You might have noticed that it’s becoming super difficult to make plans with your friends and actually go through with them without people bailing on you.

There’s hours of group messages spent trying to figure out a time when everyone is free and when you finally settle on a date someone will inevitably remember a family event/extra shift/training session/exam/assessment/headache that’s happening at the exact same time. In the lead-up, everyone will double check that it’s still on with the hope that they won’t have to make a last minute excuse to get out of it.

By the time the set date and time rolls around, one person has sent a text saying ‘sorry a family thing has come up, won’t be able to make it’, another is saying how they’re going to be half an hour late and one just doesn’t bothering showing up, saying they ‘forgot’ about it when questioned later.

Alex Cornell breaks down you and your friends into four handy categories:

1. The latecomers

Who are never on time and always have issues with traffic/parking/leaving work/basic time management and therefore make all their friends wait for them.

2. The no-shows

Those who bail at the last minute. Common texts include ‘hey I’m really tired afer work/school can we do it another time?’ or ‘going to have to cancel, please don’t hate me’.

3. The optimisers

The people who don’t want to commit to the plans just in case something better comes up. And finally…

4. The people who actually show up and are on time (super rare)

I’d argue there’s a fifth category, one that I fall into.

Most of the time, when I make plans I’m in a good mood. I’m full of hope and haven’t been wearied by the day yet. But, by the time the event actually rolls around, I secretly hope my friends cancel, or that enough people pull out that we give up on the whole idea.

It’s not that I don’t want to hang out. Once I get dressed, leave the house and actually see my friends, I have a great time. But the energy required to do all those things is so much more than laying in bed in my pyjamas watching another Netflix series.


Cornell says that cellphones are what make people flakey as fuck and I reckon there’s a grain of truth in this. Being able to tell your friends that you’re bailing at the last possible second without having to face a disapproving stare or hear a disappointed voice makes it pretty easy to cancel when you just can’t be fucked going.

I get it, we’re all busy, we’ve all got shit to do and sometimes, you’re going to have to cancel. But next time you make plans think about whether you’re actually going to follow through, and stop bailing on your mates.