To keep your distance from people and not let them stay in your heart can sometimes seem like an impossible task, but there are some strategies that might help.
According to experts, here are the best ways to stop caring about someone who doesn’t care enough about you.
Table of Contents
- Detangle your self-worth from the situation
- Let yourself be angry
- Shift your focus to all the people in your life who do care about you
- Honor that you care
- Make self-love a practice
- Don’t avoid your feelings
- Identify and acknowledge your feelings for the person
- Commit to living
- Walk away when those feelings are not mutual
- Release them and wish them well
- Let them go and open that space up in your life for someone new
- Realize why you are hurting
- Look forward and make a new vision without them in it
- Acknowledge that you are the priority: Put yourself first
- Cut all ties with the person who does not care about you
- Fill the gap: Keep yourself busy
- Lasso the gift of your care and give it to yourself
- Be aware of your own feelings and ask “why” questions
- Forgive, let go of the weight in your heart, and reclaim your personal headspace
- Spend time with yourself and others while you mourn
- Work on yourself by learning a new skill or talking to someone
Certified Stress Coach | Meditation Teacher | Podcast Host, Spark Intention
When we want to stop caring about someone, it’s because they’ve hurt us, and we want to feel better and heal. The truth is, we don’t have to stop caring to heal, release, and move on.
Detangle your self-worth from the situation
Your worth has nothing to do with how others treat you. How others treat us is a reflection of how they feel about themselves. Part of the reason we hold on to those who “don’t care” is because it reinforces a belief we have about our self-worth.
When you detach those two things, it becomes easier to see the situation for what it is: a hurt person projecting their hurt onto us.
Affirm every day: I am worthy.
Let yourself be angry
Anger isn’t the enemy, and our emotions aren’t a threat to our wellbeing. It’s just misunderstood and often misused. Since we are talking about moving through a grieving process of “letting go“ of someone, anger will eventually arise.
Let it out in a healthy way that supports your growth.
- Create art
- Punch a pillow
- Take up a boxing class
Shift your focus to all the people in your life who do care about you
Don’t let the one person who doesn’t care about you live rent-free in your mind; they’ve taken enough. Re-claim your power by redirecting your focus to those around you who love you and care about you.
Keep redirecting. You’re re-programming a neural pathway, so it takes time, like training a puppy to come back when it runs off.
Honor that you care
You’re a beautiful being with so much love and empathy in your heart. Honor that you care, honor that you put yourself out there. Rejection doesn’t have to harden us; it can make us stronger, kinder, and quite frankly unstoppable.
If we are no longer afraid to feel, what is there to fear?
Make self-love a practice
Meaning something you continue to do. Repetition is key because it helps us re-write subconscious stories, beliefs, patterns, and behaviors to be more supportive of what we want to feel and experience in life.
Eventually, you’ll see the person who didn’t care in a new light, just a person who is in pain. Eventually, they fade into the background of your past and become nothing more than a person you once knew. It’s not that you stop caring; you just started caring more about your wellbeing.
Related: Why Is Self Love Important?
In other words, pull a Taylor Swift and turn your painful experiences into beauty and riches.
Dr. Ronnie Doss, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychologist, Accepting Psychology Counseling
Don’t avoid your feelings
Doing so could be similar to gaslighting yourself. This may lead to repeated thoughts like “I’m crazy” or “A sad case for caring about someone who doesn’t care about me.”
Thoughts and emotions can be random and are transient. Thus, when undesired ones still pop up despite your best attempts to avoid and move pass them, we tend to experience frustration, anger, lower self-esteem, and isolative behaviors.
Identify and acknowledge your feelings for the person
This is the reverse of avoiding your feelings. Be kind with yourself as you identify and accept your thoughts and emotions for what they are without judging yourself for having them. If you love the person, accept that, and don’t spend all your energy trying not to love.
Our minds and body don’t fully integrate our lived experiences if we don’t accept their existence. This contributes to a lack of consciousness, where we don’t make the appropriate associations between experiences, which can lead to us repeating mistakes or missing new opportunities.
