How to Cancel Plans

Bright yellow background.  On the right there is a teenage girl with long, brown, straight hair.  She is wearing a pink top, and holding her hands up to her face, looking scared.  On the left "How to Cancel Plans With Your Friends" is written.

In this BIT: Do you have plans but don’t feel like hanging out? These are our tried and true hacks on how to cancel plans. Featuring advice, good excuses to cancel plans with, and reasoning.

We love our friends, but sometimes, from time-to-time, we all just don’t feel like hanging out. You shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to cancel plans to relax or stay-in!  Nevertheless, it is still hard to change plans without worrying about upsetting our friends.  As teenagers, here are our tried and true hacks for canceling plans when you want to stay-in.  

As a side note, if you want to cancel plans with one person to hang out with someone else, our top advice is not to do this. Instead, reschedule with the second person.  From time to time, there is a rare scenario for this situation.  For instance, when your friend from out of town is visiting for one day it makes sense to reschedule on the first friend, but in most cases, stick with your original plans. 

1. Vague

Oftentimes, we feel as though we need to provide our friends with plenty of details and over explain why we can’t hang-out. However, if you have no real excuse, just don’t give a reason, it’s better than lying.  Instead, be a bit more vague when you cancel. Additionally, if you want to hang-out with them again, offer an alternative date, so they can tell that you still want to spend time with them. For example, tell or text your friend, “Hi_____, I’m so sorry but something came up and I don’t think I’ll be able to hangout tonight 🙁 does next Saturday work?”.   

Pink background with a teen girl who has pink nails holding a phone.  On the phone "Jessica" is written at the top, with "Hi Jessica, I'm so sorry but something came up and I don't think I'll be able to hangout tonight :( does next Saturday work?" written below.
Pink background with a teen girl on the right side.  She has long, blonde, curly hair.  She is wearing a white sweater and her hand pointing out. Above, "Apologetic" is written.

2. Apologetic

Always include a statement that sounds genuinely apologetic for canceling. Be very sincere!  This will reassure your friend that you aren’t upset with them or trying to distance yourself, you just can’t hangout.

As a side note, canceling plans once in a while is totally understandable. Everyone has things come up, needs a break, or loses track of time. However, if you constantly cancel plans your friends might start thinking you don’t want to be friends with them anymore, and they might stop inviting you since you can never join them. 

Friendships take effort and time, so if you value your friends, try not to cancel plans unless you really need a break! Often, we might think that hanging-out with our friends will drain our energy even more, but if you have good friends, it will likely energize you. 

3. Ask Yourself WHY?

As a side note, it is a good idea to think about it: why are you canceling? Is it because you are tired?  Or is it something else?  It’s really easy to tell yourself “I’m tired, I don’t want to hangout today”. But sometimes there are other reasons. Occasionally, when we haven’t seen our friends in a while, we start to get into a routine of being on our own, and breaking that routine is stressful. So before you cancel your plans, think about the genuine reason behind your desire to cancel. Again, keep in mind that friendships take work, and it might not be the best idea to cancel every time you’re feeling a bit tired. 

Light pink background with teen girl standing in the middle. She has mid-length, brown, straight hair. She is wearing a blue tshirt and has one finger on her cheek, as she is deep in thought. On her right, "Ask Yourself WHY" is written.
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4. Good Excuses

As much as we don’t want to make a habit of it, here is a list of good excuses to cancel plans, in case you really do want to use one.  Sometimes, we really have no idea what to say, so these can be helpful. 

-You are not feeling well and your stomach/head hurts.

-You can’t get a ride.

-Your family came to visit/for dinner at the last minute.

In addition, regardless of why you’re canceling plans, or the things going on in your personal life, make sure your friends feel that you value your friendship. We all cancel plans sometimes, but by offering a date to reschedule and your sincere regret you reassure your friend that you aren’t upset with them.

We hope that the next time you’re feeling really tired, and in need of a personal self-care day, you try these cancellation hacks, and get a small bit of happiness through doing what is best for you.


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