I like plans. I like being on time. I like communicating when something in the plans has changed. I would rather over communicate then not know what is going on or have something unexpected happen. Not everyone is like me – which is probably a good thing because, I’ll admit, my type-A personality could use some calming down every now and then. However, regardless of your personality, I think it’s safe to say most people don’t like being stood up. Here’s what you should do if it should happen to you.
Don’t over think it. When someone no-shows me, my mind instantly goes into story mode where it comes up with tons of possible scenarios of what could have happened. From a horrible car accident to them just being inconsiderate jerks, the possibilities are endless. If this is you, try to settle your mind. There is no point getting worked up over something, especially when you don’t even know the truth behind what you’re getting worked up about yet.
Ask about it. The best thing you can do, especially when your mind starts making up stories, is to reach out to the person. Give them the benefit of the doubt – something serious could have happened. It never hurts to ask why they didn’t show or why they canceled plans without letting you know ahead of time. It’s the only way to know what really happened.
Don’t hold it against them. Holding a grudge never results in a resolution.
The best thing you can do for yourself is forgive them for what happened and move forward.
You get to decide if moving forward means giving them another chance or if it means investing less in the relationship. But whatever direction you go, the first step is forgiveness either way.
Practice direct communication. Don’t go tell your other friend who will tell her mother who will tell her coworker about the situation. Because your friend’s, mother’s, coworker’s, brother’s best friend might know the person. Regardless of the situation, gossip is never a good idea.
The quickest way to work something out is to do it with the person or people directly involved. And even though it’s so “last generation,” give them a call on the phone or talk to them in person.
This way there is less room for interpretation and miscommunication.
Be clear about your expectations. Maybe they didn’t know how serious you were about the night or the fact that you would like to communicate better when plans are going to be cancelled. Now is a good time to be clear about your expectations in the relationship, which allows you the chance to share your needs and allows the other person a chance to meet them. If you don’t voice your expectations, they may never get met – in all types of relationships, with friends, love interests, co-workers, and even family.
Share your feelings. Let them know how it made you feel. Being honest about your feelings may be intimidating to you at first, but it really opens the door to take a relationship deeper, learn about each other, and move forward stronger than before. I am a strong believer in the fact that sharing your feelings does not mean you are weak or too sensitive. Everyone has feelings – whether they express them or not – and everyone gets their feelings hurt at some point. Part of building healthy relationships is feeling comfortable sharing those feelings with other person and trusting they are going to be handled well.
Know who you’re dealing with. If you start to see a pattern in a person’s behavior, take note. You may be dealing with a flakey person. It’s not your job to try to change their ways, but you can share your expectations and set boundaries with them. You will know not to get too attached to plans you’ve made with them or stop making plans with them all together.
Moral of the story: don’t let someone’s lack of communication or consideration ruin your night. Forgive them and move forward; share your feelings, communicate, and set expectations for the next time. And most importantly, be super considerate when the roles are switched, and make sure you’re not leaving anyone hanging. Nobody likes that.