I have come to the realisation that I don’t mind flaky friends. The reason being is that I am one myself. I am also quite self-aware that being flaky is not a trait that most people would openly admire. Which is why I try not to flake on a certain group of my friends more than three times in a row. The consequences of that would have been a cold, hard interrogation from an iron-faced, steel-hearted friend of mine.

What is flaking? Who is a flaker?

Generally, they are the people who aren’t able to commit to an appointment. They bail at the last minute, sometimes with very questionable reasoning. Not to be confused with people who actually decline the invitation the moment they are invited. Flakes are people who say yes at first, and go along with your plan, but abandons ship at the last second.

Let’s try to get inside the mindset of a flake. Certainly, there should be a perfectly psychological reason that they are acting this way towards people, right?

The overall idea is that nowadays with instant communication, it’s easy to make plans with each other. Just through a simple initiative of texting within a group chat, you will be able to achieve a very spontaneous hang out. On the other hand, because it’s so simple to make arrangements, it’s also quite easy to cancel it.

When these people retreat, they don’t even have to do it face-to-face. Therefore, not doing it face-to-face actually lessens the guilt.

The Busy Bee

Most probably you’ll have a friend who is always everywhere at once. At times, she won’t be able to keep track of her schedule. She often makes her time to do everything she has agreed to. A social butterfly who’s living in the moment. Simultaneously, she’s able to multitask and get her work done whenever possible. So when you gently remind her that you were supposed to hang out with her and a couple of friends, she is completely mortified. She is in the middle of doing family errands and afterwards, she has a meeting with a company client of some sort.

You won’t have a difficult time forgiving her because you know that she genuinely wants to hang out with you. She’ll probably miss a couple of outings with you and your friends. But you know she doesn’t mean any ill intentions, because she’s just too darn busy!

The Questionable Punctual Perpetrator

Never being on time does count as flaking. Especially if he misses out a huge chunk of the social gathering, only to find out that the day is ending. You and your friends are about to go home and he strolls in fashionably late. Regardless, you’re not obligated to stay longer if he asks you to.

However, because he did show up, it counts as effort even if it doesn’t seem much of a consolation. You can go on about the day as normal with your buddies. He would have tried harder to be there on time if he sincerely wanted to hang out with you and your friends.

The Introvert Who Needs To Rejuvenate Every Now And Then

Introverts aren’t the best at socialising. If they decide to do so, they’ll need to mentally prepare themselves for it and even that is exhausting. For them, socializing will drain their energy. It’s no surprise that they would, somehow, flake regularly.

There is a loophole for these introverts who needs to be physically dragged out of the house to have their fair share of social fun. Most of the introverts you meet won’t be going out at least two days in a row. They’ll need rest in between. If you’re planning to go out with these hermits, then your best bet is to give them time to prepare and recharge their energy. By that, it could mean two to three days of resting time.

So is it okay to flake? Of course not. Cancelling plans is actually quite rude. If it needs to be done, have the courtesy to not do it at the very last minute. If you’re really sure you can’t make it, then inform your friend at the earliest of time. Preferably at least two or three hours in advance. Offer an alternative solution such as offering to reschedule and do your very best to make a firm plan. Moreover, it’s not great to flake three times in a row; people will eventually stop inviting you.

In spite of everything, flaky friends are somewhat tolerable. For the most part, they have said yes to your invitation which is an indication that they do want to see you. Again, that’s not entirely the best consolation, but I suppose it’s better than nothing at all.