Friends who are consistently late

Three of my friends are always, always late. I have an absolute aversion to being late, I try and always be on time for everything. Which usually means that I am a few minutes early as I factor in for potential delays.

My late friends are not any busier than me, they are not reliant on public transport and they always suggest meeting at a particular time. This is my cunning way of making sure they are on time, if they picked 2pm then why aren’t they on time?

Why are they always late? It’s usually by at least 10 minutes and they never let me know that they are running late until it is the time we were meant to meet. If I knew in advance I would use the ten or twenty minutes wisely!

Sensible advice is that I should politely say “your lateness makes me feel like you don’t value my time. Maybe you could let me know next time you’re running late” and they’d say “gosh, sorry, how rude of me, of course I’ll never be late again”.

The reality is that they’d not see it that way and would probably suggest that I am uptight, stressed out and need to learn to relax. I also would struggle to remain polite and calm when really I feel like shouting “fucking hell, why can’t you just be on time or let me know that you’re running late it drives me mental!”. There is no solution.

My friend is ten minutes late so far, she has not yet texted to explain. I harassed my children to hurry up and get organised, parked my car in a paying car park as I erroneously thought I didn’t have time to park further away for free and walk. I could have gone to the shops and got some things I needed in the ten minutes I have been here. It really is very, very annoying.



4 thoughts on “Friends who are consistently late

  1. Sadly, I identify with your three late friends. I am consistently late. I feel bad about it, and it damages my personal and professional life, but my behavior does not change. It’s a life habit, that’s hard to shake. I’m realizing I need to quit tardiness, like other people kick cigarettes, and I’m still in the contemplative stage.
    Your fury was a reminder of the impact it has on other people, and I am sorry. For myself, I don’t mind waiting for other people. My best friends are people who have the same clock-challenged approach to the world, and we keep each other waiting, without worrying, while having things at hand to keep us occupied. Perhaps when you arrange to meet with your chronically late friends, you let yourself take care of your needs on route to meet them, knowing that it’s okay to be late? Or does that feel painful to your sense of the world?
    Maybe that’s like me saying “when you plan to meet friends who smoke, smoke also, so their smoke doesn’t bother you!”

    • It is interesting to hear another’s prespective. I think that because being on time for me usually involves lots of small conpromises; ending a call to my mum, parking near the location, telling my son “no mummy can’t play just now” and numerous others I feel annoyed with them for not doing the same. I do fill the time with something productive, thanks to the wonders of my iphone. I would hate to be late myself and feel I had let someone down. It is a constant thing with these 3 girls, every single time. Perhaps I should take control and text them to say “let me know when you are there, I am in the area doing some errands”. Then I would be less frustrated. My mother is to blame for this, she is never late and brought me up the same!

      • i appreciate hearing your perspective laid out like that:
        being on time = lots of small compromises to meet other people’s needs. very respectful.
        to manage your late friends, i like your approach of planning to take care of your needs, then just letting your friends know to text you when they are ready to meet. that seems sensible.

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