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I Can’t Hang: The “Flaky” Person’s Perspective

We all know at LEAST one person in our friend groups that is considered the “flaky” one. They rarely answer their phone, they’re never sure of when they can hang out and they cancel plans more often than most. If this isn’t you, then I completely understand how fed up you can get with this friend, but there are some key things that you have to keep in mind. The first (and most important) one being: its not you.

I would like to start by saying that I am definitely the person described above. I’m known within my friend circle as always being late, a horrible texter and rarely available for planning hang outs ahead of time. This isn’t to say that I’m avoiding anyone or a bad friend in the purest sense of the words, I’m just busy. Plain and simple.

I student teach full time, have a part time job and I’m on the eboard for two active campus clubs. Not everyone is that busy and some people are much busier! The problem isn’t that we don’t want to hang out, we just can’t. We constantly have so much going on that squeezing things in might not always work out as well as we had hoped.

In the summer, I probably seemed like an escort due to the fact that once one friend dropped me off, I would be picked right back up by someone else. Other than working 50 hour weeks, my time was only divided among people and not events, schoolwork, clubs and so on. I would even keep a book-bag of a bathing suit, toothbrush and extra clothes in my car every day during the summer because I never knew what I would be up to after work. I was always ready to be on the go! During the school year, however, that freedom is extinguished and I begin to “flake”.

As for texts, I definitely never ignore anyone. I always make the mistake of reading them while I’m doing something and forgetting to reply later. Usually, if the conversation is one of substance such as needing advice, venting or help with anything else, I’m all over it. However, I have found that the times I most frequently forget to text back are when the conversations are for catching up, saying hello, or sending a random meme. It’s not that I don’t have time for you, I just put those kinds of conversations a bit lower on my totem pole of things to do. I love you dearly but I have no idea how to respond to a Taco Bell meme so I’ll get to it later…

When I’m late, chances are its because I overestimated myself with timing. I was probably somewhere else for longer than I had anticipated and ran late getting to the next thing. This happens the most when I am with my family. They somehow always need something from me (like a 45 minute conversation about new tiles for the kitchen in the house I no longer live in) right before I need to be somewhere else. I’m sorry but I’m not going to cut out mid-conversation with my mother about something important to her.

Sometimes I just need to be alone. This may seem a bit harsh but it’s absolutely true. I love being around people but when you don’t have a single moment to yourself for a few days, sometimes going over a friends house for a bit doesn’t seem appealing. Again, this has nothing to do with the friend, I just need to watch Netflix and laugh to myself or pass out by 10pm (pfffft if I’m lucky). These moments can come out of anywhere. We might have had a movie night planned a weeks ago, but if that night ends up being my only free time and I’m exhausted, sometimes I just have to cancel.

Now- this article obviously doesn’t pertain to every busy person we know. Some people are just really shitty friends and have no excuses. I, however, am full of them and I always make sure to reschedule or work things around so that we can both be happy. If I don’t want to hang out, I’ll call; you for a bit so that you can vent about your ridiculous boss or how your boyfriend kind of sucks. I am there for all of my friends as much as I can be with the time I have, I just don’t have much of it.

So, if this article applies to you and I’ve hit the nail on the head, share away! If I’m the exact friend you want to strangle, then maybe take a moment to realize that it has nothing to do with you. We love you, we’re here for you, but we just can’t always hang out with you.

A Taco Bell-obsessed Delawarean who happens to spend most of her time in Pennsylvania.
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