How To Cancel Plans With A Friend Over Text, According To An Expert
Let's be honest: Our besties just make our days so much better. Whether we met them at work, shared a space in college, or have known them since day one, we don't want to imagine what life looks like without our friends hanging around. They're our reliable shoulders to cry on, and the ones who are always down for a spontaneous adventure. We love hanging out with them, so it's awful to have to bail on plans, especially last-minute. Even the most casual coffee date can cause some awkward vibes when it's canceled by someone in your crew. So, it's understandable that you might stress out over how to cancel plans with a friend over text. But it's actually quite easy if you follow a few steps.
You know how it feels to get canceled on, and don't want to put your best friend in that same place. Maybe something came up last-minute, or you just can't hang today. Being honest and staying true to yourself and how you feel is important, too. Odds are, your bestie knows you well enough that she'll be disappointed, but also understanding. Life happens, and sometimes the unexpected gets in the way of our weekends.
Like any relationship you have, it's all about communication and spending time together. Find a balance of both. Elite Daily reached out to LeslieBeth Wish, Ed. D., noted psychotherapist, author of Smart Relationships, and founder of www.lovevictory.com, for her insight on how to cancel plans with a friend over text, and she responded with seven steps we can all follow.
1. Always offer up a reason.
According to Wish, if you need to cancel plans with your bestie, be sure to always give her a solid reason. Don't leave your friend wondering what happened, and why you can't make it to yet another coffee date. She deserves to know the whole story, or at least a few parts so she doesn't feel completely left out of the picture.
Sometimes being so blunt can feel hard because you don't want to come across as fake, and you want your best friend to believe your reasoning to be real. The key is to be straightforward, and don't try and sugarcoat the situation in the process. Your bestie will appreciate the honesty, and won't be left worrying about you or your friendship — because let's be real, we all overthink these things sometimes.
2. Show your friend how disappointed you are.
We all want to feel like our friends are thinking about us, and care just as much as we do. On any given day, you'd probably put everything aside to eat ice cream with them and listen to their rants about the real world. So, you want them to know just how disappointed you are when those moments can't happen.
Showing your bestie some appreciation isn't always easy. (If only every day was Galentine's Day, am I right? Nothing beats a plate of delicious waffles.) But, when you're canceling plans over text, you should definitely try and leave a little extra love.
"Tell the person how much you enjoy your time together, and how much you were looking forward to it," Wish tells Elite Daily. This kind of reassurance will go a long way, and it'll remind your bestie that she's still such a priority in your life, despite the fact that you had to bail on your plans.
3. Say you're sorry.
Don't ever underestimate the power of a good old-fashioned apology. It doesn't necessarily even need to be a huge production, but Wish says that you shouldn't make it "short and sweet," either. Simply saying "I'm sorry" in a text when you're canceling plans can once again show that you care and realize that you're bailing on your bestie. But, according to Wish, there are ways to make it even better.
"The most important things to say in an apology — other than 'I'm sorry' — are: [a] clear admission statement of what you did wrong, [a] solution statement, [and] a connecting statement," she tells Elite Daily. In other words, don't just apologize, but also acknowledge what it is that you "did wrong." In this case, maybe it's over-scheduling yourself, or not being able to commit to plans. Then say something that you appreciate about your bond that will remind your friend why you always stick around, despite canceling on her again.
4. Make new plans.
Just because you couldn't follow through on these plans doesn't mean that you should bail on them forever. Sure, certain activities are kind of a one-time thing. But, if you and your bestie can still see each other in another way, or stick to the original plan on a different day, make it happen.
According to Wish, you shouldn't wait or push your plans out a couple of weeks when it's seemingly more convenient for you. Truth is, life will surely happen again, and you want to be sure that you can spend some time together.
"Set a time now for when you can have a rain check," Wish says. "And don't set a date too far into the future. Your friend might need to discuss something right away." It might not always be this urgent, but you're someone who your bestie holds close. It's always possible that she really needs you to talk out life with her and give her some good advice.
5. Tell her you'd love to treat her.
"Treat yo' self" takes a whole new meaning when you're canceling plans with a friend over text. After explaining to your bestie why you have to bail, apologizing, and showing some disappointment, you might want to offer to treat her when you do go out on the town. Maybe your original plans were to have lunch or hit up a local diner for a plate of home fries late at night. Covering the small cost of her coffee will be a nice gesture, especially if she's not taking the news all too well.
In this scenario, however, don't let your friend take advantage of your offer or make you feel unnecessarily bad. She shouldn't want to put you down for canceling plans, and you don't want to be left feeling like a terrible person. Find the balance between the two, and know that as long as you're being honest and doing the right thing, she should understand.
6. Find a good time to call.
Calling your bestie will never go out of style. Sometimes, a text just isn't the best form of communication. Feelings tend to get lost in translation, and don't even get me started on sarcasm. If you need to cancel plans with your friend, be sure to follow up with a phone call in some way. This can be a great way to temporarily replace all of those conversations you were going have in person, and it shows that you still care.
"Arrange to speak on the phone with them that day or the next — even if it is just for few minutes," Wish tells Elite Daily. Friends who are used to the long-distance life know that talking like this can go a long way. And according to Wish, a phone call takes the pressure off decoding body language on top of everything else.
7. Steer clear of sarcasm.
There's always a time and a place for sarcasm, and humor in general. Sometimes we try to be funny to lighten the mood between us and our besties, or to cheer up our friends when they're feeling down. But, in a situation where you're canceling plans, being sarcastic can come across in a really negative way.
Wish says certain comments can "communicate intolerance, dismissal, and lack of being a team player." You want your friend to know that you care and are willing to put in the effort at another point in time. Don't burn your bridges over not making it to brunch. Odds are, your bestie knows your personality and wouldn't take it too harshly by any means. However, it's always better to be safe than sorry — and she'll appreciate that you're being sincere.
Truth is, no matter what the situation may be, we hate to blow off anyone in our girl crew. Knowing how to text our friends to cancel plans is a good way of keeping and continuing to build those strong foundations.
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