Unhealthy Friendships - always cancels

by me
(Richmond, VA)

I have a friend that is always making plans with me, but then later cancels, doesn't call to tell me or just doesn't show up. We were close friends for years, and the saga has always been the same. I've always been the faithful one waiting on the wayside, until I realized, I am worth much more than that, and gave it up completely.

Visitor's Comments
Date: May 26, 2008
Posted By: Catherine, www.Life-With-Confidence.com

Hi Me,

I used to have a friend just like that. I know how very frustrating that is. I eventually realized that she had a problem with commitment and she was also afraid to say No to people. Sometimes when I asked her to do something, I'd add, "It's okay if you don't want to but I'd rather know now so that I can make alternate plans." Then, if she hesitated or hemmed and hawed, then I knew she didn't want to do it. I also told her a few times after she didn't show up, "Would you mind giving me a call if you can't make it? Then I'll know not to wait for you." She started getting better at calling but she wouldn't always. Or sometimes, I knew I was getting dumped because she got a better offer. Or maybe it was because she was more afraid of saying No to them than to me. Whatever the reason, I would always make sure I had back up plans if I had made plans with her and I wouldn't expect her to show up. That seemed to make it easier. I had no expectations about her and I knew it wasn't because there was something wrong with me. It was all about her.

It definitely says a lot about that person. You're still a good person and a good friend, they just have their own issues they haven't dealt with.

But, you're absolutely right. You deserve to be treated much better than that. That's why I think it's important to say things like, "Please let me know if you can't make it so I can find a ride with someone else." Then, you're telling them in a nice way that you don't appreciate it when they just fail to show up.

You're also right in that sometimes it's not worth the effort and the frustration. You can find much better friends who don't have those issues and who appreciate spending time with you.

Thanks for sharing.

Comments for Unhealthy Friendships - always cancels

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Apr 02, 2010
Just A Jerk !
by: Anonymous

Very Good Information. I had a friend who did the same stuff. They won't cancel on the other people because they know there would not be a second time. The other person would not ask them again. It's a total waste of time and energy dealing with jerk's like this. They like to see you upset. It makes them feel better about themselves and important. You just end up getting hurt and with few if any other friends!

Oct 14, 2010
What a d*ckwatt!
by: Anonymous

I hate it when people do that! I had a friend that did the same thing. She would always make plans with me but always cancels without even giving notice. She didn't even text or call saying that she won't make it. I'm always left hanging or waiting! It's very frustrating knowing that I'm the option, not thr priority.

I Know exactly how you feel and trust me, you deserve people bettr than that!

Jan 05, 2011
If people can't appreciate you, they don't deserve you
by: I

I have been in the same situation with a friend of nearly 12 years. Its just rude! Your time is too precious, don't let them waste it, move on, spend that time doing stuff you love instead of waiting around. If she can't appreciate your presence, then she obviously doesn't deserve you. Sometimes you just have to weigh up how much this is affecting you and make the decision.

Its a question of respect, and she doesn't have the respect, its just plain rude. Would she do the same to somebody 'important' to her - probably not. There you have it, you deserve better, don't even stay in close contact with her- she's a drain to your energy, productivity, happiness and quality of life. She is playing mind games with you to convince herself she is 'important', the truth is she is just 'insecure' and needs to make herself feel better by wasting your time.

She doesn't see you as an equal otherwise she would show basic respect, it's a key principle of friendship. Maybe you feel sorry for her, because you think she has time management issues etc, but if it's making you feel so down, you need to protect yourself first. She doesn't care how you feel, so why should you bother with her. If you keep prioritising people like this and keep tolerating such behaviour, they will walk all over you. If i'm in a friendship, I give it my 100% but then I expect the next person to try their best too. I'm understanding, but there is a limit and once they have crossed the boundary, there's no turning back. Move on.

Feb 05, 2011
by: Fit 2B Tied!

