Social Question

chelle21689's avatar

Why do people offer help but not follow through?

Asked by chelle21689 (7419points) July 11th, 2016 from iPhone

My cousin, whom I haven’t seen in 6 years, lives in San Diego. She moved there from the Philippines when she got married and I was a bridesmaid at her wedding. We have kept in touch and talk about things from time to time as friends would do.

She had always told me to visit and said her mother in law could get me a hotel at a great discount since she works there. She said her mother in law always asks her when family is visiting so she can have us a place to stay. Just let them know the dates.

Well, I finally booked after discussing with them about me visiting. Within the last 4 weeks, each week I checked to see if she had gotten an answer. I always got some excuse, “His mom has been busy.” “He only talks to his mom Sunday’s.” “No not yet, we have been busy.”

Then I follow up after two weeks and ask her what the status was and I need to know soon because all the good rates on hotels are going down and I need to compare. No answer…5 days later no answer yet it says she read it and she’s been posting on Facebook and Instagram.

I would rather she just tell me she can’t get a good deal for me instead of ignore. Makes me not want to visit :/.

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20 Answers

MrGrimm888's avatar

Alas, some friends are more dependable than others. To me it’s that simple.
Or maybe they were just blowing smoke up your ass. Maybe the friend is incapable of providing what they offered. Maybe they felt like they made them self look good with these declarations , hoping you would never call their bluff…

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Very simply put, talk is cheap, action takes effort and most people can’t be bothered with the effort part.

Coloma's avatar

It’s called lack of integrity and conscientiousness.
You either have it or you don’t.
I just went through this when painting my new little house about a month ago.
A friend was all excited to help, said they just loved painting and then, they spent about 2 hours “helping” and I spent another 50 finishing. lol

stanleybmanly's avatar

There could be a variety of reasons for the failure to deliver. My personal suspicion is that your cousin pumped up her mother in law’s clout beyond workability. No matter the reason it is incumbent on your cousin to “come clean” the moment she was aware of the truth. Count this incident as a lesson on her character and reliability. I hope you can weather the additional expense, but I would think your cousin reluctant to look you in the face considering the circumstances. So try to settle this and get it behind you before you arrive if you want your cousin’s participation in your visit at all.

zenvelo's avatar

It is the same as when you run into an old friend at a party and they say “we should get together soon” but then you never hear from them.

People offer this kind of thing to make them selves “look” better without effort, because they believe they will never have to carry through,

canidmajor's avatar

And maybe there’s a boatload of crap going on behind the scenes that you don’t know about. Maybe your cousin’s MIL wasn’t making the great offer, maybe your cousin “padded” the info because she didn’t really understand. Maybe MIL got annoyed with her for doing that. Maybe your cousin is having some trouble in her her marriage she’s not disclosing to you and she’s either not coping well or too embarrassed to tell you.
Maybe cut her some slack. Have you invited her to come see you?

SavoirFaire's avatar

They want credit for being kind, helpful people without the trouble of actually being kind, helpful people.

CWOTUS's avatar

Without wanting to be accused at all of being racist or bigoted, but because I do have some experience working with Asians in the USA – and I like them; I honestly like them – I would tend to agree with @stanleybmanly on this. Your cousin has inflated his mother-in-law’s clout at the hotel (or perhaps it started with her inflating her own clout to your cousin), and now that the time has come to “put up or shut up” ... she is apparently having to shut up. I doubt that she is any happier than you are about this.

Since it would also be a huge issue of “face” for you to call her (or her mother-in-law) out on the misrepresentations that have been made, I recommend that you immediately book a room in a competing hotel at the best rate that you can get and… flat-out lie, telling them that you got an even better rate that no one in his right mind could have met. But don’t tell more than that, such as making up the rate or a story to go with it. (You don’t want to be caught in an obvious lie that would compound the hurt feelings.) Among those in the know, you will probably be honored for having found a face-saving way of saving your cousin and/or her mother-in-law from embarrassment. (However, you will very likely be openly criticized “for not having taken them up on their generous offer”. You should obviously not rise to that bait. I expect that at least your cousin, and probably his mother-in-law as well, will be grateful that you could have so adroitly handled what could have been a big embarrassment to them all – and to you, too, eventually.)

Alternatively, you could simply write back to say that you have NO money to take advantage of any “great deal”, and see if they invite you to stay in their home, which might present awkwardness of its own, but would also save everyone from the “great rate promise” that can’t be kept.

Have fun.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

When it’s time for help with something hard you find out who your real friends are.

stanleybmanly's avatar

It’s better to find out before.

canidmajor's avatar

Whoa. Tough room. You guys seem to feel that your friends exist to do stuff for you.
@Coloma, did your friends offer to paint your house? Giving 2 hours is a nice thing. I hope you were nicer to them than about them. My friends all have lives and stuff going on. When they even offer, I’m delighted, but unless they say “I’ll show up at this time with that equipment that you can only get because of me, and this is cast in stone” I don’t think they’re not true friends or nasty people or whatever if they make an offer to help and then don’t do much.
I want my friends to be more emotionally supportive if I need them to, to be happy for my joys, or feel appropriately sad if I have a sad thing.

Coloma's avatar

@canidmajor Of course, I appreceated the help, but, the caveat was, this person INSISTED on helping, and made it seem like they were going to help until complete. They practically drug me to Home Depot and were all a twitter with painting and decorating ideas, and then, fizzled out after 2 hours never to return. haha
I’m not mad, but…it was just weird after all of THEIR over the top, enthusiasm for the project.

si3tech's avatar

@chelle21689 I agree with you. If she didn’t intend to follow through, or could not for whatever reason she should do the right thing and simply tell you that.

JLeslie's avatar

The same reason I keep saying I’m going to eat better and lose weight and I still can’t fit in half my clothes. People just don’t always follow through.

With things like invites to stay at someone’s home, or be invited to a wedding, people usually have good intentions, and then reality or family screw it all up.

Don’t be upset about. Make alternate plans, or cancel the trip, and just know this sort of shit will happen again. It won’t happen often, but it will happen again.

gondwanalon's avatar

No style. No class. No good.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

Perhaps, the time she told you about how she can arrange things for your visit was the time she could really afford to cater to your needs. When you finally said you can visit perhaps the situation is not the same anymore, or she could have major personal issues that take first priorty. Why not just be independent and go to her place at your own expense? You don’t need to depend on her help to visit anyone you want to visit. Accomodation cost might be pricy but you don’t visit her every now and then.

chelle21689's avatar

@Unofficial_Member we even talked about when to visit so she can ask. I think the elastic she could’ve done was tell me if she wasn’t able to. I still wanna visit her on my trip though.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@canidmajor I don’t think my friends exist to do stuff for me. But I do think that friends should follow through on their promises when they can and should offer reasonable explanations when they have to break their promises. I also think that friends should not make promises they know they cannot keep (which may or may not be what’s going on here).

LBM's avatar

I think people say it to be polite, but when they have to deliver, they think ‘shit, I don’t want to do this’ amd instead of telling you straight, they ignore you, as they think it is easier.

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