The Thoughts #9: On (Snow)Flakes

Lately, I’ve been thinking about flakers, due in part to my birthday party and seeing who ended up coming and who I didn’t see (because I wanted to be sure I’d see everyone for Christmas break).

First, a little about my own flakiness. I don’t think I’m a true “flaker” at all, actually, though correct me if I’m wrong. Usually, I’m the type of person to make an excuse for last-minute plans. I’m not that good at spontaneity, so when people invite me for something “later tonight”, I rarely accept. Usually, it starts with me being thrown into a tizzy. Have I accomplished everything I wanted that day? Will I have time to go out? Have I showered? Do I already have plans (whether with others or with myself)? Rarely, I do accept. But for the most part, I end up declining for one reason or another.

I think a lot of it has to do with UFSI, or unfit for social interaction. I may just not feel like going out. But to save face, I’ll make some excuse that’s usually half-true. I like to have plans made earlier in the week, though I’m trying to be more spontaneous. Most of the time though, I actually have plans because my day is planned out already, so it’s rare for me to be truly “free” to hang out.

So it’s not that I’m flaky, though I do believe this falls under the same umbrella.

Preface:

  • Now, as with all things, flakiness must be judged on the merit of the individual, not “all friends” as a whole.
  • I sometimes like flaky people because there are times when my social anxiety reaches the point when I feel that relief when plans get canceled.
  • I used to be really annoyed with flaky people, probably because I was insecure.

I have a friend who’s habitually late to things, another piece under the “flaky” umbrella. A number of us have talked to him about it, but he brushes it off. It’s so regular that I’ve been completely broken (dramatic, much?). I expect him to be late to everything, so I show up late to things. I stopped relying on him to be on time, and I make sure I’m not stuck waiting on him. Now, he’s one of my closest friends, so in this case, I’ve learned to roll with the punches. It’s nice to talk to our other friends about it because they understand. That helps me get through it. This is one of those times when it’s not worth it to worry. We accept him for who he is and work around it. I learned that it’s not a serious affront because I know he means no disrespect. However, what I want to take away from this is that I don’t want people to break me. Moving forward, I want to try and be on time regardless.

I have a friend who is a serial flaker. She will make last-minute excuses, whether true or not. She will make promises and just not show up. A lot of our friends have stopped caring to invite her to things. I’ve learned a lot from this. First off, the old me would have said enough is enough. Now, I’m trying not to give up on people I care about. I don’t want to become jaded by people. So I will give people the benefit of the doubt.

I have a friend who I make plans with knowing she may flake, so it’s not a big deal. I mean, at times, you have to appreciate the excuse, because that means they care about your feelings. But sometimes, I can’t help but roll my eyes.

I have a friend who is honest about his flakiness, so the honesty is appreciated. He’s said that he doesn’t like to commit to plans because people get upset when he flakes last minute. He leaves us all with wishy-washy answers and we’re not completely sure if he wants to go or if he’ll go, and it’s confusing, but such is life.

I have a friend who has major FOMO and will always go for the better option of events to attend that night. At first thought, one may think this is disrespectful. But when you think about it, it’s not a big deal because he should spend his time doing something he deems is worth his time. I know a lot of people will attend the first thing they RSVP to because that’s just polite. For the most part, I work under this rule, but at times I ditch, depending on if the alternative event is worth it (ie, yes, I’ll ditch a dinner hangout if someone has free concert tickets). We must judge each individual on a case-by-case basis.

I have friends who respond “maybe” and don’t care to show up. I have friends who don’t even respond. I can drive myself crazy sitting on the toilet and wondering why, thinking about ulterior motives, the meaning of friendship. But at the end of the day, it’s simpler to take people at face value. At this age, I know who I want to keep around. Yet, I also learned it’s unnecessary to burn bridges, for you never know when you may traverse it again.

The takeaway is to let things go. Some people are flaky, and it’s best to work around it because that’s the part that’s in your control. I’ve learned in the past year, I can make a small shift in my thinking, and suddenly, life is meditative and calm. This can be applied to all aspects of life, even this. Roll with the punches and do things you can control, even when things get out of your control.

As long as you know your friends are your friends, which I do, it’s not a big deal. I don’t really do one-on-one hangouts unless I know that person isn’t flaky. This way, you’re not relying on any one person to have a good time. In group situations, we may or may not dabble in light shit-talking of the flaker. I’m not opposed to calling people out, but I know I have to pick my battles. Maybe I’ve subconsciously categorized my friends into separate groups based on their “level of flakiness” anyway. And of course, each of my friends have a different set of rules that apply to them.

I know it’s a constant battle between my overly emotional nature and my newfound meditative (almost apathetic) nature. So that’s why things should be examined on a case-by-case basis. And as long as I’m true to myself, then I can sleep well at night. As long as I’m not disrespecting people, I can work under the basic assumption that they’re not disrespecting me. This is an overarching theme that I’ve been learning through meditation, once again. Focus on yourself before trying to change everything around you. If I don’t like flakiness, then I should not be flaky. Simple as that.

I think the one thing that bothers me most is non-response, partly because I’m guilty of this as well. And it gets such a bad rap, but I actually do forget to respond in a timely manner. I’m trying, guys, I really am! So I understand that it happens, but I think when I’m blatantly ignored, it’s frustrating.

As “chill” as I’m trying to be though, I realize that I can be a total ass when planning events. This is something I’ll probably always hold onto.

Epilogue, for myself

  • UFSI, it’s real. I’m going to try and use this as my reason
  • Be more spontaneous, if able
  • Give clear answers
  • Be on time

PS I love blog posts where I write out my stream-of-consciousness and solve my own problems.

PPS I think working more closely with children on the autism spectrum this past year has really allowed me to analyze my own social interactions. It’s very interesting.

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~ by Btab on 27 December 2015.

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