How do I get out of my double booked plans?


About a month ago my sister called to tell me she was coming into town to visit a friend this weekend and that she might be bringing her teenage daughter. She asked if I’d like to spend the weekend with her daughter while she gallivanted with her girlfriend. I was happy to accept the offer as long as she gave me a heads up.  Now, two days before her arrival she called to say that she is in fact dropping her daughter off at my house, but I have since made conflicting plans.  I want to see my niece, but I’m going to be hurting a close friend to cancel my newest plans.  How do I choose who to spend time with and cancel plans with the other?

How thoughtless of your sister to assume you would keep your weekend free until the 11th hour!  That being said, perhaps you could have called your sister to confirm she was not bringing her daughter before making alternative plans?  Faults aside, you’re in a pickle.

The social butterflies of the world tend to run into the issue of double booking despite our very best intentions.  When this occurs, there are a few tactics to handling the unfortunate situation:

  • Before going to either party, make a clear decision on which event you are going to attend.
  • Prioritize the event that you first committed to unless the newer event trumps in significance such as a family obligation or shower.
  • Be honest when cancelling.   It is unacceptable simply to not show up. You may be able to soften the blow by rescheduling at the same time.

It is a wonderful thing to spend time with family. And, I’ll hope that this is not your sister’s habit to confirm plans at the last moment. But, you will need to choose one set of weekend plans or find a way to either split the obligations.  Whatever you decide let your sister know in the future when you need her confirmation of an event. And, don’t hesitate to give her a heads up if you are no longer able to wait around for tentative plans.

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