How To Emotionally Detach Yourself From Someone – A Skill One Should Master

Last Update on October 25, 2023 : Published on April 15, 2020
How To Emotionally Detach yourself

Whether we talk about a toxic friendship or a toxic romantic relationship, there are times when we need to just let go and get emotionally detached. Some relationships are too emotionally draining, not only on your physical health but on your mental and emotional health.

Here, detaching yourself from others can be the only way out to protect your mental and emotional well-being. Before we get into why and how to detach emotionally from someone, it is important to know what emotional detachment actually is.

Emotional detachment is the ability to disconnect from another person on an emotional level. This means you are actually willing to end all emotional ties with the other person. Despite being seen in a bad light often, there are times when you should know the art of emotionally detaching yourself from others.

When needed, it can be your ultimate weapon against an emotionally draining relationship. Before you learn how to distance yourself from someone, let’s take a look at what is detachment.

What Is Detachment?

You can think about detachment in two different ways. One, it can mean avoiding specific people or situations that constantly cause you stress or anxiety. These people or situations can also be emotionally draining that you want to avoid, so you want to detach yourself from such. Two, it can mean creating solid boundaries to protect your mental and emotional health.

Setting boundaries can help you avoid stress, anger, anxiety, disappointment, and resentment that usually occur in relationships – personal and professional. These feelings occur when your limits are pushed beyond your control.

Now, detachment does not mean that you lack emotions, nor it means that you lack empathy. Emotional distancing can be a sign of depression but voluntarily detaching yourself from someone does not mean that you have depression.

Detaching from someone is a sign of maintaining healthy boundaries where expectations are clear and what are your limits are clearly defined. While emotional detachment from someone might look rude, it’s not the intention of one who prefers to emotionally distance themselves from someone.

What Causes Emotional Detachment?

Many reasons could be behind practicing emotional detachment from someone. Some of the reasons could be;

  • Negative experiences such as neglect, abuse, or trauma
  • Personal decision
  • Struggling with PTSD, depression, or personality disorders

When you choose to detach yourself from someone, understanding or stating your reasons for the decision can help you make rational choices. If you’re unable to understand your reasons for detaching yourself from someone – emotionally – you can consider speaking to a professional who can help you identify your reasons and how you can healthily detach yourself from someone you love deeply.

Talk to the experts right now!

Must Read: Soul Ties: Recognizing Soul Ties And Breaking The Unhealthy Connections

How to Let Go of Someone You Love?

Detaching yourself from someone you love can be a painful and challenging process – after all, how can we let go of a loved one without heartbreak? Whether you’re ending a romantic relationship, going through a loss of a loved one, or just detaching from an unhealthy relationship, the process can be quite heartbreaking and painful. Here are some ways you can detach from someone you love with care; 

  • Acknowledge Your Emotions

You need to allow yourself to feel the emotions as well as accept them as your own. Even if what you’re feeling is sadness, anger, or grief – acknowledge them and tell yourself that it is OK to experience these emotions when letting go of a loved one. 

  • Allow Time And Space

You need to understand that healing takes time so be patient with yourself and give yourself the time and space to heal. Engage in activities that make you happy, practice mindfulness, and hang out with supportive people. 

  • Accept Your New Reality

To detach from someone you love, you need to let go, which means accepting the loss, incompatibility, or other things that led you to make such a decision. 

  • Seek Support

One of the most important things you can do when letting go of someone you love is to seek support. Reach out to your friends and family who can give you a hearing ear or a shoulder to lean on. You can also reach out to a therapist here who can provide you with guidance and support to navigate through the experience of loss. 

  • Prioritize Self-Care

Don’t neglect your health and mind when you’re healing. Try to engage in exercise, eat healthy foods, and get quality sleep to ensure a healthy and healing body, mind, and heart. 

  • Look Forward, Not Back 

If you’ve decided to let go of someone you love, then you need to stand by it. This means, not looking back but looking forward to a new journey. It’s OK to go back to happy memories but don’t linger there more than necessary. Look forward to growth and love, not regrets and guilt. 

