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Post in Besides Beauty

Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

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Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

YES! Every weekend that I have come home from college so far I have made plans with several people. I arrive home and I'm all excited to see old friends that are home from college, too. "Oh, sorry, I'm with my SO." For three days? Really? You're going to cancel our plans that were only for a few hours?

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

Another thing to consider is that the friend has some sort of health issue either with herself or a close family member.  It could be the situation that she feels unwell often and finds herself unable to go out at the last minute, people don't plan to feel unwell.  So maybe she accepts because she wants to go, and then tends to get unwell, and doesn't want to tell you she is unwell, so she just flakes.

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

Oh man, can I relate. One of my best friends from high school is a total flake...all of the time. She was the first one to get married and have a baby, and ever since then she rarely comes out with us. Her son is always welcome, in fact our other best friend has a daughter who always comes along. I am still single, with no kids myself, but I always like doing low key things anyway.

She always bails hours before. Whether it is a simple lunch, a movie, she even missed a baby shower...I have no idea what is wrong. I have stopped calling and asking her to hang out with me. I always make the extra effort, but I am fed up. I hope when she is ready, she will take the first step.

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

Oh, another thing to think about before you feel like a confrontation is in order: perhaps your friend isn't in as financially good a spot as you are. Regardless of how much money a person makes, circumstances may make it difficult to swing a night out, especially if it's implied to be a fancy to-do. Maybe your friend is embarrassed to say that she can't afford to go out with you, or maybe she just blew all of her money on some killer shoes or something, who knows. The point is, unless this person is your best friend she may not think it's any of your business why she can't make it, and turning things into an intervention is a guaranteed way of ending of the friendship.


As I said before, I am a flake, have been for my entire adult life. Have I lost friends who didn't like this aspect of my personality? Yes, but to be honest some were too high maintenance for me and perhaps my flakiness was a passive agressive way of ending the friendship without having a big falling out. Do I have other friends who just accept me for who I am? Yup, and when all the stars align we go out and have a blast. And have there been times that they have bailed on going to the movies on a Saturday afternoon? Sure, and I went anyway and enjoyed the movie all by my lonesome. Different personalities deal with the concept of friendship in different ways, andd honestly, if you don't want to put up with your friend's flakiness nobody is forcing you to, and you may have to erase her off your phone and delete her on Facebook or whatever if that will take some of the pressure and anxiety off of you. But if you like this person inspite of her flaky tendencies feel free to tease her about it and enjoy her company when you all can actually meet up.

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers


Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

Hi mpolansky! I wasn't saying you thought that your cousin was unstable, I was just trying to present a different point of view from what others had been bringing up. Not all homebodies have social anxiety disorders, that's all I was trying to point out in general. 


Knowing you're in college does put things in a new light. At some point people grow apart, even family members. After the death of my grandmother, the glue of the family, we all scattered to the four corners, even though we continued to live in the same city. It is painful, and you wonder if it was something you said or did, or didn't say or didn't do, but honestly, every individual is an island unto him or herself. Just don't take anything too personally. You have your whole life to strengthen the bonds that are worth your time.



Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

OK, so here goes from a constant flake:

Sometimes I will say yes to an invitation to avoid having to deal with someone on the spot. I will not flake for a big event, like a wedding or birthday party, but for a "girl's night out," ugh, it's not my thing but some of my friends insist I need to get out of my shell. I don't have any kind of psychological or emotional disorders, I just like hanging out at home with my hubby more. But I think it's sweet when my friends ask, and they know me by now, and sometimes I do want to hang out so I will show up. But yeah, I don't know if an invitation made on a Monday won't seem like a pain by the time Friday rolls around, so I will call/text/email and reschedule. Do my friends' end their plans just because I didn't go? Of course not. We're all grown ups, and we all have similarly stressful jobs so we understand when fun outings don't go according to plan. And yes, all my friends have flaked on me too, and there are never any hard feelings. We are not the center of each others' universes, we are all happy little planets in a shared solar system, and sometimes we are in sync and sometimes we're not, but we all keep spinning...


I just had to give my two cents, because not all flakers are mentally unstable or rude or somehow in need to being put in our place, but yeah, hate to break it to you, but sometimes a couch, a tv, and a glass a wine are far more relaxing than going out, even with a best friend.

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

Honestly, the way you describe it, I wonder if she does have some social anxiety. For some people,the worst part of the anxiety is right before the get-together, so they may honestly feel like they want to go when you ask, but when the time comes, they can't quite get themselves to go.


Obviously, I don't know much about the background. She could just be a flake and/or have really bad time management skills and/or just be inconsiderate. You've known her for a long time, so you can probably tell what it is. If it's not a mental health thing, I would suggest deciding whether or not you can accept her behavior and go from there. Because she probably isn't going to change much. She might try, if you tell her that it hurts your feelings, etc etc, but i wouldn't expect a substantial change.


OTOH, if it might be the social anxiety (or depression?), you could encourage her to get some help via counseling and/or medication. Anxiety/phobias can often be treated quite effectively. If she gets treatment, one of the best things to treat a phobia is gradual exposure to the thing that provokes anxiety. So the more she gets out - and is able to see that everything is okay, the better she will feel about going out. You could decide with her that you're not going to let her get away with backing out at the last minute. Obviously, you can't force her to do anything, but you could great her excuse for backing out with a cheerful, "Nope! You said we'd go out and I want to spend time with you, so we're going out!"


Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

I have this friend who has social anxiety and has a touch of depression. I understand that when she bails on me, she is having a bad day. I leave her alone but still check in with texts to see how she is doing. I do not get upset at her at all because this is something that is out of her control.


