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How do I keep myself from getting to attached to people?

160 Answers
Last Updated: 03/05/2021 at 11:16pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Polly Letsch, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

I provide non-judgmental, person-centered, objective therapeutic treatment for individuals of all ages to improve social, emotional, mental and other areas of functioning.

Top Rated Answers
November 10th, 2018 8:42pm
Attachment to others is a normal, healthy part of being human. It's nearly impossible to go through life without any meaningful relationships in your life. Instead of asking yourself how to avoid getting attached to other people, instead ask yourself: Am I afraid of making connections with others because I am terrified of being vulnerable? Am I scared of being hurt by letting someone in? Once you confront any hidden fears, then you will see your relationships with others in a different light. You'll see that's okay to open your heart to let others in, and the risk will pay off.
December 22nd, 2018 4:56am
I learned this lesson the hard way unfortunately. After high school, my friends slowly went their own way and I tried so hard for them to stay together because I relied on their friendship because that’s what made me who I am. I felt I wasn’t anybody without my friends. However, it wasn’t until my very best friend of 8 years who broke my heart and made me the shell of a person for nearly 6 months and taught me the lesson that it was okay to put myself before others. I wasn’t being selfish. I just needed to work on myself and love who I am before I could truly love others. That is the best way to learn how to not become so attached to others. It takes time to realize that you need to trust yourself and not rely on strangers or friends so much. That does not mean to put people at arms length all the time or to shut people out. This just means to be able to find time for yourself and to be comfortable in your own skin. With this, you will eventually find yourself not getting yourself attached to people so easily because you are strong and trust and believe in yourself more.
February 28th, 2019 2:56pm
As naturally social creatures it is in our nature to want to form lasting close relationships with others. If the other person reciprocates this great however if not rejection hurts. Reading the other persons behaviour can help. If it appears that you do all the “leg work” & he/she seems to be happy to take or leave your company you may have become more attached to them than they are to you. Instead, follow at their pace. If you fear getting hurt tell them, perhaps things are moving too fast for you. Communication is key. Lonliness can often lead to becoming too attached to anyone who may show us the smallest amount of attention. If you find your days seem to be centred around this person, your losing other friends who feel they no longer see you as much as they would like or used to, or are generally preoccupied in thought with this person you maybe getting too attached. Remind yourself that whilst his or her company is great & the relationship (from your point of view) is flourishing investing ALL of yourself into it will leave you feeling you have nothing left if things don’t work out. Rather, keep a bit of you for you, you can be a great friend without having to totally deplete yourself. Then if things do not work out yes you may be hurt but you still get to walk away with something- the bits you kept for yourself, that part of “you” that only ever belonged to You.
March 9th, 2019 5:10pm
Well, this is a very tough one because it is so easy to become attach to someone who believes in you or give you the attention that you desire. I would suggest to be slow to call people your friend because there are so many wolves in sheep clothing that just want to know about you so that they can use it against you at a later time. People can not hurt you if you do not allow them to get to close to you. Try the spirit by the spirit in other words watch how they treat other people when they are not talking to you. A good example is store clerks, people in the shopping line and at the red light and things of that nature, if they can be nice and understanding in difficult situations then they might be worthy of your friendship. I wish you nothing but the best of luck as you begin to form new relationships with people that come into your life.
March 16th, 2019 11:05am
Getting attached to someone is a relatively normal course of action. When two people click well and spend time constantly with each other, it's natural to grow attached to them. What you can do, however, is keep your mind open to the fact that there's a possibility of anything happening, that people come and go naturally. It is important to not take it personally if someone left you; for most of the time it isn't your fault, but the other person's current situation or their own thoughts that lead to such. Fear of attachment is usually linked to your expectation of the other person to stay. It is important to keep in mind that people are free to come and go as they please, whether they leave you in the dark or tell you their reasonings outright. In such cases, make it a point to look at the bigger picture. Is it really your fault, or are you just blaming yourself to justify their actions? Sometimes people leave because they themselves aren't sure what to do, and in such cases, we can only give them the benefit of doubt, then find the strength in ourselves to move on with our own lives. Wishing you all the love.
