As much as we all would like to have, there is no rulebook or guide to teach you how to emotionally detach from someone.
Imagine this scenario: You were there, simply living your life, thinking everything was just fine. And then boom, they banged into your life with a vibrant and beautiful personality. Suddenly, a life that was plain monochrome was filled with a burst of colors. They completed you like no one else before.
But then, slowly, the colors dimmed and faded away. They started making you feel gloomier than ever, and you had to cut them off.
It’s been days since you let them go, but you are still hung up on them. You have met new people who have brought in fresh shades of colors, but you keep comparing them to your lost love.
In fact, you think about them every single day. Because your emotions were real, and you were always all in. And because you have always thought of love to be permanent and you can’t help but look back on what you lost.
Why is it so difficult to detach from someone we love and care for?
Because breakups, whether from romantic relationships, toxic family members, or unsupportive friends, are a form of grief. It is normal to feel a sense of loss, denial, loneliness, and distress while going through this phase. In fact, if you struggle to figure out how to emotionally detach yourself from someone, you are far from alone.
While learning how to detach from someone is a tricky process, there are some things you can do to ease the healing process. In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the 13 proven and effective methods of emotional detachment from someone.
But First, Why Is Detachment, Actually?
A lot of people have different meanings for detachment.
For some, it can be as simple as avoiding people and situations that uptick their stress levels or make them anxious. For others, it can be a way to build healthy boundaries from physically or mentally distressing relationships.
It is not complete emotional numbing or social withdrawal. Instead, detachment means neutrality. It is the breaking of unhealthy ties that otherwise keep you tethered to toxic feelings.
When you learn how to emotionally detach yourself from someone you liked or loved, they stop affecting you. You no longer peek into their lives or compare people with them. You do not have strong negative reactions toward them. And most importantly, your life is not consumed by their thoughts.
So, Why Is Emotional Detachment Necessary?
If you have ever wanted to have satisfying relationships in life truly, you need to let go of the baggage of the failed ones. In many cases, emotional detachment can be the best way to regain control of your life and take charge of your mental health and well-being.
So, is learning how to detach yourself from someone hard?
Even if you really really loved them?
The reality is sometimes you must let go of things and walk away from people that make your life difficult. Sometimes you have to learn to detach yourself and accept that detachment is okay. There is absolutely nothing wrong with moving on in your life. You cannot and should not live a life wondering about what could have been.
Now that you have hopefully understood the meaning and importance of emotional detachment let us move on to the ‘how’ of the question.
13 Tips On How To Emotionally Detach From Someone
1. Discard things that remind you of them.
We don’t clearly have the superpower to rewrite history or completely delete the memories of those we love. But what you can do is wipe out things from your immediate environment that remind you of them. Additionally, you can also let go of situations or people that disrupt your mental peace and equilibrium.
Rather than avoiding all your memories and running away from them (which is exhausting), you can try making new, happy memories instead. For immediate effects, remove all things from your room, car, house, etc., off stuff you associate with them.
2. Acknowledge And Accept The Reasons.
Acknowledging why you had to let go of the person or why you are learning how to detach from someone would be a good start.
We are all humans, and our emotions often outweigh our rational judgments. Therefore, at times, you might also want to go back to the person who hurt you. In these moments of weakness, reminding yourself why you are doing this is essential.
Knowing and accepting that detachment is important for you and your mental health will strengthen your resolve.
3. Do Not Bottle Up Your Emotions.
Detachment brings a string of exhausting emotions – from overwhelming guilt, regret, anger, and denial (insert any other uncomfortable emotions). Releasing these emotions can be one of the most difficult yet important parts of learning how to emotionally detach.
You can choose from a whole barrage of activities like dance, kickboxing, painting, journaling, etc. The only criterion is that it should be a safe outlet for unhealthy emotions that might harm you if kept bottled up.
4. Reconnect with things and people that make you happy.
It is normal to be too focused on a significant person in your life and let go of other things or people that might have interested you in the past. But when you lose this significant one, it leaves behind a big void and feels almost unfillable.
Therefore, an effective way to learn how to get unattached to someone is to reconnect with things and people that made you happy in the past. It can help you remember the person you were before, which is strangely empowering in some ways.
5. Find support from your loved ones.
One of the biggest pieces of advice for anyone looking to learn how to emotionally detach from someone is to lean on your support systems. When you lose yourself in a relationship, your friends and loved ones can help you find your way back to yourself.
