Stuck on someone toxic? Follow these tips and learn how to emotionally detach from someone and let go of the relationship that is harming you.
It’s Time to Move on and Emotionally Detach
It can be heartbreaking when you are in a relationship that is doing more harm than good. In your heart, you know that you must move on. But, but knowing that is what is right, and doing it are two different things altogether. Learning how to emotionally detach is a valuable tool that, if you learn how to do it, you will use the methods over and over again throughout your life.Most people have experience heartbreak at least once in their lives. So, the most important thing to understand is that you are not alone, and there are many steps you can take to help you emotionally detach from a bad relationship. During this time of your life, you are allowed to grieve, be sad, and cry; however, you are also allowed to be somewhat selfish and to treat yourself. It is your time, and it is the perfect time of your life to get back to who you once were, or who you were destined to be. Emotionally detaching doesn’t have to be a sad ending, it can be the beginning of a new and improved you. So, let’s do this!
When you should emotionally detach from someone
There are times you are just simply moving on in your life, and it’s a matter of time before you do. But then, there are times in which you know you are just plain old stuck on someone. You know it’s not helping anything. Maybe your efforts to get back together keep getting shot down. Maybe your ex cheated on you or abused you, and it was such a toxic relationship that you still feel trapped. Maybe, even though the relationship was hurtful, it is what you are used to keeping so going back to what you are comfortable with, and what you know the best. These are all reasons you should learn how to emotionally detach from someone.
When you are feeling depressed, weepy, useless, hopeless, abused, or used you need to move on. When you spend all of your time picturing what they’re doing without you, rather than focusing on moving on yourself, it is time to detach yourself from that person. Most people, at one point or another, will have the same feelings that you have, and it is important to know that you are completely normal. You are in pain and going through a grieving process, but there are steps you can take, and things you can do that will make this process easier and hopefully faster. Follow these tips to learn how to emotionally detach from someone whom you know you need to move on from.
1. Emotionally detach by getting busy
Sometimes we have way too much time on our hands, so emotionally detaching from someone can be an extremely daunting task when it seems to be all that you think about. Instead of twiddling your thumbs and throwing pity parties all day and every day, you can learn how to detach emotionally by keeping your mind busy with other thoughts. Of course, you can always go out with your friends, visit your parents, or tend to a hobby, but wouldn’t it be great to get a job that you love (or throw yourself into your work)? There is nothing like investing in yourself to fill the void and start to emotionally detach from a nasty ex. Set goals for your career or even the work week, and achieve them. You will feel good about yourself, and your boss will be happy with you too!
I know throwing yourself into your career doesn’t seem as glamorous as “Sex and the City’s” Carrie Bradshaw’s post-breakup Cosmo-filled binges, but trust me when I say it is so much better for you! You will feel really good about yourself as you accomplish more in your career than you will hungover the next day. Excelling in what you are good at will give you the perfect confidence boost to begin your transformation.
2. Learn how to care for yourself again
Chances are you spent a lot of time and energy caring about this toxic ex of yours, or maybe that crumby narcissist that you thought was your friend. So, now is the time to stop worrying about them 24/7 and worry about you! Get that pedicure your ex-husband thought was a waste of money and love yourself as you do it! Have a spa day with your friends and detach from the emotional baggage by relaxing for once. You deserve to treat yourself during this time!
3. Reconnect with lost friends
Unfortunately, a lot of relationships turn out to be soul-sucking and controlling. Maybe you spent a lot of time trying to please your ex and less time with your forever friends. Start reaching out and letting your long-lost besties know you are back, and here to stay. Most true friends will be ready with open arms, because to be honest, who hasn’t been in your situation before? We all need to detach emotionally from a toxic person from time to time. Your true friends will understand and be ready to pick up where you left off!
4. Get a hobby and emotionally detach from the past
Were you stuck in a marriage in which your husband would never let you out of the house, or your boyfriend took all of your time? Time to move on from that narcissist and go for the hobby you have been putting off.Have you wanted to try your hand at roller derby? Now is the time! Not only will you keep yourself busy, but you will also be able to use a hobby as an energy outlet for all the negative emotional energy that has been building up. Learn how to do something new, like curling or horseback riding. Throw yourself into it, so you don’t have time to think about your ex-love.
5. Learn how to attach to yourself as you emotionally detach from them
Yes, it’s time to fall in love with yourself and leave your ex-husband, or boyfriend, behind. You are worthy of love and the only way to attract it is to love yourself first and foremost. Think about the things that make you happy, the things you have accomplished in your life, and the good that you have done for other people, and love yourself for all of these things. If you were in a relationship with a narcissist, it might be hard for you to focus on yourself again, but this is one of the most important steps in learning to detach emotionally from someone.
