Be patient with that friend who always cancels – they might have social anxiety

Written By Duncan Lindsay for

ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: Having social anxiety doesn't mean you're a bad friend Credit: Dave Anderson for
(Picture: Dave Anderson for

We all have that one friend who we make plans with that never seem to materialise.

They accept every invite, seem to be enthusiastic about their attendance and then, right at the last minute, their excuse will arrive like clockwork.

One of the kids is ill. My parents have come round. I’ve had to work late. Or the old classic, ‘family stuff’. 

I’m that friend – and I want all of the people whom I drive mad with this behaviour to know that I’m not being a dick and I am not taking their friendship for granted.

Sometimes – in fact, most times – I just find social situations too intimidating to engage with.

It’s not that I don’t want to go to parties, have drinks out with colleagues, go to dinner with friends or head to gigs, plays, comedy clubs and other entertaining events.

On paper, they sound like great fun – and, knowing that I have enjoyed myself massively at these kinds of things before, I will accept an invitation.

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