Last weekend I cancelled two sets of plans I’d made. I’d planned to have dinner with my sister and afternoon tea with my best friends. And I cancelled both.
I’d had a really emotionally draining week at work and I just couldn’t face going out. I wanted to stay in my house, watch Strictly Come Dancing, drink tea and wear pyjamas. I wondered whether I should say I didn’t feel well. Or should I blame it on childcare? I thought about this for a couple of seconds.
And then I was honest. I was completely, unashamedly honest. And not only did it feel good to be honest about stuff, it felt a bit like therapy to share my pretty tough week. Of course my friends understood. They are my friends (and sister). The whole reason they are my closest friends is because we have been through a shit lot of difficult times together. We’ve all been low enough to want to curl up on the sofa and not see or speak to anyone. They knew how I felt.
People can’t be angry if you’re honest. They really do understand. If they don’t they’re probably not the friends you thought they were.
Even if you cancel on a weekly basis, here’s my advice: just be honest. If it’s because you’re struggling emotionally with stuff or because you just don’t feel like you’ve spent enough time with your kids recently. True friends will want to know and, more importantly, they’ll want to help.
Sometimes we have to be a bit selfish and think about ourselves. And if that means you have to cancel plans because you’re feeling totally crap and you just want to spend the evening on the sofa, eating your body weight in Dominos pizza, then that’s what you have to do. Don’t do it every night and be honest with people about why you want an evening to yourself.
But ultimately, sometimes you have to look after number one. It’s called self-preservation.