve been friends with for years and I feel very lucky. I’m always up for new friendships, but there is no way I’m letting anyone in my life or trying to sustain a friend with kind of personality.

    • Jenn

      Good for you for being clear. Concise. And expressing your feelings. The hardest thing to admit is out loud. I completely can relate.

  • Shannon

    I am having that issue with my friend of 12 years. She’s always been flaky. No matter who it is. But I have just recently got to the point where I know that I am the friend she keeps around because I am a free therapist. I always answer her calls, call her back, text her back. She has no problem avoiding my calls and texts. She won’t meet me in the next town over (she lives 2 hours away so it’s easier to meet in the middle) But she will call me and tell me she’s meeting another friend in the next town over and I should try and hang out. What the hell!!!!
    She didn’t even call me to congratulate me on my engagement but will post on FB to congratulate other people for birthdays, baby showers, engagements, vacations… She won’t respond to a party invite from me but will meet anyone else, anywhere else it seems for bdays, baby showers, anniversary’s…… you name it. I have listened for almost 5 years to her bitch about her relationship. I have given her every form of advice I could give. I now think she is one of those people who just complains if things are going perfectly “normal”. But if someone treats her like crap, she thinks it’s a great relationship and you won’t hear a peep out of her.
    I just sent her an email telling her that I am pissed and angry that she blows me off but acknowledges other friends. That she’s a flake.
    And you don’t have to cancel plans to be a flake. You are also a flake when you don’t return calls or texts. I let her know that after 12 years of friendship and having the “don’t be a flaky friend” breakup twice before, I would’ve assumed that I meant more to her that how she is treating me. I also told her that I don’t expect a response to my email because I know her personality. Her personality is to put her head in the sand, feel bad for herself when friends and family call her on her flaky selfish ways. I told her I would be shocked if she did respond. She waited two days and all I got was…just summing it up…
    ‘your right. I know I was disrespectful. I can’t be a friend to you because your expectations of a great friendship are something I can’t do. (making it sound as though I have high standards of what a friendship should be. By expecting a friend to call or return a call, text or return a text, be supportive, give a $#*t, I must have high expectations. ) And that was about it. It was really short. Like 5 sentences short. I guess I would’ve thought that if she were to respond, she would’ve had more to say. Wouldn’t you think? If you’ve been close friends with someone for 12 years and they told you that you hurt their feelings, don’t you think you would give more explanation?
    The truth is, it doesn’t matter. I knew 3 months ago (the last time we talked) that it was time for me to clean out my closet. This was a friendship that I was okay moving on from. Although I would rather not. Considering the fact that she really is the only friend I have. The other ones are my family and they live 1500 miles away. But I am not going to hold on to a friendship where I just feel used and crapped on. Where I don’t feel respected enough to even get a confirmation to a damn party or a phone call saying “congratulations”. Where I know for a fact that I am the person she calls when the cool people can’t hang out and no one else wants to hear her ‘same ol song and dance’ relationship sob stories. But I am at a point in my life where I am not holding anything back anymore. Whether it’s crappy in-laws who treat you like scum, disrespectful wanna be friends who don’t seem to give a crap about you or terrible drivers who scare the crap out of you with their bad driving skills and lack of full coverage insurance. I just don’t care anymore. I am a 32 year old woman with no friends in my contact list. My best friend is my fiance and I am tired of clutter. Clutter in my garage, clutter in my actual closet and closet in my relationship closet. So if you don’t want to get thrown out with the seasons, show me that your worth the investment and you can be used anytime from here to infinity. I know that I have found the perfect article of clothing in my fiance. I will never throw him out with the seasons. Now, if I could just find that in a friend…..

  • Lea

    I know exactly how you feel! I have a friend who blows me off ALL the time but it’s not even last minute. It’s like I am at the place waiting and she texts me saying she cant make it type of last minute. She once caused me to miss 3 different movie times in a row! We had to catch the 11 movie because we missed the 8, 9 and 10 and I was there on time at 8 alone waiting. We still talk but I don’t make plans with her unless I talk to her parents first -__- we are both fifteen!

    • IBikeNYC

      “I’m going to the three o’clock showing of NAME OF MOVIE. I’ll be sitting on the center aisle ten rows back on the left-hand side of the theater. Why don’t you meet me there?”

  • Superbandgeek

    My boyfriend is a flake…

    • ivan

      Then he’s not your boyfriend, or your not his only “gf”. Be a priority, not an option! Respect yourself!

  • LittleRedWolfGirl

    My ex-best friend got pretty flaky in the last year of our friendship (she was getting back together with her ex, so her life was revolving around him). It was SO hard to even make plans with her. We had to plan at least a week in advance for just a hangout day, and even then when we did hang, she’d be all “Well, *he* is gonna be home at 5, so I can only hang till then” and it was all, “Wait, what? This is supposed to be OUR day! I never see you, you’re always with him, but you’re gonna put a time limit on our time together just because he’s gonna be home later?” Ugh, it was SO frustrating, and even more so because she didn’t understand why it bothered me so much. I eventually just stopped trying, because I felt that I shouldn’t be the only one making an effort.
    Recently I did have a friend cancel on me last minute, but it was a legit family concern that had come up. I think it’s important to remember that every once in a while things come up that you couldn’t have predicted and have no control over, and you shouldn’t get upset with friends if they have to cancel because of stuff like that. However, it sounds like this friend of yours just doesn’t care anymore, which really sucks. If you’re able to confront her, tell her how you feel. However, don’t message her again at all until/unless she replies to one of the messages you’ve already sent. Put the ball in her court. Show her you aren’t going to keep trying and going back to her unless you see she actually wants to keep the friendship going. If she never replies, then that tells you she doesn’t care. It sucks, I know, but sometimes it’s for the best.