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Why You Hate Making Plans, Even With People You Like

Team Bahay forever?
PHOTO: Pixabay

"Let’s grab coffee soon."
"Uy, mag-kita naman tayo."
"Let’s hang out sometime."
"Wanna catch up?"

These are just a few variations of what we tell people when we bump into them even though what we really want to say is, "It was nice seeing you, but that hangout is never going to happen." And for the most part, there’s probably no malice behind it—you really just don’t want to plan anything.

But what’s interesting is that this aversion to making plans with people isn’t limited to your acquaintances.

Selin Malkoc, an assistant professor at Ohio State University, published a report in the Journal of Marketing Research about how "the more strictly scheduled an event was, the less enjoyment it sparked," even when it was with people you liked and something you normally enjoyed doing. “For example, in one, we asked participants to imagine grabbing a coffee with a friend. Half of the participants imagined that they planned this gathering a few days in advance and put it on their calendar, while the other half were told that they decided to grab a coffee on the fly. We found that this simple, relaxing activity was associated more with work-like qualities ('obligation,' 'effortful,' 'work') when it was scheduled, compared with when it was impromptu."

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Basically, too much planning makes a casual hangout with a friend feel like an appointment or a meeting. It might be time to try being more spontaneous—for the sake of your social life.  

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