I know that I typically like to be accepting, and come from the heart. But I also like to be honest and real. To put things out in the open where they should be. Which brings me to this topic:
Are you tired of people who cancel, bail and flake out? I am. So, let’s not be that person or friend.
No matter who you are, or where you live, you’ve all had one of these friends. Or perhaps you are this friend. Someone who always seems to bail. Finds a reason to cancel. Has excuses to flake out. And rarely follows through on their commitments. I know this because:
I’ve had these friends.
I’ve been this friend ……. sometimes I still am.
So, it got me thinking. Why has society become so relaxed, and nonchalant, about reliability? Why is it okay to constantly cancel plans, or flake out on your commitments? I was always taught, if you say you’re going to do something, you do it. If you say you’re going to be somewhere, you be there. No matter what. But nowadays, that’s not the case.
My kid is sick. I don’t feel good. I have an appointment. My finger hurts. The excuses are endless, and usually not legitimate ones. Just lame attempts at masking, the true reasons for bailing. But the sad part is, that no one feels bad about it. No one seems to care if they cancel, bail, or flake out. It’s almost like it’s expected. When in reality, it shouldn’t be.
Demonstrating Good Moral Character
First of all, our word is part of who we are. It builds our character, and shows people they can trust, and count on us. If we say one thing, and do another, it’s a reflection of ourselves. And probably not a reflection we want, especially if we are trying to build relationships with others. After all, relationships are built off trust, and something so simple as following through with what we say, is at the very foundation.
Developing Positive Habits
Secondly, keeping our word is a necessary habit to develop. Not just for ourselves, but for our careers, relationships, and our children who are watching. I can’t get a job, say I will be there at 8am, and then not show up. Likewise, why would I tell my friends to meet up for dinner, if I am not going to go? And throughout all this flaking, bailing, and canceling, our kids are watching. They notice, and we set the example for them. So, make sure it’s a good one.
Self-Control & Awareness
Another benefit of following through on what we say, is that it helps us acquire self-control, and self-awareness. We learn what we can handle, and what we can’t. Who is worth our time, and who isn’t. And when we keep our word, even when we don’t feel like it, we strengthen the control we have over our lives. We are held accountable, and forced to deal with decisions we make, and things we say. Regardless of our feelings at the time. Through experience, and trial and error, hopefully we can learn to choose our words more wisely.
Everyone is Equal
Finally, everyone’s value is the same. My time, energy, effort, and presence, is just as important as the next person’s. So, when I cancel, bail, or flake out, I think I saved my own time. But in reality, I also wasted someone else’s. The world does not revolve around us, our exact needs, and wants. The choices we make, and the things we say, have an impact on other’s. So, when you make plans, or say you will do something, please remember you are not the only one in the equation.
You + Friend = You + Friend
You + Friend = YOU
The Reasons Behind People Who Cancel
Obviously, keeping our word, and following through on things we say, is important. So why do we still struggle with it? Through experience, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are only 3 explanations as to why we bail, flake out, or cancel.
- Should’ve Said No
- Fear & Emotions
- An Actual Legitimate Excuse
Should’ve Said No
Often times we say yes to a job, yes to friends, and yes to requests. Even though, we really don’t want to. Deep down, we know we are busy, don’t have the energy, or may not even like the person, activity, or request. But we say yes anyways. Maybe we are trying to be a good friend, or a nice person. Maybe we think appeasing people, builds relationships, but it doesn’t. All of our effort, and good intentions, go out the window when we end up cancelling anyways. If you don’t want to go- don’t. But make sure you communicate that.
Fear & Emotions
Sometimes our inability to follow through, is rooted in fear, and other negative emotions. Fear of what we said yes to. Afraid of what might happen. Scared of what others will think. Or nervous about showing our true selves. And we don’t want to deal with these emotions, or the discomfort associated with them. So we don’t. Instead we bail. Tons of insecurities are brought about through fear, making us hesitate, second guess, and withdraw our original intentions. Stop. You don’t get over a fear by cowering down. You get over it, by doing it. However, if you know you’re too afraid/ nervous/ embarrassed to do something, accept it. And don’t say yes to begin with.
The last viable answer, but probably the least likely, is that we have an actual legitimate excuse. A valid reason for having to cancel or bail. This is usually something serious, and unexpected, that needs to be dealt with right away. Like death, illness, accidents, work, or family related incidents. Problems occur, when people don’t want to admit the real reasons for why they are cancelling, so they try to create legitimate sounding excuses. I’m not feeling good. I have to work. My child is sick. We didn’t sleep well. I have an appointment. Really??? Those don’t sound like real excuses, or even the truth. Just something made up at the last minute. Because I am pretty sure, if you looked at it honestly, you’d realize you could still fulfill your obligations. If you chose to.
Now I know this all sounds harsh. And maybe it is. Because in reality, no one is perfect, and no one follows through with everything. Especially me. But, it still needs to be said. Because I’m sure we all, on some level or another, are tired of people who cancel and bail. The truth often hurts. And things we need to hear the most, are the same things that we don’t want to hear at all. So, decide for yourself, whether or not keeping your word is a problem. If it isn’t, I’d probably read this again.
Here’s to stronger friendships, and people we can actually count on.