Stop Bailing on Your Social Plans

Sunday, January 22, 2023

I love when people cancel on plans we've made together. I enthusiastically say yes to things and then, when the time comes, I want nothing more than to not go. It's not usually because I'm lazy or sad or well or because the weather is bad. Usually, it's just because I start to feel kind of anxious, and I'd rather just... not bother.

On one hand, I embrace the idea of cancellation without regret, of realizing you're not in the mood or don't have the emotional bandwidth to do something social. I'm all for drawing boundaries and recognizing your limits and saying "no" without apology, etc., etc., etc.

On the other hand, though, I'm coming to recognize that so much of the time, I'm not necessarily canceling out of respect for my boundaries; I'm doing it out of deference to my anxiety and nerves and fear. Those aren't the good kind of boundaries; those are exactly the kind of boundaries I need to be pushing, not accommodating.

This morning, I met up with an Instagram friend, Allison of @cleveland.westside.eats. When she messaged me last night to see if we were still on to meet up, I sort of panicked. My brain went, I should say no! Now's the time to bail! But instead, I forced myself to say yes; Yes, I'll see you there! I woke up this morning still feeling panicky. Why was I subjecting myself to the stress of meeting someone new on a lazy Sunday morning?

But I went. And you know what? It was a goddamn delight. We got lattes and crepes from Brewella's Valentine' Day menu, and we hung out for nearly an hour and a half before snapping a photo together in front of the festive decor and heading our separate ways. I left feeling buoyed and excited to have hit it off with a social media friend turned real-life one.

I'm trying to hold this experience (and so many others like it) at the forefront of my mind as a reminder to myself: I like meeting people. I like doing things with people. I like being social. I am social. I need to stop canceling all of my plans just because my brain likes to trick me into worrying about everything, always.

I'm still going to say no sometimes, of course, and I'm still going to guiltlessly cancel plans when I'm not feeling well, physically or emotionally. But I'm also going to try really hard to recognize when sometimes the reason I'm not feeling well, emotionally, is just because I'm nervous. And when that's the case, as it so often is, I want to challenge myself to keep my plans and to follow through with things that make me nervous.

Because as I continue to learn, it's almost always worth it. 


  1. I could have written this post myself!!

  2. I secretly hope that people will cancel on me as it seems like too much effort to get out of the house. Once I am there it is always fun. Often times I can not get going home.
    I am wondering if the pandemic as made me even more reluctant to get out.


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