Although attempting to control our pain via acts of suppression, avoidance, and/or escape may feel good in the short run, it tends to place us in a small box for which to live.
Commit to living
Once we don’t avoid and instead acknowledge our feelings, we are free to live a life outside the small box of fear that may come with the felt rejection of caring for someone who doesn’t care about us.
This commitment to action leads to fuller participation in life that allows us to encounter rewarding experiences that leave past loves and fears where they belong and make room for present and future loves that care equally about us.
Dr. Alice Fong, ND
Naturopathic Doctor | Founder & CEO, Amour de Soi Wellness
Walk away when those feelings are not mutual
This piece reminded me of when I was on the dating market, and I got ghosted by someone I thought I developed a deep connection with. Initially, I was rather upset and taken aback by it.
I kept thinking:
- Was it something I said?
- Was it something I did?
- Was it how I looked?
- Did he meet someone else?
- Was it the fact I didn’t immediately respond to his message because I was in an all day-workshop (even though I told him I would be in one)?
I noticed how my mind continued to spiral as I wondered if I did something wrong, but then it occurred to me—to consciously flip these self-defeating questions “from what I was doing” to “who is the kind of person I want to be with?”
Do I want to be with someone who randomly stops communicating with me out of the blue without any explanation? No way. Do I want to be with someone who disrespects me? Heck no!
Reframing this in my mind helped me let go of the upset feelings I had and just continue on with my life. Happily, I found the love of my life who does love and respect me. Someone who I can count on to always communicates with me when we are dealing with challenges in our relationship and who I know will work together with me to get through it.
That’s the kind of partner I want and deserve.
I think the most important thing in a potentially painful experience like this is to practice self-love. First and foremost, you have to love yourself to be able to invite a healthy love and relationship into your life. When you rely on someone else to validate your existence and worth, then it will be infinitely harder to walk away from any relationship where that person doesn’t care about you in the same way you care about them.
Have love and respect for yourself to walk away when those feelings are not mutual.
Dr. Lunide Louis
Habit Psychologist | Host, Best Morning Routine, Ever!
Release them and wish them well
I know it has been proven that we can’t break a bad habit, but rather we have to replace it. This applies to how to stop caring about someone who doesn’t care about you anymore.
You see, our default is to love, help and care for others. Deep down, this is our innate desire to contribute to others in any way we can. We sometimes get hurt, bruised and that desire to love is replaced with indifference or, worst, hate.
So, to stop caring about someone who doesn’t care about you—you must release them. You must wish them well.
The goal is not to stop caring about them because that would mean you replace that care with hate, bitterness, and unforgiveness. And we all know what those negative feelings do to our own well-being. We get what we give. We receive what we send out—just like a boomerang.
So we must send out love, to those who don’t care about us, to those who hate us, to those who hurt us.
I personally had to learn this the hard way, I was molested as a child by my mother’s boyfriend, and my mother picked him over me after I told her what has been happening for almost three years.
I not only had to learn to forgive the man who hurt me, but I had to learn to forgive my mother, who abandoned me at the age of 14. It was one of the hardest things I had to do, but I begin with this loving-kindness technique.
The following is a simple and effective loving-kindness technique to try:
- Carve out some quiet time for yourself (5-mins) and sit comfortably. Close your eyes, relax your muscles, and take a few deep breaths.
- Feeling perfect love for yourself, repeat these three positive, reassuring phrases to yourself:
- May I be happy
- May I be healthy
- May I be at peace
- Now, think of the person who does not care about you, hurt you and repeat these:
- May you be happy
- May you be healthy
- May you be at peace
Laura Fonseca, MSW, LCSW
Child/Adolescent Therapist, Cornerstone Therapy
Let them go and open that space up in your life for someone new
I wish there were a straightforward answer to this question, but I really don’t think one exists. Rather, it comes down to being honest with yourself about what you feel you deserve in your life.
At the core, most of us believe that we deserve the kind of love, kindness, and friendship that we offer to others. At times, relationships are not always equal. We give more at times, and we take more at other times.
However, when we find ourselves consistently giving without feeling love and appreciation in return, it is time to reevaluate whether a relationship has passed its expiration date.
