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AIBU to think this is an overreaction to me being 'flakey'?

(207 Posts)
Carrados Wed 11-Jan-17 09:18:32

I'm a flakey friend. My friend a week before Christmas invited me and another friend to an event this Friday which has £10 tickets. We both responded that sounds good but didn't discuss buying tickets. I was busy with work before Christmas and my other friend was travelling in NZ. My other friend a week and a half later says 'shall we organise tickets?' And I respond 2 days later (we were in holiday) and said that's a Christmas was a bit more expensive than we thought and I'm short until pay day - could I cancel and can we all get drinks on pay day? I cancelled with 2 weeks notice.

Similarly in Oct same friend organised attending the Friday evening of a week long cocktail event. I cancelled with 4 days notice.

On both events our mutual friend has found someone to replace me and has said from the outset that that was fine (she's very social and her and her friends regularly do this). She's also had to be a bit up in the air with plans as she's working unpredictable days in another city, long days etc.

Over Christmas I was 40 mins late for drinks with a group of friends. I had organised this and was v stressed because this friend didn't have any flexibility with time or date and didn't offer or suggest another time or date in the week we were there over Christmas. I was late because my parents wanted dd for the night, DH then wanted that evening as a date night, and we forgot dad's stuff as we'd taken her on a day out that day.

I know all of this is my fault. I cancelled on the cocktails in October because I'd had a heavy week at work (I was leaving 2 weeks after) and we were all, including this friend, going away for the weekend together the next day. We also saw each other in November and over Christmas, also August and I think September.

I've really struggled to balance work and family life with my new job I started in October. The job is demanding and we had flu then norovirus on the house. My commute is also 3 hours a day and with a toddler waking up at 5.30 in the morning, it was all getting on top of me.

Friend sent me a 300 word message last week and in the message that:

- I was treating her pretty poorly
- She was frustrated at me dropping out on more than one occasion at short notice (for the events listed above)
- That's she guilty of 'trying to make me think'
- That I shouldn't commit with certainty and then drop out
- She had been gracious to me so far but can't be expected to over and over again
- That I need to be fair with my friends (I've checked in and no-one else upset)
- She gave me a list of things that I could and couldn't cancel for and what I should say in "" when responding to an organised event
- she said she understood it was demanding being a parent but that was no excuse for how I'd been treating her

I'm at a loss here. I've responded and said I essentially take her point but feel it's a massive overreaction and going 50 notches ahead of what it needs to. If she'd asked I would have told her that I was struggling to balance everything since starting new job and committed to the things above whilst not realising it's full impact.

I should mention she has form for doing this to other friends. She did it to a close friend who became more distant at uni that 'she deserved more respect than that' and then a few years later told her she'd 'let it go considering the circumstances' that her mother had just died.

I don't know if I can be friends with her anymore and I feel awful for thinking that.

AIBU to think this is an overreaction?

Carrados Wed 11-Jan-17 09:21:36

I realise there's so many errors in that message. Sorry!!

elQuintoConyo Wed 11-Jan-17 09:22:08

I think you are flakey and I'd slowly phase you out. If you asked why then I would tell you, but I wouldn't send a 300 word message.

SolomanDaisy Wed 11-Jan-17 09:23:50

I don't know. If I was her I'd be irritated with you, but I'd probably have just stopped relying on you (I.e. stopped planning ticketed events with you, not meeting you alone).

HardofCleaning Wed 11-Jan-17 09:23:54

YANBU it does sound like a massive over reaction and a really quite nasty message. If the cancelling was a problem she could have made it clear that she needed a firm commitment so as not to waste ticket money or whatever. I also don't see why being a bit late for a group meet up impacts her - surely they could have started having drinks before you arrived?

Astley Wed 11-Jan-17 09:27:10

No one likes flaky people.

Eventually everyone gives up on them. They are annoying and it's disrespectful. You were 40 mins late for drinks you organised because your husband wanted 'date night'. How about you tell your husband you already have plans rather than just continuing to let people down?

OneWithTheForce Wed 11-Jan-17 09:27:32

Well I think you should count yourself lucky that she thinks you're a good enough friend to give you a chance to treat her better because as OP said, I'd just phase you out without any warning.

OneWithTheForce Wed 11-Jan-17 09:27:45

As PP said!

Carrados Wed 11-Jan-17 09:27:59

I can take being told that I'm flakey. The thing is I'm usually the reliable one, on time etc until I started the new job in October. I used to be the one in the group who was always there and up for doing something. That's why I feel it's an overreaction. Said friend moved to city in august. Before then we had a bit of a superficial relationship and saw each other at things organised by mutual friends. That's why I find it a bit intense because we're not close enough to do things 1:1.

Carrados Wed 11-Jan-17 09:28:49

We had date night after the drinks. That wasn't why we were late - I was just saying that I had different people nagging me.

steppedonlego Wed 11-Jan-17 09:29:34

If it was me I'd feel like you didn't want to see me and stop inviting you places, so YABU to have been so flaky.

On the other hand, a huge message like that is a bit over the top, and she is BU to have sent it.

It really depends how much you value the friendship. Is she a good friend in other aspects and you've just caught her at a bad moment?

