How to cut someone off and not feel guilty?

26 September, 2023 / words by IALH Editorial Team

Cutting ties with someone, be it a friend, family member, or acquaintance, can be a challenging decision. However, it’s crucial to recognize that your well-being should always come first. It’s in understanding the “why” behind your choice that you’ll uncover the reasons why you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. It’s having clarity and self-awareness to know this, whatever it is, if it’s not adding to your life, it’s not for you. It’s choosing not to take action based on your reactions to situations, but understanding your feelings and the dynamic of the relationships that make you question if this person/people should even be in your life.

As someone who has grappled with the notion of saying “not for me, thank you,” I’ve navigated the struggle of holding on when it’s time to let go. I’ve been the person who persists and insists, even in the face of an unequal pattern. Over time, I’ve learned the significance of setting boundaries that uplift rather than drain me. Wherever you are in that journey, whether you’re still holding on, even when you’re sure you should be letting go, accept where you are and be honest about that space. Self-awareness is a huge part of letting go in the most conscious way.

Reflecting on my experiences, I’ve discovered a consistent thread: every time I’ve cut someone off, it’s been because I recognized that the relationship, situation, or interactions weren’t contributing positively to my well-being, happiness, or inner peace. It’s people that are inconsistent, situations that never seem clear. It’s the guessing and the wondering. It’s the sadness and the hurt. We tend to normalise it, pretend it’s superficial, or say things like: ‘it’s not that deep’, but then again if it’s not, why live in a way that doesn’t lift you higher?

It’s all, of course, much more complex when you’re actually immersed in those realities, so practically, how can you explore this journey of knowing for a fact, this person, these people, these situations have to not be your reality:

Be Crystal Clear on Your Why:

Know exactly why you’re making this decision. Your well-being matters, and understanding this reason will help you stand firm in your choice.

Prioritize Yourself:

Choose yourself over others, even if it seems extreme. Those who genuinely care about you will respect your decision to prioritize your own happiness and peace.

Embrace Change:

Recognize that this decision might be a shock for some. Change can be uncomfortable, but if someone truly values your presence in their life, they’ll be willing to work through it.

Start Small:

Cutting ties is a process. Begin with smaller adjustments and gradually build the habit of choosing yourself consistently.

Communicate Your Boundaries:

If you feel comfortable, express your reasons for cutting off the relationship. Clear communication can foster understanding, even if the other person doesn’t agree.

Remember, guilt should not hold you back from prioritizing your well-being. It’s a natural emotion, but it doesn’t have to dictate your choices. The people who truly matter will support your decision, and those who don’t will naturally distance themselves.

Don’t ever forget that you are the creator of your life! You get to decide, you are the weaver. You hold the threads that shape your experiences. Choose those threads with care, and don’t hesitate to remove the ones that no longer serve your growth and happiness. Cutting someone off is not an act of cruelty; it’s an act of self-preservation and empowerment. And as you embark on this journey of choosing yourself, step by step, remember that you are crafting a life that aligns with your truest and best self. And that’s definitely not something you should ever, feel guilty about.


IALH Editorial Team


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