3 Responses to a Flakey Friend

Flakey friends are hard

5 min readJun 1, 2021


Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Flakey friends. We all have them. They do one or more of the following:

  • they don’t respond to any messages on WhatsApp or Facebook or Instagram;
  • or they take forever to respond, a minimum of 1 week;
  • they say they will call but don’t;
  • they say they will be there but don’t pitch;
  • they confirm plans but at the last minute change their mind;
  • they don’t answer when you call and they certainly don’t call back;
  • when they do eventually respond it's often with the pretext of, “things are so hectic at the moment…”/”I am so crazy busy…”

1. Ignore and accept

Just ignore their behaviour. Perhaps they are genuinely busy and that's ok.

Accept this is who they are. They take a while to respond, a week or more, a month or two. So what? We all have lives. And you can learn to manage your expectations with a friend like this. You know they are flakey and you accept that. Perhaps their difficulty in making plans has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

They may have social anxiety or other such difficulties.

You accept they may take a week to respond or a month or two. You accept they cancel plans. Perhaps this is the condition of being their friend. Because in the end, they do respond to most of your messages and that is good enough for now.

A 50% response rate is good enough so instead of getting angry and cutting them out of your life, you accept and move on. You have fun together when you do get together and it's great.

2. Ask them why?

Unless you are not happy to accept their behaviour. You can address the problem head-on. If it really is annoying you, ask them why.

“Hey, why do you take such a long time to respond?” “Is everything ok?”

In my experience, the non-responding to messages is often a form of passive-aggressive behaviour and a sign that someone is angry with you. They may answer honestly and say there is something wrong and then you can address it. Or they may say…




Lawyer by day, writer by night. Healing my heart word by word. I write about traumatic breakups, heartbreak and dating