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How to stop obsessing over someone — and why does it happen

Love is a deep emotion, but if not treated well it can turn into obsession. You can be obsessed with someone out of love or spite. But, learning how to stop obsessing over someone is crucial. These tips can be of help.
Here are some tips to help you overcome obsession over someone!
Purvi Kalra Published: 14 Jun 2024, 09:30 pm IST
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Loving or adoring someone is a happy feeling, but having an obsession with someone is an all-consuming habit. It can hamper the quality of your life, taking up so much of your energy and mental space in a negative way. With your mind constantly occupied with obsessive thoughts about something, you would be unable to direct your thoughts or energy to something productive. If your habit worsens or increases, it can lead to issues like anxiety or depression. At times, obsessive thoughts are an outcome of conditions like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It can also come from unmet desires or a strong attachment towards someone. This feeling can be very disturbing when your obsessive pattern is directed towards someone not available or inaccessible. To control your impulses, you must learn how to stop obsessing over someone.

What is an obsession?

How do you come to conclude that you have obsession over someone? Some of the common signs include:

• Persistently thinking about someone
• Feeling sad and out of control
• Losing your own identity
• Behavioural changes or mood swings
• Surrounding your life with that person
• Depending your happiness on them

Don’t forget to practice self-love when trying to heal from obsession over someone. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

What causes an obsession with a person?

A person has a great need for emotional support when they are dealing with emotional problems such as poor self-esteem, past trauma, anxiety, loneliness, mental health conditions, and attachment problems from childhood brought on by dysfunctional parenting and family dynamics. Additionally, a person experiencing relationship problems does not receive much emotional, mental, or physical support from their partner, says psychotherapist and psychologist Priyanka Kapoor.

“People become susceptible when their bodily, mental, or emotional needs are not satisfied. They go overboard and cross all boundaries when someone shows them compassion, affirmation, caring, and attention. They become so enamoured with him that they believe he is the only person in the world deserving of them,” says Kapoor.

Furthermore, powerful emotional experiences—like strong love attraction or infatuation—can occasionally turn into obsessions if they aren’t counterbalanced by boundaries and reason.

Early on in a romantic relationship, everything can seem overwhelming, which can result in compulsive actions and ideas.

How to stop obsessing over someone?

Obsession is an unhealthy pattern we tend to learn over time through our good or bad experiences. Learning how to control that behaviour can be fruitful for our healthy life.

1. Have a self-identity

One ought to address low self-worth, self-identity, self-esteem, or self-respect. Understanding and accepting who you are—your values, convictions, and interests—is the essence of self-identity. Having a solid sense of who you are aids in staying honest and upholding moral principles. This also boosts one’s sense of value and self-esteem. Staying true to your authentic self helps foster meaningful relationships with yourself and others.

2. Set clear boundaries

When we become obsessed with someone, we usually tend to go overboard in our minds and in general life as well. If we love someone very deeply, we tend to show over care and affection towards them and maybe less towards ourselves. By giving so much of our energy to someone, we are left with little to no feelings for ourselves. So, learn to set clear boundaries to preserve a respectful and balanced dynamic in relationships.

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Having your own network of friends gives you that sense of belongingness while helping you overcome obsession over someone! Image courtesy: Freepik

3. Seek professional help

Sometimes, we are so badly stuck in that negative loop of certain behaviour that we find it hard to emerge out of it successfully on our own. Engaging with a mental health specialist can assist in identifying and resolving the underlying causes of compulsive behaviours as well as creating more constructive coping strategies, suggests the expert.

4. Create a network of your own

Sometimes, we have no one else to rely on in our life. So, this fuels our obsessive thinking pattern towards one specific person. To prevent becoming overly dependent on one person for emotional fulfilment, cultivate a varied support network. Having a sense of belongingness around you that goes beyond that single person will help you create a better mindset and life.

5. Maintain distance (physically and digitally)

When feelings of obsession overcome us, we give a lot of attention to that person everywhere, physically and digitally. If that person’s presence in your life is no longer serving you, then try to maintain physical distance from that person. Also, your digital contact with that person matters a lot. Unfollow that person on social media as this can trigger harmful feelings or behaviour. Avoid contacting or staying in constant touch with that person.

6. Form new habits

Incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine like waking up early, going for a walk, hitting the gym, or pursuing long-forgotten hobbies like reading or writing can come to your rescue in helping you break unhealthy obsessive patterns. When you change your routine, you signal your brain for that change. Also, these new habits can work wonders as distraction techniques to keep your mind occupied in something worthy or productive while staying away from obsessive thought patterns.

7. Learn to be on your own

Reduce your dependency on other people to help you regulate your emotions by engaging in self-care and mindfulness practices. You should engage all your internal resources to build a meaningful life and be on your own. Stop being dependent on others to sustain yourself.

To overcome fixation, a person should be careful not to depend on other people for everything and instead attempt to take care of their own emotional, mental, and physical requirements. They will become resilient and gain emotional autonomy as a result.

Purvi Kalra

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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