Flaking Out

Flaking Out

Some personalities are more inclined to flake out. I am one of those who has to create systems as prevention.

It seems more and more prevalent to make excuses. “I’m not feeling up to it.” “I know there was a deadline, but, I’ll get it done as soon as possible. I got overwhelmed.” “I know I’m late again. Traffic was ridiculous.” “I’m sorry I was supposed to help at the bake sale. I totally forgot.”

We are told we need to cut everyone slack. And most people do. They may say, “It’s no big deal”, but often resentment is building inside.

We all tend to get annoyed at people that never follow through with plans. But, most of us are in denial about how much we do it.

You may be sabotaging relationships and work opportunities with flaking out.

If you flake out a lot and feel you are disappointing people all the time, you may want to see why.

  • Are you saying yes to things you really want to say no, too? Then flaking out at the last minute to get out of it? Don’t say yes, if you are dreading doing it.
  • Have you over-committed yourself time-wise so you can’t actually do all the things you said yes to?
  • Or made agreements, while forgetting your self-care and energy needs?
  • Are you really afraid or anxious and that is why you want to bail?
  • Is there something you are hiding from or not admitting?

Keeping your commitments is a basis of trust in any relationship. Once you commit to something, make every effort to follow through.

It also means – make less commitments. If you flake often, you are probably making too many commitments. Be very mindful as you say yes.

How to Quit Flaking Out

  • Don’t say yes immediately. Take time. Look at your calendar. Are you overbooked?
  • Have rules about how many evenings you’ll be out, which events you never attend, what things you will typically say no to so you have policies to fall back on as you make decisions.
  • Set up systems like alarms to remind you to do things. As soon as you say yes, put it in your calendar and ask if there is anything you need to do before it happens like order flowers or pick up the suit from the dry cleaners. If you say you are going to pick up the milk, write it down and have an alarm set so you will do it.
  • Confirm plans the day before so it is less likely either one of you will flake.
  • Leave at least 10 minutes early for everything.
  • Before you make an excuse to someone, check in with yourself. How can you fulfill your obligation? Show others you are considerate of their time and feelings. Not feeling like it, being tired, or overbooking yourself are not great excuses.
  • Don’t text or Facebook an excuse. Actually call if you absolutely have to miss. Technology has made it too easy to break commitments.
  • When you make an appointment, go to the appointment. Business people are paid for whom they serve. If you don’t show up, they don’t get paid.
  • Stay for a little bit rather than not show up at all.

People are counting on you to do what you say you will do. So respect other people’s time and don’t bail on plans or decide at the last minute you can’t do something. We all have distractions and opportunities that make easy excuses. Be the person who shows up and is dependable, not just when it’s convenient.

Want to get better with time and energy? Join the Change Your Relationship to Time class.



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