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You Asked: My Friends Don't Respect My Time

You Asked: My Friends Don't Respect My Time

Dear Sugar,

I feel like the people in my life don't respect me. Several of my friends and even my boyfriend are very inconsiderate when it comes to our time together. I make plans with them and time and time again, they either cancel or show up extremely late. At first, I stopped and evaluated what I was doing, thinking maybe I should take a hint — I even went as far as confronting my friends and boyfriend on the issue. I explained that I plan my day around our plans and when they don't work out or are moved around, it messes up my day. I have also tried doing it back to them but that does nothing! I don't want to make something out of nothing but I am truly offended. There are so many other things I could be doing besides waiting around for them all day and I am at the point where I am finding myself developing huge resentments against these people. I don't want to end relationships over this. Do you have any suggestions on how I could possibly handle this situation better? — Fed Up Frannie

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Dear Fed Up Frannie,

I don't blame you for being fed up with your friends and boyfriend! Of course things come up and sometimes breaking plans is inevitable, but when it's happening time and time again, it just becomes unfair so I'm glad you've addressed this issue.

When you asked them for an explanation, what was their response? Is it just happen circumstance every time or do you feel like they're deliberately avoiding you? If you think you've done everything on your end to rectify the situation to no avail, perhaps it's time to just accept these specific people for who they are. While bailing out on previously made plans is no doubt inconsiderate, the might be doing the best they can.

Going forward, I'd simply let them know how you feel when they don't regard your time. Instead of bottling up your feelings inside, get it off your chest ASAP so you don't end up harboring unnecessary resentment — if they don't know that their actions hurt you, they won't know to stop. If things still don't change, I'd think about moving on from these relationships and aim to spend time with people that are willing to make more of an effort with you and your time. Good luck.

