Why is emotional cut-off not the answer to the painful relationships in your life? It seems like it would be the perfect solution. I mean, if there is someone in your life that brings you pain, why not just avoid them, be “over it”, refuse to engage with them, just stop talking to them, or otherwise cut them out of your life? The answer? Because you are still connected to them! Yes, as crazy as it sounds, when you are emotionally cut off from someone, you are still connected to them! They still have power over you emotionally. They still have grips on your heart no matter how much you tell yourself you are over it! Let me explain. . .
Let’s say that I had a beef with my friend. They royally honked me off and I ‘m over it! Most people would agree that is an appropriate response to a bad situation. What I know, however, is that even though I may have cut off from my friend, I still am spending a lot of mental and emotional energy on them. I triangle with others about it to soothe myself. I have mock arguments in my head with the person I’m angry at. I have to consider that I may run into them wherever I go. I may have mutual friends that are affected by the cut-off. And whenever the topic comes up, the original pain causing the cut-off resurfaces and I have to deal with it. This does not sound like somebody who’s “over it”!!
In reality, it is kind of like how they say the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. If I “hate” someone, I am still invested in them emotionally. I have to house and nurture that hate. In reality, the hate (or cut-off in this case) is just a wall I put up in order to emotionally protect myself. It is the flip side of the exact same coin! The problem is, it requires so much energy to erect and maintain that emotional wall – to keep my feelings in and to keep them out! How can I be at peace if I am constantly on guard against the person I am cut-off from? Or worse, maybe I’m not on guard, but something can pop up and trigger the pain of it at any given moment and I am temporarily crippled by it?
When we are finally convinced that emotional cut-off is not the answer, we face the demons, confront the conflict and try to work through it. Even if the other party is unwilling, unavailable, or unreceptive to working through it, it is still beneficial for us to not be cut-off. If I have come to terms with my pain, have worked through forgiveness, and am at peace with whatever situation that caused me to want to cut-off, I have no reason to avoid the person. I can stay in touch with myself, understand where they are at, have healthy interactions and use healthy boundaries to protect myself instead of the nasty, energy draining method of emotional cut-off!
Cut-off will only offer you temporary results. Coming to a place of understanding of the other person and having good boundaries is far more effective. And if you want long-term, peaceful living that you can depend on, forgiveness is the ultimate answer. Forgiveness is releasing someone from prison and realizing the prisoner was you!