The Reason Why People Flake on You

It’s not because you didn’t wait the recommend three days before calling.

Other than following the common courtesies of not calling during dinner or in the middle of the night, the question whether you have waited long enough before making the call should not even cross your mind.

You should simply call a person when you feel like calling them.

That’s it. Don’t overthink it.

People often worry that calling a potential date or business client back too soon will make them look needy. Normally this is the mindset of a person who desires to build a connection with someone whom they see as being a bit “out of their league.” The irony is that thinking such thoughts and being overly worried about the outcome of a call is the very definition of what it is to be a needy person.

Any connection should be established during your initial face-to-face interaction with a person, and the phone call should just be viewed as the medium through which already established future plans are to be finalized.

You attract what your are, both in business and love. Thus playing validation games, such as feigning disinterest or creating the illusion of being too busy, will only attract similar people who do the same. This type of person is neither who you want to be nor the type of person with whom you want to interact. While you should highly value your time, do not purposely lie for the sake of trying to make yourself look better.

There are primarily two common mistakes that a person seeking to establish a connection makes during an initial interaction. The first mistake is that the person does not make clear his or her true intentions. In an attempt to avoid rejection or save face, the person does not honestly communicate their true desires or interests. The second mistake is that the person does not provide a reason why they should stay in touch prior to asking for the other person’s contact information.


Case Study 1:

A man approaches a woman at a bar and starts what turns out to be a pretty one-sided conversation. He basically interviews the woman about her life, while simultaneously providing very little value in return. After twenty minutes of tolerating the man, the women then sees her friend and excuses herself by saying that she must go and meet her. Blindsided by this abrupt escape maneuver, the man quickly stammers: “Wait, let’s exchange numbers.”

With a look first of surprise and then reluctance, the woman concedes to giving out her number since she views doing so as the quickest and least awkward way of ending the interaction. The man then goes home and wonders how long he should wait before calling, as if it actually mattered at this point. After following the classic advice of waiting three days, so not to look needy, he is somewhat surprised that his initial text message is met with the reply “who?,” followed by radio silence.

I personally reserve texting exclusively for communicating concise information, and never for conversational purposes. If I have not obtained the interest of a woman or business client during our initial interaction, I do not try to win them over through the emotionless medium of text messaging. While calling is one step better, nothing can compete with a face-to-face conversation.

In this example, the man’s primary folly was not how long he waited before calling, but everything that he did before even asking for the woman’s number. Throughout the entire interaction, he never acknowledged his true intent of wanting to potentially get to know the woman on a romantic level. However, the situational context of him simply approaching and starting a conversation, likely told the woman his actual intent from the start. Thus the incongruence between his external words/actions and internal true desires showed a lack of confidence which instilled disinterest in the woman.

Attraction could have been generated instead had he better understood the social dynamics taking place as described in this book.

The final nail in the proverbial coffin that is this interaction, was the man’s failure to directly present a reason why the woman should give him her number. This ideally should be done prior to asking a person for their contact information. The exchange of phone numbers should just be a natural step to facilitate the execution of future plans. In this example, these plans could of been showing the woman his favorite restaurant, getting a coffee together or going for a hike.

By first having the woman agree to attend an event with him (even if the exact date is not fixed), the man could have more confidently asked for her phone number, having already provided the woman justification for giving it.


Case Study 2:

A person attends a lecture given by a man who currently works in a business area that the attendee desires to get involved in. After listing the lecture, the attendee approaches the lecturer and starts a conversation. He compliments the lecturer and mentions that he is interested in his field of work. After feeling the pressure of the people standing behind him, who also desire to speak to the lecturer, the man hands the lecturer his business card, says “let’s keep in touch,” and then leaves. The lecturer a bit confused, looks shortly at the card before placing it in his back pocket, where it is later destroyed by his washing machine.

Like in the previous case study, this man again neither provided value during the interaction, expressed his honest intent, nor gave a specific reason why the other person should stay in contact with him. The man’s true intent was to receive some mentoring from the presenter. Had he offered to take the presenter out for dinner in return for getting some of his questions answered, he would of instantly transformed his business card from being just a piece of paper into a coupon for a free dinner. Even better, by first making the dinner proposal, he could of then asked for the presenter’s contact information for the purpose of arranging the meeting.


Both of these case studies show the importance behind giving a reason why someone should exchange contact information with you. This reason should mirror that of your honest intentions, which should be clear from the start of the interaction. While your intentions must be clear, it is equally important to not be too dependent on the outcome of any propositions. Otherwise, you can put an awkward pressure on the other person. Your general mentally should be: “Hi, are you interested? If not, that’s cool.”


Related Articles:

Causation vs. Correlation: Where Classic “Pick-Up” Advice Went Wrong.

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