We have/had these friends who constantly cancel on us, too. I had gotten sick of it a long time ago, but it takes my husband a little longer to "come around." I had it about a decade ago when these "friends" decided to babysit for their grandson instead of going out with us on New Year's Eve as we had planned. After that, I would have my husband call them~I refused to. Well, here it is a decade later, and he is finally fed up with them too (I told you it takes him longer). Anyway, we had made plans to go out with them a week in advance, and they again canceled. Then the wife sent me an E-mail to do something else that afternoon. I told her that we had already made other plans. She quick came down to our house with chocolates and said that she was terribly sorry and that they valued our friendship. Now we are both sick of them. We have finally decided to cut our losses and cut them out of our life. My husband and I would always have a fight because I could see it coming, and he could not. What I do not understand is why people act like this? I think it is sick. There! I got it off of my chest.

Feb 05, 2011
by: Fit 2B Tied!

We have/had these friends who constantly cancel on us, too. I had gotten sick of it a long time ago, but it takes my husband a little longer to "come around." I had it about a decade ago when these "friends" decided to babysit for their grandson instead of going out with us on New Year's Eve as we had planned. After that, I would have my husband call them~I refused to. Well, here it is a decade later, and he is finally fed up with them too (I told you it takes him longer). Anyway, we had made plans to go out with them a week in advance, and they again canceled. Then the wife sent me an E-mail to do something else that afternoon. I told her that we had already made other plans. She quick came down to our house with chocolates and said that she was terribly sorry and that they valued our friendship. Now we are both sick of them. We have finally decided to cut our losses and cut them out of our life. My husband and I would always have a fight because I could see it coming, and he could not. What I do not understand is why people act like this? I think it is sick. There! I got it off of my chest.

Nov 16, 2011
Same Thing Happened to Me
by: Anonymous

I recently ended a "friendship" with a woman who constantly did this to me. If we made tentative plans, nine times out of 10, she would just blow me off, without so much as a phone call or e-mail. She would just disappear, even though I always asked her to at least let me know if she couldn't keep the date. When I would confront her, she always had some lame excuse. Then she blew me off during my birthday weekend and didn't even e-mail or call to wish me a happy birthday, but wished another friend a happy birthday on Facebook. This was after I'd been to her house for her son's birthday and gave him a check as a gift. (Which she didn't even acknowledge...surprise!) I e-mailed her and confronted her about this, but never heard from her. I realized she can't handle confrontation, and can't say, "No." She just sticks her head in the sand. Ironically, she had all the time in the world for her so-called "best friend," a drama queen with a drinking problem who was constantly fighting with her. I am done. Life is too short for this bull****!

Jan 13, 2013
People Who Cancel Plans
by: Anonymous

IT could be that your friend suffers from anxiety disorder, agorophobia, fear of the market place. I know because I did for many years. I'd make plans with people that meant very much to me, was thrilled about seeing them in a shared social situation but right at the last my fears would win out and I'd cancel. I felt so horrible about doing this and it would eat at me for months. I lost some very good friends this way but was too ashamed to admit what was going on. In time I found help. We all have our short comings and if you like your friend I'd try to have patience with them and maybe only see them at home or one on one. You never know the shoes other's are wearing so try not to assume anything unless clear information presents itself and find other friend's to do things with socially. Your friend with anxiety has alot to offer.

Apr 14, 2013
I can relate
by: Anonymous

My very own sister is the queen on canceling and excuses. In fact, she had an argument with me over this same issue not to long ago blaming me for now ever making plans with her and according to her, "choosing my friends over her!" I then pointed out that she ALWAYS cancels plans and waits till the last second. What's more annoying is when she does cancel, she uses this pathetic poor me voice like she's sick or something, but really it's to try to instil sympathy. I used to drive from 45 mins away to her house only to be left at the door with her once again excuses. Then she wondered why I stopped making plans with her and excluded her. This has been going on since we were in our 20's. we are now in our 40's and she's 45! Grow up already! Recently we have been trying to get all the kids and sisters together and she cancelled today for the 4th time. She's now agitated because she found out my other sister and I still planned on meeting tomorrow- as planned with our kids. Apparently she thought the world revolved around her! I'm sick and tired of dealing with someone who would rather go through life making bullcrap excuses than be a reliable and dependable person, not a Debbie the downer!

Fed up baby sister

Jul 08, 2013
Wouldn't it be funny if this was all the same person
by: Anonymous

In reading everyone's comments - it almost sounds like the same person!