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Janine22 Janine22 8 years
I agree with the last poster. Stop making plans with them and let them call YOU for a change. Also, I am always running late and what my friends/family usually do is tell me the plans are a half hour before they actually are. But they don't do this consistently so I don't always know for sure. Anyways, I usually am about a half hour late, so it works out for me. Also: consider that it may be just certain peoples personalities. You sound really organized and always on time for things. Others are not like this. They are not doing it to intentionally hurt you in any way I am sure. But I do think it is important to speak up and tell people how you feel. Also, I would suggest telling them that you will only wait for 15-20 minutes for them. If they do not show up by then, or phone you, don't bother because you will be gone!!! Then follow through on it. They will get the picture! As for people who consistently cancel plans, I think that is just plain rude! Obviously this person/people do not value you as a friend very much.
emalove emalove 8 years
I just wouldn't initiate setting up plans with them anymore. Back away and let them come to YOU. They need to show you that they want to spend time with you...and stop treating you like their time is more valuable than yours. I'd have no patience with this behavior and I certainly wouldn't be waiting around for them anymore.
bransugar79 bransugar79 8 years
I am a super planner and sometimes my friends are not. If I want to do something on the weeekend I will ask or plan sometime early in the week. The thing is everyone doesn't handle their tiem the same way. You have to know that going in. If you don't want to wait for your late friends then plan to do things with them that you will be ok doing on your own if they don't show up. I think it sucks that people can be so inconsiderate, but you can't "fix" them or make them see things your way so just go about your life your way and if they want to be part of your life they can make plans with you when you have time
jJuliet jJuliet 8 years
They probably don't realize that this is such a big deal to you, and they think of their plans as more fluid. This is why "doing it back" does nothing--they don't see a problem with it in the first place. Next time when you make plans, say that you have a busy schedule, and if they need to cancel, they should do it a day in advance. If they need to show up more than 15 minutes late, they should try to call at least an hour in advance. I think this is a reasonable request. I also think j2e1n9's advice is really good. If you are busy, especially if you have reason to believe that these people will waste your time, don't make plans in the first place.
jJuliet jJuliet 8 years
They probably don't realize that this is such a big deal to you, and they think of their plans as more fluid. This is why "doing it back" does nothing--they don't see a problem with it in the first place. Next time when you make plans, say that you have a busy schedule, and if they need to cancel, they should do it a day in advance. If they need to show up more than 15 minutes late, they should try to call at least an hour in advance. I think this is a reasonable request.I also think j2e1n9's advice is really good. If you are busy, especially if you have reason to believe that these people will waste your time, don't make plans in the first place.
unicornsrule84 unicornsrule84 8 years
I had a group of friends like this, and I stuck it out a lot longer than I should have. I'm not just talking about being a little late, my friends and I would have stuff planned for weeks and then back out at the last second, time and time again. Friends like this aren't true friends, putting up with their actions just made me more frustrated and angry. I hate to say it, but the best answer is to get some new friends who are less flaky.
MartiniLush MartiniLush 8 years
cubadog, I had the same experience you did and did the exact same thing and it also worked for me. I waited 20 minutes for her to show up, then left. Now, if she is going to be more than 5 minutes late, she calls me to let me know!
cubadog cubadog 8 years
I think everyone has a friend that tends to be late and you can do what a lot of others have suggested and tack on the time so you did not end up annoyed or what I have done it cured one of my friends of her problem is I left without her after she was 30 minutes late my normal wait time is 15 minutes. Boy did that stop it. Just like you don''t wait by the phone for someone to call you shouldn't wait around for people that dis respect your you and your time.
jaxon jaxon 8 years
I have this same prob and much of it is I dont respect my own time. I may have plans or be doing something but drop it b/c someone asks me to do something/go somewhere with them. Then they are late or just cancel. You have to be firm. SAY NO!!! I know it can be so hard but they will ge the hint. Stop waiting...Give urselfa specific time limit. And keep to it. Give them a 10 min grace period (if they dont call) and then just leave, order your food, or what have you.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
You say you don't want to lose relationships over this, but it sounds like that might be your only option. I mean, you've already confronted them and it sounds like it's done absolutely nothing to stop the behavior. Others have good suggestions about factoring in that the person is bound to be late and just planning your time around that. jennifer76 also has very good thoughts on the matter.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
You say you don't want to lose relationships over this, but it sounds like that might be your only option.I mean, you've already confronted them and it sounds like it's done absolutely nothing to stop the behavior.Others have good suggestions about factoring in that the person is bound to be late and just planning your time around that.jennifer76 also has very good thoughts on the matter.
jennifer76 jennifer76 8 years
Do they do this to each other as well or only to you? If they do this to each other, that is just how they are and you can accept it or move on. If they only do it to you, you might want to consider what's going on.Do you make it very hard for them to say no to plans with you? If you pressure people to make plans when they are reluctant, than you can't really be surprised when they cancel or have a hard time getting there on time.
jennifer76 jennifer76 8 years
Do they do this to each other as well or only to you? If they do this to each other, that is just how they are and you can accept it or move on. If they only do it to you, you might want to consider what's going on. Do you make it very hard for them to say no to plans with you? If you pressure people to make plans when they are reluctant, than you can't really be surprised when they cancel or have a hard time getting there on time.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 8 years
