how to be emotionally detached

Have you ever had that feeling? Like you’re worrying too much about a person, job or thing, and it is stressing you badly? Maybe you just feel like you need to take a break or possibly run away. 

Not handling this feeling the right way can significantly impact your mental and general health, making you unproductive and unable to live your dream life. 

To have a healthy live, you need to know how to be emotionally detached from a stressful person or situation. As humans, we need to bond with others, but when this bond becomes toxic, it is essential to let go. That is why I’ve crafted this post on how to detach emotionally from people, things, and events that stress you. 

What is emotional detachment?

There are different approaches to detachment. But generally, it means separating yourself from anything that stresses you. It is the ability to let go of worries, the past, fears, and negative thoughts.

It could be separating yourself from situations or people that cause you anxiety or stress, which sometimes make you emotionally numb or dampened. It could also be creating new boundaries to preserve your mental health since you are less likely to feel resentment, disappointment, anger, or stress in a relationship where there are boundaries; emotional detachment is important.

However, emotional detachment is a proof of resilience. It is not your inability to feel emotion or empathize with someone. The only difference between emotional detachment, which is a symptom of depression, and a healing form of detachment is that voluntary detachment Is a willingness to pull back from the things that make you depressed.

 The healthy form of detachment is about setting emotional boundaries on what you expect and what you’re not comfortable with.

Nevertheless, you should understand that some people see voluntary detachment as being cold or rude and don’t even bother understanding the intentions of the person that’s detaching. But should you care? Of course not! 

Benefits of emotional detachment 

Though emotional detachment is one of the symptoms of depression, consciously acquiring it as a skill and attitude with numerous benefits; you’ll thank yourself for learning it. 

how to be emotionally detached

When you are emotionally detached, your mind becomes calm, and you don’t fret about occurrences. You become more able to control your reactions, remain relaxed and undisturbed about people’s opinions or actions. It helps you to act more reasonably in situations without losing your composure.

Emotional detachment is the shield that protects your feelings and mind from stressful situations and people. It makes you less likely to take everything personally.

Since emotional detachment helps you let go of the painful memories, angers, and disappointments of the past, you can live a happier and more fulfilling life.

When you set boundaries and become emotionally detached from complex, demanding, or unpleasant people, you get more inner peace and calmness even when you are in their company. It is a great ingredient for a more productive mind.  

Though there is a need for connection in every human being, knowing where and when to detach yourself emotionally from unpleasant people can help you to be loving, friendly, and happy, and also be able to walk away from people and things when necessary.

 How to know when to let go

When faced with a complicated relationship or situation, it’s often difficult to decide when to let go. Sometimes, we wait until we reach our breaking points, but this is not always the best.

So, to know when to let go of a person, you need to ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I worry obsessively about this person every time?
  • Do I try to save them whenever they make a wrong decision?
  • Do I feel like telling them what I spend all my time doing, and do they do the same for me?
  • Do I feel like I always have to clean up their mess every time?

If you answered yes to one or all of these questions, it’s time to take a break emotionally.

It can be overwhelming and tiring to take responsibility for another person’s behaviors and actions. Caring excessively for other people’s lives and problems mostly makes you emotionally drained and impacts your physical health negatively.

You may realize that you begin to have headaches, become more irritable, unable to sleep, anxious, or fearful.

By practicing emotional detachment, you create a conducive environment for yourself, and you will also have enough time to care for yourself. 

However, besides answering these questions, you can also know that it is time to let go when:

  1. Your trust is always broken

When you love a person, an idea, an accomplishment, or an event, you become vulnerable, making you more prone to heartbreak. Of course, the saying is true that “loving is allowing the other party to hurt you when trusting them not to do it.”

If the person you’re emotionally connected with doesn’t care about your feelings or continually hurts you, what makes you think there is hope for happiness when you keep holding onto them?

  1. The thought of them makes you feel depressed, frustrated, or broken 

Whether it is your business, job, or lover, if they make you feel like you don’t know why you got in there in the first place, it’s time to get out. If you’re not motivated by what you’re doing or the person you are with, then you need to let go.

  1. You need to change your values and personality to fit into it

Values and visions mold every human being. So, if an idea, lover, or job, our friend tries to change these core values or your personality to something you don’t believe in or can’t recognize, it’s not worth the effort because changing won’t make them treat you any better. Also, you will never be the same again.

  1. It makes you feel inferior

Your self-worth is your fuel, and you need it to keep burning. But if you’re with someone that makes you feel inferior and always taken for granted, your self-worth will quickly drain.

For instance, your lover says he hates your body shape, or your boss says that you do the worst job every time without making any efforts to help you become better. That’s draining and TOXIC! 

how to be emotionally detached
  1. You always find ways to justify lack of commitment

When you keep holding on to things or people that are not holding onto you (no matter how much you want them to), soon, you start justifying non-existent reasons. 

For instance, if you’re always stuck with your job, you could find yourself saying, “I have a great job,” even when it doesn’t allow you to have time for yourself, family, or friends. If it’s a human that won’t commit, you could think, “he didn’t mean to forget my birthday, it’s just because he was crazily busy”, “he loves me”, “he’s just taking his time to learn how to love me perfectly.”

Really? Did you listen to yourself? Do they, in any way, sound true? You know they don’t, so pack your bags!

  1. It doesn’t make you happy

Your happiness is paramount, and you should be with someone or do something that makes you satisfied, happy, and genuinely content. If you must force yourself to do something or be with a person, then you’re getting emotionally drained; you need to let go and move on immediately.

