February 21, 2020
“Hey, sorry it’s last minute, but I don’t think I’m going to make it later.”
Stop Flaking. Just Say Yes Or No To Social Plans
There are few things that annoy me more than getting a text from a friend bailing on the day. Of course, there are times we all genuinely need to cancel plans – if you’re snotty or vomiting, I don’t want to see you either. And if you’re struggling with your mental health and need a night in, I’ll understand and be the first to offer support. 
But flaking – which I define as backing out of a plan with a lame or non-existent excuse – is reaching new heights. 
More than a quarter of British adults have initially said yes to an invite, despite having no intention of attending in the first place, according to a new study. Craving downtime and embracing “the joy of missing out” were among the reasons people wanted to stay in. 
But let’s get one thing straight: flat-out lying to your friends isn’t a legitimate form of self-care. It’s selfish – and it’s likely to have a negative impact on their wellbeing.  Related... Don’t Diss My Doodle Poll, We'd Never Meet Up Otherwise The survey of 2,000 people, conducted by Privilege Insurance, found only one in five follow through with every plan they make and around a third of all pre-planned meet-ups never actually occur.
As someone who tends to be the organiser of social plans – the person who’s co-ordinated the calendars, researched the restaurant and booked the table – the stats are even more infuriating. 
For every plan that falls through, there’s a schmuck behind the scenes who’s wasted a lot of time and energy. If you cancel on plans you had no intention of going to, it tells me you think your time is more valuable than mine – and that hurts. If you do it repeatedly, maybe we both need to think about why, and take a long, hard look at our friendship. If you cancel on plans you had no intention of going to, it tells me you think your time is more valuable than mine – and that hurts.The study also suggests younger generations are more prone to flaking than our parents; millennials admitted to telling three times as many ‘porkies’ per year (22) to get out of plans, compared to over 55s (7). It isn’t surprising.
I’m reminded of a conversation I had with my nan a few years ago when I asked her how she co-ordinates seeing her friends without using a mobile phone. Her response was simple: you set a time and date for your next meeting when you see each other, put it in your diary, and stick to it.  
Maybe WhatsApp and our ability to let a friend down with a few words hastily typed during the working day has created a culture of unreliability. 
If you have no intention of following through with a social plan, please don’t say yes – or even “maybe” – to start with. Just say no, we’ll all be happier in the long run.READ MORE: I'm The Organiser In My Friendship Group – But I Just Can't Stop Myself Being The Only Single One In My Friendship Group Can Be Difficult – But Liberating A Shoutout To The Low Maintenance Friend: This Is Why You Matter
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