Author Topic: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over? Update #31,#56  (Read 16114 times)

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oceanus

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2013, 12:34:56 PM »
OP - In your initial post you said
Quote
she just recently flaked on something that will cost a bunch of people a lot of money, and I'm wondering if it's even worth it.
Now you say it's not about the money.  Why mention it?

($500 is a lot fo be writing off, regardless how comfortable you/the others are.)

You say otherwise she's a 'great friend'.  So what are you going to do - continue to shell out money and continue to endure her flaking out at least 50% of the time?
???
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 12:40:37 PM by oceanus »

JenJay

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2013, 12:35:22 PM »
Thanks for your replies.  She is a great friend other than the flakiness, but the flakiness has just become such a huge factor, it's begun tainting the friendship.

It's not even about the money.  Fortunately the people planning the trip to the foreign country all happen to be comfortable, and it's a large enough group that it's not a big deal to pool together and cover her share.  It's more the complete disregard for the inconvenience and time other people put into accomodating her only to have all the time wasted.   Also, I resent the fact that I could be doing other things with the time I set aside for her; I've scheduled around meeting up with her, sometimes to my inconvenience, only to have her bail.

Another mutual friend of ours has called her out on her flakiness before, and she ended up getting angry and not speaking to this friend for a few months. They're currently back to being friends, but it's not as close as it used to be for obvious reasons.

Regarding the bolded - That would make me even less likely to want to accommodate her. It's one thing when someone really can't help bailing and feels terrible about it, but to do it enough so that your friends call it to your attention and then turn around and get mad at them for being annoyed? That's snowflake territory.  ;)

peaches

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2013, 12:57:24 PM »
It sounds to me as though she has everyone a bit intimidated. People keep making arrangements to please her, and she rewards them by not showing up, then gets angry and vengeful when called out on her behavior.

If you want to keep seeing her, I like some ideas already given:

* Tell her where and when she can join you or the group for an event, no negotiations.
* Get any money needed for a trip upfront. If she cancels, it's up to her to eat the cost or find a suitable replacement person.

But the original IF is a big one. I don't think this particular person is worth all of the trouble she causes others.
 

gramma dishes

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2013, 01:29:48 PM »
I think I'd just stop making plans with her altogether.  Especially any that have money involved.  But even those that don't, because it's hard to be looking forward to something as simple as coffee with someone and end up going alone or not at all.

If she asks why you could just say "Because you so rarely actually follow through when we make plans together that it seems sort of senseless to continue to make plans at all."

It sounds like she is one of those people who kind of gets some kind of kick out of having all plans revolve around her.  And as *peaches* and *JenJay* mentioned, the fact that she becomes vengeful when her lack of consideration for others is pointed out suggests that she's manipulative in other ways as well. 

I know you're a good friend to her.  Question is:  Is she really a good friend to you?  Only you know the answer to that.

Venus193

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2013, 01:39:28 PM »
Add me to the chorus of cut her off.  She clearly does not respect others and this is not a trait for a good friend.

Special snowflake?  You bet.  She probably sees her flakiness as charming and adorable; it is neither.

cicero

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2013, 01:41:32 PM »
So I ask you, is this worth ending the friendship over? And if so, given the fact that we are rather close, do I owe her an explanation?  I considered either just refusing all future offers to get together, or sending her an email detailing what I've just said above.  Thoughts?
I don't know if *you* want to end the friendship over this(i mean - *I* probably would, because to me this behavior points to particiular personality traits that I don't like) but certainly I would never ever plan any other outings with her. ever.

she has told you by action "I don't care about you guys, I do't care about your money, I don't care that I hurt you by preferring someone else's invite over yours". so letting her continue to do this to you would be ludicrous.

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TootsNYC

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2013, 02:36:56 PM »
Thanks for your replies.  She is a great friend other than the flakiness, but the flakiness has just become such a huge factor, it's begun tainting the friendship.


So tell her!

I think you DO owe her an explanation and a chance to change things. This *IS* something she can change, and you have a chance of saving the friendship.

I'm at the point where I've realized that as I get older, it is harder to make friends. And harder even still to make *valuable* friends. I cherish the friends that I have.

Tell her.



Quote
Another mutual friend of ours has called her out on her flakiness before, and she ended up getting angry and not speaking to this friend for a few months. They're currently back to being friends, but it's not as close as it used to be for obvious reasons.

So don't "call her out."

If that's truly what this friend did, of course she reacted badly. Everybody reacts badly when criticized.

Use a different tactic.

Share with her. Tell her you're hurt. Tell her you're frustrated. Tell her you've discovered that you resent having set aside the time, because being with her is important to you, and that it stings a lot when she cancels so easily, because it makes it pretty clear that you aren't very important to her.
   ASK her, please would she work to change this?

And then give her a chance.

But of course, until she has demonstrated that she will change, don't get into a money-related thing with her, and be careful about other plans.

Aquamarine

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2013, 02:51:03 PM »
You can no longer count on this friend for anything.  Maybe a coffee date once in awhile, where if you get stood up you can just go on about your business, that is assuming you are interested in even bothering with it.  You can no longer make trip plans with this person unless you are willing to be left in the lurch yet again, she has already amply demonstrated she has no problem whatsoever with dumping you when it's in her interest.  Friends don't do that unless all hell has broken loose and then they will take pains to make it up to you and see that things are set to rights.