However, I have this other friend who bails all the time! I can't stand it. We all live downtown (some on the northside and some on the southside)... she literally lives 5 blocks from me. But she finds any excuse not to do stuff just because she is lazy, isn't feeling well, got into a fight with her man, doesn't want to see a certain friend who she is "upset" with over a stupid thing, etc.


We stopped inviting her things. Then she wanted to get together because it was forever since she saw us. (Plus I know seeing Facebook/Instagram/Twitter photos of us having fun didn't help). I know this is a bit petty, but I needed her to feel what it is like to be ditched a few hours before. We had plans to go to dinner... our friend driving from the burbs had a migraine and didn't want to drive all the way into the city for dinner so she canceled. I then waited until 2 hours before our reservation to cancel on her (just to show her how it is like). She was upset and I had a talk with her saying I bailed on you ONCE and look how upset you got. Think about all the times you did it to me and the rest of our group. She understood and is better about bailing... but just last month, she bailed again. Some people can't change and you may have to deal with it.

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

I don't see the need for confrontation on your part. If she is a grown woman with at least one functioning brain cell, she is probably aware of her behavior and how it affects others.


As Maya Angelou famously said: when someone shows you who they are, believe them. How many times does your friend need to show you that she's a flake? That's who she is and you have chosen to love her anyway.

"Having a talk with her" won't amount to anything - trust me. At best, everything you tell her will go in one ear and out the other. At worst, she will resent you for calling her on her behavior. You will probably accomplish nothing besides making her feel like a chastised little kid.


Since you cannot change her behavior, you can only change your own.

Keep extending invitations to her by all means - she will either show up or she won't.

Do NOT spend any money on her. If you're going to an event that requires admission, for example, do not pay her way because she might not show up.


In my many years on this planet, I've known many people like this and they don't change. As Lilyyy suggested, leave everything open ended so your friend can go along or not as she wishes. And take preventative measures so this friend doesn't end up screwing you over.

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

well said! I've had quite a few of these people in my life as well and I used to let it affect and upset me, but you just have to realize it's them- not you.  I will extend the invite to them (although not as often) and just expect them not to show, and if they DO, then that's a bonus!

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

Maybe not directly invite her but leave it open ended, like.. "I am doing so and so later, you can come if you like". That way you aren't counting on her to come and if she does then whatever.

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

That's exactly what I was thinking. Don't let it bother you Smiley Happy

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

Not that this excuses it, but does she have social anxiety? depression? trouble leaving the house?  


Even so, needs to be addressed between you.


This would drive me insane!


Otherwise, I think you've got some good suggestions from others.

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

My friends know not to count on my in the winter. I live in the burbs & they're all in the city. I get tired & lazy easily in the winter & don't have motivation to go out. Now that some of my friends are moving out of the city, we can hibernate together. 

My unreliability wasn't as bad as your friend's, but I did get chewed out a few times & didn't get invited to something, that I should have. I now respond with "I'm not sure if I'll be able to make it", or "I have plans, but I'll see if I can stop by after" - not lying... I have plans to lie on the couch with a glass of wine Smiley Wink 

What are her excuses when she bails? Have you tried reminding her about it the day before? Or maybe you can put the event in her calendar on her phone & set a reminder for the day before. 

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

I have something to confess. I'm a constant bailer. It really comes down to me being a highly anxious person. It wasn't an issue until college. My friends would invite me somewhere, and I was too depressed/anxious to go. Eventually, my friends stopped inviting me places. It was heartbreaking, but that's what they had to do to send me the message. Unfortunately, it just made me more anxious/depressed at first.

Now I'm working in therapy on everything, and I've had a lot of success. I make an extra effort to not bail on my friends Smiley Happy

Maybe you could say something to her? My college friends just assumed I was a flake, and didn't think there were any real issues to be concerned with. Perhaps she'd reveal why she's bailing, and you could be there to support her.

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

I'm glad you mentioned this because my initial thought was that she could be bailing because of some type of health problem (physical, mental, or emotional). I have ongoing health issues as the result of a genetic connective tissue disorder but I look healthy. I have bailed on people last minute because I was in too much pain, throwing up, just various reasons related to not feeling good. People wouldn't see that as a good reason especially if the plan was sedentary like seeing a movie, but they didn't understand that I didn't want to be a "downer" or that I didn't want to bail. I was only diagnosed a year ago and a lot of people gave up on me because I "never want to do anything" or they thought I am lazy and not sick. My point is, she may be bailing because of depression or illness but isn't saying so because she doesn't know whats wrong.

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

I think you need to talk to her about this, because you will become bitter and one day it can blow up and it's not good. Friends should be respectful of each other. It's ok to bail when you have good reason but if it's constant it shows that she doesn't value your friendships and your time.


You can't keep second guessing yourself just talk to her if maybe it something personal or she's dealing with something that makes her a little anti social. 


good luck!

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

I've had a similar experience. I dropped plans that I had with family to help out this "friend" and she ditched me last minute. Actually i had to call HER to ask where she was (I was at the place we were suppose to meet). I've stopped calling her/ doing anything with her. She is a sweet girl, but I need more reliable people in my life.

Re: Makeup Unrelated - How to deal with repetitive bailers

I have a friend that is exactly like this as well. I had called her out on it a few times and after a while I realized it wasn't going to change. I decided the only things I could do is either stop being friends with her or choose to stop getting mad about it. She was a good enough friend outside of it that I did the latter. Also when I invite her to things it's never one on one plans anymore so it she doesn't show up it's not a big deal. I would try talking to her about it first and if that doesn't work you could do what I do and only invite her to group things so you're not left hanging if she doesn't show and can still enjoy yourself.


I wouldn't take her actions personally, some people are just flaky or perpetually late. And while I don't find that acceptable personally I know not everyone has the same standards.

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