How to Work Around a Friend Who Has a Habit of Bailing

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Some people are just naturally flaky, which can be super frustrating for those of us who value sticking to a schedule. That said, relying on your friend to change their habits simply isn’t realistic. Instead, it’s better to find ways to work around their routine of bailing. Here are some tips to help you do just that!

Ask Questions

Approach your friend to ask about their chronic bailing, but make sure to do so in a way that’s curious rather than confrontational. Maybe they have something going on at home? Perhaps they don’t know how to say that a particular type of outing doesn’t work for them. Before jumping to frustration, see if there’s more to the story than what you first thought.

Encourage Honesty

If your friend is scared of letting you down, doesn’t know how to say ‘no,’ or thinks they can do everything (when they really can’t), encourage them to be honest about their situation. Suggest that if they already have plans for that day, they should let you know so you won’t be surprised if they arrive at your event a bit late. Communication is key, and you’re unlikely to get upset about someone bailing if they warned you that’d be a possibility. Explain that to your friend and invite them to be forthcoming about their schedule in advance.

Have a Plan B

While it feels kind of icky to make other plans when you already have something scheduled, it’s fair to do if your friend is unreliable. Of course, you shouldn’t make separate plans altogether, because then you’d end up being the friend who bails. Instead, make backup plans that you can put into place in case your friend stands you up. For example, bring a book to that new coffee shop you and your friend plan to check out, just in case they don’t show up. Or make group plans, so you won’t be alone, even if your friend bails.

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It’s also worth noting that if you feel disrespected by your friend’s flakiness, it’s okay to take a step back for a moment until things cool off.