Tips for Detaching from a Toxic Relationship

If you are in a toxic relationship, then letting go can be as challenging as walking out of an abusive relationship. Even though it can be difficult to detach yourself from someone in a toxic relationship, it’s important to do so to ensure your well-being and healthy future relationships. Here’s how you can detach yourself from someone in a toxic relationship; 

  • Identify Toxicity

The first thing you need to do is identify the toxicity in the relationship. Look for the signs of a toxic relationship and see how being in a toxic relationship is affecting your emotional and mental well-being. 

  • Focus on Self-care

Make sure you don’t ignore yourself – emotionally, mentally, and physically. Also, try to avoid alcohol or recreational drugs while engaging in self-care. 

  • Reach Out For Support

Seek support from a loved one – friends, family, therapist – anyone who can provide you with support and guidance as you plan to detach from someone. Having a support network to lean on can help you navigate through the challenges of leaving a toxic relationship.

  • Set Boundaries

Be clear and firm about your boundaries in a toxic relationship. Communicate clearly about your limits and be prepared to enforce consequences if your boundaries are disrespected. 

  • Don’t Keep False Hope

If you still hope that your toxic partner may change, let go of it. Keeping false hope can only make you feel stuck in a loop and prevent your growth and progress. Accept your reality and let go of false hope. 

  • Build a Support Network

Surround yourself with positive people who encourage you and make you feel safe. You need to choose a support network that helps you work on your mental and emotional well-being. 

  • Seek Professional Help 

If you’re looking to detach from a toxic relationship, then it’s strongly recommended that you speak to a counselor or a professional for safety tips. It can be hard (and unsafe, even) to detach from someone in a toxic relationship. Seeking professional help can help you stay safe while letting go of the toxic relationship.

How To Emotionally Detach Yourself From Someone?

It is very hard to emotionally detach yourself from things that you have developed a bond with. Yes! There are times when we are so deeply attached to someone that any sort of detachment is tough.

So, how to detach yourself from someone you love deeply? Here are some of the best ways you can detach yourself spiritually and Emotionally from things or people. Again make sure you put these points into practice and see yourself changing gradually.

1. Find A Very Concrete Reason Why You Want The Detachment


Again, we are not saying to completely stop communicating with someone or behave with contempt. Yet, there should be at least one point that will take out all the emotions from you towards that person or thing. Think of this reason and keep reminding yourself every day that it is this very reason because of which you want to completely detach yourself from this person or thing.

Let’s say you want to find an answer to how to detach from someone you love. Maybe this person has now become very toxic, he or she has started to become indifferent, has started to belittle you. You probably won’t need more reasons to emotionally detach yourself. Still! As a person of a stronger character, don’t disrespect them back or belittle them.

Also Read: 5 Simple Steps to Deal with Toxic People

2. Start Small But Take Gradual Steps

Take Gradual Steps

Emotional detachment in relationships doesn’t happen overnight. You won’t be able to completely detach yourself from someone just like that. So, start by getting rid of small memories that remind you of them. Maybe you could get rid of their messages to begin with.

3. Invest In Your Skills, Keep Yourself Preoccupied


This is the time you can become better at a skill and become so good that you don’t have to depend on people.

Remember how earnestly you wanted to get into that university? Remember your dream job for which you were looking for courses? Well! This could be an opportunity. Put all your mind and heart into learning whatever it was that you had left behind.

This way, you will gradually move your focus from the person or thing you wish to emotionally detach from.

Why just learn a skill? Do anything that’ll shift your focus – go out for that long holiday, cook yourself a yummy breakfast or buy a pet. 

Must Read: 8 Signs You’re in a Toxic Relationship

4. Don’t Let Someone Come Too Close To You


Wondering how to emotionally distance yourself from someone? Take a step back and analyze how close that person is to you.

Unless and until it is someone who you can actually confide in (and when we say that we mean you know the person like the back of your hand), don’t disclose every aspect of your life to them.

Unless necessary you shouldn’t even tell them your plans. Be very discreet in who you joke around with or even hang out with. It’s good to ask for help but sharing the most intrinsic secrets should be done with someone really trustworthy.

