Head and Shoulders won’t cut it

Like most technologically-savvy Americans, I have multiple email addresses. Most of them serve a specific function: One for the blogs, one for anytime I have to put my email address on the internet to order something (ie: spam me here), one that’s anonymous for answering/placing ads for Craigslist goods, etc etc. My primary email address is a yahoo account, and since there is no storage limit I rarely delete anything. This mentality has helped me more times than it hurts me, as it allows me to find phone numbers and mailing addresses that I never wrote down anywhere that otherwise would be long gone. Just the other day I had to find an address for someone and while going through the emails we’ve shared I discovered that this person is a serious flake. There were a handful of emails in there that were suggestions of hanging out, doing this or that, and not a single time did any of that come to fruition. So then I started thinking about the people I know like this, and I came to this conclusion:

I am friends with more flakes than I should be.

That’s not to say that there is an inordinate amount of flaky people in my life. To be frank, it’s just a small handful of people that I know that fall into that category, but that small number is probably still too large. There’s the person who texts asking what I’m doing, wants to meet up with me and everyone else, and then doesn’t show. There’s the person who can’t commit to doing anything more than 24 hours in advance. There’s the person who always responds yes to someone else’s party evite, and then never shows. I’m sure we all know people like this in some way and in some number. I’ve got friends who live 4 or more hours away by car that I’ve seen more recently than these people, and I think it’s reevaluation time.

So here’s the question: What do you do with people you know like this?

Do you excommunicate them without notice? Do you call them on their flakiness and give them one more chance? Do you just put up with it?

What say you?

Head & Shoulders won't cut it

8 Responses

  1. I’m a planner, so flakes make me crazy. I call them on it, but, more importantly, I don’t make my plans contingent on a flaky person. I invite other people along so I don’t get stranded without plans.

    Calling them on it is probably the plan of action most likely to lead to resolution. Either they fix themselves and you continue the friendship, or they don’t and you don’t.

  2. It’s a hard call. I’ll get back to it in a minute.

    First, let me point out that you’ve accomplished what I call the “Sex and the City” law: Watching one episode of Sex and the City is tolerable. But watch a few shows back to back, and you’ve overdosed. You get to the point where you want to murder Sarah Jessica Parker for her horrible acting, for that monotone narration, for the screeching she does all the time. Anything in moderation. So you read an email or two over a few months and you don’t notice, but compile them all into one read, and dude, you’re pissed.

    Second, I’d like to point out that I’ve gone through my own expunging as of late. New Years hit and I had a serious heart to heart with myself about what’s important and what isn’t. I had to cut very good friends out of my life for reasons which I told them.

    But your quandry is not without issue – being flaky. Is it enough to end a friendship? In one case with me, someone said something so hurtful, I ended the friendship by email the next day when the olive branch was extended, not in the form of an apology, but in a “let me distract her and see if she just forgets what I said about her to her face.” My email response was that I need friends who make me a better person, who are loyal, and not bring me down. So if the flakiness is enough to bring you down, and end the friendship, then I think a direct email is the way to go.

    One of my life’s quotes is “When people are being assholes, they deserve to be told they are being assholes.”

    Wow. I’m just in shock that the words “Sex and the City” appeared on this blog.

    You make a good point. I didn’t really notice it as it happened and time passed in between each instance. Well, there are a few people who need to be dealt with. The result, though, remains to be seen.

  3. Um…maybe people just don’t like you???


    That’s all I got!


    Punch Stryker in the face for me!

    I’ll punch him in the face, blame it on you, and he’ll get his revenge in a few weeks.

  4. I’m going to go ahead and self-identify as a “flake.” At least to the extent that I can’t hang out with people very frequently or make plans more than 24 hours in advance. Hanging out with people can be hard work! Doesn’t mean I don’t like the person, or don’t care about their schedule or their feelings or their hopes and dreams or what have you . . . it’s just part and parcel of being introverted.

    A sort of equilibrium develops where people who expect those sorts of commitments gravitate away from me, and me away from them; people who don’t need those sorts of commitments and can appreciate what I is for what I is remain in my world.

    But all that said, I don’t have an inch of room in my life for anyone who says they’re going to do something and then doesn’t. Hack those mother effers out of your address book with a scythe!

  5. I always leave myself an out in case a better offer comes along.

  6. Phil, I hope you’re joking! It’s rude to put people on hold because you’re waiting for something better – nobody likes to be told they’re Plan B.

  7. This is part of the maturation process, and it only gets worse with each passing year. You do start asking yourself some very serious questions about what you want in your life, how much energy you can give out to users/abusers/self absorbed flakes and what (if anything) you get back from them. I’ve fought tooth and nail to keep some people in my life, and then later wondered why. The length of the friendship? Habit?

    You learn suffering. You learn loss. You learn the finality of things. You don’t want to keep making the same mistakes. You do want to change and grow. You find yourself more and more reevaluating on every point in your life. It becomes much more of a constant.

    You try to be a better person. You try to find quality people of good character to have around you, and you keep going.

  8. Shannon – I never joke.

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