6. Be kind to yourself.
This whole process of learning how to emotionally detach yourself from someone you like or love is tough. There will be times when you make mistakes or fall back on old habits. There will be times when this whole process will feel unbelievably hard. On these hard days, it is important to be kind to yourself from than anything else.
You are already going through a pretty difficult time, and bullying yourself about it will only make the process harder. So cut yourself some slack and be compassionate with yourself.
7. There is no timeline for healing.
Healing is seldom a straight line. The process of healing, forgiving, and moving on takes time. You cannot just wake up one fine day and choose to forget what happened to you. Healing takes time, and so you need to give yourself that time.
More importantly, there is no timeline for learning how to emotionally detach yourself from someone. So make sure you don’t give yourself ultimatums about moving on in a fixed amount of time. That would be pretty counterproductive to the whole process.
8. Don’t jump on the blame bandwagon. It is not all your fault.
Regardless of the reason, do not start blaming yourself for whatever happened with your relationship. Do not start blaming the other person too. Instead, blame the situation or relationship itself.
Rather than using words like “They were toxic and manipulative,” use sentences like “We weren’t right for each other,” or “We wanted different things in life,” etc.
See, we are not telling you to sugarcoat things, but there is no point in piling up hate or anger for them in your heart. Having a fresh perspective on why the relationship ended will also help rework the hurtful emotions associated with it.
9. Start little by little.
Like all other things in life, the process of figuring out how to emotionally detach yourself from someone also starts with small, baby steps.
Therefore, do not overwhelm yourself with big steps in the initial part of the process. Start slow. Begin with deleting their messages or contact number at the beginning. If you can’t do that, start with whatever you can. This is not easy at all, but slowly you get the hang of how things work.
There will be some things that will have become a part of your personality now. You will not understand how to let them go initially, but slowly letting go will make more sense than holding on. Just give things time.
10. Forget the overhyped idea of closure.
It’s hard to accept, but when you actually get down to feeling it, there is no closure. There is no magical meeting, conversation, or action that will make you feel better. That’s the hardest part, actually – nothing you say or do will make you feel 100% okay with ending things with someone.
So one of the most effective tips on how to detach emotionally from someone is to let go of the idea of a fictitious closure. There is nothing they can do to take away anything from your pain. The concept of closure is just another thing we make up in our minds to delay detaching from someone. So don’t wait up for them to do something magical. You are done, for good.
11. Remember that the pain you are feeling is temporary.
The initial pain of learning how to detach emotionally from someone is a lot. You start to feel like you will never love or trust someone again. You accept that good things will never happen to you and that love is just a waste of time. But all these feelings are temporary. You will fall in love again, make new friends, and have healthy relationships. Good, happy things will knock on your door again, and you will embrace them with open arms.
12. Give yourself space to rediscover who you are.
When you are with someone who makes you feel happy or complete, you tend to direct a lot of attention and time toward that person. In this way, you neglect yourself and your well-being a lot. This way, when you lose this person, it gets so much harder to find your back to who you were before this person arrived. You are left shattered with so many questions and a fractured sense of self-awareness.
Therefore, another effective way to learn how to emotionally detach from someone is to rediscover who you really are. Indulge in journaling, meditation, spirituality, or any other activity that brings you closer to yourself each day. As time passes, you will heal to become a stronger and more mature version of yourself.
13. Look for professional help if necessary.
Figuring out how to emotionally detach from someone you like or love is complicated. And doing it alone can be exhausting. Therefore, it is okay to ask for help from professionals rather than struggle with your problems.
Having a good therapist is like having a neutral, third-party observer who can help and guide you throughout this journey. Seeking professional help is even more necessary if your mental health and well-being have been severely affected due to this person or situation.
Learning how to emotionally detach from someone is one of the most difficult yet essential things you will do for yourself. Throughout this whole process, it is vital to understand that detaching does not mean you are weak. It does not mean that you are hurting people; it simply means that you are looking after yourself and placing your needs higher than others.
You don’t have to pretend that your past didn’t happen or that the people you loved didn’t matter. Of course, they did. They will always matter to you in some form or another. Your past has shaped you into the person you are today, but it doesn’t have to control you always. You can always say goodbye to painful memories and make space for what matters in your heart.
We hope these 13 tips will help you effectively detach from your past and move forward in life. If you need additional help, here are our favorite suggestions for movies to watch when you are looking to move on.
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