I have this friend that basically will never reply to text messages (or will reply several days later) saying she isn't good with texting (which is a load of crap) or she was just so busy. I am not sure how long responding with a simple "I'll get back to you later" takes for her to type?! Especially when it took me less than 20 seconds to type her something.

I have just learned to kind of brush it off - I just know that I unfortunately can't depend on her for anything and just don't expect that much from her. I don't know why anyone would want to be categorized as an undependable friend, but apparently there are tons of them.

Jul 08, 2013
I don't know about texting if that makes you unreliable
by: Anonymous

In response to the last comment, I don't know if you can call someone unreliable just because they don't text you back right away.

Are they dependable in other ways? If they say they'll help you out with something or go somewhere with you, do they do that? Is it just texting that they take a couple of days to get back to you?

I think texting has created an unrealistic expectation on people that they have to reply instantly. Typing back, "I'll get back to you later" does take time and often people won't say that because the recipient will think, "if you could type that, why not give me the answer I was looking for?" So, most people won't respond like that. They need time to think about your request or if you're asking for their time, they need to check their calendars and maybe other people as well (co-workers, family, etc.) They might also think, "better to wait and just send one email when I have the answer they need rather than wasting their time having to read an email that says, I'll get back to you later." So, it could be a matter of perspective on this one as well.

A lot of people are also trying to balance work, life, technology. So, they may only check their emails and texts a certain number of times per day. I don't think it should be a reflection on them as to whether they're dependable or not just because they don't reply right away to your texts. Maybe they're spending time with their family and have turned off their cellphone so they can be completely "with" their family instead of being distracted.

So, I'm just saying, don't judge a person completely by one small thing like texting. You might end up losing a really great friend over something that's not that big of a deal in the big scheme of things. Ask yourself if they're a good friend in other ways. Are they a good friend with the important things like would they be there for you if you needed help?

Jul 08, 2013
by: Anonymous

The person mentioned they get back to them DAYS later. They also mentioned they can't depend on them. I'm defending this stance bc that's what "excuse makers" do. They will blame their lack of on everything besides themselves. I don't respond to my texts or emails rights away, I'm a single mom to a toddler and work full time and I still manage to respond timely enough to texts, calls, emails etc. my sister will use that very excuse...

Jul 08, 2013
Response to other responses
by: Anonymous

Ok, first of all this "friend" of mine not texting me back...this isn't her first offense and I am not the only one she's burned.

We have been friends for about 3 years. I was going through a rough patch and she said whatever I needed she would be there for me. Well when I needed her she was out with some guy she was stringing along. She ignored my phone calls and when she finally answered, she didn't want to be bothered by it.

Fast forward to 2013... I recently got married and she was invited to my bachelorette party. She was excited to come and see everyone and have a great girls night. The day before the party she calls me and tells me she has this housework to get done. Really you wouldn't tell me this 3 weeks before or maybe don't commit and end up with my feelings hurt. To make up for it, we made plans for 3 weeks later. So the week before I again text her to remind of her of our plans. She said cool, can't wait, etc. then 2 days before she realizes she has other dinner plans.

Next occasion was with a mutual friend. It was her birthday so she invited a bunch if us to go out that weekend. Yet again, this "friend" can't wait to go and hang out with everyone. So the day of she is providing directions to the event - no reply and no show.

This most recent incident is kind if what broke the camels back. I totally understand if you are a full time parent, worker, etc that maybe you don't have the time. She is neither of those.
I think I am just going to wait and have her make plans the next time. She apparently is too busy for me and our other friends.

Jul 08, 2013
Dealt with this with my own sister
by: Anonymous

What I did that worked and I don't care bc I'm all about tough love bc again this is how my very own sister is, I simply stopped inviting her out and stopped making plans with her. Interestingly enough she only wants to make plans when she no longer has a boyfriend and needs me to take her out to meet guys. So when she rolled around I wouldn't invite her out. Fast forward, we had a huge argument where she accused ME of not inviting her out and how I don't make plans with her. I then got to throw it in her face and point out what she does and why I don't bother. She took offense and denied she's like that. Needless to say, I don't care. If my own sister can't keep a simple date with me and I'm only useful to her when she needs a crutch to go meet men out bc she insecure and needy she can go find someone else. Case in point, people are going to stop inviting you out if they can't depend on you. Grow up and get a clue

