Woman sitting on couch with hands on her face, deciding whether to cut them out of her life

Should You Cut Them Out of Your Life?

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When you make the decision to cut someone out of your life, it will be the hardest thing you will ever do.

Don’t get me wrong, if the person isn’t close to you anyways, it is pretty easy.  But when they are a close friend or family member, it is something that can make you feel like your world is ending.  It will be the hardest decision you will ever make.

But even if you feel your world is ending, it is still worth it to do it in some cases.

Learn when it is necessary to cut people out of our lives and how best to approach it.

Want to watch my friend, Rachel, and I discuss in depth, how we set boundaries with our families? Watch on YouTube here!

Why We Shouldn’t Cut Someone Off

I see so many posts online that seem to advocate cutting anyone and everyone out of your life if they don’t bring you peace. 

In a way, I agree with that, and a way I don’t. 

Bringing peace can mean so many things.  Are they not bringing peace because they don’t agree with you or something similar?

If it is that, then I am not going to advocate you cut them out of your life. 

I don’t believe in cutting people out of our lives for simply having different beliefs and experiences. That is typically an issue on your end that indicates you haven’t quite healed from something and are projecting it on that situation. So in that case, it is important you find a way to heal.

So when is it the right decision that we cut someone out of our lives?

I will give a few examples of toxic relationships with people that I had, that made me pull the plug, so you can look for similarities in your own relationships.

They Have Always Treated You Like Garbage

I have a friend who has always been absolutely rotten to me. 

The friend, even while growing up, used to constantly tell me how ugly and fat I was (to give perspective, she weighed more than I did growing up and was about a head shorter).

She used to tell lies to bullies at school and say I was talking bad about them, when I wasn’t, just so they could threaten and intimidate me. 

As an adult, she tried to play nice to me and even after I told her all the things she did when we were kids, she didn’t apologize.  She blew me off, saying we were just kids. 

I overlooked that and knew she was one of my best friends growing up, so maybe she was right.  I should just let it go. 

But her behavior was still the same as an adult.

She came to me for advice and would rip it to shreds.  She constantly screamed at and berated her friends.

It was getting to the point where every time I talked to her, my energy was completely drained.  I would walk away angry and confused.  My self worth felt like it faltered. 

I felt like I had not had a positive conversation with her in decades. 

And that’s when I realized I needed to cut her out of my life and us go our separate ways. 

Because you should never be an any kind of relationship where your energy is always getting drained. 

They Constantly Attack You

There is a member of my family, who every year, seems to be in a feud with someone different in our family. 

I began to notice a pattern last year that he would pick on the weakest family member at the time and tell them every way they are horrible.  Then I noticed the pattern of every argument in the family had this person in it. 

Last year, he zeroed in on me because I was starting to have more and more followers on my social media channels because of this blog. 

He began to make it his mission to “bring me down to earth” by telling me I am nobody and how I think I am better than everyone else (lol, if you read my articles, you can get a pretty good idea that this is not true). 

Every single time I would comment on a family member’s post or make my own social media post, he began a campaign of making sure to reply to my comments about how he didn’t like me.  To where EVERYONE could see it.

I’m not going to lie, this hurt. 

After a while, I realized that I needed to be okay with him not liking me and it was time to go our separate ways.  I cannot live my life constantly having someone standing behind me and telling me how they hate me.  It’s not productive and doesn’t solve anything except chipping at the other person’s self esteem. 

So at one of his particular comments, I replied to him and said “It’s unfortunate that you don’t like me.  I wish that were different.  I don’t understand why you don’t, because the last few times we saw each other in person, I thought we had wonderful conversations.  But I am going to have to be okay with you not liking me.  Because I like me.  And there are others who love me for who I am.  So if you don’t like me, that is okay and we can go our separate ways.”

And that was the last thing said between us. 

They Make You Feel Like You Want to Die

I have another family member who, while growing up, constantly put me down.  Half the time he was a great person, and half the time, he was bitter and angry towards the world. 

I was not allowed to be upset or hurt over anything as a kid because I knew I would be berated for it or threatened.  This person constantly took their anger out on others.  When this person was angry, they had a tendency to make you feel like you were better off dead.