When we allow ourselves to let go of a person who is no longer bringing us joy or serving and providing us the care we know we deserve, it is okay to stop making an effort. The phone works both ways, and whether you hear from them when you stop calling or texting is a pretty strong message.
Rather than holding onto the ghost of the person that was once a friend, let them go and open that space up in your life for someone new. People come into our lives to teach us things and serve a purpose, but not all of them are meant to be permanent fixtures.
Letting others go pushes us to grow.
Todd and Diana Mitchem
Certified Relationship Coaches, Peak Relationship Center
The most important relationship anyone can have is with themselves. The foundation of a positive relationship with self is demonstrating self-respect.
When someone has stopped caring about you in the same way you care for them, certainly there can be hurt feelings, and you can become seemingly desperate to the point of accepting all sorts of terrible behaviors.
But we have two great tips to avoid desperation and lowering your self-respect by getting control of the only person you can, yourself.
Realize why you are hurting
Expectations are the cornerstone of hurt feelings because it is in our expectations that we build a fantasy story about what will be, how it will unfold, and of course, the happy ending to our story. This is especially true in a caring relationship between two people.
When people are no longer aligned in a relationship, the hurt feelings come about largely because of these unmet expectations.
Therefore the first step to stop giving all your care to a person who no longer cares for you is to understand what the expectation was in the first place. We suggest you write this down. List out all the expectations you had with this person. Be very detailed and think about how those would have made you feel.
This cleansing of expectations will set you up for success in your self-esteem while revealing what is causing your upset feelings. We find it is far easier to let go of someone when you know why you are holding on to them in the first place. A bonus to this exercise is to see a blueprint unfold for the kind of right partner you want to link with in the future. We like two-fold solutions!
Look forward and make a new vision without them in it
Another key step to letting someone go is to look forward and make a new vision without them in it. Often after a breakup or divorce, we see people cling to what was in the past. They continuously talk about how things were, how good the love was once, and they tend to dwell in a place of regret for all they have lost.
Then, they use this past to start complaining and becoming emotional about what will never be again with this person. Not being able to let go of someone is linked largely to this dwelling in good past memories that will never be again.
There is a saying that the rearview mirror in a car is so small because you are not going that way. For the same reason, the windshield in your car is far larger because it is where the future is coming from. In your life, the same is true. Log the memories with this person, honor them, then let it go and realize that ahead of you is a roadway of possibilities.
We hope these two steps help you take control of yourself and your future. There is a beautiful and bright future for every person who takes the wheel of their own life and drives.
Creator, Sparenting in Style
Single parents are often emotionally vulnerable, and for the well-being of our kids, we need to be strong and keep things straight. Having around someone who does not care about you is not an option. I experienced such situations already, and I will say there are three steps to stop caring for someone who does not care about you:
Acknowledge that you are the priority: Put yourself first
Self-love is critical. If someone cannot see the value of your feelings, then that person is not worth your time. Why try to waste time and energy on someone who does not care? Your priority is you, and you have to do whatever is good for yourself.
Cut all ties with the person who does not care about you
It could seem selfish, but you have to do that for your own well-being. When we care about people, we always have some hope that one day they will feel the same way; But it is better to stop dreaming.
If someone does not care about you, it is likely this will not change over time. So why wait?
Cut all the ties with the person: no calls, no messages, no interaction, no nothing. If you used to ask the person to help you do things, do that on your own or find someone else.
Fill the gap: Keep yourself busy
It is hard to just stop caring about someone; it will take time. It creates a gap that you will have to fill. Otherwise, you will always want to call the person or talk to her, and you should not do that. Any link with the person may just let the door open to hope.
Cut that right away. It will be very hard but remind yourself that you are the priority.
So find ways to fill the gap: work, do activities that will keep your mind busy, learn new things, meet new people, treat yourself, meet new people, etc.
Implement those three steps, and you will be amazed at how well you will get used to them. Of course, it will take time, but after a few months, that person will be out of your mind, and you will stop caring about him/her. I have followed this process, and I can tell it is radical but very efficient to get someone out of your mind and stop caring for them.
