Abuse Warrior may earn a commission for purchases made after clicking links on this page. Learn More.

How To Emotionally Detach From Someone

* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.

Relationships, be they with a partner, family member, or friend, can get complicated, and there may come a time when you just need to let go. 

How To Emotionally Detach From Someone

How To Emotionally Detach From Someone

Emotionally detaching yourself from them can be the only way to look after your well-being, as being around certain people may affect you mentally and physically negatively. 

There are several reasons why you may need to detach yourself.

Perhaps you are subject to verbal, or physical abuse. Maybe you’re experiencing anxiety or stress from being around them.

You may even just notice the smallest of things, such as your mood changes slightly whenever you are around them. 

Acknowledging why you need to detach yourself from this person is the first step; knowing the best way to do it will help you move on. 

This article is going to discuss how you can emotionally detach yourself from someone, one step at a time. 

Detachment Explained

Detachment can be thought about in a number of ways.

It can be as simple as avoiding certain situations or people that you know cause you feelings of stress, or upset. 

It can also be in the form of building boundaries with people to help your mental health.

Setting boundaries with the people in your life can help you avoid the negative feelings that come up with certain situations or people, such as anger, stress, resentment, sadness, etc. 

It is important to note, that voluntary detachment should not be confused with the emotional detachment that is associated with depression.

Voluntary detachment is more concerned with building healthy boundaries to avoid triggers that will cause discomfort. 

When Is It Time To Let Someone Go? 

Letting go and emotionally detaching from someone does not mean you no longer care for them.

It just means that you have decided to put yourself first, as they are no longer adding anything positive to your life. 

Knowing when to let go can be tricky, but if you have experienced feeling negative around them for some time, it is time to think about detaching. 

You can think of this as your health depending on their actions. If this is happening to you around a certain person, then it may be time to let go. 

Acknowledge The Reason

As we mentioned earlier, acknowledging the reason as to why you have decided to detach yourself from this person is the first step in doing so. 

It is also a good to constantly remind yourself of the reason, as you may be tempted to go back to them.

Knowing and understanding why you are doing this, and knowing that it is going to benefit your mental health, is a good motive to helping you let go. 

Don’t Hold Back Your Emotions

Don’t Hold Back Your Emotions 

Holding back your emotions is very tempting, but can also lead to your feeling frustrated, angry, and unhappy. 

Letting your feelings out, whether it’s crying, dancing, or trying out a new workout class, is a very important step in letting go and moving forward. 

Feeling your emotions helps take the weight off your shoulders, and allows you to process them in order to move on with your life.

Making sure you have an outlet for your emotions will help release tension and make you feel better. 

Start Slowly

Quitting a relationship or removing yourself from someone’s life can be very difficult, so starting slowly can help the process. 

If you’ve ended a relationship, you may begin by slowly removing them from your life, such as getting rid of their things in your home, or deleted photos you had together. 

If you’re simply detaching yourself from a friend or family member, you may begin by slowly avoiding group gatherings where you know they will be, and perhaps stop meeting up with them one-on-one. 

However, there are situations where starting slowly may not be possible, such as in relationships that involve domestic abuse.

Speaking to a professional who specializes in these relationships would be the best way forward in this situation. 

Practice Patience 

Letting go of a relationship that meant something to you can be very hard, so it is important that you are patience with yourself, because it will hurt at the start. 

However, keep reminding yourself of the reasons for doing this, and before you know it, you’ll begin to feel like yourself again. 

Look Forward 

While it is normal to look back every so often and remember the good parts of your relationship, this will only leave you stuck. 

You should practice looking to the future, feeling excited for what is ahead in your life. 

Avoid Contact 

Avoiding contact is a must, when it comes to leaving a relationship, and this includes sexual contact if you are leaving a partner. 

Contact will only strengthen the attachment you have together, and this makes it very difficult to leave them again. 

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help 

Now is the time to use the people around you for support and help.

Don’t be afraid to explain what is going on, and express that you may need them more in the coming weeks or months. 

Remember, these are people who love you, so they will want to help in any way they can. 

If you have experienced trauma in the relationship you have chosen to leave, then consider seeking professional help from a therapist.

They are qualified professionals who have experience helping people who have experienced similar situations, so this may be beneficial to your mental health. 

You could also join a support group, where you can share your experiences with others who have gone through similar. 

Final Thoughts 

To conclude, emotionally detaching yourself from someone is never easy, but knowing that your mental health comes first, is the first step in letting go. 

It is important to acknowledge why you are doing this, and lean on those you trust to support you. Have patience and you will get there.

Emergency Numbers

Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest organization fighting sexual violence: (800) 656-HOPE / (800) 810-7440 (TTY)

988 Mental Health Emergency Hotline: Calling 988 will connect you to a crisis counselor regardless of where you are in the United States.

911 Emergency

The National Runaway Safeline: 800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929)

Self Abuse Finally Ends (S.A.F.E)

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Trauma & Child Abuse Resource Center

Domestic Violence Shelters & Resources

Futures Without Violence

National Center for Victims of Crime

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

National Network to End Domestic Violence

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Prevent Child Abuse America

Stalking Prevention, Awareness, and Resource Center (SPARC)

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) HelpLine: 1-800-950-NAMI, or text “HELPLINE” to 62640. Both services are available between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. ET, Monday–Friday

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.orgOr, just dial 988

Suicide Prevention, Awareness, and Support: www.suicide.org

Crisis Text Line: Text REASON to 741741 (free, confidential and 24/7). In English and Spanish

Self-Harm Hotline: 1-800-DONT CUT (1-800-366-8288)

Family Violence Helpline: 1-800-996-6228

American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222

National Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency: 1-800-622-2255

LGBTQ Hotline: 1-888-843-4564

National Maternal Mental Health Hotline: 1-833-TLC-MAMA (1-833-852-6262)

The Trevor Project: 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 678678. Standard text messaging rates apply. Available 24/7/365. (Provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning—LGBTQ—young people under 25.)

The SAGE LGBT Elder Hotline connects LGBT older people and caretakers with friendly responders. 1-877-360-LGBT (5428)

The Trans Lifeline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people:
1-877-565-8860 (United States)
1-877-330-6366 (Canada)

Veterans Crisis Line: https://www.veteranscrisisline.net

International Suicide Prevention Directory: findahelpline.com

The StrongHearts Native Helpline is a confidential and anonymous culturally appropriate domestic violence and dating violence helpline for Native Americans, available every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. Call 1-844-762-8483.

‘Find a Therapist’ Online Directories


UK & Republic of Ireland

  • Emergency: 112 or 999
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
  • Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
  • Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)
  • YourLifeCounts.org: https://yourlifecounts.org/find-help/

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *