About 10 years ago in a conversation with my sponsor Ruth, we discussed certain people who seem to view friendship as an Olympic sport. The ones prone to saying, "Come help me, but go away" or "Hey let's connect," then never follow through, confusing us with their inconsistency and erratic behavior.
For instance, calling one day acting eager to connect, but then failing to respond when we return messages, leaving us hanging unresolved for weeks or months. This weird yet common behavior highlights how impressively unskillful some can be at building healthy connections that allow for growth. I jokingly refer to these folks as "comets" or the "like to be chased" people - appearing and disappearing on a whim, making us wonder what's with that behavior?
When I asked Ruth whether to keep expending time and energy hoping these people might change, or just move on, she insightfully advised:
"Kiddo, stick with the easy ones - people you enjoy being around, who appreciate you for you, where you don't have to jump through hoops vying for time, attention and connection. High-maintenance, energy-sucking relationships like these just aren't healthy, leaving little room for peace with all their passive-aggressive, hot-cold nonsense.
Focus instead on those who uplift you, not those requiring you to play games or engage in passive-aggressive communication. You deserve to live fully, not chase conditional friends or try to fix people unwilling to do their own work.
For some, suffering is an intentional choice - if they weren't miserable, they wouldn't know what to do. Perhaps they aren't ready to be happy yet. This isn't about you, it's about where they're at. Your job is to love your life."
That's when I changed how I dealt with comets, realizing they come and go naturally, and it's best to just accept them as they are. There is freedom in that.
一We Are the Practice Itself