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AIBU to be annoyed with my flaky friend

(20 Posts)
D0ni Sat 02-Jul-16 17:47:08

I have a mum friend who I'm becoming increasingly annoyed with. She quite often cancels at the last minute. Or will message to say she's running late only for her eventual visit to last 20mins (when I've waited about all day!)

I saw her the night before my birthday and mentioned a present I'd got. She said 'oh I'm sorry I didn't know it was your birthday - what a crap friend I am - are you free tomorrow and I'll bring cake?' - Yes of course no problem.

Waited about the following day and no word from her and no visit. I messaged her later in the day to ask if all was ok? Her response was sorry she didn't manage to get around but a stressful day (although nothing major - in my opinion). Of course I should have at least said something like.....a text would have been good to let me know.....but I was too polite for that.

She invited me for dinner this week. We were meeting some other friends beforehand and the plan was I would go to hers for dinner after. While we were out she started talking about how her mum was making dinner for her tonight she didn't really feel like it. My immediate reaction was this was a lie so she could get out of it - hoping I was too polite to mention our arrangement. I didn't mention anything and was annoyed with myself. It ate away at me and I did mention it before I left - that I thought we were doing dinner today. Very awkward situation followed but the reaction didn't seem sincere to me.

Do you think I'm being IBU/paranoid?

LauderSyme Sat 02-Jul-16 18:16:34

No, YANBU, she is behaving as if her time is valuable but yours is not.
Inviting you to dinner then flaking out about it is just rude.
I have a friend who makes suggestions and plans to spend time together when she doesn't really intend to commit to them. I think it makes her feel wonderfully social and supportive, and she doesn't seem to realise that it is hurtful when she doesn't follow through.
I would recommend speaking up when you feel like this though. Being assertive is not necessarily confrontational or aggressive. You said you were annoyed with yourself and that's because you bit back your feelings when really you should have expressed them. Your friendship won't be sustainable if you carry on like this.
Maybe in future when she makes a suggestion you could ask her to clarify whether it is a firm plan?
A different friend I had let me and my ds down so many times that in the end I sent her a huge rant by text, having previously always been polite like you. That was the end of the friendship; it was high time anyway and I lost nothing but looking back I could have handled it better.

TheCrumpettyTree Sat 02-Jul-16 19:43:11

Stop being so polite, she's taking the piss. She's not being polite.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 02-Jul-16 19:56:33

She's one of those people who makes plans and then regrets doing so. No reflection on you, there's plenty like her. They are just flaky.

Make yourself less available to her. Your time is just as important as hers.

ThoraGruntwhistle Sat 02-Jul-16 20:03:18

Flaky is a nice way of saying 'disorganised, scatty and unreliable friend.'
It's rude for her to keep making plans and letting you down. If she has an inkling that she won't get around to doing something, why say she'll do it at all? She'd be better off leaving it til the day in question and texting to make sure you're in before visiting.

JustSpeakSense Sat 02-Jul-16 20:08:37

She is very flaky, it is not a reflection on you. What stands out to me is that you seem disappointed with yourself and how you handled (or didn't handle) the latest incident. I think if you prepare yourself with some carefully worded firm but non confrontational responses for next time this happens you will feel a lot better about the situation. I am sorry to say I think this friendship will probably fizzle out, but if you are satisfied you stood up for yourself (without having a huge fall out) you will then be able to move on from it knowing you handled it well. Don't take it personally, I think she'll lose a good friend in you, but that's her loss.

monkeywithacowface Sat 02-Jul-16 20:11:05

I have a flakey friend once I reprioritised her in my friendship circle it became less annoying. I make plans with her on days it's no big deal if she shows up if not. I don't wait in if I haven't heard I just text and say popping out now back around xx time. If I make plans with her and a more reliable/valued friend invites me somewhere I will cancel flakey friend or if I feel I can't be bothered on the day I cancel. She's the only friend I do this to but she doesn't get upset by it and in turn her flakiness bothers me much less. When we do get together she good company and we have a laugh so seems a shame to fall out (and I say that as someone who's cut off a few crap friends in my time)

She's probably not going to change so it's easier and less stressful place less importance on her as a friend and down grade to to friendly acquaintance you see once in a while.

Alasalas2 Sat 02-Jul-16 20:24:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

momofone69 Sat 02-Jul-16 20:48:45

Agree with alasalas2 bin her she won't change and you deserve better.

D0ni Sat 02-Jul-16 20:53:35

Thanks for all the replies - it makes me feel better about it. I think this is the defining incident for me now in how our friendship will be going forward.

LauderSyme - yes you're right it's the fact that she seems to treat my time as less valuable than hers - it's pretty hurtful. And yes agreed I should be speaking up when these things happen and this was actually the very first time I have although I still felt bad for 'embarrassing' her....overall I was happy that I'd at least pointed out that we had an arrangement she'd 'forgotten' about.

Alisvolatpropiis - yes I agree - I think she does make plans and doesn't really know if she will stick to them.

ThoraGruntwhistle - I like your translation of flakey! 'disorganised, scatty and unreliable friend.'

JustSpeakSense - I like the idea of having some responses ready - I actually thought along the same lines when this happened. My gut feel is that this will fizzle out too. Good manners and respect are important to me. It is a shame though as when we meet we get on so well.

monkeywithacowface - yes I think you're right and she won't change - in fact I keep thinking of more and more incidents of the same type of thing over the years. There's never too much in the way of apology either. Downgrading is a good plan I guess - just need to think how to put this in place.

