The ‘Younger Now’ singer skipped the Teen Choice Awards for having an ‘unrealistic schedule.’ How we both can learn to stop canceling last minute.
No more reservations.
I overbooked so much without canceling my dinner plans that I got banned from OpenTable.
“You have now exceeded the number of no-shows we allow. As a result, your OpenTable account has been suspended,” the table booking site chided in an email sent on a recent Saturday night after I missed my 7 p.m. res at a favorite New York City red sauce haunt downtown.
I eventually made it at 8 p.m., and despite the accommodating hostess, I went into overtime with OT for the last time. “We hope you understand we have this policy in place because no-shows are extremely costly to our restaurants, many of which count on every seat being filled,” the site reprimanded.
It was inconsiderate of me to reserve a table and not show up, even if the site lets you book limitless reservations without charging a cancellation fee. I could have easily made another account using a different email — and probably have a great reservation at Jean George’s new place at the Public Hotel by now. But that would only feed my larger issue: I’m becoming a serial double booker and I need to stop canceling plans.
Maybe it’s a millennial thing. Most recently, 24-year-old popstar Miley Cyrus blamed her “unrealistic schedule” for bailing on the Teen Choice Awards after she was already slated to attend and receive the highest honor. Talk about a disappointment — the crowd gasped, and even booed when presenter Victoria Justice announced the “Malibu” singer canceled “last minute.”
To my dearest fans & all of those watching @teenchoicefox ! I want to say thank you from the very bottom of my heart for presenting me with #TheUltimateChoiceAward ! I am beyond bummed I couldn't make it to the show as I had every intention of being there to accept and celebrate this honor! I created an unrealistic schedule for myself which leads me to this announcement! I've been tryin to keep the secret but I can't hide it any longer! My new single / music video #YoungerNow will be dropping this Friday , Aug 18th & I am sooooooo EXCITED to share it with all of you! I hope to always make people smile and shine light thru my work! I look forward to making music for the rest of my life and I'm thankful everyday for those who listen! I am sending so much love and peace into the world right now because THATS what we need most! Love Love & more LOVE! ❤️💙💚💛💜❤️💙💚💛💜
Like Cyrus, I have impulsively said yes to plans or a work event in the moment, and when the date comes weeks later I’ll cancel because I’m either too tired or I double booked.
So how do we stop this kind of behavior?
“We need to remind ourselves of the disadvantages of canceling like ‘the restaurant could ban me,’ or ‘I could disappoint a friend,’” Dr. Michael Edelstein, a San Francisco-based cognitive behavioral therapist tells Moneyish. “It’s always easier to do what’s comfortable for the moment and put the long term out of your mind,” he adds.
For repeat flakers, Edelstein suggests the “penalty” behavioral method — a slap on the wrist like forcing yourself to give a dollar or more to a cause you hate every time you cancel something. And if you keep all your plans for a whole week, reward yourself with something positive like a movie, shopping or maybe just by doing nothing (#adulting).
And, like me, serial “RSVPers” need to learn how to politely decline.
“Explore the idea of saying “no,” says Anna Goldstein, a business and life coach who advises clients to ask themselves what it is they “fear” will happen if they don’t attend something. “Are you afraid of disappointing others? Are you afraid that you’ll miss an opportunity, and then all the sudden you’re like ‘Oh my god, I overbooked myself,’” she adds.
Yes to all the above.
So why do I still overbook? Call it the FOMO effect (Fear of missing out).
“Not having options is the fear – being cornered in and feeling like you have to stick to the plan,” says Goldstein.
“Start small, stick to something you planned and do what you say you’re going to,” she adds.
Goldstein stresses the obvious, maintaining a calendar — only one! — and marking down the day of an event the moment you get invited and confirm. Spend 15 minutes a day working on your schedule to prevent scrambling last minute over deciding what you will or won’t do – it’ll also help relieve stress.
But most importantly: if you commit to it, do it.
“You’ll feel better when you start following through,” says Goldstein.
The first thing I did was make a new OpenTable account with my work email, and I’ve written all my upcoming plans down in my old school monthly planner the moment I confirm. I still book in advance, sometime two restaurants at the same time in one night if I can’t choose, but I make sure to call when I can’t make it.
And the same goes for work — I’ve stopped impulse RSVP’ing and wait until I know if the day is free to respond.
So, who wants pasta?
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