MY STORY ON FLAKING ON PLANS
by Wilhelmina Handley
I have flaked on plans in the past and at the time have loved how good it felt. I love how good it felt to flake on plans I really didn’t want any part of in the first place. Sweet relief! (But I swear, I really don’t do this often.)
However, I’ll be the first to admit that my plan cancelling was usually the result of something that runs a little deeper than the desire to stay in my PJs and be lazy on the couch. In fact, flakiness — especially sudden-onset flakiness — can sometimes be an indicator of something going on with your mental health.
So, whether you’re a chronic flake or it’s more of a once in a while thing, you might be able to learn a thing or two if you dig a little deeper and analyse the reasons why you flake. Here are my explanations from personal experience why I flaked on plans.
You’re Experiencing Anxiety
If you’re feeling those dreaded nerves kick in when a plan is approaching, you might be experiencing anxiety, which often manifests physically as well as mentally. For example, you might get a “nervous stomach” and feel some not-so-pleasant butterflies in your belly as a social obligation draws near. Anxiety can make you fear even the littlest things, which may hold you back from living your life to the fullest — including attending potentially fun social events or even dating if you happen to be single. You may dream up dreadful worst-case scenarios that lead you to worry about what bad things could happen. Everyone has done this at some stage. This is common in people with anxiety who fear judgement and worry extensively about how people in social settings may perceive them.
BUT what if? What if you could break through that barrier and encourage yourself to go on that social outing or a date and you enjoyed it? WOW! What if that would be wonderful?
Having said that and trying to pull a positive thought when my anxiety was peaking and holding onto to it and even exploring the positive thought was short lived because I quickly gave into the little voice (the negative one) which was where I felt comfortable. And also, I was used to being there.
You Have Low Self Esteem
This one goes hand in hand with flaking on dates or larger social situations. Having low self-esteem in regard to your outward appearance or your personality (and how people perceive you) can make it hard to attend social gatherings or date. By putting yourself out there, you may feel extremely vulnerable and subject to judgement. When your insecurities are outsized, this can cause extreme discomfort. When you cancel plans and avoid socializing, you forgo the risk of being judged or belittled. The lower your self-esteem, the more likely you are to flake.
I have learned through my spiritual journey that I am no longer concerned with what people think of me. Once I learned to live an authentic life, not only being truthful to everyone I came into contact with and most of all I stopped lying to myself. When I was able to live in my truth, my self-esteem grew as I noticed people still liked me, people still wanted to hang out with me. I also learned that when someone asked me out on a date, I no longer heard the little voice say “he is out of your league” or “why would he be interested in you”? I heard myself saying “let me explore if this person is good enough to be in my life”?
Who can resonate? Would love to hear your comments or your story?