Flaking is currently the cardinal sin of friendship. Yet it seems like we’re all doing it. We’re all acting like flakes.
I’m the first to admit that I can be flakey. Excuses usually ranging from work commitments, tiredness, or quite simply because I don’t want to go out. As well as me doing the flaking, I’ve also been flaked on too. Lots of times.
It’s like we’re all in an epidemic of flakes: you either cancel plans or you’re cancelled on.
Of course, there are some things that can’t always be helped, like illness, family issues and even work. But cancelling on a friend at the last minute when she’s already started cooking dinner or has already made her way on the long commute to yours, that’s when flakes need to have a quiet word with themselves. Aside from that, I think as long as you give plenty of notice and plan to rearrange your plans, I don’t see flaking as a problem.
I’m not sticking up for flakes but every now and then I think cancelling plans (with plenty of notice) isnt a bad thing. Thankfully when I flake (for whatever reason) my friends are good about it and vice versa. We all have busy and hectic lives and sometimes we all just need to say “not tonight darling” and not get judged for it. Like that girl in year 7 who hated on you for not coming to her birthday party.
But what’s actually causing people to flake? According to psychologist Dr Marissa Crawford, there are three types of flake personalities:
First, there’s the conflict-avoidant flake, the one who would rather say yes to a plan to avoid confrontation, yet later cancel on you, usually by text. Then there’s the FOMO flake, who usually cancels on you because they have a better option. And finally there’s the flake who has poor time management, ambitiously thinking they can do everything and not let anyone down, only to let everyone down!
So it seems a lot of us don’t know when to say yes or no, and when to stick to a plan even if we are knackered after a long day of work. I guess it’s ok to cancel every now and then but when flaking becomes second nature, that’s when it becomes rude. Modern life pressures aren’t going anywhere and maybe this is something we all need to realise.
Maybe us millennials will grow out of being unreliable or maybe we’ll find ourselves cancelling plans to see our child’s school play, simply because we can’t be arsed.