Dear Annie: I have a friend who is always late. Lunch, dinner, concerts, movies, I don’t think I’ve ever gone to an outing with her when she hasn’t shown up 10 or 15 minutes late. She’s a lovely, caring person otherwise and a thoughtful friend, but I can’t help but be put off by this seeming lack of consideration for other people’s time, again and again. It’s hard not to take it personally. She knows it’s a problem and has vowed to be more punctual. It was her New Year’s resolution last year, and it probably will be again this year, but I’m not holding my breath for change. I just want to know: What gives? Why are some people always late? — Waiting Games
Dear Waiting Games: According to time management expert Diana DeLonzor, people who are chronically tardy tend to be optimists. They have unrealistic expectations of what they can get done in a set amount of time. Jeff Conte, an associate professor of psychology at San Diego State, says lateness is connected to deep-seated personality factors, making it a very hard habit to break. So your friend’s chronic tardiness is likely as deeply embedded in her as the things you love about her. Keeping all that in mind might make it easier not to take it personally when she’s late, but she can’t expect everyone to be so understanding. DeLonzor’s book, “Never Be Late Again,” might make a good holiday gift for your friend, seeing as she admits it’s a problem.
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