Cutting People Off: When To Do It & How To Do It With Your Dignity Intact

Cutting People Off: When To Do It & How To Do It With Your Dignity Intact

In light of the holidays, I wanted to discuss the best gift you can ever give yourself: having enough self-respect to cut people off who make you question your worth, lower your standards, and feel terrible.

Whether it’s with friends, an ex, or even family… Cutting people off is one of the most difficult things to do. Especially if we love the person and realize that we miss them while still being in a relationship with them. Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever missed someone while you were still in a relationship or some kind of one-sided communication with them? This usually happens when the other person has revealed who they really are and because of that, all of the toothpaste has left the tube. There’s no way to put it back in and your gut knows the truth. Being selectively deaf and blind to your instinct is no longer an option because it’s the only thing that you have left to trust.

When it comes to cutting people out of your life, I’m never going to insult your intelligence and tell you the types of people that you need to cut off. Your gut can sense a toxic person and a toxic relationship. If you feel emotionally drained, abused, manipulated, devalued, deceived, like you are hard to love and respect or, like you need to lower your standards to be in a relationship with someone…

You should consider cutting them off. Their patterns have handed you the scissors.

When it comes to cutting people off, patterns are the best compass as far as how to proceed. Words mean nothing without action backing them up. And just like actions supersede words, patterns supersede action.

Everything you ever wanted to know about cutting people off can be found by examining their patterns. Actions are great and all but remember… ANYONE can do something chivalrous. Anyone can book a flight, buy a ring, send flowers, write a card, apologize or physically show up. Anyone can be sorry, but do their patterns show and translate genuine remorse (or are you getting more selfish regret and mistaking it for genuine remorse)?

Take a mental step back and look at the bigger picture – at their patterns. It will allow you to separate the emotional nostalgia tied to isolated romantic actions from the TRUTH of their patterns.

When it comes to cutting people off, for me personally…

The moment someone’s patterns show that they don’t want the best for me, I cut them off.

When their patterns dictate that their ego matters more to them than I do (or ever will), I cut them off.

Sometimes, you can’t physically cut someone off. You have to work with them, go to school with them, or even worse… you are related to them. By implementing healthy boundaries, you can emotionally cut them off. They will no longer get to reap the benefits of an emotional connection with you. And by having your own back, you’ve disabled them from ever again permeating to the point of depletion.

Sometimes it’s clear and more black and white but other times, it’s not so clear.

If you are thinking of cutting people off in your life, here’s how to do it with your dignity intact…

  • Keep in mind that if you have to debate whether or not to cut someone out of your life, that in and of itself is a pink flag at best and a red one at worst. And flags are not there for you to put your rose-colored glasses on so that you can be blind to their color. They are there as signals to ACT in light of the sheer self-respect and love that you have for yourself.
  • Explaining your side of things is pointless with toxic people. They are incapable of communicating outside the selfish filter of “convenient victim,” that they view life through. Explaining why you are hurt, upset, and announcing that you are going to cut them off, etc., is nothing but caviar for their ego. Starve them of the abundance that is YOU by acting on what you’ve been exposed to.
  • Realize that you are not dealing with someone who is ever going to logically level with you. You are dealing with a creature of triggers, and enough insecurity, self-hate, and narcissism to get you to the point of using the scissors that their patterns have handed you.
  • Remember that being in any kind of emotional and physical contact with a toxic person will obliterate whatever respect and love that you have for yourself. YOUR pattern of putting up with them and giving out chances like Halloween candy will translate to them that you value you as little as they value you (and themselves). You have to feel extremely small and insecure to behave in a way that a good person decides to cut you off. Remember that.
  • By being the training wheels for anyone who is toxic, you become just as toxic. Toxicity is as contagious as the flu. This is why you have boundaries. They are there to protect and strengthen your emotional immune system.

For most of my life, I’ve peacock’d my exits. I thought I was so strong and badass. Now, I look back and wish that I would have done what I’m telling you to do. I wish I would have had the courage to give myself the gift I am asking you to give yourself this holiday season.

The gift of cutting people OFF.

Instead of writing a list of everything you want to buy or resolve in the new year, first, write down who needs to be cut off.

It’s great to want new furniture that matches the beauty of your home. The thing is, until you take out the trash, the trash will continue to detract from and ruin the furniture in your home – no matter how new or top-of-the-line it is. 

