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#1
Old 08-03-2009, 08:57 PM
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People who say they will do things and do not do them.

Dear People Who Say You Will Do Things and Do Not Do Them,

I realize life can be difficult. We all struggle to make ends meet, to find true love, to pursue our goals and to find that strange place that we call "happiness". And while you're going through all that difficulty, why wouldn't you want to make things much, much more difficult for other people? It seems like only a natural thing to do.

When someone asks you if you want to get together and have a conversation, don't say "no" or "maybe" or "it depends on a few things". Say "yes". Say that it will happen. Then fail to do it completely. Don't give timely warning of the fact that you're not going to get together - just wait until the last minute - or even farther. Or never contact them at all. Just leave them waiting for you at some restaurant or cafe, wondering where the Hell you are.

And when they confront you on it, speak with a combination of nihilism, narcissism, and false apology. Start by saying that you're sorry. Why should it matter that you always act like this? Just say that you're sorry.

When they counter your apology by pointing out that your unreliability is consistent and extremely inconsiderate, say "sorry, I guess I'm just not very reliable" and act as though that were some mundane fact about you that you shouldn't have to work on or care about. You're just unreliable - no big deal. Some people have dandruff. Some people aren't good at Mathematics. And you're just unbelievably, mind-bogglingly unreliable. We all have our flaws.

The person that you selfishly jerked off might object further. This is when you need to drop the narcissism. Say things like "well if I'm so unreliable then why do you want to be my friend?" or "yeah, really, I'm just a terrible person". Act as though the fact that you were extremely inconsiderate to them is their problem, not your problem. You're not capable of wrong - if they're annoyed at your inability to do what you explicitly said that you'd do, that's their issue. Insist that they're "making a big deal out of it" and that it's really not something they should be getting riled up about.

We all need the caring and attention of others for comfort, for stimulation, and for the chance to share experiences with other people. Always remember that, at least for a while, you can get exactly what you want from others without returning even half of their consideration. And if they catch on to your bullshit, there will always be others who are there for you, thinking about you. Waiting for you, in fact.

Sincerely,
Joseph
#2
Old 08-03-2009, 09:10 PM
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Um, if you know someone well enough to know that they are incredibly unreliable, you're an idiot to continue making arrangements with them that require that they be reliable. At this point, it is a mundane fact about them. Either live with it or stop setting up situations in which they have to be reliable just so they can fail, as you already know they will. It's an inconsiderate and somewhat weaselly trait, but it's also not fair to insist that someone change if you just give them enough opportunities and berate them afterward for not meeting your expectations. He is who he is. Take it or leave it, but stop punishing him for it when it's half your fault for continuing to expect what you know he can't fulfill.

Edit: singular male pronoun used for simplicity

Last edited by supergoose; 08-03-2009 at 09:11 PM.
#3
Old 08-03-2009, 09:16 PM
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Trust is built one way: people do what they say they will do. If they don't, you cannot trust them.

That is such a simple concept that I was not in touch with. My ex never...seriously, NEVER did ANYTHING he said he was going to do. Sometimes he would do it after months or years of saying he would and then not, but as a general rule of thumb, if he said he was going to do it, that meant he wouldn't. The reverse was also true: if he said he would NOT do something, that was pretty much a guarantee that he WOULD do it.

Yet I trusted him.

Shame on me.

Now that I understand this very simple and fundamental concept, my trust will be formed properly in future.

The point though, is that the error was mine in that I was not paying attention to the information that was plainly in front of me.
#4
Old 08-03-2009, 09:53 PM
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I know somebody that nobody can depend on that I can't help but interact with. They are so reliably going to blow off their commitments you can count on knowing what will not be happening that day. Calling 30 to 60 minutes after they are supposed to be doing something important, they will tell you sorry we got tied up at McDonald's in a town 50 to 200 miles away. I may have to talk to this couple, but I never believe any commitment they lie that they will be keeping.
#5
Old 08-04-2009, 11:05 AM
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For me, this is the height of passive-aggressiveness. I'd prefer that people Just Say No. Don't lie to me and pretend you are going to follow through on the commitment you just made to me. If you can't do the favor/make the appointment/whatever you said you would do, then just friggin' tell me that.

Do this to me once and I drop you like a hot rock.
#6
Old 08-04-2009, 11:17 AM
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I have a friend who is habitually late so I figured I show him how annoying it was. One day when we were supposed to get together for lunch I didn't leave my house until I was supposed to be there and I lived a half hour away. Well, he never called asking where I was so I was, I got to the restaurant, looked for him and he wasn't there. As I walking out thinking he had left he walked into the restaurant just showing up. I laughed my ass off even trying I can't be as late as this guys is accidentally.

