Don’t Be Flaky

In general, I’m not someone who complains about much, but there are a few things that really irk me and today, I want to write about one of them. At the top of my (short-ish) list of pet peeves is flakiness. I mean really, how hard is it to do what you say you’re going to do?

I get it, flakiness is an age-old problem, but it sure is a frustrating and disappointing experience, isn’t it? Have you ever stopped to wonder why it happens so often? Why do people have such a difficult time following through with their commitments? Well, my friend, let’s explore this topic together and see if we can uncover some answers, because I need answers (haha).

Firstly, let’s acknowledge the biggest issue; life’s unpredictable and unexpected things happen that can derail even the most well-intentioned plans. A sudden illness, a family emergency, or an unexpected work deadline can all throw a wrench in our plans and make it difficult to follow through with commitments we’ve made. However, while these kinds of situations can certainly happen, they don’t fully explain why so many people struggle to follow through with their promises.

So, that makes me wonder, what else could be at play here? Well, for starters, I think we humans tend to be a bit overambitious when it comes to making plans. We want to do it all. We commit to too much and then become overwhelmed, which leads to us dropping the ball on some of our commitments (whoops). It’s important for us to be realistic about what we can and want to accomplish in the time we have available. Saying “yes” to everything is a recipe for disaster, and I feel like a lot of us say yes far too often.

Another reason people struggle to follow through with their commitments is simply due to forgetfulness. We have a lot on our minds and it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks, especially those of us who aren’t as detail oriented as others (not me, haha). Maybe we said we’d do something and genuinely meant it at the time, but then something else came up and we completely forgot about it. This is where tools like calendars, reminders, and to-do lists can be incredibly helpful. If it’s important, write it down and set a reminder so you don’t flake forget.

Of course, there are also those who simply lack the motivation or discipline to follow through with their commitments. Maybe they said they’d start exercising regularly or eat healthier, but when it comes right down to it, they just don’t have the drive to make it happen. It’s important to remember that while motivation and discipline are skills that can be developed over time, not everyone has the same starting point or capacity for building these skills.

And lastly, there’s the very real possibility that sometimes people just change their minds (excuse me?). They may have genuinely meant what they said in the moment, but as circumstances change or new information comes to light, they realize that they no longer want to or are able to follow through with what they said. This can be frustrating for those on the receiving end of the broken promises, but it’s important to remember that everyone’s entitled to change their mind, even when it lets someone else down.

Maybe it’s worth mentioning here too, that communication is key when it comes to not following through with commitments. When people fail to communicate openly and honestly and instead ‘go dark,’ it can be incredibly frustrating or even detrimental to the relationship for the person on the other end. My two cents? Don’t be afraid to have difficult or uncomfortable conversations. It’s always better in the long run.

So, as it turns out, there are actually several reasons why people flake out or struggle to do what they say they’re going to do. But after hashing this out today, I feel like I have a better understanding of why. I’m going to do my best to show grace and not take people’s flakiness to heart (as much), but what do you say we all work together to minimize our flakiness and be the reliable, dependable people we know we want to be? 😁

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