How to Stop Obsessing Over Someone

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Have you ever found yourself trapped in a cycle of relentless thoughts about someone? Maybe it’s an ex who broke your heart or a crush who doesn’t reciprocate your feelings. Whatever the case, obsessing over someone can be mentally exhausting and emotionally draining. But fear not, because there are ways to untangle yourself from this mental web and regain your peace of mind. Here are some psychology-backed strategies on how to stop obsessing over someone:

Recognize the Illusion

Obsession happens when we project our desires onto someone who’s unavailable and overidealize them. Realistically you probably know only about 10% of who that person truly is, and then you fill in the rest. And it’s that 90% percent that you’re actually obsessed with. You long for someone that does not exist: the idea, potential, and the fantasy of what could be. And perhaps, you don’t even really want them. Perhaps you simply want them to want you.

To break free from this illusion, reflect on what underlying needs or insecurities might be driving your obsession. Are you seeking validation, acceptance, or a sense of belonging through your fixation on this person? By gaining insight into the deeper motivations behind your behavior, you can address these needs in healthier ways, like through self-validation, building strong relationships with friends and family, or seeking professional therapy.

Embrace Reality

Ever caught yourself lost in a whirlwind of thoughts about that special someone, replaying conversations or imagining future scenarios? Mindfulness can be a powerful antidote to obsessive thinking. Take some time each day to practice mindfulness meditation or activities that can help you focus on being present in the moment (like painting, journaling, running, dancing, or playing music). When intrusive thoughts about the person pop up, acknowledge them without judgment and gently guide your attention back to the present. By grounding yourself in the here and now, you can disentangle from obsessive thoughts and find peace within yourself.

Do An Emotional Detox

When you’re obsessed with someone, you probably have compulsive behaviors that reinforce and intensify the cycle of obsession. For example: stalking them on social media, re-reading your conversations, and replaying imagined scenarios in your head. Just as you cleanse your body with a detox, it’s essential to detoxify your mind from thoughts and emotions that no longer serve you. Start by setting boundaries for yourself: unfollow them on social media, stop bringing them up in conversations, and limit your interactions with them. Create some distance to help you heal and find better things to fill your life with, like learning a new skill, focusing on your friends and family, or pursuing something you’re passionate about.

Cultivate Radical Self-Love

When we harbor doubts about our worthiness or desirability, we may seek validation and fulfillment externally, fixating on others to fill the void within ourselves. But once we cultivate more love, acceptance, and compassion towards ourselves, we begin to recognize that our worthiness does not hinge on the approval or affection of others. Radical self-love is a powerful antidote to obsession, as it shifts our focus inward, towards nurturing our own happiness and well-being. So create a self-care routine to practice daily. Practice positive affirmations of self-love and self-worth, and engage in more activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. 

Let Go of Attachment

Obsessive thoughts often arise from a resistance to accepting reality as it is. Practice the art of detachment by letting go of the need to control outcomes or force closure with the person you’re obsessing over. Accept that you may never get all the answers or closure you desire, and focus instead on finding peace within yourself. Embrace uncertainty as a natural part of life and trust that you have the strength to navigate whatever comes your way.

Seek Support

Don’t hesitate to lean on your support system during this time. Whether it’s friends, family, or a therapist, having someone to talk to can provide valuable insight and perspective.  Their support (or even just their presence) can remind you that you don’t have to overcome this struggle alone. And they can be a safe space for you to explore your feelings and discover healthier ways of relating to others. 

So, did you learn anything valuable from this video? Do you have any tips of your own on how to overcome an obsession? Share your insights in the comments down below! Thanks for reading!

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