Detaching yourself emotionally from a person, especially one who’s close to you, can prove to be terribly difficult. This is because humans are emotional creatures by nature; there’s hardly a single person on the planet who hasn’t gone through an emotional roller coaster ride at one point of time or the other in their lives. And that’s totally okay. But then certain conditions force you to re-evaluate your lives and your emotional connections with people. And sometimes, you realize it’s best to stay away from some people and situations, rather than making yourself go through unnecessary emotional trauma over and over again.
How to Detach from Someone
Know that there are NO shortcuts and detours. Detachment is something that takes a lot of time and tons of patience. Know this from the very beginning so that you don’t feel like giving up when things don’t happen as quickly as you expect them to. It’s difficult, it’s painful and there will be times when you will feel like giving up. But don’t give up hope! This is part of the process.
Give yourself time to heal
When you’re hurt physically, your wounds take time to heal, right? Days, weeks and sometimes even months. The best you can do is to take your meds, take care of your wound and go about your regular business. It’s the same with emotional wounds. They take time to heal and you simply can’t rush them. Slow is fast. If you want to know how to detach from someone quickly, you have to take your time to adjust and heal.
Recognize your self-worth
Detachment becomes difficult for those who have little to no self-worth. Why? Because they’re so weak that they keep running back to the same people over and over again (the ones that hurt them) for emotional “support”. But here’s the thing – you’re a lot more important than the credit you give to yourself. And assuming that you’re not, there is still no reason to go rushing back into the arms of the very people who hurt you without blinking twice!
Keep a journal
It’s a cliché, we know, but journaling exists for a reason. It’s the same reason a lot of therapists ask their clients to jot down their thoughts on a piece of paper – because it’s helpful and cathartic. Writing down things that happen to you helps you give an outsider’s perspective on what really is happening, what is good for you and what is not, which people genuinely love you and which ones don’t, etc. And once you have a clearer picture of what’s negative, wrong, or cluttered in your life, it is much easier for you to focus your energy on detaching yourself from that person.
Neutralize your thoughts
This means having to stay away from all the negative energy and emotions around you that clutter your mind and heart. Neutralizing one’s thoughts towards unwanted actions, emotions and people is actually one of the best tips on how to detach from someone.
If you find that neutralizing your thoughts isn’t something that comes easily for you, begin by distracting yourself instead. Keep your mind and/or body occupied all the time, be it for personal or professional errands. Make sure you never have enough free time that will allow your mind to wander and enter emotional territories that you’d rather leave alone. Also, do not constantly focus on avoiding a person. If you do so, then exactly the opposite is going to happen. Because once you focus on not thinking about something, then that’s exactly what you’ll be thinking about all day long.
Get out of your comfort zone
Do stuff that you’ve never done before – skiing, bungee jumping, making friends with strangers, watching a movie alone, attending a ballet performance, following a band across the country – or whatever crazy stuff that comes to your mind! These activities will act as a way to replace your emotional attachment to the loss you are undergoing.
Set emotional boundaries
For this, you first need to decide what constitutes as “emotional” for you. Then make it a mental note to NEVER mention those things in your conversations with people. If they are brought up, politely tell people, "I am uncomfortable discussing this. I would appreciate it if we don’t discuss it." Make your emotional boundaries clear to yourself and to those around you, and if certain people still don’t respect your decision, then guess what? It’s time to detach from those jerks as well!
Finally! Without taking this last step, you can never know how to detach from someone for real. You’ve come to the last part or the last leg of your journey. Weeks, months, or even years of detaching yourself has come to this. Now, you’re a lot more okay than you were before. You’ve come to realize where you really stand, who you are, what you can do, and what makes you happy. Just remember that your journey is forward in the future, and not backwards in the past.