How many times do you give someone a second chance?

Sunday, September 14, 2014


It's not (Let's Chat) Wednesday but this is something that's been on my mind for a while and wanted to get your guys input / thoughts on.

Making new friends is not easy, as we get older, it's harder to meet and connect with someone to truly call them a friend.  Most people's circles are established, but, I am definitely a believer in never having too many friends.  That said, people can be flaky and after watching this short, funny video on how cell phones have made people flakier, I started to wonder: can you ever rely on anyone?

Now, I know there are people in your life (and mine) that can be relied on, but when making new friends, how many chances do you give them before writing them off?  My biggest complaint is when you make plans with a new friend and they cancel...  and cancel again.  How many chances do you give someone to become a friend?

As far as current friends, I think it's fair to be a bit more flexible, if you can; things come up, plans can change and if you really know someone, they likely aren't doing it on purpose to because they don't care.

I think two chances is fair game when it comes to a new friend.  If we make plans twice, and both times you cancel on me, I'm not going out of my way to set aside time when there is plenty I could be doing with my time instead.  Your thoughts?  How many times do you give someone a second chance?

(Photo from this outfit post).

13 comments:

Emily said...

I agree. With friends we have already established relationships with, we are aware of their quirks or tendencies, but also of the things that make up for their tardiness, etc. With new friends, it's kind of like a dating process! You are "trying them on" to see if you are a good fit in each other's lives. I think when you're younger, it's easier to deal with people like this in the beginning because we seek a larger social circle of friends who are fun to hang out with, not necessarily the friends to have deep conversations with. As we get older, it's easier to discern the "fun" friends and the ones with which you invest less time and effort, from the deep, meaningful relationships. Those are the ones worth trying harder for.

Amanda @ A.Co est. 1984 said...

Wow! Well written, Em. I so agree.

Emily said...

:)

Christine said...

I think two chances is probably sufficient when you don't know someone that well and are trying to figure out if you can possibly become (good) friends with them. It's definitely annoying to have people repeatedly cancel on you and while we all should try to be understanding, since things do come up that you can't necessarily always control or predict, there is nothing wrong with taking a step back, and with not continuing to factor someone into your life who doesn't seem to be reliable.

I find it equally as frustrating when people never initiate getting together but are always interested when I suggest it. I have a couple of friends who are always open to going to dinner or coffee or whatever, but it always seems to be my idea, and they never reach out to me first to see if I want to hang out. I often wonder if I weren't the one to make the plans, how much time would go by without us talking or seeing each other, and that is extremely frustrating for me. I try to be particularly forgiving and accommodating of my friends who have kids, but I hate always being the one who always has to initiate things...so, for my few friends who never suggest getting together, we will see how much time goes by before we talk, as I am done being the one always suggesting hanging out for the foreseeable future.

Good "Let's Chat" post! I didn't realize how much I had to say on this topic... :)

amanda* said...

I've been battling with this question for the past few months. Not with new friends....but with my life long friends. Lately I've been putting a lot of effort to support my friends and be there for them...attend their parties (in different cities) and celebrate with them when they invite me. However, the same has not been returned. I'm not one to do something because I expect others to do the same, but when I plan a party/dinner/outing and you RSVP yes then blow me off the day of or a few hours prior....how many chances can I give you before I don't want to make an effort anymore? One or two people cancelling the plans, make me want to cancel the whole thing all together which in turns ruins everyone else's plans...I understand as we get older our lives become crazy busy....but at what point do you start to rethink your current relationships?

Christine said...

I agree with *amanda above. I think once it starts to become apparent that the effort you're putting in to supporting them is not being reciprocated, then you start to re-evaluate the state of the relationship. I definitely wouldn't turn my back on the friends doing that or cut them out of my life, but I'd definitely stop going out of my way to support them.

Jill Sarah said...

I'm super flaky :( I bail on plans all the time which probably gets really tiresome for my friends. Oops! Something to work on.

Dmy K said...

Whenever I make a suggestion to do something they jump at the chance of getting together. But even more frustrating when they bail on me. It's either the day before or the morning of. Or I have a headache or I have no money. It's almost easier to make plans without them. Less hassle less stress. Especially now that I'm not on FB I don't message them as much.

Amanda @ A.Co est. 1984 said...

Thanks for the lengthy comment, Christine!
I have to admit, I'm kind of bad at making plans :-/ I'm not sure why but perhaps a fear that someone wouldn't want to so my suggestion or that they will suggest something when they are free themselves! Ha! What an oxymoron though!? I will work on this all because of what you wrote--you make a great point!

Amanda @ A.Co est. 1984 said...

I agree, Amanda, that's frustrating and when the friends have been around a while, when do you throw in the towel. I think ya fair to mention it, at least (despite it potentially bein awkward). I canceled on a friend two times in a row once and she said (on the second time), 'okay, no worries, but this is the second mke you've canceled so please don't cancel next time we make plans'. It really surprised me bc I had actually forgotten I had canceled and felt bad. It also gave me a reality check that maybe I wasn't being such a reliable friend at that time 👍

Amanda @ A.Co est. 1984 said...

Haha, thanks for being so honest, Jill! Definitely something you can work on--or work on saying no ;) (which I know can be so hard!!)

Amanda @ A.Co est. 1984 said...

I hate it when people cancel THE DAY OF. How rude and frustrating, right? I think people have a fear of saying no and then at the last minute find their courage. Sorry you're experiencing that :( frustrating for sure.

586Rexford said...

I have found that I have lost friends after they had confided in me about a relationship they were currently in. I've never understood why some women insist on staying in toxic relationships. When asking for my advice I am hesitant. If I agree with them that the guy is not right they are angry with me if they end up staying with them. If I tell them that the guy is fine they are angry with me when it doesn't work out. I'm telling you, sometimes there is no way to win.

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