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Stop Expecting Your Friends to Show Common Decency

Flaky friends. No, they're not great.

by
Hannah Sternberg

Bio

May 15, 2013 - 7:00 am
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Mindy feels you.

Submit your questions about friendship, relationships, careers, family, or life decisions to PJMBadAdvice@gmail.com or leave a question in the comments section, and I’ll answer it in Bad Advice, PJ Lifestyle’s new advice column!

Hello Bad Advice readers! This week I got a question that I’ve heard many times from friends, mostly millennials, who get the classic “I’m not really standing you up because I texted you five minutes ahead of time” line from their friends. As we emerge from social hibernation this spring, take heed: all your friends are jerks. Get used to it.

Dear Bad Advice,

Have you ever had a friend that seems to always bail on plans? Not only do they bail, but do they wait to the very last possible minute to not-so-gracefully bow out?

A close friend of mine is almost ALWAYS doing this to me and it absolutely drives me nuts!  Now, I hate double-standards, but are they necessary when it comes to teaching people a lesson?

Is it wrong for me to give her a taste of her own medicine a few times by doing the same exact thing she repeatedly does to me? Or, is this too childish?

I should note that I hate confrontation and yes, I admit to being a bit passive aggressive sometimes to avoid it.

- Fed Up with Being Stood Up

This is going to sound like bad advice, but stop expecting your friends to show up for things. If they don’t give a crap about you, don’t give a crap about them.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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Hannah, why yes, these people suffer from ADD. Disorganized, easily distracted, misses appointments frequently. I know them well.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The fact that this advice needed to be written at all speaks volumes about "Generation Me".
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Red Green had some good advice on this subject.

"You have to judge people, Harold. Otherwise, you could end up spending your whole life around idiots."
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Equally irritating as those who bail are people who are always late. It's just plain rude.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"These all sound like stodgy etiquette rules...."

And some people forget that many rules of etiquette were devised for very good, practical reasons. And, good etiquette shows respect for the other person.

"...clinical-strength flaky. There’s probably something about them in the new DSM..."

LOL!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am never "the flaker". My word is gold. I show up, period.

I am rarely "the flakee", because the person who treats me that way ceases to be my friend.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm the sort of person who doesn't have many friends and prefers it that way. The ones I do have are the ones who are worth keeping. I married one, and the rest are the sort I'd take time off of work for because they're worth it. In fact, I'm taking a half day to meet one this Friday, and she won't stand me up unless it's an emergency.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sad to say, I just don't have friends anymore. I hang out with my husband and kids and it's so much more fulfilling.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Love the concept for this column! Terrific. I'm a big fan of the snappy replies--read Mad Magazine well into my 20s--and I can think of a few for the last minute cancellers (they are everywhere). "Oh, that's right, we were going to do something tonight. You not being available totally works, I don't have to cancel my other plans." Can this person be shamed? When the last minute text comes in go for total silence. No response.

Bottom line, when you get old like me, you aren't willing to do all the work to maintain a relationship. I enjoy my own company and get together with real friends as often as I can.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm that age, too. Last year I had the realization that I was the prime mover in two friendships -- I was the one who always called and said "let's do lunch" -- there was not reciprocity with those people. So I stopped calling. More than a year later, neither of those two has called me, so I guess I know where I stand. It's kind of a relief.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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