Jul 10, 2013
To the friend who skipped me today (I am to polite to say it to you directly)
by: Shann

Hi, this is the third time that it does not work out. First time you were dead sick, second, you just cancelled, third, you didn't feel like it and said it was a 'long and boring' story. okay there, I AM VERY MAD. I had a busy day, I just wanted to relax to day actually, but I was still looking forward to see you, despite all else. I made you priority. Seein you priority. yes, I have work to do, but yes, I'll delay it for tomorrow becasue tonight I just wanted to hear from you, after all the time we have lost. And again, it happened you cancelled. Am I not good enough for you? Did someone called you and ask you to do something else? I know I should be the one to blame, at some extent, to be the one always asking you to hang out. But I don't deserve this, this unequal treatment. You think you are so in demand, so busy, so popular, and I am just a dog just waiting for you there? Please get over yourself. And the way you text me back, you totally takes me for granted. A little sorry, and that's it? I wanna throw away the friendship we had, the friendship I cherished about you, the good memories with you, because now I think it is very well the point of no return. Yes, you say you feel bad, but really? DO you even understand how I feel? I shouldn't be doing this to myself. I should be waiting for you and trying to trigger your interest all the time. I have better things to do, and to spend it with people that actually values my time as important as theirs. GF yourself :) Yes, I'm pissed. And alright, I do have a hard time to accept...that in fact, you don't want to hang out with me anymore. you don't want to hurt my feelings, so you say yes. But truly, you just are not confortable being with me anymore. I get it. I've been there. I'll make your life easier, I'll stop contacting you, I 'll make my own life easier this way to. So let's make it win-win. No games, just a clean goodbye.

Dec 07, 2015
Screw them
by: Anonymous

No way. Take that personally, and write these people out. Friends don't constantly bail. Ditch em, don't be civil. Be blunt, and say what you really feel.

They ain't your friends, so tell em to screw off.

Jul 15, 2017
Dumping friends who always cancel
by: Anonymous

I was one of those idiots who would put up with anything from 'friends". A couple of years ago I began to realize that it is not what they "do" but what you "allow". It's your stuff and if you keep putting up with a "friend who has a life like a soap drama when they are giving you reasons why they have to cancel- look inside and ask why you are tolerating this consistent, rude and disrespectful behavior. Take your power back, clean out the old programs of, "I'm not good enough, I'm not worthy, this is what I deserve, I don't want to lose this half assed friendship" and stand in your truth. Get your power back. You deserve respect, support and love. DUMP THEM. Once in a while we all cancel but when it becomes the rule rather than exception of being late, cancelling at the last minute, these people are not supporting you, are not stepping up and are not contributing to the "friendship". Realuze and leave them. If you keep putting the "I'm not worth more" you will keep attracting the same people.

May 06, 2018
Reply to Anonymous July. 2017
by: Anonymous

Hey There,
Your comment was right on about, "taking your power back". It’s not what they do but what we allow". You sound like you are on the ASCENSION PATH.

Aug 09, 2018
Same here
by: Anonymous

I had a great friend who did this constantly. For three years I was only a friend when it suited him, he constantly ignored texts, blew me off by literally not turning up with no effort to contact me and say he wasn't coming anymore. I'd then find out that he was doing other things with obviously better friends. I ended the friendship by simply blocking all means of contact with him. Two months ago he contacted me after two years and reluctantly (and against my better judgement) I agreed to give the friendship a try again. It lasted 8 weeks. Same crap as before but this time i wasn't sitting about hoping someone will change. Blocked and deleted again. Didn't even give him the courtesy of a reason. No respect for me equals no respect given back. Life's too short for fake friends or friends who, by their every action, indicate contempt and disloyalty.

Jun 07, 2019
Disappointed and hurt
by: Anonymous

I reserved a table for us to get together and eat at a restaurant and she just called me up now and told me that she is craving some Filipino food. Since she is pregnant, and her friend is making it for her so she wants to reschedule.
I was so looking towards to getting together with her since our argument, but I guess she sees it is okay to cancel on me to get together with her other friend.
She is a sweet girl but I just feel like she always does this to me and that she doesnt value our friendship as much as she does with her other friends.

