Stop Obsessing Over Someone, Focus on Yourself

Headache. Obsession. The stream of dark thoughts. Expressions, feelings and moods. Young woman suffering from dark thoughts.

Key Points

  • Obsessing over someone is marked by continuous thoughts, intense emotions, feelings of possessiveness, desire to control, and jealousy.

  • Once started, it is difficult to stop obsessing over someone.

  • People often use the word “obsessed” casually in instances where they do not experience this type of unhealthy attachment.

  • To stop obsessing over someone, control your thoughts, and actively reshift your mind.

  • Even if you are not experiencing an actual obsession, ease away from intense, constant thoughts of someone by releasing your past and focusing on a positive present and future.

Have you ever been swept off your feet by an amazing first date, and suddenly they are all you think about? You constantly check for a text from them, find a way to bring them up in conversation, and every love song makes you dream of a future with them. You start wondering how on earth you're going to stop obsessing over someone.

Infatuation in someone causes obsessive thoughts and an illusion of owning them. It’s troubling to always have someone on your mind, especially when you start forgetting what you did or thought of before knowing them. Stop obsessing over someone to regain control of your mind and establish a healthy relationship attachment.

What Is Obsessing?

Obsessing over someone is characterized by an overwhelming attraction, constant thoughts about them, the need to protect them like they are your possession, and uncontrollable jealousy when they interact with other people. When you are obsessed with someone, you experience intrusive thoughts which cause anxiety and negatively overtake your mind.

The word “obsessed” is thrown around casually. People claim to be obsessed with someone or have someone obsessed with them. Do not confuse this exaggerated usage of the word with an actual obsession. Although, if you feel too attached to someone, you’ll benefit from some methods of releasing an obsession to heal your unhealthy attachment.

Woman stuck in though with pen and paper

Signs You’re Obsessed

Questioning whether or not you are obsessed with someone is a sign that you are obsessed. Here are some other symptoms that you are probably experiencing an unhealthy obsession with someone:

  • You monitor what someone is constantly doing through social media, interrogation, or going to locations hoping to see them.

  • You feel the continuous need for reassurance from them.

  • You start isolating yourself from other relationships with friends and family.

  • You begin to constantly call, text, email, or message them.

  • You want to control where someone goes, what they do, or who they interact with.

  • You become overwhelmingly jealous when they interact with others.

  • You experience emotional outbursts of jealousy, possessiveness, and control.

Why Can’t You Stop Obsessing?

Obsession is comparable to addiction, making it nearly impossible to quit. Healthily grounded people do not form addictions or obsessions. Just as in addiction, the first step is realizing there is a problem.

Removing yourself from an obsession is challenging. Struggling with regular obsessions over crushes, partners, or friends requires help from therapy and self-work. Fix minor or circumstantial habits through conditioning and support. 

Hands texting on phone with rope tied around them

Is Obsessing Unhealthy?

Obsessing over someone is an unhealthy attachment style for yourself and a relationship. There are many ways an obsession grows, but it’s due to your internal thoughts and experiences rather than the person you're obsessed with.

Attachment disorders, trauma, personality disorders, lingering fear of abandonment, and general anxiety cause obsessions. Seek help if you experience feelings of dependence or struggle to develop healthy attachments. Awareness of an unhealthy obsession is the first step to fixing your attachment style. Healing is possible through talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and sometimes medication.

In extreme cases, mental disorders cause obsession and unhealthy attachments. Don't diagnose yourself with a mental disorder because you feel obsessed with someone. Trauma, anxiety, or unhealthy relationship patterns cause fear of abandonment, leading to obsessive tendencies in a relationship.

Entering a relationship to fill a personal void rather than genuine care for another person leads to feelings of obsession as they are a distraction from emotional issues. 

Obsession vs. Infatuation

The word “obsessed” is overused at times when a real obsession is not present. For example, have you heard, or perhaps said, statements similar to the following:

“Have you seen how hot my new man is? I’m so obsessed with him.”

“I can’t stop thinking about her, I’m obsessed.” 

“Canceling girls' night to be with your boyfriend again? Why are you so obsessed with him?”

Don't mistake obsession for infatuation. Infatuation is liking someone new to the point that you have intrusive thoughts, unreasonable jealousy, or get carried away with passion based on your idolization of them. Infatuation comes on quickly and is confused with feelings of love. An obsession overtakes your mind and life perpetually, but infatuation passes with time.

Being infatuated with someone to the point of expressing it as an obsession, disrupting your life, and experiencing intense jealousy are red flags that you should work to get them off your mind.

Man checking phone while out to lunch

How Do You Get Them Off Your Mind?

Struggling with obsessive thoughts due to your infatuation with someone pollutes your mind all day. It’s good to feel excitement over a new crush, but desire quickly goes too far.

Especially if you have intrusive thoughts about someone you cannot have or someone who rejected you, work on getting them off your mind and move on to something better. Overthinking is common, and it’s challenging to get out of your own head

So how do you get them off your mind?

