I am the first to admit that I can be a crappy friend. However, I think that part of my problem is that I cannot accept when friends behave in ways that I deem crappy. Behold, three tips to be less crappy.
Don’t keep people waiting.
My wonderful mentor once told me that “people who keep others waiting make it clear that their time is much more important than anyone else’s.” I agree with this statement to a certain degree. I don’t believe that people run on perfect inner clocks and are never tardy to appointments. However, I find it increasingly rude when the same people are consistently running late.
I have a friend who cannot arrive at a place on time if her life depended on it. Every time we hang out, I am guaranteed to wait, often in the cold, for at least twenty minutes before she shows up. She almost always pushes back plans to a later time and will still show up late. One time, I took her out for dinner to celebrate her birthday. Not only did she keep me waiting for over two hours after she insisted she was on her way, but then she dashed off to meet her boyfriend before I could even buy her dessert. It’s so completely frustrating because she is fully aware of the problem so I feel like it would be pointless to say anything. I have read in magazines that it is useful to turn the tables and keep this particular type of friend waiting so she will understand how annoying it is. I have tried this tactic, leaving my place at the time when I should be arriving at the agreed upon location, but it’s no use; I will still be kept waiting.
Do follow through with plans to hang out.
Because of my busy schedule, I am not a person who goes out a lot with friends so when I make plans with someone, I’m usually very excited for the chance to catch up with a person I may not have interacted with in a while. I’m thrilled to see how they’ve been for however long it’s been since we’ve seen one another and eager for a night out with a pal. So you can imagine my disappointment when a friend flakes out.
One buddy repeatedly sends me text messages saying that we should hang out. I learned long ago to stop asking him to join me for happy hours or nights out because he always says no or cancels at the last-minute. He has to work or he’s tired or he’s out-of-town or he just doesn’t bother to get back to me. The only times we seem to be able to get together are when we are celebrating milestone events in his life: birthdays, house-warming, graduation. For years, I went to everything I was ever invited to, often driving hours out of my way to do so. Now, we live in the same town and we still never end up hanging out.
Don’t dish it if you can’t take it.
It all goes back to childhood games and recess on the playground. Don’t tease people if you don’t want to be teased back. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Pretty simple if you ask me.
I have a co-worker who frequently cracks jokes at other people’s expense and never seems to know when to quit. Though I enjoy working with this colleague, I cannot stand the pranks that are pulled on me—always at the worst possible times—and I have lost my temper with him on more than one occasion. His reaction is always the same: pouting followed by the silent treatment. My co-workers and I feel trapped. We either deal with the incessant behavior or we risk a hostile work environment until he gets over being upset that we got upset for being on the receiving end of something we didn’t like. It’s a lose-lose situation.
I would love how my Wonderlings deal with these kind of behaviors. What have you said or done to let your pals know when they’re doing something that you don’t like?
I could use the tips.