How To Be Less Attached To Other People

by Jessie


Hello Adam, thank you for a wonderful website. I have always been a person who gets attached to people easily. I then tend to focus more on them than myself. This has made me a very anxious person. What are your thoughts on attachment and how can I focus on my life more then others? Thanks for your help.



Do you mean attached as in you fear losing them? Or you fear what they think - so you are attached to their approval?

If your attention on them was truly just on them, in a selfless way, then you would not feel as if you have become an anxious person because of it. You may feel as if you are very focussed on them or what they think rather than you and your own life, but if you look closely it may well be based all around the idea you have about yourself. It is likely thoughts of them related to you. Not purely just them.

If this is true, then notice that they are all in themselves, just thoughts. Don’t take them too seriously. Any thought you have about yourself, as real as it may seem, is nothing to do with who you are. It is just a thought, an opinion, a belief, and usually one that you have been taught by others. Just because others may believe something, does not mean it is correct.

Sometimes attachment to others can come from a need to feel more complete, because living as an idea, a separate person isolated from the rest of life, is a very unsure and un-whole and actually unreal feeling that seeks the lasting fulfillment of who we really are. And who we really are is idea-less. It is not a person or a name or a shape. It is who you already are, when you don’t know anything, and have no ideas about yourself.

The feeling of being attached can come from the sense that without the other person, you will be less. So again, it may be about the ego-sense of "I" which seeks to make itself seem real, and fears being exposed as nothing.

The solution, really, is to not even understand any of this, but to let yourself feel how you feel. If you feel anxious, if you feel attached or clingy, say "Ok, I feel this way," and then do not try to condemn yourself or call yourself anything, and also don’t try to change how you feel into something else. Say "Yes, I feel like this." Acknowledge how you feel rather than denying it, and you may find that a space seems to emerge around the feelings.

The space was always there, but when you are not resisting, not in conflict with yourself, the space is more obvious, and everything that feels tight and clingy has space to transform or dissolve. But if you are waiting for a transformation, waiting to be free of it, then there is still a resistance there which will keep everything in place.

See that however you feel, however you are, is already the case. Fighting it won’t do any good, as you then just tend to make stronger whatever you are resisting. Also when you resist something, it makes it seem bigger than it really is.

What may have seemed to be a focus on other people may actually be an intense focus on a psychological self, which tries to use the ideas of others to strengthen itself. Don't take yourself as seriously as the mind tries to.

I hope I have interpreted your question correctly. If not, or if you want to ask anything else then please just comment below.

Thanks for your question Jessie,


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Aug 03, 2016
Thank you NEW
by: Jessie

Thank you very much Adam for your response. 

I guess I feel that when I loose the persons I am close to I will feel left out. Maybe I need to have more confidence in myself. I tend to hold onto relationships if after they have served there purpose. I find it hard to move on whilst everyone does it easily around me. Maybe the lesson for me is to grow as an individual. 

I really appreciate your quick response 😄