While perusing my morning paper today, I came across my Etiquette Tuesday tip of the week: Don’t be a flake. The Baggage Check section of the Express newspaper is by far one of my favorite columns and this week it touched on an area that fully relates to dining out. The Baggage Check column permits readers to submit questions about various life issues (i.e. relationships, job issues, self-image issues, etc.) and Dr. Andrea Bonior answers the readers’ questions with a good mix of clinical psychology and friendly advice. This week one reader wrote in on how their sister was ruining family gatherings because of her flakiness and lateness.
I am so glad Dr. Bonior shed some light on this topic because I have been in plenty of flaky situations. Making plans and constantly breaking those makes you a flake. Does this sound like something you do? Are you constantly committing and then breaking plans at the last minute? If the answer is yes, then you are an official flake. It is the worst to have dinner plans with someone, look forward to it all week long and then the day of “Ohh, I can’t make it!”.
Now there are differences between the person that is just inherently rude and the person that has a legitimate reason to flake. Dr. Bonoir outlined some key reasons that might be causing a person to be a flake including depression, social anxiety and/or substance abuse problems. I have extended that list to include other pressing matters such as a demanding job or family issues. These reasons are acceptable reasons to “flake” but you should follow up with a rain check. The rain check will show that you at least have some consideration of the other person’s schedule.
In today’s society, everyone is busy in their own right. You should think about how tight your own schedule is and what you would feel like if someone totally disregarded your time when making and cancelling plans. Similar to today’s column, it could be the reason some of those relationships are failing in your life so how about trying this: Stop being a flake.
Category: Etiquette Tuesday