It’s you, not me: Why cutting people off is good for you

A.J. Newth, Staff Writer

I will never speak to you again.

There is something that strikes a nerve in that sentence, something that infuriates the person on the other end. It could be the “never” or “again,” because both signify an indefinite amount of time. The word that bothers me is “speak.”

In life, we cross paths with people that we know will be around forever. Then plans change, and we find ourselves removing contact, ignoring messages and blocking accounts on social media.

Many believe that cutting people off is never the solution and that making things work is the best-case scenario. I whole-heartedly disagree, and encourage you to take your hypothetical scissors and cut ties with anyone who brings you negative energy.

The idea of cutting people off receives pushback from those who believe family does not fall under that umbrella. There is a popular concept that “family is blood” and any wrongdoings should be forgiven no matter what because of genetics.

Difficulties within familial relationships are old news and many will agree that they have struggled with certain family members. More than 1 in 4 Americans ages 18 or older have cut off a member of their family, according to The Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences.

There are several reasons for cutting off a family member ranging from abuse, financial issues or toxic behavior, the reason I resonate with the most. Receiving that abuse from someone who is supposed to give unconditional love can cause severe mental health issues, stress and low self-esteem, according to Parents Magazine. In that case, it is simply better to let go of that person than keep them around and hurt yourself in the process.

Family is not the only type of relationship that can require estrangement. Friendships also need to come to an end in some cases. We look for friends that fulfill the different parts of our personalities, which is why we could have different groups of friends that all hold separate roles in our lives, according to Insider.

Healthy friendships allow us to feel needed, loved, comfortable and happy. However, at times those relationships can falter. There are many reasons for this, among them is a betrayal of trust, excessive negativity, unnecessary drama or they simply make you feel bad.

Noticing changes in a friendship can make things very difficult, especially if it is someone you’ve known for a while or pictured your life with in the long-term. Having a negatively impactful friend can be draining, and similar to family, it can severely deteriorate your mental health. If one of your friends is making you feel poorly, the best option is to cut them out of your life and surround yourself with friends who appreciate and support you.

Lastly, cutting off significant others is arguably one of the hardest relationships to sever. A familiar idea with cutting off significant others is the concept of “taking a break” and resuming the relationship after giving each other space and test-driving how to survive without one another.

Another idea is ghosting, a concept where you abruptly cut off your partner with no further communication. Although I prefer communication, I believe cutting someone off is better than taking a break.

If your significant other is affecting your happiness in any way: emotionally, mentally or physically, you need to leave. Many people believe in second chances, but I think the more you let your significant other make mistakes and forgive them, the more they believe they can get away with hurting you.

Cutting off your partner, although difficult, can have amazing effects on your well-being. When relationships become all-consuming, it is very easy to lose yourself. Cutting that person off allows you to rediscover who you are as a person, develop stronger emotional skills, improve your self-love and find new sources of happiness, according to Mind Body Green.

I understand that cutting someone off is an extremely difficult decision and not one you make overnight, whether that person be family, a friend, or a significant other. I personally know how difficult it is to leave someone who you are supposed to love or be loved by, especially family. Losing that relationship can be heartbreaking, but compared to the damage it was doing to you, letting go is the best decision you can make for your happiness.

What I am suggesting is not a simple task. Many people will read this and go back to that toxic, draining relationship thinking that pushing through tough times means it will last or be worth it. I promise you, it’s time to let go. You are worthy of happiness, of love, of support and of the peace you will feel once that negative energy is gone from your life.

Toxic relationships are keeping you tied down. Once you finally cut those ties, you will be able to breathe again, and it will be the sweetest relief you have ever felt.