excuses to cancel plans, canceling plans, canceled plans, cancel plans with friends

Why You Want to Make Excuses to Cancel Plans When the Day Comes

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Have you experienced this? You reach out to an existing, new, or potential friend to make plans. You pick an activity, a time, and a date. And you are so excited to hang out with them, to finally have something to do on a Friday or Saturday night, and to prioritize friendships in your life. But then the day comes to actually hang out and all you want to do is find excuses to cancel plans. Here are three reasons you may be canceling plans and what you can do to overcome the urge to do so. 

1. You’re Not in the Same Mood as When You Made the Plans

If you made plans with a new friend when you were having a great day but are then having a crappy day when it comes time to actually hang out, you’ll likely try to find excuses to cancel plans. You might not feel like you’re in a good enough mood to go and be friendly and cheerful and fun to be around. This is especially true for new or developing friendships. You want to make sure you are likable and bring a good vibe to the hangout. So, if you aren’t having a good day, aren’t in a good mood, are tired, or the like it can be hard to muster up the fake smiles and go. 

Instead of Canceling Plans, Try This

Think about how you felt when you made the plans. Were you excited about a new connection or what you planned to do together? There is a reason you wanted to hang out in the first place… try to find that reason again. Then, take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Why did you want to hang out at all? This exact situation happened to me. I made plans to go on a bike right with someone I’d never spent any real time with before. I was so excited when we made the plans because I’ve been wanting to find a girlfriend to ride with for years. Years. That’s the bigger picture. Even though I had a rough day and didn’t feel like going on the ride, I remembered why I was so excited in the first place and went. And you know what? I had a really great time. I’m so glad I didn’t let a bad day ruin what I’ve wanted for so long. 

2. You’re Nervous or Anxious About Spending Time with Someone New

I totally get this one. Introverts are pros at finding excuses to cancel plans. If you’re not a “social butterfly,” making plans feels great at the moment but can feel dreadful when it comes time to do them. Nerves creep up. Anxiety rises. Maybe the Devil starts chirping in your ear about how nobody likes you, you’re boring, awkward, and a bad conversationalist. All of these thoughts and feelings can become so overwhelming that the only glimpse of relief is to cancel plans. 

Instead of Canceling Plans, Try This

Identify what exactly it is you are nervous or anxious about and come to the hangout prepared. For example, if you are hanging out with a new friend, you may start to worry it will be awkward and you won’t have much to talk about. In that case, make sure you do. Prep ideas and topics ahead of time so that if the conversation slows at any point, you already have questions and subjects ready to help pick it back up again. Be sure to ask When, Why, What, Where, and How questions rather than Yes/No questions to keep the conversation moving. Here are some topic ideas and questions to ask:


Do you have siblings? If so, what is your relationship like? If not, how was it growing up as an only child?

Where did you grow up? Would you ever move back to/out of your hometown? Why or why not?


Did you go to college? If so, what was your experience like? If not, what did you do right after high school?


What do you do for work? 

You mentioned what you do for work… is it what you are passionate about? What are your hopes and dreams for your career and plans for pursuing your passions?


Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? How did you meet? How long have you been together? If not, how is your experience living the “single life” right now?


What are your favorite hobbies or pastime activities? How did you get into doing that hobby or activity?

Remember, people like to talk about themselves. It makes them feel heard, liked, and understood. So, ask questions! It will ensure the conversation flows and everyone has an enjoyable time. 

3. You Start Assuming the Worst and Get Yourself in a Funk

If you make plans to hang out in a week, that gives you plenty of time to overthink every little thing, get yourself in a funk, and start trying to find excuses to cancel plans. Does any of this sound familiar?

  • They probably only said “yes” to hanging out because they felt bad for me not because they’re actually interested in being my friend.
  • It’s not going to work out anyway, so why should I waste my time and energy trying?
  • They probably have enough friends and don’t need me, so it’ll be super one-sided anyway.
  • We don’t know each other very well so it’s going to be super awkward and uncomfortable. *Insert a bunch of unlikely scenarios that feel extremely real and likely in your head.*
  • They probably won’t like me or want to hang out again. And even if they do, they are probably too busy to invest in a friendship.

Instead of Canceling Plans, Try This

Our minds are amazing. They can ruin something before it even starts. Don’t let it. Don’t let your irrational thoughts win and keep you from amazing friendships before they begin. If you are really concerned about one of these things being an issue, don’t cancel plans. Instead, bring it up while you are hanging out. Ask the person their thoughts about it. For example, if you know they have a busy schedule, talk about it. Ask them what days are usually best to hang out. See if you have a hobby in common that they already spend time doing that you could just join in on. You never know! 

Our minds are amazing. They can ruin something before it even starts. Don’t let it. Don’t let your irrational thoughts win and keep you from amazing friendships before they begin.

Finding Excuses to Cancel Plans is Common… Be Unusual

There is a time and a place to use your excuses to cancel plans. But it isn’t every time the day comes to hang out with a new friend. You’ll never build the meaningful relationships and community you’ve always wanted. So, give yourself some grace some days. And, other days, don’t cancel plans. Do them, even when you don’t feel like it. Even when it’s hard or uncomfortable. It’ll be worth it in the long run, and you’ll be happy you did.

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