I used to have this problem with just about EVERYONE in my life except my family, and it sucked. Here is how I fixed it: When people wanted to do things with me, I ONLY said yes if it fit PERFECTLY into my schedule. i.e. I had nothing else do to, I had already had a chance to finish everything that I needed to do for myself, and I had the funds to do whatever they wanted to do. I used to always drop what I was doing, spend money when I shouldnt have been, and hung out with my friends when I was stressing out about errands/homework that I was supposed to be doing and I'd have a miserable time. Of course they were having a blast, because it was something that fit into their schedule, and I was being the accommodating one. But now, I say NO unless it is perfect timing and I give them the exact reason why, even if it is ridiculous, i.e. I'll say I have homework/church/walk the dogs/clean/errands/visit family/take a nap. I believe that this shows them that YOU TOO have a life and very important things going on in your life, even if it isnt important to them. Eventually, they catch on and start respecting you and your time. Give it time tho, you will have to say no several times for them to start respecting your schedule.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I have a friend now who does this. It's not so much being late although it happens here and there. She's more the type who will make plans and then not even call to cancel, she just goes MIA. Luckily I learned the hard way not to wait around. It's funny because she's the same person who gives me a hard time about being more of a homebody, which isn't so much my problem. (I'm just over the bar scene)So it's funny she gives me a hard time when I actually do nothing wrong other than passing on plans but she makes plans and doesn't bother to call and cancel. Whenever she has more "exciting" things going on in her life-partying, guys and stuff is when she does this. At this point in my life I can't be bothered to stress about it.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I have a friend now who does this. It's not so much being late although it happens here and there. She's more the type who will make plans and then not even call to cancel, she just goes MIA. Luckily I learned the hard way not to wait around. It's funny because she's the same person who gives me a hard time about being more of a homebody, which isn't so much my problem. (I'm just over the bar scene) So it's funny she gives me a hard time when I actually do nothing wrong other than passing on plans but she makes plans and doesn't bother to call and cancel. Whenever she has more "exciting" things going on in her life-partying, guys and stuff is when she does this. At this point in my life I can't be bothered to stress about it.
gossipqueen gossipqueen 8 years
I had a friend like that...key word HAD....she would break plans, come late, make everybody wait...the final straw was a day when 3 friends had planned a day trip of shopping and dining in the city...we were all living in the suburbs so it took us about an hour to get there...she knew this...10 mins. after we got there and 5 mins. after sitting down for lunch...she says: "we're done soon, right? I need to help my mother get her drivers license, I need to be back before 3pm"the ride was 1 hr. it was 1pm...you do the math....did I mention it was a holiday???that was the last time we took her out...I wrote it off as a lost friend and never looked back.GET NEW FRIENDS!
gossipqueen gossipqueen 8 years
I had a friend like that...key word HAD....she would break plans, come late, make everybody wait...the final straw was a day when 3 friends had planned a day trip of shopping and dining in the city...we were all living in the suburbs so it took us about an hour to get there...she knew this...10 mins. after we got there and 5 mins. after sitting down for lunch...she says: "we're done soon, right? I need to help my mother get her drivers license, I need to be back before 3pm" the ride was 1 hr. it was 1pm...you do the math....did I mention it was a holiday??? that was the last time we took her out...I wrote it off as a lost friend and never looked back. GET NEW FRIENDS!
Indigo4320 Indigo4320 8 years
I know just as well as anyone it sucks to be ditched on a night you have plans with someone...or have them show up but just be extrememly late. BUT it seems like right now almost everyone I know is so busy living their life it's really hard for them and myself to find time to make plans together...let alone keep them. If you're in your mid-twenties just out of college then you are right where I am now. Most of us have started careers that keep us super busy. Some are getting married, which takes up quite a bit of a persons time and others are having children...and that obviously takes a huge time commitment. My best friend of 15 years got married last year and started a new career and I have scarcely seen her since then! I myself have a career that is strictly a 9-5...so I'm free more often than she is because her job requires long hours. We were talking about how hard it is to get our schedules to meet and then when we do something often comes up and one or the other has to cancel. And that's just life happening. I very seriously doubt your friends are doing it on purpose...same goes with your boyfriend. Evaluate their lives...take a look at how busy they are, if they seem to always have something to do then just understand and find other things for yourself to do. If it's a situation of them just not wanting to spend time with you, then you might just need to evaluate your friends honey. Good friends do make a point to at least keep some plans and make it up if they miss out a planned night. If they don't even acknowledge their absence than you might have a different scenerio than just a busy friend on your hands. Good luck in any case!
Indigo4320 Indigo4320 8 years
I know just as well as anyone it sucks to be ditched on a night you have plans with someone...or have them show up but just be extrememly late. BUT it seems like right now almost everyone I know is so busy living their life it's really hard for them and myself to find time to make plans together...let alone keep them. If you're in your mid-twenties just out of college then you are right where I am now. Most of us have started careers that keep us super busy. Some are getting married, which takes up quite a bit of a persons time and others are having children...and that obviously takes a huge time commitment. My best friend of 15 years got married last year and started a new career and I have scarcely seen her since then! I myself have a career that is strictly a 9-5...so I'm free more often than she is because her job requires long hours. We were talking about how hard it is to get our schedules to meet and then when we do something often comes up and one or the other has to cancel. And that's just life happening. I very seriously doubt your friends are doing it on purpose...same goes with your boyfriend. Evaluate their lives...take a look at how busy they are, if they seem to always have something to do then just understand and find other things for yourself to do. If it's a situation of them just not wanting to spend time with you, then you might just need to evaluate your friends honey. Good friends do make a point to at least keep some plans and make it up if they miss out a planned night. If they don't even acknowledge their absence than you might have a different scenerio than just a busy friend on your hands. Good luck in any case!
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
Well, I had a friend who was always a minimum of 20 minutes late, sometimes up to 45 minutes! But she was consistent. So I would always factor this into my plans and if we agreed to meet for dinner at 8p, I would just, in my head, plan on meeting her at 8:30p. That way, I wasn't cranky and annoyed and then she didn't feel bad making me wait for her. Are your friends/boyfriend late <i>everywhere</i> or just for plans with you? Maybe you need more dependible people in your life.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
Well, I had a friend who was always a minimum of 20 minutes late, sometimes up to 45 minutes! But she was consistent. So I would always factor this into my plans and if we agreed to meet for dinner at 8p, I would just, in my head, plan on meeting her at 8:30p. That way, I wasn't cranky and annoyed and then she didn't feel bad making me wait for her. Are your friends/boyfriend late everywhere or just for plans with you? Maybe you need more dependible people in your life.
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