Friend changes plans constantly(21 Posts)
I wasn't sure where to put this thread. It's more like 'Are they being reasonable?'
I have a friend I've known for a few years as we went through anti-natal classes together. We both have a baby and a pre-school age child. Recently I feel quite negative about meeting up, as she constantly changes the meeting arrangements last minute.
It seems that she likes to control what time we meet and where, and then change both of those plans several times. It happens EVERY time we meet. Today I was supposed to be going to her house for a play date, but she rang and said she would prefer to meet out somewhere (it's raining). So offered that she could come to mine. She readjusted the meeting time by one hour, and I just have a feeling (based on previous experience) that it will be changed again, and that she may even cancel.
Previously I have been waiting around at a meeting place for over an hour for her. Regardless of what time you arrange to meet, she will shift it. Also, she's previously meant to be coming to my house then on the day says 'come to mine instead' (after i've prepared for her arrival), and even then 'said let's go to the park instead'.
I find it a bit disrespectful. My oldest child gets excited about meeting up and is constantly let down. Also, sometimes I'm preparing or putting myself out in some way, then it all gets cancelled.
I don't feel that I can discuss this with her, as when I've mentioned little things in the past that she took as criticism (she went out to a restaurant when both her children were in the contagious stage of chicken pox and I said [surprised but calmly] that I thought you were supposed to stay away from public spaces), she has reacted very defensively. Should I just distance myself from her? We have grown quite close, but I find this really irritating.
I can't stand this sort of thing. My family do it and it does my head in. She clearly has no awareness as to how her messing about impacts you or if she does she doesn't care. Neither makes her a great friend.
Why do we enable behaviour like this? I say we because everyone does it so in essence she thinks it's normal and has no awareness of the impact of her behaviour... I'd call her out on it and say the change in time/location doesn't work. I'd be super pissed off if I'd tidied the house and then found she wanted to go somewhere else!
I have ditched friends for this reason.... simply pointed out that until they recognize that my time and effort is just as valuable as theirs, then I wasn't going to squander it on someone who took it for granted.
Why do you feel like you can't talk to her about it?
I'd say "hi, yes change of plans is fine on this occasion. I have other plans later though so if you have to change things again I won't be able to make it." And then if she pushes back tell her that you find her constant plan changing frustrating and disrespectful. If she doesn't change she ain't your friend unfortunately.
Would drive me insane and I absolutely hate people who are always late it's do bloody rude.
Yes I would call her out too. Next time she changes arrangements just say 'no that doesn't suit me what a shame see you another time' and don't tell your dd about meet ups before hand so she's not disdained.
The dynamic of your friendship has been built, she sees you as an accommodator. Some people quite like being this sort of person and some like you (and me) are too polite to let others know that you are not happy. I made a decision with one friend that is she cancelled or changed plans that I would not be available for option b or c, which could also be cancelled. It took a few weeks of not meeting and me being honest about the annoyance but the friendship has survived and now the dynamics suit both of us and if she does need to cancel I know it's genuine.
You are definitely right that I have become the 'accommodator' Bluebell.
I think it comes naturally to me to be considerate of others and fit in with them, BUT usually I find that other people are similar to me and we end up agreeing on a compromise. With this particular friend, I feel she takes advantage of my nature and just ends up messing me about.
I think I do need to be more politely assertive and say that things don't work for me.
In future if she changes plans just keep saying "that doesn't work for me as I have plans later".she will soon get the hint.
I have ditched people for this reason - even if just politely saying "our approaches to socialising just don't gel".
I do think it's very rude - people have lives! - but whenever these threads start someone comes along and says "but I literally can't be on time/stick to arrangements" so if you want to avoid a row, phrase it carefully.
Totally agree with others - just don't agree to the new plan and say never mind, see you another time. I'm going to totally take this advice too, as I am just like you and always being messed about by certain people.
One of my friends used to act like this and I eventually got so fed up with it that I ended up sending her a very honest text telling her so!
She used to offer me time slots, eg I can meet you from 1.15pm until 2.30pm on Tuesday. Then she would always change the time if something better came up or change the venue. In the end I asked her why she thought her time was more important than mine. I told her that a friend should not be treated like a business associate and given an appointment. If she really wanted to see me she should make arrangements and stick to them, not slot me in between other things.
