Social Graces

Social Graces

Frequent cancellations due to migraine kept me from making plans with friends and family for a long time. Finally I felt comfortable telling loved ones that when I make plans there’s always a risk I won’t be able to follow through. I am so fortunate to have a wide group of understanding and accommodating people in my life.

But there’s an annoying flip side to the arrangement. Because I ask others to be flexible for me, they expect the same from me all the time and for whatever reason. Running late or canceling occasionally is totally understandable, even for healthy people. Life gets exhausting and overwhelming for everyone at times. But regularly making plans and not following through, running an hour or two late, or not showing up at all is downright rude. This behavior is ill-mannered in any context, but the fact that it apparently stems from my request for leniency is infuriating.

You might assume that these aren’t good friends or kind people to begin with. That’s not true, we are close and they are loving, caring and altruistic. So I’m filled with questions: Does my being at home most of the time signal to people that my schedule and time aren’t important? Has my inability to nurture my relationships due to chronic migraine’s demands on my attention diminished my friendships? Do I pretend so well that I’m doing OK that everyone thinks I am? Do they think migraine isn’t a very big deal, so that they equate cancelling because of an attack to canceling because of a bad day at work?

I’m at a complete loss for how to deal with this. I do understand that pressing things come up that have nothing to do with migraine and that everyone encounters major issues that sometimes interfere with plans. I don’t mind being flexible for my friends, but I hate the feeling of being taken advantage of. Am I overreacting to something that’s not about me or do I have a legitimate issue to bring up with my friends? If so, how do I do it? I’d appreciate any perspective you can provide.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Migraine.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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