She’s good at making plans. Consistent texts and emails—she wants to catch up! She’s dying to hang out! But come Saturday brunch, she bails. Or, even more annoying, she just doesn’t answer your calls. A few days later, she’s texting you again, saying sorry for canceling plans (Things got crazy) and hoping to make more plans, which she’ll probably flake. Her bailing is not only discouraging, but it makes you feel bad about yourself. You’ll find yourself asking, “Is it me?” (It’s not.)
Sound familiar? It’s hard not to get bummed out but don’t take it personally. If the relationship means a lot to you, however, don’t throw out the friendship entirely. Rather, take our advice with these four steps to put your flaky friendship back on track:
1. Acknowledge her perspective. We all have to bail on plans at one point or another, but take a step back to consider where your friend is coming from. In she in a new relationship? Work extra busy for her? Does it seem like it’s just you or has she been cutting off other’s too? Walk a mile in her shoes to see what the real issue is — whether it’s about your relationship or a different matter she’s handling on her own.
2. Be patient. Just because she can’t make it to one or two gatherings, that doesn’t mean you should say goodbye to your friend altogether. Give your friendship a shot and consistently ask her to hang out, even if it feels like she’s free. She’ll notice the effort, and you may find out that her shady behavior is just a season.
3. Check on her. She won’t be able to step up her friendship with you if she has no idea there’s an issue in the first place. Next time she bails at the last minute, ask her if she’s alright. Even if she gets over sensitive, it’s worth asking to be certain there’s not something more deep going on.
4. Be aware of what is okay for you. Each relationship is unique, and it’s your call to determine what kind of friendship you’d like to continue with her. If you’re running out of steam and can’t keep putting in unreturned effort, withdraw temporarily. It’s not necessary to draw black-and-white cut off points— your friendship can live in the gray area for a while, and sooner or later, she may just come around. In the meantime, don’t make plans dependent on her.
5. Pray about it. If your friend is a sister in Christ, remind her of James 5:12. “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” It’s a principal of Jesus to keep your word. What if Jesus never did anything he said he would do. We are a reflection of Him and sometimes tough love is needed.
6. Call her out. However, be very careful if your friend isn’t a Christian to not lose your cool. You are the only Jesus that she knows at the moment. At the end of the day, you are still a human and your feelings are important.
7. If this friend continues to be a flake, it might be time minimize the friendship and move on to people who will want to keep plans.
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How to Deal with a Flaky Friend