How To Cancel Plans Like A Pro – Tips And Tricks You Need

Hate to cancel plans? You’re not alone! The cool thing about our generation is that we’re innovative, proactive and driven like never before. We say yes to everything: “sure I’ll walk your dog, sure I’ll stay another 4 hours at the office, I can definitely cook 4 meals for the charity event tomorrow, don’t worry, I can just stay up until 4AM to Skype with that client in Asia and hit the gym afterwards for 3 hours.”

When you think you’re immortal and run around in your every day life like a headless sweaty chicken,(hi, me!) it can be really terrifying when you realize that you’re just another human. Like when you realize that you can’t make it to that coffee date with your best friend because you double-booked your schedule. Oh sh*t, she’s going to kill me.

We all need to bail on our friends every once in a while. But there are MANY ways to do it. Here are some captain-obvious-and-not-so-obvious things to consider!

Say you’re sorry

The most valuable thing anyone can give you is their time – it’s that one thing that we just never get back. That someone took time out of their schedule to give you their undivided attention is a big deal. This is luckily such a “duh-of-course”-move for most people, but tell your friend that you’re sorry.

No pointing at other people, no excuses. It’s your fault. Apologize.

The power of a call/voice message when you cancel plans

I did something horrible a couple of years ago. I couldn’t go to a birthday because of my parents divorce. We were pretty much in the eye of the storm, but I felt so much guilt for canceling on the birthday girl the night before, that I literally sent a quick snapchat with my sad face and a short note. I did that because I tried to protect myself from hearing the disappointment in my friend’s voice. Obviously she got v-e-r-y upset. And I learned a lot from that.

Try not to text. Call them. Or send a voice message. I am a very strong believer that it’s easier for whoever you cancel plans with to accept and find some sort of empathy and understanding for your situation, if they can hear in your voice how sorry you are:

“I feel so f*cking bad, I’ve really been looking forward to it ughghhghghh…. I’m the worst, I’ll DEFINITELY make it up to you cause I’m so STOKED to hear about this, that and that, what are you doing tomorrow?…”

You clearly always come across more sincere when you call or voice message rather than sending a text. You can emphasise words, make those dramatic pauses.. all that jazz. But it all comes down to actually making an effort to cancel and letting your friend know that he or she is important to you.

Don’t cancel plans last minute

I get it. Life happens, cars break down, your boyfriend breaks up with you, corona can break out, you burn your apartment complex down when you try to boil an egg.. There are a lot of things that are not in your control. But try to avoid to procrastinate – the sooner you cancel, the higher are chances that your friend can schedule something else.

Avoid sarcasm when you cancel plans

I am usually very sarcastic, but when it comes to canceling plans, I try to avoid it. It can easily come across as very insensitive:

“Haha, I’m so stupid, I double booked, so I can’t today!”


“Omg of course I overslept lol, sorry I didn’t show up for coffee!”

Even though the intention is to take the drama out of the situation, it can easily come across like you don’t really care about canceling. Maybe your friend would think it’s funny – but in these scenarios, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Cancel Plans WIthout Guilt

Don’t lie

Have I lied when I cancel plans before? ABSOLUTELY. Many times. Too many times. Like, last week. And you have too, missy, don’t even pretend.

But along the way I’ve also discovered, that people are actually pretty amazing. And if you just tell your promoter-friend that you had a long week and really just need to stay in tonight because you’re about to burn out – your promoter-friend will understand and go rage in WeHo with other friends. Yes, you’re special, but if I may quote Beyonce: Don’t think you’re irreplacable. Generally, your true friends will understand, cause you know – they want the best for you.

Honesty goes a long way.

Don’t say yes, if you mean no

The best way to avoid the struggle of cancel plans is by not making plans you don’t wanna attend or can’t attend. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

But it can be tricky to say no, when you’re standing there with your guards down and someone looks at you with puppy eyes all excited about doing shrooms at the Wisdom Tree with you all weekend.

It can help to buy yourself some time by always saying something along the lines as: “That sounds fun, let me check my schedule when I get home tonight, and I’ll get back to you!”.

Suggest an alternative

If you are going to cancel on someone you actually want to meet up with, try to suggest another specific day right away: “I can’t go out with you friday night I’m so sorry, but how about brunch at my place sunday morning?”

It shows that you care and actually wants to meet up. Effort is key!

Gulity of overthinking? I bet this blog post will help you!

You don’t owe anyone anything

When it comes to men and when it comes to people that want to be your friend, there is one rule that so many forget:

You do not owe anyone your time and you do not owe anyone to be their friend or signficant other.

Just because a man likes you and wants to be with you, you don’t have to like him back. Just because a man wants to sleep with you, it doesn’t mean that you are suddently obligated to sleep with him.

Just because someone wants to be your friend, you don’t have to be their friend. It’s pretty simple. Of course always be kind and all of that good stuff, but understand that you never ever owe anyone anything. It’s your life. And you have to make space for the people you want to be around and makes you excited to hang out. Set boundaries!

Sometimes.. Do it anyway

I’m trying to go for both sides here. Sometimes.. even though you’re tired, try to go to that coffee date anyway. Sometimes showing up for your people literally means showing up for them.

We gotta be there for our friends. Even if you have to tell them that you’ve had a long week so if you could just grab coffee at your house and watch a movie instead of going for drinks at the club.. that can work too!

Or that you still wanna go shopping but maybe just for two hours instead of the whole day.

It all comes down to this

Communication, showing love and respect and reassure that your friend knows that he or she is important and a priority! If you can do that while paying attention to your own needs, I feel like we’re on a roll here!

Please share your own tips and tricks on how you succesfully cancel plans !


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