  1. You can’t easily express yourself

It is said to have a lover or boss that makes you feel uncomfortable to share your feelings or opinion, but the question is, what are you doing there? You deserve to be with a person that values you in every aspect.

  1. You are the only one making sacrifices

Love is a two-way thing, and it takes two to tango. If you realize That you are the only one sacrificing more money, more time, and feeling the most pain, anxiety and frustration, it is time to let go.

  1. You can’t face the present situation because it’s too hurting

When we dwell more on the past or hope for a brighter future, it shows that we find more comfort in it than in our present. Suck my instead of fooling yourself into thinking that something will work out in the end, draw yourself out.

  1. It is always inconsistent

When dealing with a person that is very good with words, it is easy to be manipulated to stupor. However, words don’t solve every problem. If a person keeps making promises but never keeps up to them, they manipulate you. Do you deserve that?

  1. Nothing changes even after you’ve exhausted all your effort

If you put in all your best and nothing changes, what else do you want to do? Kill yourself? Of course not. Leave.

How to practice emotional detachment 

We’ve discussed how to know when to let go. If you’ve decided to let go of this energy-draining package, this is how to do it:

Understand why you want to detach emotionally

Before detaching emotionally from somebody, it is vital to have a solid reason to let go. Without this, it may be impossible to detach.

When looking for this reason to let go, fix your mind on those progressive and repetitive things, not just something that happened once. One of these reasons could be if your feelings have progressed over time and not just because you quarreled for the first time.

how to be emotionally detached

Let’s go of the emotions

You want to work out with a clear head, so it’s better to release all the emotions before taking a step. 

Firstly, accept the feeling and let it out; this will better your journey to emotional detachment. You can cry over it, bike, walk, or do anything to boost your endorphin, release the tensions so that you do not say something you will regret.

Respond instead of reacting

You will be faced with a difficult conversation when leaving, but during this conversation, ensure you do not react.

Reaction is a decision taken within a split second, and we often regret them.

So, instead of reacting, take a break to calm yourself. When you are okay, respond appropriately. With this, you will create more space for the other person and give yourself time to make more deliberate decisions. Also, the conversation will be very productive.

Focus on yourself

Now that you’ve detached, you want to treat your wounds and ensure you are emotionally healthy. 

Let’s start by dumping the negative self-talk and caring towards yourself.

You will also benefit from self-validation since it is essential for emotional detachment.

Always tell yourself that you are okay and adequate even if you don’t feel like it, and don’t look to others every time for validation.

Set emotional boundaries

Emotional boundaries are crucial since they draw the line between what you are willing to accept or not from others. It can help you detach from a person that is upset or make you feel unworthy.

One sure way of achieving this is by telling the person involved how you feel. For instance, if the person looks at you, or teases you, clearly tell the person that you will leave if they don’t stop. Ensure you say this in a calm tone.


When detaching from a person, your mind will likely be troubled, and you may spend most of your time thinking about it. However, with meditation, you can achieve more awareness and self-attention.

Meditating regularly also helps you reduce stress, increase your balance, help you stay calm, and get rid of some of the negative feelings.

Be mindful

When detaching from a person, there is a chance that they will try to come back into your life or take hold of you as they did before, but you need to practice mindfulness to push through your decision.

The aim here is to create emotional distance so that your empathy towards that person will not draw you back.

how to be emotionally detached

Give yourself time

It can be very challenging to leave a job or walk out of an important relationship, so you need some time and space to recover.

After this, you can still practice healthy attachment and enjoy what you missed from the relationship.

Don’t look back

Looking back will leave you stuck. Many people fail to detach emotionally from some people because they keep remembering what had happened between them. If you look back at a relationship when trying to detach, it is natural that you will only see the best in that person. However, going back to it will land in the same mess you were escaping from.

Instead of daydreaming about the good times, look into the future and see how glorious it can be.

Tips on how to successfully detach from a toxic relationship

When in an unhealthy romantic relationship, you may need to take other steps to ensure your emotional detachment is successful. This includes

  • Avoid drugs or alcohol

Many people use drugs and alcohol to forget the pain of leaving a relationship, but alcohol and drugs only complicates emotional issue.

Instead of taking alcohol or drugs as an escape route, face the feelings head-on and feel the pain. Soon, it will be over.

  • Avoiding sexual contact

Sexual contact strengthens the bond, and he will make it impossible for you to leave. So, no matter how difficult it is, avoid being sexually involved with the person again.

  • Ask for help

Many people have successfully left unhealthy relationships, and seeking advice can help.

Always remember to go to people who love you and are willing to help to be sure of the advice you get at the best. You can also trust mental health professionals to give you tips and how to recover and build better mental health, especially if you have been abused in the relationship.

  • Join a support group

Support group helps you share your experience with people who have been there before to remind you that you are not alone, and if they get through with it, you too will also get through with it.

If it is quite overwhelming to join a one-on-one support group, consider the virtual ones on social media.


If you are with a person that doesn’t value you, it may be time to let go.

Though this is easier said than done; making hard steps to ensure a better future is advised.

No matter what people say, emotional attachment is not selfish or cruel; it is only you taking your feelings seriously, the same feeling they took for granted.

Medical Disclaimer

The information shared on this website is gathered from researches, peer-reviewed studies and real-life observations. We aim to educate and help you live mentally strong and positive. What we share here may be controversial, but we expect you to use your intuition and judgment. Our information does not replace professional medical advice. In fact, we encourage you to seek professional help when you need it.

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