While it always hurt, I never thought this was an abnormal relationship until I was an adult.  I thought I would just have to stick it out because this person was family. 

But when I realized I didn’t have to live life always being put down, it changed me. 

The final straw was last year, during an important event in our family, when he said things to me that he couldn’t take back. 

I told them they needed to leave and have not spoken to them since. 

And this one hurt more than any other.  But it needed to be done if I ever hoped to have any kind of confidence. 

Why We Need to Cut Ties

If being around a person makes you feel like you would be better off dead, or if you can’t ever feel positive or happy around a person, that is when you know it is best to cut ties. 

I’m not going to lie, with me going my entire life being a people pleaser and feeling like I have to stick it out because these people have been a part of my life for so long, it was a hard decision each time. Especially when you know it is so much easier for everyone else if you just let them crap all over you.

I also truly was scared of hurting them by letting them know I had a problem with our relationship. It didn’t matter that they hurt me first. Hurting people isn’t who I am, so I struggled with being okay with cutting them out of my life and hurting their feelings. But ultimately, I knew I would never be completely happy unless I removed people who made me feel like I don’t matter or am less of a person than they are.

Don’t be like me, and feel that you deserve the things people are saying and doing to you.  You don’t.  I don’t care what you have done in the past.  I don’t care who you are.  People shouldn’t treat people like that. 

People need to treat people with respect or not be around them at all.

Don’t Just Cut Ties, Make Sure it is the Right Decision

Something I want to make clear is I don’t believe you should automatically cut ties with someone out of nowhere. 

There should be a discussion first.  An opportunity for you to talk to this person and let them know that their behavior hurts you and you don’t want that kind of relationship with them. 

Give them a chance to change. 

I made sure to do this with each person I before I went to the extreme act of going my separate way. 

If I am going to estimate, I would say 50% of the time I sit down and have a conversation with someone about how they are hurting me, things change.  However, sometimes they don’t.

That’s when you need to go your separate ways. 

If they can’t respect the boundary you put in place, then it means they don’t respect you.

And we don’t need people in our lives that aren’t going to respect us, but demand we respect them. 

In those cases, it is best to wish them well and go your separate ways.

Don’t Let Bitterness Get You

I talk a lot here about cutting people off and going our separate ways, and I want to emphasize the going our separate ways part.  Cutting them off just seems like it is done with anger and hatred.  But going separate ways is simply understanding the relationship no longer works.

When you go your separate ways, you need to let go of the bitterness and resentment. 

You need to forgive them and forgive yourself for allowing their behavior for so long.

Don’t look for revenge.  Don’t try to rally others into hating them too. Please don’t wish for bad things to happen to them. 

Don’t become someone you aren’t because you have hatred in your heart. 

Say “I love you and want good things for you, but I can’t be around you anymore”.

And go your separate ways.  Live your life free from that toxic atmosphere. Being the most successful and best version of yourself is the ultimate way of showing them they could have been a part of that if they respected you more.

I can say with full honesty that I truly love the people I have gone separate ways from.  I really hope they find healing and love and I want good things for them.  But I don’t want to be around for it. 

Because I choose to make my one life a happy one.  And I can’t do that if I allow people to drain me and berate me. And you can choose that for yourself too.

When did you make the decision let someone go?  Let me know below!

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2 thoughts on “Should You Cut Them Out of Your Life?”

  1. I had to cut my sister out of my life. This was particularly hard as we were very close when we were younger. However, she chose to judge me on situations that were beyond my control, really not her business and had absolutely nothing to do with our relationship/ it was all about me doing certain things differently than she thought I should do. She often brought up the subject of how she believed I should be doing things differently instead of letting me lead my life my way as she has done many things I didn’t agree with, but I kept those opinions to myself.

    1. Ashly Edmiston

      I know that is incredibly hard and had to of hurt you to cut her out of your life. To have someone constantly question/criticize you really takes a blow to your self esteem and makes you feel less than. It can really impact the decisions you make because you aren’t confident with yourself. Sometimes this can come out of love, but doing it constantly is when it becomes toxic to you, especially when you have asked them to stop. I hope you have confidence in knowing you made the decision that was right for you and your mental health. Because we all deserve people in our lives that will respect our boundaries.

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