6. Learn how to invest in yourself
Investing in yourself is going to set you up for future success in everything that you do. I don’t necessarily mean financially; this could mean through education, through a good life coach, your hobbies, or even a new wardrobe. A key factor in being able to move on from someone is by granting yourself the permission to give yourself things that will help you to feel good about yourself. Sometimes our relationships can be expensive. Moving on from a narcissist, for example, might free up some extra money that you can now use for yourself. Go back to school or buy that life-coaching course you saw on Facebook, and who knows, maybe someone else can benefit from your experience down the road.
If you were stuck in a horrible marriage, perhaps your husband had control of the finances, and now you have all this extra cash lying around. It’s yours, and you can do what you want with it. Yup, even that photography course is now doable. So, stop crying over the narcissist in your past, and invest in you!
7. Move your body and emotionally detach through activity
Remember to get busy! We’ve talked about a career and a hobby, but move that body! Did you know that exercise promotes happiness and well-being? Think of it as though you are sweating out the toxins of that emotionally abusive ex! The bonus? A rocking hot bod to be proud of. Invest in your body, and finally get that gym membership. Getting fit will keep your mind off of that narcissist that you feel stuck on, and it will get you out of the house!
8. Get a pet
Animals are amazing at helping us heal. There are tons of scientific data on what animals can do for us emotionally. Instead of putting your love and all your thoughts into an ex who doesn’t deserve it, invest it in something that will love you unconditionally. Even if you can’t have a dog or cat where you live, go for a goldfish. It may sound crazy, but talk it out with your new pet. Sometimes hearing yourself say the words, “I’m ready to move forward” does more than just thinking about them. If all you have right now is Fido; then I’m sure he will be happy to listen to your new mantra every day.
9. Learn how to meditate
Becoming mindful will be beneficial to you in everything that you do in the future. When it comes to detaching from someone, or anything toxic for that matter, living in the moment can bring peace and inner awareness. Spend some time learning how to meditate, or learn to practice yoga on a regular basis. It will bring you into the present moment rather than obsessing over something that you know you need to move on from. Get in the habit of practicing your meditation routine on a daily basis; you will be surprised at what a good morning yoga session can do for the day, and your soul. Many who practice meditating on a regular basis will tell you that it has changed not only their bodies but their mindset as well. It can take time to learn how to meditate, or practice yoga, but all good things come to those who wait (or are patient with themselves). Practice makes perfect, after all.
10. Emotionally detach with baby steps
No one said this would be easy. So, permit yourself to detach at the speed you are comfortable with emotionally. Quitting anything cold turkey is difficult, and you have probably become accustomed to your relationship habits and in a way addicted to them. You will mourn your past relationship, and that is ok. Many of the tips mentioned here are to get you to start thinking about something else. Keep in mind that it is OK to spend some time reflecting, but do not start beating yourself up or falling down a dark hole of despair. You can acknowledge your thoughts and feelings, and then move on from them.
11. Allow yourself time to grieve
Again, you can take some time to mourn. Putting a relationship away can be like grieving over the loss of the loved one. That is why, you are allowed to rest, and take time to reflect and cry. You can trust yourself to know when enough pouting is enough. You will feel it. Understand that grieving is also an important step, and often the first step in emotionally detaching from someone. If you do not learn to address your emotions, they may keep bubbling up, and that may be why you are having trouble detaching in the first place. You may not have taken the time to process what is happening, and what you need to do to move on. Most importantly, do not punish yourself for grieving. Don’t become angry when you feel the hurt bubble up. You are normal, and you are grieving. It is ok, and things will get better.
12. Learn how to forgive yourself
In some cases, you may feel attached to someone because you feel you have done something to cause the relationship to end. Maybe you did, and the guilt you feel is overwhelming. You can’t stop thinking about what you could have done differently and wishing you could go back in time. This will not help you detach from someone who has already moved forward in their life. You cannot control the direction the relationship has now gone in, despite the many apologies you have delivered. So now, you must forgive yourself. Maybe you did something you regret, or maybe you just think you did, but the important thing to understand is that the relationship was at an end no matter what. Let it fall into the cosmos’s lap this time and say to yourself, “it wasn’t meant to be, and I am ready to detach.” Crying over the past won’t make anything better, and hating yourself will only make things worse, so allow yourself to be forgiven for whatever you feel guilty for. After all, you are a human and humans are prone to making mistakes. Someday, you may even look back at the relationship and be glad it as over because little did you know that there was something much better in store for you.
