I'm looking for a word that means a person who says that they're here to help, but when the help is asked for they don't really want to do it

  • 2
    Since you've tagged this as a single word request, you should include a sample sentence demonstrating how the word would be used. Commented Jun 12 at 14:26

2 Answers 2


A person who says they are here to help you can usually be considered a friend; however, if they abandon you when you need them, they become a fair-weather friend.

fair-weather friend (n.)

A person who cannot be relied on in situations of hardship or difficulty

She's a fair-weather friend.

A friend during pleasant or prosperous times; esp. one who is friendly or dependable only when it is easy or convenient to be so; an unreliable friend; also in extended use.
[OED online]

Have you ever heard the phrase "a fair-weather friend"? A fair-weather friend is a friend who sticks with you on good days (hold up sun poster). A fair-weather friend is someone who likes to be your friend when things are going well...The problem with a fair-weather friend is that when things are not going so well (hold up cloud poster), that friend disappears.
Beth Edington Hewitt; Captivating Children's Sermons: Crafting Powerful, Practical Messages (2005)


I would probably describe them as 'flaky'.


informal : not reliable in performance or behavior : UNDEPENDABLE

From Urban Dictionary, with the highest number of thumbs up: 462 vs 26 thumbs down

A person who is very unreliable. They commit to do things but rarely follow through. They will seem sincere when they make a promise. And perhaps they honestly believe they can deliver. But don't be fooled, trusting a flake will only cause you frustration and heartache when they frequently let you down.

  • Andy from Hereford promised to help with the kids during the holidays, but forgot to organise his diary. Andy is flaky.

  • Andy from Hereford promised to spend the weekend with you, but would never commit to a date. Andy is flaky.


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