5. Think Forward And Forgive If Needed

Think Forward And Forgive If Needed

Think specifically of the future. You might or might not see that person in your future goals. So, figure out ways of dealing with tasks without this person right from now.

This way, you will even learn to become independent. If there has been a past, it would be better if you let it go. In fact, think about how brilliant and awesome your future will be. So much so, that there are no traces of the past whatsoever. 

If you want to detach from that person because of the wrong they have done to you. For instance if they’ve broken your trust. Try forgiving them. This way you are letting go of the reason that could be stopping you from moving ahead. You will find that over a period of time, you might as well have forgotten them. 

6. Seek Help From Therapists

We know how taxing emotional detachment in relationships can be. We also know that there can be instances that would have taken a serious toll on your emotions such as going through a breakup or leaving a toxic relationship with a friend or spouse.

Such relationships are complicated and despite leaving, emotional remnants tend to haunt you for a long period of time. In such cases, if you are finding it hard to emotionally distance yourself from people, it is advisable to seek professional unbiased help from therapists.

Get Help from a Licensed Therapist

Suggested Read: Top Online Therapy and Counseling Programs 

Why Should You Emotionally Detach Yourself From Someone Or Something?

Emotional detachment is often seen in a bad light. We completely agree that emotions are what make us human. But, there are times when we need to use these emotions intelligently. That’s because if you don’t, some people with ulterior motives might just misuse it.

Listen to Podcast On How You Can Exercise Emotional Intelligence In Daily Life

If intelligently exercised, say for instance if you learn to control your emotions while at the workplace you will be able to make wiser decisions and even maintain a healthy distance with your colleagues. Now, that you have learned how to detach emotionally from someone or rather, how to stay emotionally detached, wouldn’t you want to know what benefits you will reap?

Here are some reasons why should emotionally detach yourself from things or people –

Read More:- 10 Best Instagram Therapists To Follow For A Stronger Relationship

1. You’ll Be At Peace – Mentally!


Let’s say you were emotionally dependent on a colleague at work. He or she would support you every time your boss got angry at you or helped you when you were stressed because of a task. Then one day, this colleague had to move to a different job or to a different department. As a result, you became clueless of how you would be able to tackle things.

2. The Judgement Of People Won’t Matter To You

The Judgement Of People Won’t Matter To You
Image Source: Huffington Post

You may ask why? That’s because if you are not so emotionally attached to people, you won’t take things personally and react rationally against people. You will be able to exercise your common sense in a much better manner. And, last but not least (and trust us on this one) since you won’t have to tussle with people to drive points, you won’t get exhausted.

3. You’ll Have Lesser And Lesser Amount of Memories (Bad Ones)

You’ll Have Lesser And Lesser Amount of Memories

Have you been harping upon the good times with a person who is now completely indifferent to you? If you are somewhat emotionally detached you will have fewer and lesser amounts of such memories. You will be able to look at people in a completely unbiased manner and not judge people because at some point they behaved in a certain way with you.

4. You’ll Be Less Vulnerable

Again emotions are nice. It is a human act that makes us lovable, makes us look sane but if you are someone who makes decisions in the fit of emotions, sorry friend! But the can also be your foe if you let them control you. You will always see yourself landing in a weak situation. On the other hand, if you know how to practice emotional detachment, people will find it hard to move you.

Now, you know why at times you should be emotionally detached. Here’s what next you might want to know – how to emotionally detach from someone or something. It might not be easy but if you have the will and the right mindset even love or the highest level of affection won’t get in your way. You will also find an answer to how to detach from someone you love.

Also Read:- 7 Ways To Communicate When Angry Like Emotionally Intelligent People

Some General FAQs:-

1. What does it mean to emotionally detach yourself?

Emotional detachment means to be able to detach or disconnect with anyone on an emotional level. In simple terms, it is when you put your emotions aside when dealing with a person or object. On the brighter side, if you practice emotional detachment, you would look at the other person’s actions more pragmatically.

