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couple detaching themselves from one another
Relationships

How To Detach Yourself From Someone?

Learning how to emotionally detach from someone is not easy.


Imagine this

A soothing breeze touches your skin and gives a gentle shiver to the senses. At the same time, the wind is flailing your hair, and the weather is impressive to go outside. Look! The tiny sprinkles of water have started dropping from the clouds, too. 

BUT, you are not quite well and shouldn’t go outside because it may give you a cold, and this is the reason you DETACH yourself from the beautiful nature that’s calling you out.

couple going to bed having problems

Sometimes, leaving behind what isn’t good for you is the best thing you do for yourself— even if it provides you comfort, fulfilment, and stagnancy.  

I know detaching yourself from someone/something is difficult, but it’s not impossible. At the end of the day, you cannot live in an unhealthy relationship or with a toxic family member forever. If it’s hurting you mentally or physically— you must let go of them for your mental peace and health. 

However, it’s never as easy as it sounds— letting go of someone is the most challenging thing humans have to go through. 

Being with someone can make us addicted to them. It is almost impossible to give the cold shoulder to the person we are obsessed with or have lived with for centuries. 

  • We may close our eyes to avoid seeing our partner/family’s wrongdoings. 
  • Parents/family members may emotionally blackmail us into avoiding confrontation/detachment. 
  • They may hide their true personality behind rainbows and roses. Sweet lies blind us. 

So, what to do when you are hurting physically or mentally because of someone you have known all your life and someone you cannot just cut off? There’s no easier answer than ‘detaching yourself from the said person.’

What Is Attachment?

It doesn’t purposefully mean forgetting your family/partner/materialistic goods. No, detachment doesn’t ask you to completely let go of school, family, materials, friends, or anything. It simply asks you to detach yourself from attachment. 

scissors cutting a string

Confusing, isn’t it? Well, imagine this—

“You loved your partner immensely— you wanted to shower them with love and affection, and it was pure. However, their existence soon became the reason behind your own happiness. Nothing else mattered, not your own happiness, career, or choices— all that mattered was your partner’s happiness and their choices.” 

“You would let go of things you enjoyed just because your partner didn’t like it because you were scared that they would leave you behind. If they left, there would be nothing left for you.”

That’s attachment—when you align your existence/happiness with others— when you hold onto them even when you don’t want to.

It’s a universal truth; the attachment will lead to suffering. Why? Because nothing is permanent, things/people you are attached to now will have to leave someday.

That’s not all; attachment will also make it difficult for you to let go of people who hurt you, discourage you, give you anxiety and stress. 

What Is Detachment?

Detachment has many meanings. In general, detachment or de-attachment means separation or a process of disconnecting.

Detachment will lead to freedom. You will appreciate and enjoy the present, but you will know when to let go!

woman loving herself

In Bhagavad Gita Chapter 6, Krishna says-

“Detachment isn’t about you own nothing; it’s about nothing owns you.”

  • Instead of completely cutting off the said person, set boundaries to make them understand

Whether it’s your family, friends, or a serious relationship— it’s essential to maintain boundaries before enslaving yourself to their choices. 

  • Attachment makes you compromise your own happiness to keep your beloved half/family happy. Suppose the said person’s always demanding and not caring about your happiness. In that case, you should probably let go of them or make them understand. In detachment, you prioritize yourself. 

You need to understand, you are a whole person and nobody’s half. To love others, you must love yourself first, truly and completely. 

  • Detachment eliminates unwanted guilt. 

A toxic relationship will be demanding and burdening. Your partner/family will try to put you into guilt to have their ways. Before you give in, ask yourself, ‘if this demand was accurate?’

Trust me, demands are never accurate. If your family/relationship constantly demands or expects things from you, they are not healthy for you! A relationship/family is for sharing happiness, emotions, and healthy co-existence. You don’t owe anyone anything, neither your parents nor your partner.

If they make you guilty or throw high expectations at you, let them go!

What Is Emotional Detachment?

Many people misunderstand emotional detachment as something that detaches you from worldly goods and emotions. They would ask you to completely disconnect from sources that bring raw emotions out of you. 

However, as humans, we would never want to truly detach ourselves from everything and every source that brings out emotions within us. Complete detachment from emotions will make our lives dull and mute— something nobody would wish for. 

woman hiding from past traumas

In simple language, emotional detachment allows us to disconnect from people/sources that bring us traumas, constant mental and physical pain, depression and hurt. 

Every relationship will have its ups and downs; you will get angry or sad/happy because of their actions. It is natural for relationships to have fights and disagreements— emotions balance out relationships. 

Relationships become toxic when they seize your personal growth, happiness, success, and especially your freedom. Sooner or later, such kinds of relationships will suffocate you and lead to depression. 

If you are dealing with such family members/partners who are constantly snatching away your mental peace. In that case, you need to detach from that person emotionally. 

Why Is Emotional Detachment Necessary?

To breathe freely, you must break through those chains that hold you back and hurt you in the process. Even if we end that painful relationship or move away from a particular family member, our emotional attachment makes us yearn for them and worry about them. 