I think she was initially very shocked at my honesty. However, she has never done it since. She always has to dash off at the end of one of our meet ups but she never issues me with strict timings like she used to. Nor does she constantly rearrange me if something she thinks is more important comes up. I think I taught her a valuable lesson in how not to treat friends. I think part of her behaviour was sort of showing off how busy and important she was with all these other friends and work meetings. It was all show and bullshit.
She is constantly on the go...busy busy busy. But if you look carefully at all the things she does and dashes off to, she doesn't need to do half of it at all. She complains about being stressed and having so much to do. She lists all her stuff and I just say...well you don't need to do that, don't go to that etc but she doesn't listen. She is what's known as a 'busy fool'. Not really achieving anything. Infuriating!
Thank you for all your responses xx
Here's what happened - turned up an hour late. I told her previously that I needed to leave the house at 13:30 to get dd to dance class (was supposed to be a morning playdate) and lll have to get lunch first. So, it gets to 13:00 and I ask if we can move to the kitchen so I can get kids' lunch ready and eaten (she does not seem that happy about this). My dd sits down and her dd cries for a sandwich. I make her one.
It gets to 13:30 and she is still in the house as Im now dashing round packing bags...
Im coming to the conclusion she has no concept of others' needs. Perhaps a bit self-centred. Ive suspected this for a while. I think, as someone said above we are just different when it comes to organising time/socialising.
I have no time for people like this ,it's so rude! I would stop meeting up tbh.
I have a friend like that. What I have come to learn is that I gently need to be very firm with her. For example
1. If she comes to mine, I always ensure that I have somewhere else to be at a specified time. So if she arrives half an hour before I need to leave for the dance class, then we only have half an hour together.
2. If we're meeting somewhere outside or in public, I give her 15 minutes and then leave.
3. If she rings/texts at the last minute to change time/venue, I don't pick up the phone or acknowledge the text: I just go home.
As harsh as it sounds, I have found that being so firm has really helped our friendship. She knows that she cannot piss me about and I think she has come to accept that.
Yep- she's a selfish arse. Going out when the kids were contagious with CP confirms that in itself without even starting on the flakiness. Honestly, don't indulge it! Tell her your terms of meeting up and stick to them- if you can be bothered. Otherwise phase her out!
You need to stop accommodating her. The sequence should be:
1. Arrangement made
2. She tries to change arrangement
3. You regret you cannot accommodate change to time/venue , 'that doesn't work for me', how sad, see you another time.
Rinse and repeat. Doesn't matter if you could accommodate - just DON'T! You're trying to break habits here (yours of accommodating her, hers of being an arse) so consistency is a must.
Oh and the defensiveness - she knew she was in the wrong.
Argh, I can't stand this!! As you said, when it starts affecting your older child who gets disappointed then it isn't ok. One person, who I no longer see much of at all, did this all the time. I eventually started to say "Great, will see you at swimming/soft play/park etc at x time" and then I stuck to the plan and went. If she tried to change the plan I'd say I was still going as DD was looking forward to it but I'd see them another time.
You need to have a conversation about this behaviour.
Next time she tries to change an arrangement just say "do you realise you do this every time? It's really irritating!"
Stop accommodating changes "that change doesn't suit us today, let's postpone until another day" and for goodness sake never wait over an hour for anyone. People get 15 minutes and that's it.
If someone is in your house and you need them to leave just say "it's been lovely having you but we need to say goodbye now as we are going out."
Get your big girl pants on and take some control back - otherwise the friendship will end up in the bin.
I think going out somewhere and arranging to meet, but then just enjoying the day anyway whether or not she attends is a good idea. I'm going to stop inviting her round to my house as often, and avoid going to hers as well. Also, will not tell my daughter they are coming, then it will be a nice surprise when they show up somewhere.
Will also say meeting is no longer convenient when she changes the plan.
I may be naive but I'm quite flabbergasted that someone would ignore or all the hints and still hang around at my house when it's clear I am busy getting ready. I told her three times that I needed to start getting ready at a particular time and leave at a particular time. Any normal person would surely get the hint and leave. Should I have to spell it out?
I suspect it was due to the fact that she seems to hate being alone at home with the kids. I don't think she had any other plans today and was trying to lengthen out the period of time she's out of the house. I know she has some issues coping with the kids. I used to feel empathy for that (perhaps that's why I've ended up being so accommodating).
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