Spiritual Mentor | Relationship and Leadership Coach
Lasso the gift of your care and give it to yourself
For those of us with big hearts, it is natural for us to care and to care deeply for others. One of the greatest and hardest lessons for us is learning to appreciate the treasure of our deep and generous hearts.
We all know that everyone wants to be cared for, loved, and appreciated, and that includes us. The irony is that often the ones (you and me) who are so good at connecting and caring, find ourselves not receiving back the very gift we give so generously.
I have been humbly learning this lesson over and over. After many decades of personal practice and helping others in my relationship coaching practice, here is my hard-earned “wisdom” and suggestions on how to release and realign your relationship with yourself.
Take some time to really get to know your heart
The part of you that loves to nurture, care for, and connect with others. There may be some layers of wounding around this precious part of who you are, and you may need some help recognizing if your way of caring has been a coping mechanism to cover up these deep hurts.
“If I care enough for you, you will finally come and give me the care I never received when I was young,” is the most classic one.
Learn the practices of self-care and being there for yourself the way you wish others would be
The craziest thing I discovered as I began my self-healing work was that I am a master at all things heart-related. I know how to be present, to be attentive, generous in giving my energy and appreciation, and others love being on the receiving end of my gifts. My healing work helped me realize that I was giving away the diamonds and gold in my heart and not getting anything even close in return.
This self-appreciation was the turning point and catalyst I needed to be able to engage in the process of letting go of someone who did not care for me as much as I cared for them.
I realized that I know how to care for myself and what true caring looks and feels like for me, yet I was not giving it to myself.
In one deep healing session I did, I heard the voice of my beautiful, deep-hearted, inner child say, “you keep giving me to the neighbors, but you never love me the way you want me to love them!” It sounds corny but learning to heal the relationship with the inner child, honoring their precious gifts, and being the grown-up who returns those gifts to them heals and fulfills our deepest longings.
Imagine plugging the cord back into you and breathe in your own care and love
Now, you have the full cup experience of self-care that allows you to do the next step. Here is how I do it.
I sit in a quiet space and feel how my heart is extended out in care for the other person, like a cord that connects my heart to them. With a simple soft breath in and on the breath out, I reach my hand out in front of me and slice the cord. I repeat this three times.
I also usually say quietly to myself, “In the name of caring for myself, I release you to also care for yourself.“ It is not a process of closing my heart to that person. In fact, sometimes, I feel that I can still care deeply for them. I am releasing my attachment to them, returning that care and not allowing myself to walk around aching for something I am not getting.
As the cord is dissolved, I now focus on breathing in, and it is like pulling back in a fishing or anchor line or a lasso with all the energy of care I have been extending to them. I place my hand over my heart and sometimes my solar plexus, and again on the inhalation, I imagine I am plugging the cord back into me and breathe in my own care and love.
I have been amazed how this practice has freed me from the distress of caring for someone who does not care for me. My heart stops aching, I stop obsessing about them, and I am free to move on in my life with my being filled up with the wonderful treasure of my own care.
Certified Professional Coach | Women’s Empowerment Coach | Author, “Seen and (Un) Heard: A Little Girl’s Journey From Silence To Empowerment“
Be aware of your own feelings and ask “why” questions
“Why can’t he love me?”
“Why do I care?”
A lot of times, we confuse love with lust, or we feel the need to have that love and/or emotional attachment to someone. Sometimes, subconsciously, we want someone we just can’t have. And the more we are rejected, the more we want it, and that can turn into a battle of the wits.
It could be one or both. But the bottom line is it begins with us.
The individual, who doesn’t understand his or her own feelings, can be lead down a road of emotional duress, wanting to love or someone to love so badly, it opens up that rabbit hole of “feeling not good enough for anyone.”
So it begins with learning to love yourself. A cliché, I know, but true.
It’s taking the time to pause and listen to your own inner feelings, “Why do I like this person?” “Why do I feel this way?” You have to go deep with the questions. Otherwise, you will come up with a surface reason like, “I guess I’m just not good enough, young enough, or smart enough, and that is why he doesn’t like me… oh well.”
