You invite her to every event, you call regularly, and somehow, your friend always has an excuse — sound familiar? When a friend repeatedly flakes out on plans, forgets to check in, or fades into her own world, it's hard not to get upset and take it personally. If the relationship is important to you, though, don't dismiss the friendship altogether. Instead, follow these four steps to put your shaky friendship back on track:
- Consider her perspective. Everybody has to bail on plans sometimes, but take a step back to acknowledge where your friend is coming from. Is she extra busy at work? In a new relationship? Has she been turning away from other people, too, or does it seem like it's just you? Put yourself in her shoes to see what may be going on — whether it's about you, your friendship, or a separate issue she's dealing with on her own.
- Be persistent. Just because she can't make it to one or two events, that doesn't mean you should write off your friend altogether. Give your friendship a shot and regularly invite her to hang out, even if it feels like she's never available. She'll appreciate the effort, and you may find out that her flaky behavior is just a phase.
- Check in with her. She won't be able to step up her friendship game if she doesn't know there's a problem in the first place. Next time she ducks out of plans at the last minute, ask her if everything's OK. Even if she gets defensive, it's worth reaching out to be sure there's not a deeper issue.
- Know what works for you. Every friendship is different, and it's up to you to decide what kind of relationship you'd like to have with her. If you're running out of patience and can't keep putting in effort when it's not reciprocated, take a temporary step back. There's no need to create black-and-white boundaries — let your friendship live in the gray area for a while, and sooner or later, she may just come around.