10 methods to distance yourself from people without causing conflict

Have you ever been in a relationship that feels emotionally draining? Or maybe it causes you stress or anxiety. If this is the case, it might be time to consider emotionally detaching yourself from this relationship.

Emotional distancing, or emotional detachment, helps protect you from anxiety, stress, or unwanted drama that a relationship or person causes you. It is a way to remove yourself from the relationship, emotionally if not physically.

Sometimes, this is the best thing to do for your mental health and well-being. However, the process of emotionally detaching yourself can be tricky. Of course, the other person might be resistant to this. Here’s how to emotionally distance yourself without causing extra conflict.

Treat People with Respect

Most often you are distancing yourself from someone because they might be toxic, negative, or disrespectful. However, it’s still important to be respectful towards them even if that’s not how you’ve been treated.

Treat people courteously, even if that is not how you were treated. Don’t put the person down, criticize them unnecessarily, or play the blame game.

Seriously Consider and Respect Their Views

We all have our own perspectives of a situation. To avoid conflict, give them a serious chance to explain their version of the situation. Listen to them with an open mind. You might still disagree, but it still gives you a chance to expand your perspective and practice seeing other views.

Share Your Perspective

It’s natural that you won’t agree with everything the other person says. However, to avoid conflict you must remain calm. Explain your perspective; give reasons for your point of view, and state how you feel without blaming the other person. Focus on having a constructive conversation.

Choose Your Words Carefully

It is easy to misinterpret what you are saying, especially if you are talking via text. Be clear about what you are trying to say. Choose your words carefully so that they don’t imply anything you don’t mean. You’re already having a difficult conversation, so be extra cautious about what you say.

Pause Before You Speak

Think before you talk. If you are feeling irritated or frustrated, pause and try to compose yourself. Don’t say something you will regret or that might escalate the situation.

Apologize For Your Part

Even if you feel like the other person is the reason why you need to emotionally distance yourself from the relationship, be open to apologizing for anything you may have done to hurt the other person. Taking responsibility for whatever your part was in the situation shows your maturity and can help avoid conflict.

Know When to Stop

Know when it’s worth fighting for your point of view. If the other person doesn’t seem to appreciate your calm conversation, or if they keep arguing, without trying to understand your perspective, let it go. If you are in an argument that is not getting resolved, just agree to disagree and move on.

Mentally Distance Yourself

If you are feeling angry or emotionally involved while trying to distance yourself from this person, try to visualize yourself from a distance. In your mind’s eye, imagine you are watching yourself from a distance, like a fly on the wall. Increasing the space between the mental you and the physical you can help reduce the emotional charge.

Don’t React, Respond

No matter how calm and composed you try to be, the other person might say something that gets under your skin and causes you to have a reaction. If that happens, take a deep breath and respond thoughtfully. A reaction is an instantaneous action that can often lead to regret. However, a response is more intentional. This can help avoid further conflict.

Release Your Emotions

If you are feeling emotional, release your emotions in a healthy way rather than involving yourself in conflict. Whether you choose to cry or dance it out, find a healthy outlet for your emotions to release the tension within you.


Even though emotionally distancing yourself from someone can be painful, sometimes it is worse to stay in the relationship. These tips will help you emotionally distance yourself from the relationship while minimizing the chances of conflict.

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