If you’re forever running around trying to get from A to B then it’s likely you’re the friend or family member who is always late.
Being late can cause friction, missed dinner reservations and train bookings, not to mention arguments — which are never great for relationships.
While being late, to most people, is seen as a negative trait and bad mannered, experts have said that this isn’t actually the case.
Psychotherapist Somia Zaman, who specialises in cognitive behavioural therapy and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) said that when people are late, it’s not that they are deliberately trying to do it – or that they don’t care about other people’s feelings.
She explained that some people are just natural born optimists who believe they are able to successfully manage everything in their hectic schedules.
Somia said that these people are referred to as ‘over schedulers’ and will often pack too much into one day.
She added that these people are even more likely to be late if they are chatty types, as they are more likely to over-run, making them late for their next appointment or meeting.
But these people aren’t always happy to be running around like a headless chickens and often, have issues saying no to things, Somia said.
“Some over-schedulers are people who have trouble saying no, fearing they may offend someone, or miss out on an important opportunity (FOMO). In this case, their unrealistic plans for the day are a reflection of their worries rather than their excitement”, she told Metro.
But Somia says that others fully embrace their lateness, just like Kanye West did in his 2007 Stronger track, where he tells listeners ‘y’all should be honoured by my lateness’.
Somia said that people with these personalities often are ‘self fulfilling prophecy types’.
This, she said, is when a person has made lateness almost part of their personal brand and doesn’t even feel like they have to try and be on time anymore as it’s what people have come to expect of them.
She said that people who are late can also be procrastinators.
This group of people often find themselves preoccupied with doing something else, pushing back the task they actually need to do.
“With this group, there may be some element of executive dysfunction. But they might also be struggling with some level of anxiety, which makes the transition of leaving one place for another difficult for them”, she said.
Another expert said that for some people, being late is all down to how the individual has been bought up.
BLAME IT ON THE PARENTS
When it comes to lateness, some people may develop this trait from their parents, for example if they didn’t grow up with mum and dad in the house and one parent would pick them up late every weekend, this could translate into adult life.
Time management expert and director of The One Moment Company, Carmel Moore, said this can go either way.
She said if you had a parent who was always late picking you up from school, then you might be over punctual.
This spells trouble for anyone else in your team, as if they are late, they could be regarded as an ‘under-performer’ she said.
Another thing to consider is that not everyone’s brains work in the same way.
Somia added that people who have conditions such as autism or ADHD find time management hard.
She said that poor timing keeping often sits alongside struggling to organise things and losing items.
If you do have one friend who is always late, there are things you can do to help, remember that there might be a reason they are late and that they could be feeling overwhelmed.
Ask if there is any way that you can help or support them.
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