If you’re living on earth and are a fairly social person, chances are you have dealt with a flakey- ass friend. I call it the “California Flake,” but these people are everywhere. They are the people who make plans with you, probably instigated the whole event, then drop off the face of the earth when the day comes to meet up. It’s annoying, it’s rude, it’s disrespectful. In California, this behavior is not only tolerated, it’s considered normal. Imagine my culture shock moving out here from New Jersey at a young, spritely 20 years of age… 

So how do we handle these people? Well, first and foremost, do not count on them to be there for you when you need them. These people are all about you when they need something, but when the tables are turned they are nowhere to be found. Real talk. Do yourself a favor and do not go out of your way for these people. Put yourself first, don’t break plans with others if this person comes crying, and have clear boundaries about what you will not tolerate. They don’t like it? Too bad. I don’t like having my time wasted. 

Some flakey-ass friends will be straight up with you about their utter disregard for your time, like: “[enter name here] decided not to come so I’m going to stay home.” Ok? Thanks for at least telling me, but damn.

Then we have the flakey ass friends who are too chicken shit to even inform you that they are flaking! Think about it: Why would people make plans and then not answer your texts, calls, DMs? They found something better to do, plain and simple. These are by far the worst kind. Seriously ladies, gents, and all in between, if this is you, grow up. This kind of flaking is such disrespectful behavior that I’m surprised you even have friends to flake on. What this says to those who follow through is “I do not value your time or you as a person.” Is that the message you want to send? If not, pick up the damn phone and send a courtesy text. Sure, the person you made plans with might be annoyed, but hey, at least you made your intentions clear. 

The silver lining is that there is hope for those of us with good intentions. Successful adulting means managing our relationships, not abandoning them. A flakey-ass friend can be trained; a follow-through friend can learn how to deal with flakes. A flakey person needs to know their behavior isn’t ok with you. It’s as simple as telling them, “I could’ve made other plans. Think you can call next time?” Or you can be more passive aggressive and start doing the same to them, but I don’t advise it if you want to remain friends. If these people are true friends, they’ll respect your feelings and text or call next time. They won’t miraculously stop breaking plans, but they will keep you in the loop.

The follow- through friend has to be on guard of the flakey-ass friend. You know your friends. If this person breaks plans more often than not, then don’t expect this to change— prepare for it. Send a follow- up text to confirm plans. If you don’t hear back, make other plans. If your friend wants to come through last minute— oh well. How many times has this person left you on read? Don’t feel bad, you put in the effort and it was this person’s choice to not reciprocate. Your time is valuable as well. If your friends care, they’ll adapt. Just like you’ve been putting up with being dressed with nowhere to go. 

So if you’re annoyed at your friend right now, ask yourself: “How many other times has _______ flaked on me?” If it’s more than a couple, it’s not an unhappy accident. A happy balance is 50/50 in all relationships. Match the person’s efforts; don’t give too much or even expect too much. And if your friend calls to make plans but flaked on you last time, accept the invite. Then don’t show. 

What’s your biggest flakey-ass friend pet peeve?