What I'm trying to say is that if their friends you accept their quirks and appreciate them for them (and plan appropriately). If it gets to the point that the frustration they cause you is worse then the joy you need to drop that friend.
#7
Old 08-04-2009, 11:31 AM
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When I read the title of this I thought that the OP was pitting everybody. Because everybody at one time or another plans to do something and then fails to do it for any number of reasons.

But then I saw that the OP was pitting a person who consistently does this so I figured this must be a self-pitting.

After all, why would you continue to set yourself up to be inconvenienced by someone else?
#8
Old 08-04-2009, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BubbaDog View Post
When I read the title of this I thought that the OP was pitting everybody. Because everybody at one time or another plans to do something and then fails to do it for any number of reasons.
And if you call to cancel/explain/say you'll be late/whatever, I have no problem with that whatsoever. I call that basic consideration and will forgive--and wait for that person. When someone commits themselves to me, I expect that basic manners will dictate that the person will communicate if the plans change. Otherwise, I think it's just rude and disrespectful and a shitty way to treat your friends if you just show up whenever you feel like it or not at all. Why is someone else's time so much more valuable than mine that they cannot even be bothered to be polite enough to say, "Hey, I'm going to be 30 minutes late, but I'm on my way"? I really don't see that as expecting too much from a friend/coworker/family member.

People who do this consistently and habitually--without calling ahead to explain how piss-poor their time management is--I assume they are either so narcissistic and self-absorbed they aren't even aware they share the planet with other humans, or so passive-aggressive that they can't bring themselves to communicate clearly what they can or cannot commit to.

This is my pet peeve, btw.
#9
Old 08-04-2009, 12:08 PM
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I agree that someone in the OP's shoes would do well to learn not to trust this person to abide by their word, but at the same time, I think part of what he's pitting is the tendency to take this kind of situation as a whole and place all of the responsibility on him.

Why should the other guy (hereafter referred to as Guy) be expected to act with a modicum of consideration for anyone else? The OP knows for a fact that Guy is incapable of ever changing his ways, so the onus is now entirely on the OP to alter his own behavior to suit that. I very rarely use this phrase, but this is a pretty cut and dried example of the blame-the-victim mentality.

Sure, for practical purposes, he shouldn't trust Guy to do what he says he will, and if the OP were to plan anything of importance around that happening, that'd be a stupid thing to do. But that's not what he's griping about. He's saying that Guy is a douchebag for not following up on his promises, and then when called on it, turning the situation around and acting as though it's everyone else's fault that Guy is unreliable.

So, he pits Guy to call him out on it, and the first few responses...turn it around on him and tell him it's his own fault. I think his pitting seems pretty-well justified on all counts.
#10
Old 08-04-2009, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bith Shuffle View Post
Say things like "well if I'm so unreliable then why do you want to be my friend?"
That's a good question. Why do you want to be this person's friend if they're so unreliable?
#11
Old 08-04-2009, 12:34 PM
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There comes a point where you just have to accept people for who they are. It's not the person's responsibility to change themselves to suit you. Yes, standing you up is a dick move, but what're you gonna do? The person is unreliable, they are honest about being unreliable so don't put yourself in a situation where you rely on them.
#12
Old 08-04-2009, 12:49 PM
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Dude. I flaked!
#13
Old 08-04-2009, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mswas View Post
There comes a point where you just have to accept people for who they are.
What I came to say. Either the person is overall worth it, and you put up with the negatives, or they are not worth it and you kick em to the curb.

My gf is almost always late. But, IMO, she is well worth the wait.
#14
Old 08-04-2009, 01:19 PM
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I think a lot of people here have made some valid points, but perspective is important. If someone you barely know (like a first date or business acquaintance) is late, I would definitely consider it a problem; it's a terrible impression to make and you should be upset. Similarly, even if it's someone you know tends to be habitually late, if it's something really important and they're aware how important it is, then I can understand being upset because you often can't adjust or work around important things.

OTOH, if it's someone you know well enough to know that they have a tendency to be late, then it is your responsibility. If you're going to meet for lunch with them, you can plan around them being late and it really isn't that hard to do so. If you know they're generally 15 minutes late, tell them to meet you 15 minutes earlier than you otherwise would. For instance, I used to know someone who was almost always at least an hour late when we would plan events so I just flat told him to come by an hour or more earlier than I planned to leave. If he showed up on time, we could hang out a bit if we couldn't leave then (like if it was for a movie) or we could just leave earlier (like if it was for a concert). If it was something where timing was really important because it was a busy schedule, then I'd give him the actual time, make it clear that he couldn't be late or he'd be left behind (and still owe me for the tickets that we now couldn't use if I couldn't sell them), and often, we left him behind.

