How to Stop Obsessing Over Someone

Rachel Sharpe

Obsessing over someone is common, especially when they hurt you. It’s easy to get caught up in revenge fantasies, hoping this person will get what they “deserve.” But no matter how much you obsess over someone, it doesn’t make the pain go away. You can’t control how other people feel or react to a situation. Trying to get them to feel your matched pain is virtually impossible. Keep in mind that you, too, have hurt people. It’s possible that people are obsessing over you too. Ultimately, this is a sign of toxic thinking. So in this article, we’ll try to help you learn how to stop obsessing over someone, so you can move on and let go for good. 

How to Stop Obsessing Over Someone

1. Focus on yourself instead

Instead of obsessing over someone, focus on yourself. Often, when we’re angry at an ex or someone who caused us so much pain, we stop investing in ourselves. Our minds become all about that other person, which doesn’t serve us at all. So, hit the gym, eat a balanced diet, go to therapy, have fun, and enjoy the good life. Life isn’t about pain and suffering. You don’t need to torture yourself for someone else’s or even your own mistake. Allow yourself to heal. Finding a good support system, so you can do the inner work you need to do will be vital. Stop beating yourself up; no one’s perfect here. We all mess up now and then. When you focus on making yourself better, you give yourself a chance to make a difference in the world that has a positive impact. But when you obsess over someone else, you bring more hatefulness and pain into the world. And that makes everything you’re going through harder because you can no longer see the good around you.

how to stop obsessing over someone

2. Spend more time with friends

The easiest way to stop obsessing over someone is to spend more time with friends or family. The people you love the most, who love you back, will help remind you of all the good things you have to offer in this life. Finding a good friend who will love you and support you is all you need to get your mind off another person. Often, it’s when we’re alone at night that our minds start to have existential crises. However, if you spend your days having fun with people you care about, your mind thinks about that as you rest your head at night. So, Instead of cycling the same negative thoughts about a person and making yourself crazy, it’s important to distract yourself with good friends, good habits, and hobbies. 

3. Accept what is

No matter how upset we are, there’s nothing we can do to change the past. You can’t make your ex treat you better. If a coworker mistreats you, you can’t change their behavior or attitude towards you. You can replay the last moments a million times in your mind trying to find new patterns or mistakes you’ve made. However, your experience will always only be your perspective and no one else’s. You’ll never know the whole story of what went down. Stop trying to piece everything together. Don’t keep asking, “What is wrong with me?” Instead, focus on this next chapter of your life. You need to let go of mistakes and start letting go of the past too. Accept that a relationship ended. Accept that someone hurt you. And understand that you too will end relationships and hurt people throughout your life. It’s human nature.

how to stop obsessing over someone

4. Allow karma to work itself out without you

Often, when someone hurts us, our minds immediately think of revenge. Some people will have revenge fantasies to destroy another person’s life. But the thing people don’t realize is that your actions will have consequences for you too. Time shows that karma works itself out on its own. You don’t need to be another person’s karma. There’s no need for you to be vengeful towards another person at all. So, if someone cheats on you, one day, something will happen to them that hurts just as much as cheating hurt you. It’s never 1:1. However, the reality is, in life, we all go through good times and bad times. You’re going to hit rock bottom multiple times in your life. And so will the people who hurt you. 

5. Seek professional help

To stop obsessing over someone, sometimes you need to seek professional help. It’s normal to be upset with someone after they reject you or remove themselves from your life. However, zeroing in on this can cause obsessive behavior. Remember that a single person doesn’t define your value. For example, one person might not like you while another thinks you’re the most extraordinary person alive. Each person values different things. So don’t evaluate your self-worth based on someone else’s opinion of you. Obsessing over a person like they’re the only person in the world whose opinion matters is unhealthy. Find a therapist who will remind you what makes you great, help you build your confidence back up, and teach you how to deal with ruminating thoughts that make you obsess over someone.

professional help

6. Avoid repeating their words in your head

Sometimes, we become obsessed with someone because something they once said burrowed into our minds. Unknowingly, we’ll repeat that line to ourselves for decades, completely forgetting the original source of the sentence. We repeat the line to ourselves until it becomes a part of our identity and life story. People hear us describe ourselves based on this one line someone once told us years ago. It’s a disaster. It’s normal for someone’s words to hurt us. But don’t let it burrow into your mind for years to come. Remember that you, too, have said hurtful things to others in the heat of the moment. There’s no need to internalize something hateful about ourselves, even if we think aspects of it are true. A hateful sentence doesn’t need to become your identity. People change and grow all the time. Grow from this too. 