The thought of losing our love is what makes us sleepless at night. Being cheated and deceived by the love of your life is unbearable, I know. 

woman cutting off her engagement

To truly let go, you must understand your self-worth and how wrong those people were to you.

Giving your everything to the person you love is fantastic. Still, if that person is funding your anxieties and sufferings, it is wise to step out from that bond.

Maturity teaches us to love ourselves fully; then only can we love another being. I know some people hesitate to take this decision, and it may sound selfish. But, no! Prioritize yourself! In these situations, it is prevention and not insensitive behavior.

Detaching or separating from the unfair situation, people, or relationships at the right time can save many things.

  1. It stabilizes your mental peace and aids your brain to work peacefully.
  2. One can learn that not everything can be controlled the way they want.
  3. Being consumed with “what-if” thoughts can lead to turmoil in mind, and detachment aids in attaining peace of mind.
  4. Detaching from an inappropriate relationship also helps you choose the right partner without surrendering a belief in love on an emotional level.
  5. It also teaches empathy to other people’s feelings without endangering their sentiments.
  6. You choose freedom over toxicity. 
  7. You save yourself from further depression, anxiety, and emotional traumas.
  8. You pursue self-growth, self-love, and self-importance. Other’s words or actions will no longer affect you. 

What Causes Emotional Detachment?

Let not past relationships or traumas scare you away from a healthy relationship. While practicing emotional detachment, it’s also necessary to understand the difference between toxic relationships and healthy ones. 

woman being told to shut up

A healthy relationship will bring positivity, energy, and growth. 

  • PTSD’s: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition where a person feels very uncomfortable and nervous because of past traumatic events. These traumas can make individuals apathetic with their sense of emotional engagement.
  • Experienced betrayal: This is the most common cause of future emotional detachment. Individuals who have experienced hurtful relationships/breakups find it hard to trust new individuals and future interests. Such individuals find it challenging to open up even with someone they genuinely find ideal. That fear of pain still haunts them.
  • Encounter abuse: Undergoing and moving out from a mentally and physically abusive relationship can result in emotional detachment in future relationships. The flashbacks keep individuals occupied and thus, make them isolate the world.

Involuntary emotional detachment is dangerous because you are stumped with fear and past events. 

Thus, it’s essential to differentiate people. You don’t have to disconnect from the world to detach from that one one specific person. Simply remove that toxic person, and you will find that the world is still beautiful. It was these people who turned it ugly. 

The questions still linger: 

  • How to detach from a toxic person/relationship?
  • What is the correct time to disconnect from someone?

Trust me, when you accept the fact that these people are bad for you is the time you can truly move on and let go of them. 

Please note: Voluntarily rehearsing the art of detachment will be fruitful. But if certain events or medications make you emotionally numb, I would suggest consulting a doctor or a therapist.

What is the correct time to detach from someone?

This is, without a doubt, the most crucial question and action. Despite all the awful things that have happened, many are still attached to their feelings for their partner. However, you should take the initiative and take a step forward. What are the clues for you? 

  • They stop your growth: If your partner stops you from living your dreams, your lifestyle choices, or your spending time with friends— it’s best to talk things out. If they don’t understand, disconnect from them. 
  • They are controlling in nature: They control your life decisions. 
  • Manipulative: Manipulation will make you think you are the culprit in this relationship. This kind of relationship makes you feel guilty and at fault all the time. 
  • If you get hurt physically or mentally: Stop! Take a step forward to detach from that relationship. No one has the right to abuse you in any way. The place where you are no longer respected is the place you shouldn’t be in at all. 
  • When you don’t feel the same for each other: People sometimes fall in love to fill the empty void within. Also, in this century, we are keen to be in a relationship without suitably knowing a person in front.
  • They disrespect your ideas and make fun of your decision: Your partner must support you in your dreams. If they make a laughing stock out of you and make you feel inferior, let go! 
  • A loop of mistakes: Everyone makes mistakes, intentionally or unintentionally, but if your partner continues to make those mistakes even after talking things out— they are habitual of getting away. Take a deep breath, untangle yourself from this loop. It’s time to unfasten from this relationship.

How to efficiently let go of toxic people from life? 

Letting go feels like freedom, and it takes a ton of bravery to achieve such liberation. It’s crucial to understand why you want to detach from this relationship or family member. 

Most of the time, people are aware that they are in a toxic relationship, affecting their mental health. They still continue to live in that toxic environment.

Don’t be that person, please!

happy woman giving hearts

1. Don’t Fear Changes. 

Breaking up doesn’t resolve the situation. You would still yearn for their presence and fake affection after their dispersal. It’s human nature to resist and undo changes. Changes make us uncomfortable, so many people choose not to break up. 

So, before you start, remind yourself, “Whatever happens, happens for a reason.” 

As mainstream as it might sound, chances are good for you, and they will open new relationship opportunities and freedom. 

2. Forgive, but don’t forget. 

We are taught to forgive and empathise with people who have done wrong to us countless times. Of course, forgiving helps us move on.

However, forgiving doesn’t equate to accepting them back in the relationship. 

