Disclaimer: If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation, please seek out help and connect with these resources: Coalition for Family Harmony (805) 983-6014, Interface Children & Family Services (805) 485-6114, or loveisrespect.org (1) 866-331-9474.
This blog shares 5 signs it’s time to emotionally detach from someone. For this to occur, you would need to be emotionally attached to them to begin with. This could look like any close relationship you may have. Whether that’s a romantic relationship, a friendship, or with a family member.
You may share a lot of history with that person. This includes going through a lot together in life, and being there for each other in times of support or celebration. You may feel that this person knows you better than anyone else. However alongside this, there may be some unhealthy traits within this relationship.
You may be looking at it through rose-tinted glasses, only acknowledging the good times you’ve shared with them. You don’t want to reflect on the times where you felt unsafe, frustrated, or unsure of them.
Emotional detachment would not necessarily mean that you fully stop involving yourself in their life. You may care deeply about this person, yet acknowledge that this relationship is negatively affecting your mental health, and want to take steps to focus more on yourself.
The 5 signs include: 1) You find yourself feeling drained of empathy and compassion. 2) You feel anxious spending time with them. 3) Efforts to assert your own needs are met with combative or defensive energy. 4) You lose your sense of self or independence around them. 5) Despite persistent attempts to balance the relationship, the other person refuses to adjust or seems unwilling to change.
5 Signs It’s Time to Emotionally Detach from Someone: You find yourself feeling drained of empathy and compassion
Feeling drained of empathy and compassion may not be normal for you. You’re the kind of person that can sit with someone and want to help them talk about difficult topics. It makes you feel good that someone feels comfortable enough to be vulnerable with you, and trust you with their difficult feelings or situations. You want someone to do this with in your life too, and look forward to opportunities to have these relationships.
However, there may be instances where you are just drained from speaking with them or listening to them. This could be if they repeat the same situation over and over, and would rather talk to you than listen and take in your feedback. It doesn’t feel like a genuine, mutual conversation, but just a long venting session.
Even with attempting to instill healthy boundaries and active communication, you feel that you’re not being heard or taken seriously. You may have tried to ask them to speak to a mental health professional about how to resolve their issues. However, the conversation continues to occur with you, and it’s hard for you to have compassion for their situation.
5 Signs It’s Time to Emotionally Detach from Someone: You feel anxious when spending time with them
This could be because they are unpredictable, and you’re unsure of how your time with them is going to go. You may feel anxious knowing that you have plans coming up with them, and find yourself considering cancelling or rescheduling. In all, knowing that you’re going to spend time with them feels uneasy, and you’re not sure if you really even want to.
When you are with them, you may be on high alert of your surroundings. Your body is telling you that you are not in a safe place with them, or that you should be aware of all aspects of your situation. There is a lack of trust with this person, and you need to be ready for any type of event to occur.
An example of this could be a person who gets angry or upset easily. When they do get angry, they tend to explode. It could be over small things that cause them frustration, which in reality aren’t truly worthy of getting that upset over. You worry about their reactions or responses, and feel on edge because of this.
5 Signs It’s Time to Emotionally Detach from Someone: Efforts to assert your own needs are met with combative or defensive energy.
You may have attempted numerous times to set appropriate, healthy boundaries with them. This includes communicating your own needs at the moment. Although you do this, they still remain combative or defensive. Therefore, your needs are not met, and you end up having to bargain for them or continually re-assert them.
This only sets the dynamic up to be unhealthy and unequal. It is unlikely that you will feel heard or understood moving forward, if they are already denying you that now, and are unwilling to hear you. Alongside this, it reinforces that they do not have to recognize your needs as valid, if they can avoid helping you meet them.
On the other hand, you may be seeking to address their needs and ensure their comfort. It’s important to understand if you are engaging in people-pleasing behaviors. This is someone who tries to make others feel good, but runs the risk of neglecting themselves in the process.
A healthy dynamic between two people should include: open communication, respect, and honesty along with compassion or understanding. If you feel that your relationship lacks these aspects, and then some, it’s time to consider emotional detachment. You deserve to have your needs met!
5 Signs It’s Time to Emotionally Detach from Someone: You lose your sense of self or independence when you’re around them.
Losing your sense of self or independence around them can mean a number of things. You may have to limit yourself to sharing your ideas, interests, or opinions on certain topics. There may be pressure for you to avoid being yourself, where you need to mask who you truly are.
This could look like being an LGBTQ+ teen in a household that is unsupportive of you. You may want to express yourself through your appearance, friendships, art, or other outlets. Although it’s not possible to just leave, you realize that you do not want this type of connection in the future as an adult. In this situation, you feel that you lose your sense of self.
No matter your age, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, interests, hobbies, personality, etc. – you don’t feel comfortable expressing it. You could be anyone and desire to be anything, and still feel that you cannot be yourself fully. This could be from this person restricting you and keeping you from doing so by criticizing you, judging you, or not providing the space for you to share your own feelings.
In a toxic relationship, your partner may want you to avoid being yourself around their friends or family. They may tell you to dress a certain way, avoid talking about topics of interest, and otherwise be quiet and submissive. Unless this is for your own personal safety (in which you probably shouldn’t be around them anyway), it’s harmful and controlling.
5 Signs It’s Time to Emotionally Detach from Someone: Despite persistent attempts to balance the relationship, the other person refuses to adjust or seems unwilling to change.
This person in your life refuses to adjust, or seems unwilling to change. They lack the ability to reflect on their beliefs, behaviors, or thought patterns that could be harmful to you. It’s possible that they are completely oblivious to their own actions, or are stubborn to believe they have room to change.
They may not be open-minded, and would rather displace their problematic ways on other people. It’s clear to you that this person is not going to sway on their position or grow with you. They may believe that their way is the only way, and there is no room for your input. Clearly, this is not a healthy or sustainable way to operate in a relationship.
You may have made numerous attempts to address concerns within your relationship. Of course, it’s important to recognize your own barriers to communicating your needs at times; however, it’s important to note whether you feel especially restricted in this particular relationship. They may appear seemingly understanding, changing their ways temporarily, but then going back into their old behaviors or ways of thinking. It’s a cycle that leaves you feeling frustrated and unsatisfied.
Click here to read our blog on How to Set Boundaries for navigating individuals who struggle to respect or acknowledge your needs.
Closed-minded individuals cannot be convinced that they would benefit from self-growth and acquiring a deeper understanding of you. They may have to learn this lesson on their own, and sometimes this includes losing access to you, or others whom they affect negatively.
In-person therapy is ideal for those seeking a separate, safe space from their home. Check out our blog on Online Therapy or In Office Therapy to understand what format is best for you.
By seeking out support, you can begin your journey to feeling relief. You don’t have to go through finding the right level of support alone, either. Make sure to check out our blog on How to Validate Yourself!
Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.