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Wed 11-Jan-17 09:31:12

Well which would you prefer?

An "over-reaction" to your flakiness or being quietly dropped with no-one explaining to you why and giving you the chance to change?

Carrados Wed 11-Jan-17 09:31:32

I appreciate the responses here that's i have been flakey and I communicated that to friend with an apology. My issue was how she spoke to me.

TheSparrowhawk Wed 11-Jan-17 09:33:08

Sounds like there's wrong on both sides. Flakiness is really annoying and it's even more annoying that you know you're flakey and do nothing about it.

That said, it sounds like the friend gets a kick out of telling people what's wrong with them. Her message is uncalled for - she could just say she's feeling a bit annoyed about you being flakey but she really took the opportunity to put the boot in. It sounds like she's been properly nasty to others in the past too.

I'd say it's time for you and the friend to go your separate ways.

Carrados Wed 11-Jan-17 09:33:23

No MilkTwoSugarsThanks I'd expect a friend to check in and see how I was doing, express concern that this was unlike me instead of jumping the fun with some really hurtful comments. Friends already organise some city based things without me because they organise a lot of things very last minute and that's difficult for me to commit to.

FeralBeryl Wed 11-Jan-17 09:33:40

I'm terribly flakey. It comes from a good place though of trying to please too many people, but ends up me spreading myself so thinly around them that non of us are satisfied sad
I'll commit to something, then someone else will ask me to do them a favour, I'll be convinced I'm organised enough to make both things work and fuck both up instead blush
I need 48 hour days, a backbone and a bit of selfishness.

AntiQuitty Wed 11-Jan-17 09:36:56

I like flaky people, I'm one, my friends are flaky. You don't sound flaky, you sound like you've had a lot on your plate and this is a blip.

Your "friend" is being massively unreasonable lecturing you like you're a child.

GreatFuckability Wed 11-Jan-17 09:38:36

when did we get so intolerant of other peoples lifes sometimes being hard? I have friends who are ALWAYS late. for everything. It's just who they are and while sometimes it can be a little exasperating, its hardly the crime of the century.
I'm a bit 'flakey' probably to some people. I have pretty bad anxiety/depression issues so sometimes I just can't make myself keep to plans. My real friends are understanding of this and are still my friends regardless.
You pulled out of two things. She's massively over reacting.

HardofCleaning Wed 11-Jan-17 09:38:57

I'm kind of shocked by these replies, would you all really drop a friend because they dropped out of two events with reasonable notice on two occasions when they'd just started a new job and were slightly late to a group meet up (which could have started without OP anyway). If she's normally reliable that's unbelievably harsh!

mrsm43s Wed 11-Jan-17 09:39:50

"Flakey" is just a nice way of say self-centred/selfish.

It's not OK to let other people down - even your post above is all about YOU and how hard it is for YOU, with no recognition of the impact of your unreliability on other people. The message clearly shows how much YOUR behaviour has upset your friend. That is what you should be focusing on now, making amends to the people hurt by your bad behaviour.

I'd be dropping you pronto, and I wouldn't bother with a message first, but I'm in my 40's and life has taught me that selfish people don't change.

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I've been burnt by too many "flakey" people in the past.

AntiQuitty Wed 11-Jan-17 09:41:02

I love my flaky friends because they're not judgmental twats!

Carrados Wed 11-Jan-17 09:41:06

TheSparrowhawk - I am doing something about it because I take her points on board but feel it's a harsh response to a difficult two months where I was really really trying to do my best around family life and new job.

sonyaya Wed 11-Jan-17 09:41:15

I agree it is an overreaction.

You are in my the wrong with the flakiness (which I think you agree), and also to expect her to check you're ok given the reasons you gave her, such as Christmas being more expensive etc.

However in answer to your actual question YANBU to think it's an overreaction. It's good she has said something to your face but 300 words is overkill. She should just have said she was a bit upset you'd dropped out of a couple of things, there was no need for anything more.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Wed 11-Jan-17 09:42:13

I think it's hard to call. Everything you say sounds very irritating. Yes life is busy (like most people's) and you should take some responsibility for managing your own responses. Being 40 minutes late for something you have organised is really quite rude.

However, I'm not sure her response is proportionate or how a friend should behave.

I think you should have a think about how you respond to these invitations. Does she have a point about accepting and cancelling? If you can't go or think you might not be able to go then say you can't go.

I suppose how you respond to the email depends on how much you want to socialise with her and whether you want to continue to be friends.

I should probably add reading the long list of your flakeiness did make me feel quite annoyed on your friend's behalf. I got the distinct impression you had just been a bit thoughtless and self centred expecting her to run around after you and then cancelling because you have a better offer or other stuff going on you haven't mentioned.

HardofCleaning Wed 11-Jan-17 09:42:19

mrsm43s but the message wasn't all about OP she clearly stated the impact it had on her friend (very little since she was able to find a replacement). You're really saying that you'd drop an otherwise reliable friend because they were struggling temporarily after starting a new job? I think that's fine if you only want to maintain superficial casual friendships but if you want to maintain long term friendships you surely need a bit more understanding? (I say this as someone who is always on time and hates dropping out of things).

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