2. How do I detach myself from my partner?

Again, you are solely responsible for your happiness. Speak this aloud to yourself till you believe it. It isn’t your partner who is necessary for your happiness but you. You needn’t feel guilty or even worry about their well being.

If you or your partner have decided to move on, it’s fairly clear that you or your partner want to take complete charge of your own life.

3. How do you emotionally detach yourself from someone you like?

We understand that doing this can be tough! But by practicing healthy emotional detachment you’ll do yourself a lot of good. While trying to look at the relationship objectively, focus on what you are most passionate about.

If your primary passion reminds of the person you like, pick something else and put your heart and soul in it.

4. How do you detach from a relationship?

There are times when you just cannot fix relationships and the harder you try to fix them, the more toxic they’ll become. So, the first and the foremost thing you should do is to accept this fact that this “partnership” has now become toxic and the sooner you’ll get out of it, the better your life would be. And, we have already discussed some of the best ways you can learn how to emotionally detach yourself.

What Do You Think?

Is emotional detachment good or bad? We hope we have been able to help you with how to practice emotional detachment. Which of the above reasons or ways most resonates with you, do let us know in the comments section below.

Till then, enrich yourself with more such content and do not forget to follow us on all social media platforms.

You May Like These Also: 

Emotional Numbness: The Feeling of Being Empty and Numb Within

Mentally Exhausted? 8 Effective Tips To Combat Brain Exhaustion

How To Deal With Emotionally Draining Friends

About The Author

Sarang Bhargav
Sarang Bhargav

Sarang is an avid blogger and a philosopher at heart. Words are his weapon, and intent is his channel. He finds it enlightening to pour his heart out in the form of words on anything under the sun. At Calm Sage, he aims at spreading happiness and joy in the lives of millions by writing on topics such as mental wellbeing, happiness and anything that can help soothe others.


  1. Rashmi Kandhil
    Rashmi Kandhil

    Detaching from someone is not easy. For this I think it is important to find a concrete reason that why do you want do detach yourself.

  2. Mary Lynn
    Mary Lynn

    Great, step wise suggestions for emotionally detaching. I it iteresting my internet search and this publication.

  3. Mustafa Hassan
    Mustafa Hassan

    You don't learn to control your emotions without some bad experiences, It's life we make mistakes and learn and sometimes we learn from other's mistakes and we should not lose interest in life, Interest is something makes you go with life and times is something makes you forget a lot of things. Remember never lose interest in life always have a hope.

  4. Erica Ridgeway
    Erica Ridgeway

    I wish I learned this years ago. Everybody needs to know and learn about this, as there are too many toxic, abusive, dangerous relationships out there - with toxic false friends, bullying family members, womanisers and players, people with problems Luke alcoholism, drugs, mental health issues and past traumas - if everybody learned about detachment (from school age), we would be a much healthier society. It’s for the best, to let go.

  5. Susan

    Omg this is exactly what I need to do. I need to emotionally detach myself from someone who is very toxic. I’m sure it’s going to take practice but this is really going to help me. Thank you

  6. Susan

    Yes I agree if we had learned detachment in grade school age we would be a much healthier society

  7. Sonam D. B. Tamang
    Sonam D. B. Tamang

    Thanks for sharing in most delicate language. I think it surely will help me get detached.

  8. Dan

    I don't think emotionally detaching your self from someone even needs to be based on the relationship becoming toxic in some way. It can be something as little as your life path/future goals doesn't match of no longer fits with theirs, where you're both on a different path. So, knowing the future is uncertain when it comes to the other person being a part of your plans or you being a part of their plans, is enough to begin the process of detaching yourself emotionally.

  9. shivam

    this is a really great post.

  10. Eunice Rogers
    Eunice Rogers

    I really appreciate this information because I’m in that kind of friendship where I was attracted because I had that person and we became like mother and daughter but as time went on gossip from others caused problems because of envy. She started belittling me more than ever. So with my mental state failing I’m trying hard to get away and this helps thanks

    1. CS Team
      CS Team

      hey Eunice, We are thrilled to know that we were able to help you. Keep Reading and Supporting us and follow us on social media for amazing articles.

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