Forgive and move on! Forgiveness will help you get rid of grudges and anger. On the other, ‘not forgetting their actions’ will help you move on! 

3. Stick To Your Reasons

It’s essential to remind yourself why you chose to let go of this person. Especially when you have tried to talk things out a hundred times without visible changes. 

  • Make a merits/demerit list. If their demerits are far worse, you probably know the answer 

4. Choose mental health before a toxic partner.

You would inevitably want to go back to your partner/family. Instead of focusing on them, focus on what’s more to your life. In a relationship, we often combine their goals and happiness with ours. It’s time that you solely focus on yourself and live life as a whole individual. 

It’s 100% more difficult to let go of your family, you grew up with them, and they brought you into this world. But giving birth and owning you are two different things. 

Parents often use emotional blackmailing to stop you from getting away, giving birth to hatred. Don’t forget, they gave you birth to live, not to be burdened by chains, rules, regulations, and expectations. Prioritize yourself and put your happiness and choices first. 

If your parents don’t align with your preferences, try to make them understand. However, if they don’t and use violence to put you down— distance yourself from them. 

5. It Takes Time, So Give Yourself Enough Time To Move On

Of course, we cannot forget and move on just like that. Healing, forgiving, and moving on takes time. So, make sure you give yourself enough time and not fall into the same turmoil. 

Often, we melt listening to our partners’ fake lies. Don’t fall for those rainbows. Your rainbows lie in freedom and growth— not in their beautiful cage. 

6. Block them completely: 

Block their number, social media accounts, and their presence. 

This is indeed the very first step to help yourself forget that individual. The more you see their activities, the harder it gets. Even if you hold negative feelings towards them, you are still engrossed with them in a way. 

So, let go of that anger and forgive them. 

7. Do what you like

Yes! Do whatever you like and whatever your partner kept you from trying. It can be dance, paint, yoga, learning an instrument, fashion, studies, etc. Please do it! Studies prove that these activities help you feel good about yourself, boost confidence, and help you to overcome negativity.

8. Acknowledge what happened

Forget “What ifs”! 

  • What if we didn’t react this way?
  • What if this didn’t happen?
  • What if I’m overthinking?

Nothing could have changed their actions, trust me! It was necessary to let go! 

  • Accept what happened.
  • Accept the fact that they are not the same people anymore. 
  • Accept that they did you wrong continuously.
  • Accept the fact that they changed for your bad. 

9. Spend time with f&f: 

group of people enjoying their time

Enjoying with friends and families can also help you from fretting about your ex. The better you feel, the more your mind focuses on the positive aspects. The happier you become, the stronger you eliminate negativity.

10. Try affirmations: 

Many studies have proven the power of affirmation. You can manifest whatever you want to— trust me, we have that power. 

So, affirm 

  • positivity, 
  • Disconnection with your partner, 
  • family member, 
  • and detachment from things that bring you no good.

11. Hope for the best: 

When my heart broke, I got detached from everyone around me. This invited negativity, and I started missing my ex even more. But as soon as you believe that you deserve better and that everything happens for a reason— things will turn out to be all in favor.

12. Please focus on the future. 

This is the most cliché advice we listen to. However, I advise you to write down all the traits you want in your future partner, and this will help you focus more on the future than the past. 

Don’t just plan your future partner, but also design your future goals, dreams, and present days. 

13. Throw away the fantasy

Don’t live in the future fantasies. We often try to cheer ourselves up by reminiscing about the beautiful time spent with our ex-es. This unintentionally makes us hold on to our partners. The good times were in the past. Stop fantasizing. Do you know what the best part is? There are better times ahead of us— more beautiful, pretty, and cheerful. 

14. Abandon the memories

We cannot live and exist in the memories; we have to live in the present. The present may seem painful at the moment, but they are preparing us for better times. 

“Destruction gives birth to beauty.”

So, everything might seem dark and dead, but good times await you! That’s for sure!

15. Prioritize yourself

Prioritizing yourself is the best and most effective way to let go of toxicity. Think about the bad things that happened in the past and how you overcame them; meet new people, experience unusual things, and do what you always wanted to do. 

Conclusion

Detachment is not as easy as removing the posts with your ex from Instagram. Instead, it’s an ongoing process. 

But when you prioritize yourself, you realize your worth. The moment you accept that this person doesn’t own you or hold any power in your life, you will achieve the path of happiness. 

Fall in love with yourself ultimately; only then can you provide all the love to your partner & yourself.

It’s an important lesson we all should take classes from. If you were here for help, I hope this helped you! Remember! You deserve more than you even think! You are amazing. Smile!

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by Genesis Gutierrez

Genesis is the founder of Harness Magazine, a digital media company that celebrates and elevates the voices of women around the world. A first-generation college graduate, Genesis holds a degree in from UCLA with hopes of going back for a Masters in Social Work.

Through her work as an editor-in-chief of Harness, Genesis has dedicated herself to amplifying the stories of women specifically marginalized communities. She is committed to creating space for those who are often left out of mainstream conversations, and believes that storytelling is one of the most powerful tools we have for building community and sparking social change.


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