Point/Counterpoint: In Defense of Being Late All the Time


Getty/Melodie Jeng

When I first wrote about my chronic lateness a couple weeks ago, I knew it would spark an impassioned response. If there's anything my lack of punctuality has taught me over the years, it's that people are very divided on the subject: Many roll their eyes at "that friend" who always shows up after everyone else, while others sheepishly admit that they're guilty. Some carry anxiety about even being five minutes late, while others (like me) feel anxious at the prospect of arriving before anyone else.

But tackling the subject from a psychological point of view gave this habit a new kind of context. For me, it helped explain why I subconsciously feel the need to run down the clock so that I can more effectively take steps to address it. And hopefully, for those who are always punctual, it helped clarify the fact that more likely than not, their late friends aren't being intentionally rude at all.

Either way, it definitely kept the conversation going at Byrdie HQ—which is why we thought it only made sense to share excerpts from our lively email thread on the subject. Below, we discuss: What's really behind our punctuality (or lack thereof)?