Aug 26, 2019
A plague pf sorts..
by: Anonymous

Well I'm here tonight because of a relative who has flaked on me for maybe the 5th time in 2 years (out of 6 planned meetings).
I've made the mistake of not saying anything but will have to let him know the next time he contacts me, I'm not available.

I believe this happens more to agreeable types. I'm an agreeable person, a giver and doer and make excuses for bad behavior (it all starts in childhood right?).

Similar flaking dynamics have occurred in other friendships and now set boundaries..those friends have mostly disappeared.

Recently a friend of several decades had a birthday. I brought her a gift and there was no thank you. In fact she left the house when I was on my way the first time. We rescheduled.
The same visit, I dropped off a present for her child - something I found out shopping...again no thank you. I guess she just didn't want to see me. Life is too short to deal with these f-ing rednecks.

Mar 24, 2020
Unhealthy Friendships- Always cancels
by: Anonymous

I know people who cancel at the last minute can be very annoying, and lame excuses can make the situation even worse. But it seems 10 times worse when the "friend" makes plans with you and changes their plans without informing you. I had a friend like that once. I say "had" because I wrote her off the second time she did it to me. It's bad enough when a friend cancels without telling me, if the plans were my idea, but what the blue blazes is going on when the plans were HER idea? Yeah, her idea, and she STILL changes the plans without so much as a phone call, text, email or anything! The second time I called her before leaving home to be sure the plans were still on. She told me she had decided to spend the time with her grandchildren. Problem was, to meet up, I would be driving 2 hours to another town. Again she didn't bother to call or anything, and once again, the plans had been her idea in the first place. She never offered an apology. Ever. After that second time, I wrote her off. I have better things to do with my time than wondering if a flake will honor plans or not.

Apr 17, 2021
We can hang out another time ok...it will be a few months from now though.
by: SeriousKat

Title is the story of a friend of mine. Months ago, I told her... I want to see you. I miss you. We exchange endless amounts of affection messages for months, and how we will see each other soon. She said she will be coming in to town in a month, or so. She also decided to make plans with another friend of hers on the same day.

Then she tells me a few days earlier from today that she needs to be home by 4 to let her dog out.
Just bring the damn dog. It's a 2 hour drive for her to come here, and she met up with her other friend at 11am for a hike. She said it will probably take about 3 hours. Which would make 2pm when she's available to see me, but the 2 hour drive home would get her back at 4pm for her dog.

Thus, writing me out of the day with a promise note. I will come see you another time. This is the third time she has cancelled on seeing me. She had the nerve to even say, "Well, I did make plans with Jen too." FFS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I went and saw her last fall.. I did the 2 hour drive to see her, and I spent all damn day with her. She's not the type to go, "Hey, so so sorry... tell you what.. I will come down next weekend, and take you to lunch." Nothing like that. More months will go by until she will come down here again. Here is my issue. I'm suicidal, depressed, and I suffer from a debilitating level of anxiety. This is when I count on friends the most... I think it's time to delete her from my friends list, and stop talking to her forever.

Nov 22, 2021
Where are all the good friends?
by: I need better friends!

I've been trying to get together with 2 good girlfriends for what seems like 3 years. Each time, they had a valid excuse, like the Covid pandemic for one. Then after the vaccine was available they still stalled for more time.
Then finally we set a date in October. They both flaked on me with fake excuses, so I happily waited until they could give me another date, which was in November.
They flaked again with more fake excuses! Finally, I was happy that they gave another date, and at the last minute, another fake excuse to cancel the date! AHHH! I had to cancel with other new friends on an art filled weekend, just to honor this commitment, and they just act so thrilled to cancel at the last minute! Now they want to push it to January 2022! I've had it with them! The 2 of them turned into "Mirage Friends". They're not here for me any longer, that sad thing is I spent money on very personal Christmas gifts for them both, and now I am so upset with them - I was going to mail the gifts, but they don't deserve anything good from me any longer!
They are not ghosting me, but I will ghost them! Honestly, it feels good to write this out. Thank you for listening.

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