March 22nd, 2019 4:01am
You distance yourself, you don't want to get to attached for people who might leave you. You might lose the person, think about losing them too so you feel what might happen but not as bad, It sucks to get overly attached to someone because it causes anxiety. Make sure you really distance because it will help a ton. It hurts that you have to distance yourself from people you love but people tend to hurt other people. Sometimes it's just how it works. Don't give a person your all because if they tear you down you might lose.
May 3rd, 2019 3:00am
In order to keep myself from getting to attached to people I must maintain my boundaries at all times. When in a counseling situation (that is my major) I must build a rapport with those who I serve but at the same time I need to keep a professional distance. If you do not keep a professional distance as is taught in our ethics you may be fined, sued or lose your practice and you license. Boundaries are so important when you are listening to people problems. There are a number of fields for mental health but we must keep professional distance.
June 30th, 2019 3:16am
Hi. We all need at some point or the other to be with someone , to share our joys and sorrows with someone whom we care and befriend . The problem here is you expect the same amount of love toured giving it to the other person and you get affected with what the" other " person does ( leaving in this case ) . 1. See you need to learn to LET GO . Trust me from what I've experienced in my life , I've let go of people and things which we're painful and you know what it won't affect me at all and I can see such drastic changes in me and so I suggest you do the same. 2. Humans and emotions though lovely , enchanting , but are "TEMPORARY" and an illusion . If not then how come emotions and human change by time . We l make memories and it will be created and replaced again and again. 3. Attachment.: Never ever give the power of destroying or uplifting yourself to the other person. This means you will get affected by the tiniest thing the other person will do. So, next time , let's not have any expectations . Focus on enjoying the company of the other person and if she/he again leaves then remember that : " New amazing things won't happen until to forget and leave the old ones"
October 5th, 2019 3:37am
You can always categorize people in importance levels to you. After doing so you would realise that really your career is the most important thing for you and no one is above that. You know when you don't have a successfully career and are struggling in life no one but your family is there to help you out, to take care of you and to love you. Even then you cannot consider your family to be more important than your career, that is the level of importance you have to give to your career. Thus, logically you can avoid being attached to people.
October 5th, 2019 10:01am
It feels good to know to understand people at different level. Self esteem and self confidence grows. I wish I can do this same daily day by day with the help of 7 cups. 7 cups did a very well to reach out to people and listen to them and their problems and could provide a listening solution to them. I feel very much satisfied with the initiative made by 7 cups. I really liked the concept of 7 cups. I am and will continue to be with the 7 cups team and all the people coming here for help.
October 16th, 2019 5:36pm
I would not recomend completely avoiding connections with people, however in the case of not being overly dependent on everyone I do have some personal experience and advice to give. Be self aware, understand when you are attatching too much to someone. Understand your habits as well, for me I understand I am being too attached to someone when I open up too much all the time so I try to stay aware of when I do this and tell myself "don't share that" or "handle this youself" It's good to have connections with people, but try not to feel obligated to being connected to everyone. I hope this helps you!
November 22nd, 2019 9:28pm
By loving yourself and giving time to your own self more. When you'll pay more attention to your own self you'll get less distracted by getting attached to others. Love yourself. Give time to yourself It is way better to treat yourself better instead of getting attached to somebody and giving them all your time love and attention. Try to live your life the way you want it to be instead of living it the way others want it to be. Because life is a beautiful gift and gotta live it for once so just dont waste it on someone else. Save your positive energy.
December 21st, 2019 6:32am
Getting attached to people can have risks, such as possible rejection or hurt feelings down the road. However, it can have so many rewards too, such as companionship, love, and good memories. It's common to feel a need to protect yourself from the risks of getting attached, especially if you've been hurt before, but then you'd be closing yourself off from the rewards as well. Sometimes to experience life's biggest joys we have to make ourselves vulnerable to the possibility that things won't work out the way we want them to. Luckily if we are hurt, there are always supportive people, like the listeners here on 7 Cups, that are ready to listen, because they've been there too, and they care about YOU.
January 2nd, 2020 5:14am
I think of it like I am here for a season of their life. I am a guest, not a roommate. I can rinse my dishes, but it isn't my job to load the dishwasher. I think of myself as someone who is helping jump-start a strangers car in a parking lot to get them on their way to a mechanic. Still, I am not the mechanic — knowing that even if I find myself wanting to be in the person's life as a permanent friend, that it is not my job and that I can move on and let them learn to be independent and thrive on their own.
