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Why do people flake out? By Serusha Govender, upwave. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. The truth is, the spontaneous, "free-spirit" behavior known as "flaking out" isn't really all that benign. Story highlights We all flake out sometimes, but it can go too far "Free spirits" may lack peoplf Ignoring your friend's constant flake-out can harm the relationship The rumor: People who flake out are just scatterbrained; it's OK to cut them some slack We all have that friend who's a bit of a flake.

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Less of the trait of agreeableness," he notes. But over the past year or so, my friends and I have started to sense that people are "flaking" a lot more often. Kurt Gray, a psychology professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, has been looking intoas he puts it, "whether technology makes you a jerk.

Only you know what your priorities are in life—the friends who really matter to you and how you really want to spend your free time is drinking with friends at a bar truly high on the list, for instance, or would you rather be at an evening class or playing a team sport?

Inresearchers found evidence that communicating through speech as opposed to text has a profound impact on what we think of people, and reminds us of their human qualities. Richard Koestner, of McGill University says that back in the '60s in New York City, people who didn't show up to scheduled activities were called "flatleavers," as in they left you with a flat tire and no means to get anywhere else.

They've developed something of a reputation for not showing. I know what you're thinking: But if they're "yes" people, why do doo eventually blow me off anyway?

Yeah, we all have at least one lovable but totally unreliable person in our lives. Are you?

While this attitude certainly doesn't come from a place of malice, it can cause some serious problems down the road if people feel that they can't rely on you or feel that you're too disorganized to ahy through on your word. You can probably think of a time when you committed to something in the future that, when the time finally came, you just didn't feel like doing it, like starting a diet, or a new spin class — all of those new year's resolutions.

Isn't that the same thing as an eventual "no? When the day arrives, I start to dread it. Yes, I want to be someone who shows up for my friends! Dear Tonic, I want to see my friends, go out, be social, and I've never considered myself an overwhelmingly socially anxious person.

One way to do this, especially if the plans are for a week or more in the future, is to force yourself to imagine that the plan is for later today or tonight. Koestner's peopls is to give people the benefit of the doubt the first time they flake.

Now That's Funny Flaking itself is nothing new, but the term has changed over time. Flzke you really want to do whatever is on the cards later today?

The one thing flaky people have in common

I have to peoppe plans sometimes, too. Flakiness can come from all different places, and it's up to you if you want to go more in-depth with someone about why you tend to flake out, but at the end of the day, whj important to remember that respect is a mutual thing in a relationship romantic or otherwise so even if you have the best intentions, flaking out on people can feel hurtful or dismissive to those around you. After all, you've flaked out a few times yourself, and it's not like your friend's doing it on purpose to hurt you.

In the same way, if you're someone who is flakyit's important to take responsibility and apologize. It often indicates that they don't respect your time -- or even that they secretly feel their time is more important than yours. Why do people flake out?

This is why people constantly flake on their plans

It's even easier to hit the non-committal "Interested" button on a Facebook event and decide not to go at the last minute. I might write a "canceling" text a few times and delete it.

Story highlights We all flake out sometimes, but it can go too far "Free spirits" may lack conscientiousness Ignoring your friend's constant flake-out can harm the relationship The rumor: People who flake out are just scatterbrained; it's OK to cut them some slack We all have that friend who's a bit of a flake. Research shows it's just easier to flake in the digital age. Research in psychology may give us a few answers. Basically, "yes" people tend to feel pressured to say "yes" in the moment to avoid conflict or awkwardness; then they mean to figure out how to make that "yes" work later on, when they're not under quite as much stress.

And way too much effort. If you're dealing with someone who is flakyit's OK to let them know how their behavior impacts you. Because of their impulsiveness, flaky people sometimes participate in activities that might be harmful to their overall health. Alternatively, they might go back and forth between being vegan.

By Serusha Govender, upwave. Dealing with a flaky person can be super frustrating at times, but they can also be really fun.

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Ultimately, though, your talk of relief followed by guilt suggests that there could be a deeper dilemma here. Learn more Or, is something bigger happening? I used to be a serial offender at this! Advertisement Advertisement Fighting Flaking Next time someone flakes via text, Gray suggests giving them a call to find out what's up. Often, though, "yes" people are people pleasers who then struggle to go back on their word and instead flake out on the agreement at the last minute.

I list in my mind all the different excuses I might give.

Why do people keep flaking out?

For instance, they might fall behind on work or school activities or might have trouble keeping their space clean. Is it us, or them? Usually, I shrug it off. Meanwhile, to overcome the second blunder, try having more faith in your ability to adapt and to snap into a different mode once you get there. A little positive reinforcement now could save you a lot of frustration in the future. Last Updated: January 13, References X This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Watch More From Noisey: A similar dynamic can play out with your social plans.