How To Detach From Someone

Isn’t it funny, how as humans we can become so completely and utterly besotted with a person?

How To Detach From Someone (2)

There you are, just living your life, thinking everything is just fine, and then bang, you meet them and it’s as if you were only ever seeing things in black and white, and they’re this total burst of bright and vibrant color.

And then slowly, over time, those colors fade away. They become dark and dingy and they just make you feel sad, reminiscing on how it felt to see them at their most vivid.

And even though you know you were perfectly fine before these colors, you’re petrified to go back to that black-and-white life again. 

I don’t think there are really words to describe still loving someone that you know is no good for you. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or lover, there’s an inexplicable pain in trying to let your brain battle with your heart. 

I remember the first time I was ever cheated on, I balled my eyes out crying, begging to anyone who would listen: just let me stop loving him. So many people will give you advice to just leave.

To just get over it. And believe me, I was trying. My brain would scream at me to let go, to detach myself from him, but my heart just couldn’t do it. 

But you’ll always be stuck in the same place if you don’t learn to detach, because despite how much we may love them, sometimes people just refuse to change.

And you can’t force them to change, you can’t force them to truly care. And they’ll only continue to hurt you. And you don’t deserve that.

So in this article, I’m going to list some of my hints and tricks as to how I finally mastered detaching my heartstrings from particularly toxic people. 

What Is Detachment? 

To truly detach from someone, you need to understand what detachment is. And it can mean a few things. For some, it is ‘emotional numbing.’

This is where you get to a point where the disappointments and heartbreaks no longer reach you in the same way.  You don’t feel them deeply anymore. 

For others, it’s building and maintaining important boundaries where you are putting yourself first. And leaving when these boundaries are breached. All relationships should have clear boundary lines (You might also want to check out How To Stop Being Codependent?). 

Detachment isn’t rude or unfeeling, and it doesn’t mean you lack empathy. It is a form of self-preservation in which you put your mental health first. And that isn’t selfish. 

How To Let Go Of Someone You Love

So how do you get the brain to beat the heart? I’m not certain you truly ever do. Letting go of someone and stopping loving someone aren’t always the same thing.

But you can weaken the feelings of the heart and strengthen the self-preservation in your brain in several different ways. This is how I was able to move on from a moment in my life that I thought I’d be stuck in eternally. 

Rationalize – Know Your Reasons

If you believe that it is detrimental to your mental health to distance yourself from someone you love, it is not without cause. Something has made you feel this way.

Spend some time to really understand why you need to leave and write it down somewhere you can revert back to in those moments of weakness. Remind yourself of why you made this decision. 

Don’t Hold Your Emotions In

Releasing those built-up emotions is pretty cathartic and really is essential to allow you to move forward. Many people try to bury unpleasant emotions hoping that they’ll just *poof* and disappear.

But that very rarely happens. They’ll just manifest in some other form or manner, and at some point, you’ll need to face them, so you may as well do it now. 

Whether you need to go kickboxing to get the anger out, whether you need to cry to a sad song, or go into nature and just scream, make sure you have an outlet for those emotions that you are feeling. 

Don’t React. Respond

When it comes to the dreaded day of saying your final goodbyes, it’s not going to be a pleasant conversation. In fact, the other person may have quite a negative reaction, and say something potentially triggering. 

Don’t rise to this level, if you’ve already decided to leave, an argument isn’t necessary. Respond to what they say without being argumentative. 

Start Small

It doesn’t have to be a case of cutting someone out of your life with the click of your fingers. Just like quitting smoking or drinking, you may need to reduce your exposure to this person bit by bit.

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It’s much better to have slow progression towards your goal than to slip up early on and revert back to the way things used to be.  

Maybe today you’ll delete those pictures of the two of you. Maybe tomorrow, you won’t reply as much. Maybe the day after you’ll delete their number. Take it at your own pace. 

Keep A Journal

Sometimes there are things swirling around in your mind that just need to be said. They need to come out of your brain and into the tangible world. But sometimes those things that need to be said, don’t always need to be heard

Writing a journal is a great way to collect all the thoughts in your mind in a way that you can work through and process. A way that doesn’t involve saying things that you may live to regret. It’s a great way to get everything out totally unfiltered. 

Be Kind To Yourself

Finally, be kind to yourself. Chances are, you’re already going through a pretty tough time without bullying yourself about the situation too. It’s normal to struggle to cut someone out of your life.

It’s normal to miss toxic people. It’s normal to be heartbroken or sad. 

You’re not going to detach yourself from someone you love overnight. But try not to reminisce and look backward too often. Try to focus on the future and all the great things to come. 

Final Thoughts

There is no real time frame in which a person will detach from someone they love.

And it’s certainly no easy feat. But if you are considering detaching from someone, it’s because somewhere along the line they are causing you pain.

Perhaps they let you down, betray your trust, or make you feel inadequate. But whatever the reason, you know deep down that you’ll thrive much better without them.

Give yourself time, be patient, and most importantly love yourself in the way that your heart generously loves others.

Ben Easter
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