7. Remember your value

What do you imagine when you think about what type of person you want to be? Do you imagine yourself as a small, scheming, vengeful person caught up in bitterness and refusing to find inner peace and happiness in your life? Or do you imagine yourself investing in your personal growth, moving on like a champ, and becoming a version of yourself so great that people realize what they’ve missed out on? You determine your value. And you can choose which direction to take your life at any time. Obsessing over someone is such a low-class way to live. Do you really think someone who’s crushing it in life is obsessing over someone? Nope. They’re too busy living their best lives. You deserve the same. So build yourself back up from this setback. You’re destined for greatness. Don’t pretend a minor blow is a catastrophe.

destined for greatness

8. Meditate

Guided meditation can be helpful for you in managing your feelings of obsession. Obsessing over someone takes over your mind. Meditation helps you watch your thoughts to see what kind of thinking you’re doing but on a more conscious level. By becoming aware of the types of obsessive thoughts you’re having, you can work to resolve your issues. Your mind will turn your thoughts into reality. This isn’t some woo-woo thing either. If you spend more time obsessing over another person instead of investing in yourself, what good do you think will happen? Life is all about the experience of what you make of it. You don’t live for other people; you live for yourself. Treat your mind kindly by letting go of the pain someone caused you. Your thoughts should focus on your betterment instead of another person’s hatefulness. You can watch meditation videos to get you started.

9. Forgive them

One of the best ways to stop obsessing over someone is to forgive them. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to invite them over and hang out with them as if nothing happened. You don’t even need to tell them you forgive them. This can simply be a mental forgiveness check-in you do in your head. You might think to yourself, “I forgive you, and now I’ll let go.” It’s normal if, months or years down the road, someone says something that reminds you of them or something they said. You might feel a moment of anger or rage, even. You’re still human, after all. However, forgiving yourself is about giving you peace of mind so you can move on to the next phase of your life. 

10. Block them if you have to

There’s something to be said about “out of sight, out of mind.” Sometimes, getting a clean break from someone is what helps you move forward. Blocking someone who hurt you on social media is a great way to close that chapter and relationship so you can move forward. People always tell you not to burn bridges with people. However, you rarely want to repair a relationship with someone who caused damage. You shouldn’t want that anyway. So, rather than being strung along on a thread of hope, obsessing over someone, and watching every aspect of their life without you unfold, sever the relationship. Block, delete, and move on. You don’t need to know if they’re happy or not. There’s no need to get status updates on their life. Comparing yourself to them isn’t helping you in any way. There are no winners or losers in life. You’ll go through bad days, and they will too. Life throws curve balls at everyone when you least expect it.

block social media

11. Figure out the pain point 

If you want to figure out how to stop obsessing over someone, you have to get to the root of the pain. It sounds easy, but often our mind does mental blocks to prevent us from seeing why something hurts us so much. For example, if someone cheated on you, it’s easy to think the pain comes from the action of cheating the person did. However, it goes much deeper than that. For example, if you had trust issues from childhood, the act of cheating might trigger that pain point. 

Another example is if you get fired from a job, it might trigger feelings of being rejected or an outcast when you were growing up. But, of course, there’s always an event or emotion that gets magnified by the pain someone causes us. It’s never just a single act alone. So if you want to stop obsessing over someone, get the root cause of the pain. Instead, work with a therapist to solve the original problem before moving on to the recent event. 

12. Remember that it’s human nature 

While it’s not healthy to obsess over someone, it’s human nature to feel this way sometimes. It’s normal to feel angry and hurt about another person’s disregard of us. It’s normal to occasionally become obsessed with another person who caused us emotional pain. However, it’s key to remember that billions of people are on this planet. You’ll meet so many people who will make you laugh, inspire you, and hurt you. There’s always someone better than the person who caused you pain. New opportunities will present themselves when you put yourself out there. So, don’t get too caught up in your obsession. You’ll find someone who loves you for you.

friends laughing

13. Invest in hobbies

The final way to stop obsessing over someone is by investing in hobbies. Do activities that help silence your thoughts, keep you busy, and challenge you in some way. You can learn to play an instrument and challenge yourself to move up multiple levels. Investing in outdoor activities like white water rafting, mountain biking, skydiving, or other thrill-seeking activities can help spark the adventurer in you. Reading meditation books before bed is a great way to fall asleep faster while thinking about something positive before dozing off. Taking up an additional part-time job or side hustle can help fill your spare time while helping you earn more income. Fill your time with hobbies so you can stop obsessing over people who hurt you. 

Conclusion

While it’s normal to obsess over someone who has hurt us, ultimately, the obsession is unhealthy and needs to be managed. Therapy, hobbies, positive relationships, and severing a relationship with the toxic person can all be helpful in your healing. Let go of the past and the pain. To move to the next chapter, focus on improving yourself to continue to grow and attract new friends, lovers, and jobs. Don’t let someone else’s words replay in your mind. You matter and are valuable. Don’t make your life about someone else; live for yourself again. 

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