If you feel guilty for cutting people off, that’s just a sign that you need to keep your boundaries intact, keep having your own back, and keep loving yourself the way you loved these people. The guilt will be replaced with peace (and eventual indifference) the moment that you truly believe you deserve that new furniture and value your home enough to take the trash out.

The years it took to rebuild my dignity weren’t worth it. They weren’t worth the delusional high of momentarily having the stage in an amateur hour play that I was always a disposable character in. 

I thought I was so strong and assertive when in reality… I was weak, hellbent on not being abandoned (again), scared, reactive, and totally non-responsive.

Reactivity is rooted in un-dealt with trauma. Responding is rooted in action.

Whenever anyone disrespected or hurt me, I would lash out and try to checkmate them through emotional mafia theatrics. Then, I swore I was done. I’d cut them off.

I soon found out the price that investing in the emotional mafia came at. My reactivity caused something I could no longer afford.


Drama that mind f*cked, broke, and damaged me MORE than the relationship I had not-so-gracefully exited. Drama that had a dangerous ripple effect of occupying prime real estate in my head, heart, and life for months (sometimes years) following.

As I got older, I realized that there was a better way to cut someone off that not only kept my dignity intact but built unconditional confidence. Whether it was a toxic friendship, romantic relationship or a toxic family member, I realized that the best thing to do was to just walk away. If I couldn’t walk away physically, I could walk away emotionally by accepting who this person had revealed themselves to be.

And the more I walked away, the less I cared about what others thought. They didn’t know the whole story nor were they entitled to know. I KNEW the truth and that was enough. It’s a lot harder to gossip about someone’s dignified action than it is about them getting off their white horse.

When it comes to cutting people off, there is only ONE way to do it: walk away – physically and emotionally. Completely ignore them.

  • Every time you miss and think about them, replace that thought with redirecting your focus BACK to their PATTERNS – what they did and how their selfish actions made you feel. Allow yourself to feel anger if it comes up and use the fire that the anger ignites to propel you out of your pain contraction (instead of burning you to the ground).
  • Don’t diagnose these people. If they were capable of actually hearing you and empathizing, they wouldn’t do the things they do to EVERYONE (not just you, no matter how much it may seem so), on varying levels. They don’t care about the articles you send them or knowing that you think they’re narcissistic, emotionally unavailable and empathetically bankrupt. They care about themselves and their agenda. If they didn’t prioritize that, you would not be reading this post still. You can’t take people more seriously than they take themselves.
  • Never gossip about them. Ever.
  • This requires discipline, but you are strong enough to do it. Completely disregard these people. If you don’t disregard them, how are you any better than what they did to you? You’re just the one torturing yourself now. The most powerful people in the world are the ones who do not care to be right, to “win,” or have the last word. They simply fold when it comes to emotional bed sh*tters. Nothing is louder, more powerful, or classy than silence. It’s the ultimate white horse move.
  • You never need to give these people advice. Giving them advice not only shows that you still care, but it translates that you actually think they are capable of listening and having an empathetic transplant on the spot. Not going to happen. They will never get it or understand on the level that you deserve.
  • When it comes to cutting people off, stop looking for them to give you closure. True closure comes when you make the committed decision to actually use the scissors they handed you – instead of keeping them in your pocket to cause further injury and pain.

Your goal each day should not be to perpetuate the mental loop of “how could he/she?” Your goal is to run with the knowingness of “he/she DID. And so, I rightfully folded. I refuse to feel guilty for taking out the trash.” Repeat this until you feel peace infiltrate because it WILL. In time, you will become more protective of your peace than you are interested in reacting to the bs.

This isn’t easy, but you can do it.

Your mind will try to bring them back to life by remembering who they were in the beginning. Extinguish it on the spot by reminding yourself of who they are NOW and who the f*ck you are today: someone they can no longer mess with because they no longer have access to. 

Written by: Natasha Adamo

If you’re looking for further and more specific help; if you’re tired of waiting to be chosen and ready to choose yourself, personalized coaching with Natasha Adamo is the answer. Book your one-on-one session today.

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Author of Win Your Breakup, Natasha Adamo

About Natasha Adamo

Natasha Adamo is a globally recognized self-help author, relationship guru, and motivational speaker. With over 2.5 million devoted blog readers and clients in thirty-one countries, she is a beacon of inspiration to many. Her debut bestseller, "Win Your Breakup", offers a unique perspective on personal growth after breakups. Natasha's mission is to empower individuals to develop healthier relationships and actualize their inherent potential.

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