If that's too much frustration for you based on the relationship, then why are you holding on? It's one thing if it's a sibling or another type of relationship you can't sever, but you can still generally at least reduce contact if it's that bothersome. By remaining in a relationship with someone, then you sort of implicitly accept the circumstances of that relationship which means everything quirky sense of humor, habitual tardiness, and all. That doesn't mean you shouldn't make them aware of your displeasure and see if they'll make adjustments. Hell, maybe they don't know how much it bothers you and are willing to be more punctual; maybe they just really don't care that much and it's another sign to reconsider the relationship.

And why does that person have to or not have to work on it for you? Obviously they see the consequences that go with the action. If people get annoyed and berate them or stop wanting to spend time with them, that's their choice to make, just like it's your choice to decide how your level of involvement with that person. The only person you can change is yourself, so it just doesn't make sense to be upset at people for changing or not changing, instead, it's just a lot easier and less stressful to adjust yourself instead, especially when it's something as simple as adjusting the time you tell them to meet up or simply not meeting up with them at a time when, if they're late, you won't have enough time.
#15
Old 08-04-2009, 02:00 PM
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I personally will not make plans with someone who simply doesn't show up.
#16
Old 08-04-2009, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supergoose View Post
Um, if you know someone well enough to know that they are incredibly unreliable, you're an idiot to continue making arrangements with them that require that they be reliable.
Dumping the motherfucker would make perfect sense if he was always late. Sadly some people go though the process described by the OP only 1 out of every 6 or 7 meetings.
The unreliably un-reliable Guy is far more frustrating than the reliably un-reliable Guy.
#17
Old 08-04-2009, 02:21 PM
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My wife and I are on a Pub Quiz team with some friends. There's 5 of us, and the max allowable per team is 6. For the Final Quiz, we thought it would be good to get a 6th person, just to ramp up our odds. My wife knows someone, but two other members of the team are engaged to be married, and thought their Best Man would be perfect; they asked first and he eagerly accepted, so we had to disappoint my wife's friend.

The night of the quiz, he's a no-show. He had been playing golf with the groom-to-be the day before, and confirmed. The evening of the quiz, however -- nothing. Wouldn't return phone calls or texts. We came in 3rd place out of 6 teams, and knew we could have done better with an extra brain.

The next day, his excuse was, "Oh, I got involved in cleaning my house and completely forgot about it. Sorry."

Will he make it to the wedding on time? Or will his fascinating gutters need cleaning?
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Last edited by Daithi Lacha; 08-04-2009 at 02:21 PM. Reason: "Will," not "we'll."
#18
Old 08-04-2009, 02:28 PM
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A few dopers have responded by more-or-less saying "well why are you still friends with them if they're so unreliable?"

I'm generally not. However, let's look at this logically: there is going to always be some point at which you realize that an individual's unreliability is habitual, rather than temporary or accidental. Until that point, I give people the benefit of the doubt, and I can't be blamed for this. The OP is about the point at which you realize that the friend is a noobslice and contact with him/her must be cut off.

I do not remain friends with people who are habitually inconsistent and impolite. But there is always a final straw, which is generally a very irritating straw to pull.
#19
Old 08-04-2009, 02:34 PM
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From the song People Say by Wolfgang Press:
Quote:
People say they think
But they don't
And then they say they will
But they won't

Last edited by Ike Witt; 08-04-2009 at 02:35 PM.
#20
Old 08-04-2009, 03:04 PM
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There is an old thread by a poster that isn't around anymore as far as I know that actually disturbed me. It is the flip-side to most of this pitting and illustrates a completely different thought process from those who habitually inconvenience others regarding the matter of being on time or not showing up at all.

Seems on time/early people are rude even when people *aren't* late

http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/...sion+erislover
#21
Old 08-04-2009, 04:07 PM
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Extremes usually are irritating. It usually doesn't matter which end of the stick they beat you with.
#22
Old 08-04-2009, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagnasty View Post
There is an old thread by a poster that isn't around anymore as far as I know that actually disturbed me. It is the flip-side to most of this pitting and illustrates a completely different thought process from those who habitually inconvenience others regarding the matter of being on time or not showing up at all.
I didn't read the whole thread, but I felt like I read enough to understand the perspective of the OP, and I don't think that's a fair assessment at all. AFAICT, he and I would generally agree that there's a neurotic fixation on time in our culture and it leads to a lot of silliness. Sure, there are some people who are habitually late and some people take it as a personal offense to the point of ending friendships over it. I just think that's overkill.

