No Shows

I was fourteen years old the first time a friend “no-showed” and left me stranded on a weekend night. I was stunned and wounded. My expectations had been high and nothing had prepared me for the possibility of disappointment. As dysfunctional as my family was, I had been taught to keep my word and that others kept their word when the stakes were high. A sibling maybe, but a friend would never no-show and act as if nothing had happened.

Later I would be disappointed when…

  • clients, bosses, and coworkers told me they would advocate for me and didn’t
  • employers failed to follow through
  • employees no called no showed
  • romantic interests betrayed
  • and…I succumbed to being a no-show myself

But, at least I became wise to the why.

We over-promise because…

  • originally, we had good intentions
  • we were afraid to tell you the truth
  • we didn’t know how to say no
  • something better came up
  • the cost of fulfillment was too high
  • we were embarrassed, or didn’t know how to tell you our plans had changed
  • we hoped you would forget about it
  • it was always about us, not you
  • we wanted to avoid an argument, conflict, or tears

None of us are strangers to the “no show” pain. That’s why I am amazed that we can still rationalize doing it to each other.

Not so long ago, I had to choose between keeping a commitment vs. fulfilling a major bucket-list item. I struggled with it for a day or so and decided I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. I became a no show for people who were counting on me (even though I called and cancelled the commitment before flying off to Alaska). I wish I hadn’t.

The trip, although beautiful, turned into a debacle, complete with painful misunderstandings and disappointments.

Big lesson.

No-shows never win.

because I said I would


2 thoughts on “No Shows

  1. It’s amazing how this applies to dating too. All the things you listed as being reasons why people don’t show up, actually pertain to dating as well

  2. You are so right! Thanks Nosyjosie!

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