Question: I have this friend who keeps breaking dates with me at the last possible second. Each time there’s a plausible reason, but I’m beginning to wonder what’s really going on.
Welcome to the Land of Excuses, where good intentions count as reality. The old saying “The road to hell is paved with good intentions” can be appended with “roofed with excuses, and wallpapered over with rationalizations.”
Although this is not strictly a Tech Pubs situation for me, and never has been – thankfully – I have seen it in my personal life. It does crop up in work life as well, if you’re unlucky enough to have whiny, do-nothing teammates and you end up picking up all their slack.
It’s as if they drop the ball on purpose just to annoy you and prove their power. Because guess what! You can’t fire them, and your manager is obviously too spineless or otherwise hamstrung.
It’s also a problem with chronic substance abusers. They kind of wish they were the sort of person who could stay clean, or deliver on time, but it’s easier to keep pretending than it is to actually change a habit.
So no, don’t put up with this friend any longer. But don’t get drawn into long discussions of any sort because that just gives them another excuse to keep you engaged, paying attention to them, which is what they really want. Don’t retaliate in kind, either.
Rather than dumping your friend outright, ghost them. Just make yourself unavailable, and for gods sake don’t respond to phone calls, emails, texts, or social media messaging. Especially the latter two. When you feel the urge to send a “fuck you” text welling up, go out and kick a hornet’s nest instead.
With a work teammate, try ghosting in place. This means that you act like everything’s normal but you don’t believe anything they say. Act as if they are some sort of boulder that for some reason is in the middle of the office. Yes it exists, and you have to walk around it, but you wouldn’t think of assigning anything to it. Be bland, pleasant and noncommittal, and bite your tongue no matter how provoked you may feel. It’ll drive them crazy.
I would try to change departments.