Thanks so much for your replies - I just don't understand where these poor manners come from??

HarryPottersMagicWand Sat 02-Jul-16 21:00:30

I only let people do this to me a couple of times. Then I generally put zero effort into them.

I have a friend, we made arrangements for her to come over, I waited and waited and she didn't turn up. Apparently she forgot, which I found odd as that was quite out of character for her. We rearranged and I got a text ages after she was meant to arrive to say something she had on beforehand had gone over. She didn't try to rearrange and seemed distant after so I just distanced myself. She has recently asked if I have a problem with her as I have seemed 'off'. confused

I've had too many crap friends who have blown me off and not bothered when I needed them so I just don't let people do it now. It feels much better. You need to call her out on it and let her know that she can't do this. Personally I wouldn't make any plans with her for the time.

boopsy Sat 02-Jul-16 21:17:19

I had a friend like this. It used to annoy me especially if it was something which involved the kids and they would be disappointed. She frequently cancelled or said she had forgot and the excuse was usually crappy. I was always there for her, helped her move house along with another girl she was grateful saying ooh y will have to come for wine etc except it didn't happen (well it did her and other girl were pictured in her new house with wine and I wasn't invited). I gave her stuff for the house and bedding etc so was slightly pissed off. Tried keeping in contact and have got nothing much back in return. I'm so busy now my free time is precious so I dont bother with her now.

Iflyaway Sat 02-Jul-16 21:24:11

People are busy too busy these days...

But if they want to keep you around, they will make the effort.

Tells you all you need to know....

D0ni Sat 02-Jul-16 21:32:29

Iflyaway - yep I guess there's a message for me there - it's very hurtful though.

BabyGanoush Sat 02-Jul-16 21:41:54

It is also about taking things too "literally" maybe?

If someone said:"oh, I forgot your birthday but I'll bring a cake over tomorrow", without specifying a time, I would not spend the day waiting for her to arrive with a cake.

I would have taken that statement as a way to assuage her guilt of forgetting, a well-meant but throwaway comment. Not literally that she was going to actualky bake a cake.

A bit like someone saying "let's have lunch together soon" without specifying a date, I would not take that as a literal lunch invitation, just something people say, but not to be taken literally.

Princesspinkgirl Sat 02-Jul-16 22:20:46

Had a friend do this several times we're no longer friends

monkeywithacowface Sat 02-Jul-16 22:22:30

I'm not a fan of game playing or anything with friends but if you don't want to fall out as such my first step in your case would be to arrange your next meet up and then cancel it on the day with no suggestion to reschedule and then do nothing let her come to you to make a follow up arrangement.

If and when she does try not to be too available suggest a date a bit further into the future than you normally would or say "I'm really busy this week I'll give you a text next week and let you know when I'm free"

Sounds mean and it's not how I would ever treat a valued friend but it will help you shift the dynamic of the friendship and work towards a more casual aquaintence relationship. If she is one of life's genuinely well meaning but flakey people she won't notice or be offended and you can be just two people who occasionally get together and enjoy a bit of a pleasant chat and a laugh to pass the time. If she does get annoyed by you cancelling or returning the flakiness then she's just an arse and I would quietly cut her off.

yummymummycleo Sat 02-Jul-16 22:24:47

I feel your hurt. I have had this many times. People seem to feel it's ok to do this to me but don't seem to do it to other people.

I ve approached it in different ways actually. My neighbour used to invite me round and specify a date and the. I wouldn't hear from her. I used to get so annoyed as she would be the one making the effort with me. Why bother? I was upset, especially as she has made great friends with our other neighbour who she wouldn't do this to, anyway I stopped letting it bother me and was just like yeah, yeah and wouldn't commit to a date if she asked me after that. I also did this with another friend and unfortunately we aren't in touch at all now which is a shame but I am not willing to be the one only making the effort.

Another longer term friend has always been like this especially when a man comes into her life. We have been friends on and off for over 10 years because of this. She seems oblivious to this. Anyway, recently she's got back in touch and I was in two minds whether to bother or not. We have ended up meeting up but I ve got a completely different view of the friendship now. I don't reply on her in any way, I don't change other plans to suit when she can do and I don't invite her to events where I would be hurt if she doesn't turn up (birthdays, bbqs etc) I don't expect to be invited to her events either. She's someone I see if we're both free and the kids can have a play.

However, another friend I was close to begun letting me down and double booking herself (so she said) regularly. She was a good friend and I didn't want to loose the friendship but also didn't have the guts to ask her what was going on. So maybe passive aggressive but I didn't mean to be, I would talk to her about other friend above and would say how annoyed I was getting. In the new year I said my resolution was to not make all the effort with people and let them let me down. She must have taken the hint as she's much better now and we ve become a lot closer.

So I think you need to think how much you care about the friendship to decide which action you take. Once you change your attitude to not prioritising her it becomes much easier. Or if you want to continue as good friends and feel like you can't confront her maybe do what I did.

D0ni Sun 03-Jul-16 11:07:44

Thanks for your replies - it really does make me feel better that so many of you have experienced the same kind of thing.

I have a few other arrangements in place with her already - her kids birthday and a rearrangement for the missed dinner! I intend to keep my word on those and then let her make the next arrangement. If it's something fairly soon I think I'll say I can't make it - give myself a bit of headspace to decide whether this friendship is worth the effort.

RatOnnaStick Sun 03-Jul-16 11:13:27

I have a friend like this, she is great making plans to meet and either cancelling last minute or even 'forgetting' to turn up so I never make any plans with her that matter and just get on with my day now.

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