Well, the “oh well” is just stuffing feelings into a bag that will continue to grow and, if not addressed, will burst someday!
There is also one more question you need to ask yourself, and that is, “Does that person have their own story?” Maybe they are not ready to care or love because of their own internal feelings, and it’s a good possibility it has nothing to do with me. They may have their own personal negative thoughts they are dealing with.
We can’t change people or make them love us or care for us; we can only change ourselves and be open to the fact “it may not be all about you.”
So continually being aware of your own feelings and asking the “why” questions will teach you to be open, aware, and willing to begin to choose healthier relationships with people that are open to loving back.
Artist | Intentional Creativity© Teacher
Forgive, let go of the weight in your heart, and reclaim your personal headspace
I have some hard-learned advice. Years ago, I developed a friendship with a younger colleague who was starting out teaching Art. She had a new baby, and I gave my time and a lot of professional expertise to her freely as the friendship grew.
We were close in mindset and spirit, I was very open to sharing tips, and she appreciated my input. I was in a school that was inner city, emotionally tough, and she knew I wanted out. As it happened, unbeknownst to me, there was a job opportunity with the school district that would have suited me especially, but she wanted it for herself.
She called me, just short of the deadline, to say she was applying for it but never said anything. As I answered from a cab on vacation, she must have felt she could avoid telling me. Reasoning, I expect, that I would never make it to apply before the post closed. She called me again two days later, just as she was leaving her interview, letting me know she had seen the post and applied.
When I called to ask about it -the opening had just closed that day. When she got the position, I felt extremely wounded and betrayed.
Professionally, I now had to see her presenting meetings and workshops throughout the next few years, knowing that she kept me from a shot at that ‘dream’ job. I couldn’t think of her as a friend anymore, hated seeing anything that reminded me of that friendship, and dreaded seeing her professionally.
I read a book called “The Untethered Soul,” which opened my thought process up, but the main golden wisdom nugget I personally discovered, was that the precious time you spend thinking about the betrayal, and the hurt, and the disappointment, is all-time taken from your life!
All the goodness and magic of your day is being stolen by the thoughts of loss due to a person who didn’t deserve your goodness. The key is in realizing they are not wasting a millisecond thinking of you! So to recover, you must forgive, let go of the weight in your heart, reclaim your personal headspace, and lift your eyes in a new direction, far from the wasted past.
If you’re spending too much time on someone who doesn’t care about you, try and look out for the one person who will always be there: yourself.
While you’re adjusting to spending less time with the other person, use that spare time to think about what you want or what you can do for yourself.
Spend time with yourself and others while you mourn
Try to think of things you liked to do before that person entered your life. Did you still do those things while you were with them, or did you stop doing the things you enjoyed?
If you gave up an interest to be with someone, that’s a huge red flag that they weren’t meant to be in your life.
Even if you did do those things together, you could still enjoy these activities by yourself or with someone else. Maybe a friend or relative could join you. Your support system can help you take your mind off that person by encouraging you to have a good time.
While you’re enjoying time either by yourself or with friends/family members, your mind may still wander to this person. Don’t beat yourself up about it; they’re on your mind because they mean a lot to you, but eventually, that feeling will pass the more you spend time taking care of your own needs.
Work on yourself by learning a new skill or talking to someone
When you start to feel a bit better, concentrate on building yourself back up again. Shop for clothing that makes you feel confident, get a new haircut, or have a spa day. Your confidence is likely shaken from the whole ordeal, but changing up your routine or your overall look can help you gain that back.
Start pursuing a hobby that you always wanted to do but didn’t. Or, you could take a few classes at a community college or online to build a new skill base. Regardless of what you choose, adding a hobby or class to your life will help you set goals, which will keep you motivated and productive.
Finally, if you truly feel overwhelmed by this situation, try and talk to someone, like a person you trust or a therapist. Say something like “Something’s wrong I feel (emotion). I’m worried I may be depressed. Can we talk?” to your friends/family, or speak to a helpline if you’re feeling alone.
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