Life will be easier if you minimize the interaction you have with this person, at least when it comes to making plans of any importance.
Always be polite, even to nasty people. Not because they are nice, but because you are.

ebrochu

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2013, 02:56:44 PM »
I have recently come to an epiphany concerning friendships. I struggled for so long to try and be friends with so many people, and then while I was sick, I really paid attention to the people who made an effort to check up on me, and the ones who never even called.

It's far better to have 5 friends that you can really count on, then 50 friends that you never know if they'll be there for you, just for the sake of saying "I've got tons of friends!"

I would walk away from this friendship, if it were me. My time and emotions are valuable, and she doesn't seem to think the same, so I'd rather spend my time with the people who DO care about what I want, need and deserve.



Cami

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #24 on: January 20, 2013, 03:01:51 PM »
I just said this to my dd: Do not rely on people who are unreliable.

In other words, if I wanted to continue a friendship with her it would be under my conditions which would be that I would make no plans whose success is contingent upon her participation or money.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 03:03:27 PM by Cami »

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2013, 05:24:49 PM »
If, and this is another big if, you continue with the friendship, I would put the onus on her: she issues invitations, she makes reservations, she follows through.

I would suspect that she won't do it.  You just won't hear from her, which means that she regards you as the entertainment secretary.  She seems to do a lot of receiving, she needs to do her share of caring as well.
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AnnaJ

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2013, 05:43:21 PM »
If you still see value in the friendship - yes, I have some flaky friends I do like - then arrange your time together in a way that won't cost you time or money if she bails.

Add her to gatherings where you are meeting other people, and do not buy her tickets/order drinks or do anything that involves you paying out money.  If you or she wants to do 'just us' stuff, plan things that you are fine doing by yourself.

If she wants to join in something like your group trips, tell her she needs to pay up front; if she quibbles, point out that she has already cost you and other friends $$ in the past, and it's only reasonable that she covers her share before plans are finalizing.  Don't make adjustments based on her preferences.

Some people are a great deal of fun but unreliable - I've found that insulating myself from the negatives allows me to enjoy spending time with them without going crazy.   :)

blarg314

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2013, 07:05:02 PM »

You're definitely at a point when you can legitimately get mad, and/or take action about her behavior. Even with a flaky schedule, there's no excuse for bailing out on an even that requires non-refundable money and not covering your share.

You can do it the direct way (talking to her about it) or the indirect way (backing off quietly). But the main thing you can do is change your own behavior to take into account your knowledge of hers.

The first thing I'd do is stop making any plans that will significantly inconvenience you in terms of money if she bails out. So if she wants to go on the ski-trip, you can either say "I'm sorry, your schedule is too unreliable, and last time I was stuck with the cost of your room" or "Great!  I'll need $250 cash in advance, non-refundable, for your room. Substitutes to take over your spot need to be approved by the other attendees." And definitely stop inviting her to stuff like this.

For the second - the direct way would be to wait until she issues an invitation for something (like the run), or asks to come along on something like the ski trip. Then say point blank "It sounds like fun. But the last couple of times you wanted to do X you cancelled at the last minute leaving me to do it alone/left me to pay for your part of the costs. I'm pretty busy too, and I don't have the time or desire to schedule events that are probably going to be cancelled at the last minute."

For that approach, it will be more effective if done at the time (rather than a "we need to talk" grievances airing session.) And the result will depend on her reaction - if she gets mad and blames you, or claims it's all the job, and not her fault, then you know where you stand, and can adjust things. But she does have the chance to try to improve her behaviour, or adjust the type of events.

For the indirect method - don't accept invitations to stuff where the cancellation will inconvenience you or cost you money, and don't invite her to the same. Continue to see her in low stakes situations (call her up at the last minute and see if she wants to go for coffee, plan to meet for something you'd be happy to do by yourself, invite her to group events that don't cost money, where her absence won't cause a problem.)



 

LifeOnPluto

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2013, 09:38:34 PM »
OP, just out of curiousity, how would your friend react if someone cancelled on her at the last minute?

snappylt

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Re: Flaky Friend: Is this worth cutting our friendship over?
« Reply #29 on: January 20, 2013, 09:46:08 PM »
If you still see value in the friendship - yes, I have some flaky friends I do like - then arrange your time together in a way that won't cost you time or money if she bails.

Add her to gatherings where you are meeting other people, and do not buy her tickets/order drinks or do anything that involves you paying out money.  If you or she wants to do 'just us' stuff, plan things that you are fine doing by yourself.

If she wants to join in something like your group trips, tell her she needs to pay up front; if she quibbles, point out that she has already cost you and other friends $$ in the past, and it's only reasonable that she covers her share before plans are finalizing.  Don't make adjustments based on her preferences.

Some people are a great deal of fun but unreliable - I've found that insulating myself from the negatives allows me to enjoy spending time with them without going crazy.   :)

I think I agree with AnnaJ.  If you enjoy some aspects of your friemdship, why not continue it - but protect yourself from her flakiness.  I think there's nothing wrong with explaining to her why you are changing your behavior, if she notices the change.  If you protecting yourself makes her angry - well, then, that tells you a lot about her, doesn't it?