The thing about the F word is you don’t want to be called it.
You don’t want to be called flakey, that is.
But the thing is, there are an awful lot of flakey people out there.
I’m sure you’re not one of them, and so I’m not talking about you here.
Just like human beings, flakey people come in all shapes and sizes, in every proportion and profession. Some might even be friends of yours. Or relatives. Maybe a girlfriend/boyfriend. (Hope not.) Most of these folks are nice people, but they’re about as reliable as an ex-husband.
Urban Dictionary describes “Flakey” (in some coarse language) as such:
-Someone who, after being invited to an event, implies they will come, but in fact bitches out at the last second.
-A fake ass bitch that can’t even keep their word. Promises are worthless from them. Plans will be made and they will rarely go through with them. They like to tell you they’re on their way, but never show up. They will ignore your messages and calls. No matter the situation, they will always have an excuse when you call them on their bullshit, and then they’ll be the ones to get mad.
Here’s a little sample scenario they provide:
Person 1 – “Come to the beach, Bruh.”
Person 2 – “Sure, Bruh. Sounds fun.”
Person 1 – “Bruh, I’m at the train station. Train’s coming in five minutes to take us to the beach. Where are you, Bruh?”
Person 2 – “CBA”
Person 1 – “Flake.”
(In case you didn’t know it, CBA is an acronym for “Can’t be arsed,” meaning, essentially, that a person can’t be bothered to find the energy or willingness to do something.)
Flakey people abound. Their word is about as valuable as pyrite.
When I worked in the corporate world, someone once shared a letter written to Bruce Nordstrom. It was from a long-time fan of the company whose daughter had just turned 18. She was asking Mr. Bruce what advice he would pass on. In his response, he said two things, though now I can only remember the second. It was: “Be on time. Complete assignments on time. The easiest way to respect someone is to respect their time, and nowadays that rarely happens. If you respect others’ time, you’ll stand out.”
That’s stuck with me over the years. The easiest way to respect someone is to respect their time. How true.
“In a world filled with flakey people, those that honor commitments and do what they say stand out above everyone else. That kind of integrity is today’s currency.” –Dr. Matthew Loop
I told my best friend I was considering writing about this subject and he cautioned me not to hold back, not to worry if someone reading might think I was talking about them. (Again, this is not about you.) Then he asked why flakey people bothered me so much. It was a good question. I told him that when I’ve had people flake out on me, it always felt like an utter lack of respect. Then I shared this quote with him:
“You need not wonder whether you should have an unreliable person as a friend. An unreliable person is nobody’s friend.” —Idries Shah
His response was, “Wow.” Wow, as in, That’s harsh. It is harsh, but it’s also true. Who would keep a flakey person for a friend? And conversely, why would a friend even be flakey? If you can’t count on your friends, well, they either aren’t your friends, or if they are, you’re screwed.
After I left the corporate world, I did a fair amount of public speaking. Then I shelved that to write full-time. I’d still get occasional requests to come speak to this or that group, and I’d always anguish over whether to agree to do it or not. I soon learned the best thing was to just say Yes, because the person asking me to speak never followed up. They were always CBA—“can’t be arsed.” Can’t be bothered.
And if that weren’t bad enough, today we have to deal with “fake news,” which isn’t a lot different from false promises—one thing never happened, and the other thing isn’t ever going to happen.
“People under seventy, and over seven, are unreliable, unless they are cats.” —Lenora Carrington
(I like Lenora’s quote, but I’d replace cats with dogs. That’s just me, though. I’m not really a cat person.)
Flakey is the opposite of dependable. Flakey is that person who constantly cancels dinner plans. An even bigger flake is someone who simply doesn’t show up for dinner. Never calls. Never texts. Nada.
There are a lot of versions of flakiness. For instance, you might get queried to do an assignment or write a story. You might be given specific guidelines and a due date. Excited, you write your piece, polish it, and send it off and then… never… hear… a… peep.
“Never rely on people. Humans are instinctively unreliable.” —Richard Uwumose
The above quote is pretty morose. I’d wouldn’t go that far. I’m lucky to have a ton of friends I can count on, no matter if I’ve screwed up or I’m in a jam. One call, and they’ll be there.
But I’ve run into my fair share of the other type of people you’ve been reading about. I’m certain you have as well. My advice would be—don’t put up with it. You enable them to think it’s okay to disrespect you. That, if it’s okay to disrespect you, it’s all right to disrespect anyone else.
Say Yes or No to drugs. That’s not my decision to make. But when it comes to flakey people, Just Say No.