Are You a Flake?

We are the first to admit, we have engaged in “flaky” behaviour from time to time. Flaky behavior has almost become the norm among young professionals with hectic work schedules, multiple groups of friends and never-ending text messages, instant messages and emails from one of our three (minimum) email accounts. Let’s not forget the multiple event invitations that flood our Facebook inboxes, ranging from fancy charity events to low-key birthday parties at a local pub. Then there was that wedding invite that arrived in the mail. 

With constant stimuli everywhere, and competing demands for our attention, it is no wonder it has almost become expected among certain YP circles that all plans are loose, an 8pm dinner reservation means 8:20 earliest and party hosts have to continuously reach out to invited guests personally because he or she has not RSVP’d. Although increasingly accepted (or at least, expected), it is still rude. There is being a little “YP flaky” and being a total flake all together. Where do you fit? You may just be the flakiest of the flaky if you can relate to the majority of these scenarios.

Instead of replying right away, you often put messages aside, with every intention of replying…at some point.
There is not a YP who isn’t guilty of this at one time or another. Our lives are busy, after all. But is this a pattern with you? Do you often find yourself having to dedicate chunks of time to reply to the backlog of text messages, Facebook messages and phone calls, if they get replied to at all? Would your friends all die of shock if you were the first to reply to a group email chain? If so, read on.

You are constantly apologizing for being “MIA.”
Do you constantly have to make excuses and apologize to friends and family for being MIA because “work’s been so crazy” or you’ve “been dealing with a bunch of stuff?” At this very moment, is there a friend or family member who is likely not thrilled with your lack of communication or attempt to make plans and is thus deserving of an apology? Your flakiness could be causing more hurt feelings than you realize.

You fear running into people because you have not replied to their message.
You have a habit of putting replying to messages off and completely forgetting about it until it gets to the point where it is embarrassing to reply because it has been so long. Then the inevitable happens: you spot the sender’s name on an invite list to a party you will be attending or happen to catch a glace of them on the subway or on the street and immediately dart the other way. The issue becomes even more awkward the longer it goes on; inevitably when your paths do cross again you are both going to either have to exchange pleasantries and pretend the message didn’t happen or apologize repeatedly and honestly explain yourself. Either way, if you often find yourself faced with this self-inducing anxiety, then you may want to make some changes.

You make overlapping plans before weighing the best option.
Is it usual for you to commit to a date, a party and potential dinner plans all in one night only to make a game-time decision in accordance to what makes the most sense that evening? People who are guilty of this behaviour don’t necessarily mean to be nasty or vindictive, and they generally expect a hasty last-minute text or phone call to cancel to be commonplace and received without question by friends and family.

You don’t program events and engagements into a calendar.
Some of the flakiest people are the least organized people. They may glance at an email or invite and forget all about it the next second. They don’t program events and special occasions into a calendar and often are reminded of such occurrences at the last minute, where the typical response goes something like “oh right, was that tonight?” Then the panic of finding the appropriate outfit (and gift!) ensues. Sound familiar? 

You have a long overdue list of thank you cards to write and mail
For the flakiest of the flaky, replying to text messages, emails and Facebook invites is a challenge. Even more so is the effort required for old-fashioned mail. If your wedding shower or charity auction was months ago and we just reminded you about the thank you cards that need to be crafted and sent, then you better get on that. The same is the case for hand-mailed wedding invitations – anyone who has been married knows how costly the invites can be, so use the RSVP card. If you find yourself repeatedly sending emails or making hurried phone calls on the confirmation deadline for a wedding, you just may be a flake.

Your Friends Stop Trying
There are only so many unanswered emails and phone calls and flake outs that your friends are going to take before they either a) assume there isn’t a point in trying b) are hurt or insulted by your past behaviour or c) you have slipped their mind all together because you’ve been so illusive. Now that you think about it…is this the case with you?