Say, for instance, you plan to have lunch with someone at noon who is often late, and you can only stay for an hour because you have to go back to work. What's the big deal if they show up 5 minutes late? You still have plenty of time to order, eat, and get out on time without being rushed. Cut them some slack, enjoy their company, and just forget about it. Even if it is a common occurence, is it really worth ending a friendship over?

If they show up 10 or 15 minutes late? So maybe you won't have enough time to casually order, and eat. So you know what, you just go ahead and order at a point to make sure you won't be have to shove food in your face or be late for work and let them manage their own time if they'll be late somewhere else. You can still enjoy 45 minutes together if you enjoy their company, right? And, you weren't exactly planning anything else for those 10 or 15 minutes, so what's the big deal?

I can understand if someone is, say, 15 minutes late, then gets upset that you already ordered or that you can't stay after a certain time. That's when they're saying their time is more important than yours. Otherwise, if that 15 minutes that you would have otherwise been spending with them anyway, so I just can't really understand being upset about it.

I can also understand if you have hard plans that can't be changed like a concert or a movie. In those cases, one is well advised to try to allow enough time to meet up in advance and then if they can't make it in time, just leave without them. If they make a big deal that you left without them, that's one thing, otherwise, I just fail to see what the big deal is.

And it goes both ways too. Plenty of times I've waited around on other people too, and I apply the same guidelines. If I can wait, I do, and if I can't, I don't; it's just not worth getting upset over. The only time I can remember getting upset with someone else being late was when I was still somewhat early in a relationship, a friend was having a bachelor party and his fiancee was having a bachelorette party at the same time. I ended up being late because I was going to give her a ride but an hour after we were supposed to meet up she wasn't ready, so I had to arrange a ride for her (which involved getting one of the women from the bachelorette party to leave to go pick her up). Still not a big deal until I found out later that she still wasn't ready to be picked up more than 3 hours after that, so she was more than 4 hours late total and got there pretty much when the whole thing was winding up and, to make matters worse, did some other obnoxious stuff when she got there. Of course, since the relationship was still young, her being THAT late made all them think poorly of her, and while I don't insist my friends approve of my girlfriends, it's certainly better for everyone if they like her. And even then, I told her I was upset, why I was upset, I forgave her, and that was that.


In my mind, it really just comes down to whether you value a particular relationship more or less than you value that time that got wasted when they were late. If they're someone you don't really like anyway, I can understand that being a catalyst for ending or modifying the relationship. But if it is worth that time, then you obviously want to keep that relationship, so you just learn to cope with it.

Really, I have to ask, do people really schedule all day every day within less than 5-minutes of tollerance? I can understand for some days that are just really busy with work and errands and other obligations, but every day? And even if you're that busy, how do you deal with traffic jams and other unexpected inconveniences? I couldn't imagine trying to spend some time with someone, muchless enjoying myself, with that sort of inflexible schedule every single day.
#23
Old 08-04-2009, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Bith Shuffle View Post
A few dopers have responded by more-or-less saying "well why are you still friends with them if they're so unreliable?"
To which I reply she's not my friend, she's my sister-in-law and if I ever want to see my nieces and nephews, I have to suck it up with a smile.

Probably every person in the whole world can say essentially the same thing, substituting in "boss", "parent" or "spouse-who-wasn't-like-this-when-we-dated-I-swear!".
#24
Old 08-06-2009, 06:07 AM
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The Scorpian

A boyfriend once told me he was a scorpian (or snake?), and that I could not trust him. Yet he wooed me anyway, always in the back of his mind, I think, that he had all the right in the world to treat me badly because I had been duly warned. He was absolutely truthful about his character. Not to be trusted. Pretty twisted, eh?
#25
Old 08-06-2009, 06:51 AM
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I'm going to post a really interesting anecdote to this thread.
#26
Old 08-06-2009, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy_Easter View Post
A boyfriend once told me he was a scorpian (or snake?), and that I could not trust him. Yet he wooed me anyway, always in the back of his mind, I think, that he had all the right in the world to treat me badly because I had been duly warned. He was absolutely truthful about his character. Not to be trusted. Pretty twisted, eh?
It sounds like he was the opposite of the thread title. Pretty admirable.
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