Fix Your Chronically Late Friends By Going Radio Silent

Sometimes people are late for various reasons, and that’s understandable. Some people are late all the time, and that’s just disrespectful. If you have a chronically late friend you’d like to fix, here’s a clever method to make them show up on time.

Nicolas Kysak, writing on his personal blog Man with Zen, details a smart plan for dealing with your chronically late friends that largely involves ignoring them. Here are the basics steps:

  1. Be on time and turn off your mobile phone (or put it in aeroplane mode) as soon as you arrive.
  2. Set a timer for 15 minutes and relax.
  3. If your friend doesn’t show up after 15 minutes, turn your phone back on and leave.

Eventually your friend is going to give you a call wondering where you are, as they’re late and you’re no longer there waiting for them. At this point you’re going to need to explain what you did and why you did it. From now on, if they want to spend time with you they need to make a concerted effort to be timely because you will not be answering their calls to hear their excuses. Yes, this is harsh but you’re enabling the behaviour when you allow it. You have to be willing to say no.

Of course, this is not something you want to do with everybody and not without sufficient forethought. Some people are situationally late, in that they’ll often be late after work and not otherwise. You can solve a problem like that much more easily by not making plans with them after work. Some people will be late for a brief period in their life because they’re stressed out due to a major change, whether it’s positive (e.g. having a kid) or negative (e.g. having a kid). This is the sort of thing you want to do when someone’s tardiness has been a problem for a long time and talking to them about it doesn’t help. It is a bit evil, and so it makes for a very good last resort.

How To Deal With People Who Are Notoriously Late [Man with Zen]

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