January 4th, 2020 6:40pm
Getting attached is a very normal feeling. However, sometimes we might get too attached to the wrong person. That can be hurtful and can make us unwanted. So its okey to be attracted but make sure its someone who will response with mutual feelings. And if you feel like youre getting attached to someone that is not interested in you then try to avoid that person and stop contacting them as soon as possible
January 9th, 2020 2:04am
It is very hard to keep yourself from getting attached to people but sometimes you must learn to build a wall around your heart and feelings. You can slowly let trust slip out but be very cautious because once you start trusting people, you can become blind to anything bad they are doing to you. Once you do get attached to someone, it is very hard to stop being attached to them because you have probably already given so much to them. If they hurt you, learn from the mistake and tread cautiously. Attachment is a very hard thing to stop and it is even harder to get away.
January 9th, 2020 8:33pm
i don't think you should keep yourself from getting attached because not al people are as bad as the other ones. you have to learn to choose selectively, don't trust everyone instantly and learn from the mistakes you make. human knowledge is something you learn while you're growing as a human-being so you can't expect to never make mistakes or to never get attached ever again cause at the end of the day everyone wants a trust person to talk or to listen to. you can always reach out to someone not close to you but that is an easy way out, you can't be afraid to get hurt your whole life because then you're never going to achieve anything in the society we live in today. when something goes wrong it's hopefully not going to be the end of the world but i get when it feels like that at the time. just remember you're going to be okay, you can be strong and you can't live life without getteing hurt, it happens to everyone but you'll come out stronger.
February 2nd, 2020 12:27pm
A loaded question for sure. My answer would be to be casual. The atmosphere around you should be simple and conent. That being said, getting too attached can have different meanings. If you are known to be overly possessive, and keeping a distance is your answer, then by all means, there are many easy ways to accomplish this. If the question is geared toward apathy and the fear of losing people close to you, then the question isnt worded right. It should be "How do i keep my close people close without losing them?". Loss is inevitable but in my years of experience, the good times are worth the pain 100%. That being said, the ideology behind this interpretation is too fearful and life shouldnt be lived that way because living in fear isnt living at all. Love and pain is how humans learn, a natural process that should be embraced
February 9th, 2020 5:57am
It's almost impossible. You're bound to find someone you can relate to or vise versa and they help you, and you help them. You can however be numb to emotions. The only thing I can tell you is, you have to communicate with people and set clear boundaries that you need to keep a distance. Or allow them to become Attatched over time. Attatchment is an issue of trust which makes sense as to why many people who have severe distrust in others choose to detach themselves from other people. My best advice, communicate with people and talk to them. If they truly care about you they'll understand.
February 28th, 2020 5:40pm
It is not a very difficult thing to do. But it can be a double edged sword. People generally want to distance themselves when they are in pain or dislike the people around. But distance will make sure you are lonely and it will make it far more difficult to find good people.. We can distance ourselves by keeping ourselves distracting with hobbies and passions. And in the age of video games and movies and Netflix. I doubt it is not achievable. But this would has both good and bad and trying to distance yourself from both will just mean emptiness and lead to oblivion. So be strong, have the strength to bear the bad in your quest to find the good
March 8th, 2020 1:14pm
I think a way to keep yourself from getting attached to people is through learning to be comfortable in our own company, being okay with being by ourselves. Getting attached to people often seems to involve a form of dependency on others, and this need to be with others and count on others sometimes stems from a fear of being alone. Ways to not get attached to people, possibly just getting used to spending time by yourself (kind of like exposure therapy), not sharing everything about yourself and also not expecting other people from sharing about themselves, not having expectations of people I guess?
March 15th, 2020 10:02am
Getting attached to people is a normal feeling. It comes from this simple curiosity that leads one human being to wish to know another. But with time, some relationships may change, disappear even, causing trust issues. It also is a normal reaction. Keeping yourself from getting attached is very difficult since the brain is tricky and the more you will think about not getting attached, the more attached you will get. Accepting to get attached easily is important. The way you think about someone is difficult to change. Try and be as peaceful with yourself as you can be. Getting attached is not a bad thing. You can take it slow, one step at a time. When you have been hurt in the past, it is difficult to trust others, but you will meet thousands of people in your life. Don't hold them accountable for what you have been through in the past. That way, you won't miss any great opportunity to open to someone new and reliable. Trust yourself, and trust others. Your heart knows what is best for your emotions. Don't try to cage it!
