I'm gonna level with you, at first glance I am what one would call a "flaky" friend. The thing is, it's not like I ditch my plans last minute for other plans or someone else out of spitefulness or boredom. I back out usually out of a feeling a get. Sometimes I get really anxious before I go out and in that moment I decide that it is better to stay home and calm myself instead of forcing myself to go through the stress of whatever I'm doing. Other times I get tired or feel like being around people would cause me to lose more energy than I would like to. What I'm learning is that this is NOT a bad thing in any way. Sure it doesn't seem right to people who don't know or understand why, but it makes sense to me and my close friends and that's what matters to me. So fear not, you too are allowed to skip plans guilt free!
I used to make all kinds of excuses to miss things because I didn't know how to explain what I felt without feeling embarrassed and like a huge bummer. Seriously, I would lie about forgetting about a previous plan, helping my family, and so many other things. Probably not the best way to have people understand where I was coming from but that was past me. Me right now is learning to be honest and taking ownership of being anxious and both introverted and extroverted whatever that means. Now when I make plans and start to get an off feeling I tell the person I'm hanging out with what's going on without really saying what's going on. I say things like " I'm not feeling too well right now, I don't think I can come out later" or if I still feel social I change locations or times. Most of the time my friends are so accepting and fine with this. Especially if they are close to me, they know when I am anxious and won't pressure me into anything.
As I mentioned above, it's ok to offer a situation that accommodates you more. It doesn't always work out but most of the time when this happens I like to ask myself how social I feel. If it's not happening at all then I politely decline or excuse myself from the plans. When I still feel like hanging out then I think of what would be my ideal situation. That could be going to a movie because it's a set time and I can leave after, going for a walk in the park if I feel overwhelmed, inviting the other person over because I don't want to leave the house and I'm sure you get the idea here. Same thing goes for timing. Food and eating out is a big deal for me right now so I like to plan things around meal times so I don't end up over explaining my situation. Usually I eat at home and I bring snacks out with me and that has been working lately. Overall as long as you are polite changing the plans could be a great idea.
Being the one to cancel plans,sometimes last minute, does not feel awesome. However give yourself props for listening to yourself! So what you don't want to go out? Forcing yourself out can be worse. I have made myself go out only to feel meh the whole time, even with someone I love. Your feelings are so valid and being in tune with your body results in some good things. It takes me a bit but releasing guilt about this has made me so much happier. I love staying in now. I read a good book, watch movies and cook myself food. Yay self care! So fear not kiddo, get into something comfy and chill.
I would also like to make a statement about invites and declining them. Occasionally there are friends of mine or friend groups of mine that will stop inviting me to things because I don't show up, I back out or something along those lines. It is real poop and isolating. However, it is NOT a problem. When it's close friends maybe talk to them about what the situation is. With everyone else just let it go. You will be ok and you can have fun without those plans!!!
I hope this has helped take some social pressure off. Post a comment if you too, are the flaky friend!! We can talk about all the fun we have watching Netflix ;)
Love and Light,
P.s If you are not going anywhere ever due to mental health please let someone know how you're feeling