13. Emotionally detach by forgiving him
Did your boyfriend or husband cheat on you? Did he abuse you? While you may not necessarily be able to, or want to forgive him, it is better for you if you can at least try. Forgiveness is not necessarily about forgiving someone for doing you wrong. It is more about allowing yourself to let go of the anger you are holding onto. If you constantly seek justice by waiting for apologies that you may never get, you may only be hurting yourself and your future relationships. If your ex has wronged you in some way, say good riddance, goodbye, and thank your lucky stars you can now detach emotionally and move on from someone who was not good for you.
14. Learn how to let go (emotionally and physically)
Letting go comes in many forms. You can let go emotionally, but you can also let go of an emotional relationship through decluttering physical items.For example: are you still hanging on to his old T-Shirt you used to sleep in? Rip that up and burn it! (Or just give it back if you’d like). Remove the emotional clutter from your life by taking down photos, throwing out movie stub moments, and stowing away or donating gifts he gave you. Out of sight out of mind, as the saying goes, and physically detaching by decluttering your space will help you to emotionally detach much faster.
15. Ask for help from family and friends
Sometimes you just can’t do it alone. If you are stuck and broken-hearted, and you’ve tried many of these tips, you may just need a little help getting over the hump. A lot of time, pride outweighs the risk of asking for help from a friend or family member. If you feel comfortable enough to ask, you may find that they already could tell you were struggling to move on have been ready to help you from day one. There is no shame in asking for help, and you will probably soon discover that others have gone through similar situations and can relate to you.
16. Seek professional help
If you aren’t comfortable asking your friends and family to help you through this rough patch, or they just aren’t as supportive as you’d hoped (or you can tell they are sick of hearing about your ex) maybe it’s time to look into a life coach or therapist. You may find that reaching out to a pro will help you turn things around in no time. Seek out a practice that fits you the best. If you are looking for help in dealing with something in the past, then think about looking into therapy. If you are looking for help with your future goals? Life coaching could be a great option. When it comes to moving on from an ex-boyfriend or husband, why drag it out when you can pay someone to help give you the tools you need to move on with your life. It’s worth it!
17. Stop worrying about what they are doing
If you find that you are imagining what your ex is doing ALL THE TIME, then STOP! It no longer matters what they are doing, who they are talking to, or who they are dating. Picturing them in hypothetical situations is not doing you any good, and it is hindering your progress. If you find that you keep returning to these thoughts, remind yourself that it is over, that it is a good thing that it is over, and your only job right now is to imagine how awesome your life is without the narcissist in your life. It’s all about you now!
18. Consider why you are still attached in order to emotionally detach
Still stuck? Think about all of the tips here and why they may or may not work for you. If you are still attached due to guilt, would you feel better if you apologized? If so, maybe put your pride aside and do so. If you are still attached to someone because you don’t have a choice (maybe you and your ex-husband have children together), you may need to find ways to fulfill your responsibilities but also detach in just an emotional sense, rather than just a physical sense. It may not be feasible for everyone to just cut the ties from an ex-husband, due to family responsibilities, so do your best to understand and accept these responsibilities. Practice meditating before picking the kids up at his house, and keep moving!
19. Surround yourself with positive people
The best thing you can do for yourself is to be positive. To do this, you cannot be around negative Nancys. If you are friends with happy people with a positive outlook on life, this will rub off on you. It is a lot of work to ignore happiness, so forcing yourself to be with good, happy, wholesome people who have it together, will promote your happiness and well being. Remember that yoga practice we were talking about before? Yes, practicing yoga and meditating can also promote positivity in your everyday life. Get your besties together and smash the negative self-talk and make a pact to be positive and compliment each other on your way to yoga every morning before work. It will feel soooo good!
20. Love yourself and be optimistic about the future
Optimism can be hard to come by when you are trying to emotionally detach from someone. However, try your best to always look on the bright side by focusing your thoughts on positive outcomes. Think about the future in such a positive way that it is impossible to think about the narcissist you are leaving behind. Being positive, as hard as it may seem, will attract positive outcomes, positive people, and positive situations. Each of the tips listed here will help you learn how to become a more positive person. If you were in a relationship with someone who was hurtful, it can be difficult to see beyond the situation, but I promise that with practice, you can create a whole new life where only good things come your way.
As you take the time to go through the tips mentioned, you will find that they are all about you, and that is what this time is about. Spending time with yourself is not selfish, it is necessary during this time in your life. Think of it as a time to reboot, reinvent, or refresh yourself. Detaching from someone you were in love with is a very difficult thing, but you can do it. You can do it by paying attention to yourself, loving yourself, and allowing yourself to grieve. You can get over a relationship with the help of others who have been there themselves or are trained to give you the tools you need to move on. This may not be the first, nor last time, you need to emotionally detach from someone who is not right for you, but if you learn the tools and follow some of these tips, it will get easier and easier to detach from negative people in your life. You got this!