April 4th, 2020 11:21pm
I have the exact same problem, where it would happen to me once a year, I would become obsessed with a specific person, whether it is someone I just met, known for a long time, or a co worker, a family member or a classmate. I can't really stop it from happening, as it's a natural thing to happen, if you like them as a friend, or romantically. If it is just a friend, in my experience, it was best for me to simply talk to my friend about the problem. Good friends will stick by your side and will be understanding and if they judge you or don't like you, or talk about you behind your back, it's sometimes best to move on.
April 12th, 2020 1:22pm
Understanding transference and countertransference is one way of filtering emotions. More importantly, is an understanding between empathy and sympathy. We must keep our emotions in check and not be too active or too passive in our listening. We can't involve ourselves in someone eles's issues or resolution. We re not here to be friends but to be ears and a voice of comfort and compassion. However, we are human, and thusly we must keep our emotions in check by maintaining ourselves as well. Healthy people help more than unhealthy people do. We must practice these principles and not cross boundaries.
April 17th, 2020 6:58pm
I always remember the saying, "familiarity breeds contempt". When people know personal details about you, the listener/talker composure goes out the window. You're not there to be a friend, but rather an unaffiliated point of view that can assist a person in need with an issue that you don't have a stake in. Being neutral and approaching the person/issue is the biggest tool in your tool kit. More importantly, the focus should always remain on them, not you. You need to treat these people as individuals that are seeking help, and it is VERY important to put up the professional distance so as they (and you) understand that this is a process oriented chat, not a chance to meet people online. I've seen coworkers in similar situations grow to close to clients, and 100% it ended in complete chaos. As a listener, be mindful that they are people in need, never potential friends.
April 19th, 2020 12:30am
I avoid getting attached to people by focusing on making myself a better person and taking care of myself. That way, I don't depend on other people to behave in a certain way in order to build the life for myself that I want. For example, I know I feel better about my life when I tend to get lots of chores done. It allows me to feel more independent. I also try to meet new people regularly so that the social circle is always growing. That way, I don't become too attached to any one person. I can also try to respect every one else's decisions rather than try to control them.
May 31st, 2020 10:55am
What's wrong with being attached to people? Part of what makes a person beautiful is their ability to emphathetic towards others. Yes, what needs to be worked on is out expectations. When we are nice to a person it is natural to expect them to be nice towards ourselves as well. Which is a misguided approach towards empathy. Also, the prospect of helping ourselves should not be overlooked. We can only help others if we ourselves are in a good position. And like all other people we emphatize with, we also deserve the love and complete support and attention of our own.
June 1st, 2020 11:29pm
This might sound bad but think of something bad about that person that turned you off to befriend with them. Usually you feel attached because you have great expectation of them so try to lower it a bit. Trust yourself and believe you are doing a good job at helping yourself to be independent. Distract yourself with your favourite show or hobbies, make yourself busy and don’t hang out with them too much. You need to draw a line first. Just remember never let your feelings get too deep, people can change at any moment. I don’t know who you wanna avoid but I hope you don’t end up hating them too much because you’ll regret it later. Just don’t overdo it when you’re distancing yourself
June 28th, 2020 12:28am
Everyone becomes attached to people. It is human nature. It is not nice when you end up feeling let down or abandoned by people that you care for and you want to care for you, but it happens to everyone. Even if you kept your self locked away and didn't talk to anyone you would become attached to people you don't even know that you are attached to, like I became attached to the mail man as every time he visited I knew I was getting something nice. The key isn't not to become attached, the key is to regulate your emotions so that you don't become reliant on people or feeling that your life is over because they aren't around.
July 26th, 2020 6:42pm
Firstly, ask yourself whether you trully need this attachment to people you have. If you needn't it, just distract self with something else when you will feel urge to be with the people with whom you wish to reduce attachment. Slowly it will fall into habit to not need so much attachment to them anymore and it will free you from these urges which are no fun and can bring more misery than wellbeing. Getting too attached to people can be a kind of nonchemical addiction. I hope that you will be able to reduce your attachment to people and get your life back.