Your “Flakey Friend” Might Not Be Toxic

Just like relationships, friendships can be incredibly toxic. “Friends” can be emotionally abusive and damaging the victim’s mental health. When people are friends with someone who is using or emotionally abusing them, the best thing they can do is remove themselves from that person. However, I’ve noticed a lot of people refer to “flakey” friends as toxic and that’s not always true.

“Flakey friends” is a common term people use for friends that consistently cancel plans, say no to hanging out, and don’t text,snapchat or dm you back. Some of these friendships definitely can be toxic;no one deserves to be friends with someone who puts all their other friends over them. I understand that “Flakey friends” who cancel plans so they can hang out with other people can negatively affect mental health.

The problem with labeling people who don’t always want to hang out or don’t text you back as “toxic and flakey” is that sometimes these people are just introverts. They can also just be people struggling with mental health problems that their friends may or may not know about. Sometimes they may not be able to get out of bed, or they just need some time to themselves. Although it might be upsetting that they don’t want to hang out, it shouldn’t be taken personally. The friend that cancelled probably feels really bad.

Before “flakey friends” are cut off and considered toxic, consider that maybe they’re struggling with mental health problems or are very introverted. If you have no idea why they don’t always want to hang off, sit down with them and have a conversation before you cut them off. There might be more going on then you know.

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Zoe is a 15-year-old intersectional feminist living in Maine. They're very passionate about social justice, space, theatre, music, and writing.

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