Someone You Have a Crush On

Meeting someone new is intoxicating. You think about them constantly, imagine what it would be like to kiss them, role-play fake scenarios with them in your head, and wonder what might happen next time you interact. Don’t overdo it or you’ll hurt your feelings before your crush gets a chance to.

Actively occupy your mind with other things when you start having obsessive thoughts. Disconnect from your busy mind with thoughts you regularly engaged with before knowing this person. Ask yourself what big things are happening at work, what you want to do with your friends on Saturday, what new book you want to read, or what your gym goals are for this upcoming week. 

After looking at their Instagram several times a day, close the app and promise to stop. Turn their text notifications off to discontinue the constant hope that they messaged you. Release your fantasy of what may happen with your eye candy and earth yourself back to reality.

Woman with head in hands at computer

Someone You Can’t Have

Rejection is devastating and messes with your head. The inability to be with someone sets off an intense desire to have what you can’t have. Remind yourself that you are imagining a fantasy with this person and not experiencing an actual connection with them.

Take time to work on yourself and figure out precisely what you want from a partner. Building a relationship with someone looks different than the rejection you are experiencing. Journal about what you want from a partner, qualities of yourself that make you a good partner to someone, and things that you won’t tolerate in a relationship. 

Organizing what you want in a relationship allows you to see why you should not worry about someone you can’t have or that doesn't want you. A good partner appreciates and accepts you as you are. 

Someone Not Texting Back

You went on a great date the other night. They said they would text you, but you haven’t heard anything from them. You swallow your pride and message them first but hear nothing back. You keep checking your phone for two days hoping to see their name across your screen. Waiting for a text from someone you’re seeing is distracting and easily blurs the line into obsessiveness.

Stop waiting for someone that is ignoring you. Turn off your notifications for their contact to release an expectation of a text or block them if you decide not to be in contact with them at all. Message someone else to start a conversation and distract yourself from the one lingering on your mind. 

Remind yourself not to put your energy into someone that does not reciprocate. Be with someone who wants to message and chat with you, not one who ignores you or leaves you hanging.

When you find yourself awaiting a text or thinking of the person ignoring you, actively switch your focus to something else. Accept the situation for what it is and stop blaming yourself for their actions. 

Don’t give in with a quick reply if they finally message you. This teaches them that it is ok to ignore you and repeat the same behavior in the future. This feeds into your unhealthy habit of obsessing over a text. It’s better to chat with someone that doesn’t drive you crazy over staying in contact.

Couple making out in ocean

Someone You Hate

Just as an infatuation with someone leads to obsessive thoughts, so does hating someone. Experiencing an intense emotion fills your mind constantly. Negative feelings towards someone are unhealthy for your mind and harmful to other parts of your life. 

Spend time with people that you care about to bring positive emotions into your life and release hate for this person. Instead, focus on the people who love you and spend time with them. Filling your days with good energy refocuses your mind on positive things.

Break the cycle of negative thoughts by replacing them with cheerful ones each time you have an obsessive thought about the person you dislike.

Remember, there is no way to change this person. It is best to accept the situation as it is and allow karma to take care of it. Let go of the past and focus on the future without them. 

Spending time with obsessive thoughts over someone gives them power over you and your mind. As said by Dr. Monique Ranford, psychologist, and author:

“Do you really want to give them that power over you? The negative emotion could easily do much more damage to you than it would ever do to the person it is directed against. How do you stop it? After you have figured out the reason for your hate, use your lessons to let go of the emotion. If you have learned something more about yourself or your needs, invest your time in relationships that meet those needs (whether platonic or intimate).”

Work to control your thoughts about this person and release your hatred towards them. Unfortunately, having negative thoughts accomplishes nothing but instead damages your mind.

Man working on computer stuck in deep thought

Mantras To Stop Obsessing

Obsessive thoughts are frustrating as they overtake your mind. You are the only one that can regain control over your thoughts. Getting out of your head is challenging, but possible by training yourself. A mantra is a word or phrase you repeat over and over to aid in meditation and imprint the idea in your mind.

Mantras are a powerful tool in controlling your thoughts, and using them redirects your obsessive thoughts. Repeat these mantras out loud or in your head repeatedly to overcome your obsession.

  • I am letting go of the past so that I can make room for my future.

  • If it is meant for me, it will come to me.

  • I am enough, I have always been enough, and I will always be enough.

  • I am the only one that controls my life.

  • I love myself first before anyone else.

  • My mind is creating this, it is not my reality.

Recite these phrases over and over until your anxiety is released and you genuinely believe the phrase you are saying. Come up with your own mantra to better suit your struggles and thoughts.

Focus on Yourself

When you find yourself occupied with obsessive thoughts or feelings about someone, whether they are positive or negative, refocus your energy on yourself to regain your power and mental health. It is hard to avoid obsessing over someone once your intrusive thoughts have started, but you do have the power to take control of what your brain wants to tell you. 

Actively train yourself to think of other things and remember what your life was like before this obsession occupied you.

You are the center of your world, don’t allow others to live rent-free!

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