How To Navigate Your Feelings When You Find Yourself Wanting To Cancel Plans

We've all been in a scenario where we've been tempted to cancel plans with friends. Whether we scheduled a night out on the calendar long ago or not, sometimes we just aren't feeling like being social. If you are like most people, you've canceled plans for many different reasons. Maybe you've had a long week, or you aren't feeling like your best self. No matter the reason, honoring the urge to cancel plans and stay in happens to all of us at one time or another — Vice says it because we often say 'Yes' too quickly. It's important to listen and trust yourself to find what's best for you at any given moment. Enjoying time alone is important, but you may feel conflicted about always wanting to cancel plans with friends.


If you find yourself unable to fully commit to social functions with friends, go easy on yourself. It's best to check in with your own needs and decide exactly why you are hesitant to meet up for drinks, go to a movie, or go out for a night with your girlfriends. Many times we opt instead to head home, throw on pajama pants, and dive into a good book or Netflix series. Both options (going out and staying in) are perfectly fine, but there are effective ways to navigate your feelings around needing to cancel plans.

What to do with these feelings

If you feel conflicted about hanging out with friends, you are not alone. That's why TikTok and Instagram have many hashtags dedicated to canceling plans. Our world is full of stimulation, and it's no surprise we need to rest from it at times. If you feel bothered by always wanting to cancel plans you've made, check in with yourself to see what is stopping you from attending social events. If you are feeling pulled in both directions, ask yourself why you want to cancel. Are you too tired? Was it a long week? Is there someone there who drains your bucket? Do the same for why you might want to go. Has it been a while since you've laughed with your friends? Do you miss social interactions that actually energize you? By checking in with both sides before making a decision, you'll be able to cancel or continue with your plans honestly and confidently while simultaneously caring enough about yourself to take time to pause and reflect.


In addition to being gentle with yourself, understand the impact of your cancelation. Well + Good recommends reflecting on whether or not your absence will impact the event in some way. For example, were you supposed to bring something important or supply something for the event? If you have a responsibility in this form, you may want to talk to the host of the event earlier rather than later, so they can make a plan b. This is not only about extending a kindness to them, but it will also show that you cared enough to think about the impact of your absence.

Set boundaries for yourself

If you decide to keep your plans but are still hesitant, give yourself a time limit for how long you'll stay. Having a defined time in your mind may make it easier to commit. By setting a boundary such as this, you'll show up and enjoy yourself, but you'll still have time to return home to reenergize and heal from your week. If you have to cancel, Apartment Therapy suggests that being specific with your friends is the best policy. By being honest with your family or friends as to why you can't attend the event, they are more likely to understand your feelings. This may also make it easier to set up a new event for your calendar, giving you all something to look forward to. The next time a social gathering comes up, you may have an easier week or more energy to let a social event into your world.


No matter what you decide, be kind to yourself. Getting back into the social swing of things isn't easy after all the pandemic has put us through. Listen to yourself, weigh the pros and cons of your decision, and be honest with your loved ones. By honoring what's important to your mental and physical well-being, you can feel confident in your decision to stay in or go out with friends.