Cutting ties with people and how to start new

What estrangement means and how it changes our lives, according to a journalist and podcast host.

illustration of a person standing in a doorway

Art for the Death, Sex & Money podcast from WNYC.

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People make up so much of our life. But sometimes those same people, and the organizations that they are part of, can be harmful. That harm can reach such a degree that we have to remove ourselves from the situation entirely.

As a result, people all over America have been forced to cut ties at some point in their lives. According to recent polling, more than half of people have had a falling out with a family member, and many of them have never reconciled that break.

This change can be empowering — allowing us the freedom to explore ourselves and avenues to connection. It can give us space to heal.

But it is also almost always painful. Cutting ties — with lovers, friends, family or important social spaces — is hard and often opens a vacuum, where we must go searching for new friends, community and connection.

The Death, Sex and Money podcast has a new three-part series on estrangement. You can listen to it wherever you find your podcasts.

“I think it’s so much about these relationships that are so core to the formation of your identity and your sense of where you belong. And when that fractures… it not only is this painful experience of losing this relationship. But it also takes this process of, kind of, totally reordering your origin story and your sense of identity.” – Anna Sale, radio host


Listen: The ways estrangement shows up in our lives.

 


Guest

Anna Sale is the host of the Death, Sex & Money, an award-winning podcast on WNYC. She says estrangement is not just about ending a relationship but also about rebuilding your identity once a relationship has stalled or ended.

“I think it’s so much about these relationships that are so core to the formation of your identity and your sense of where you belong,” says Sale. “And when that fractures… it not only is this painful experience of losing this relationship, but it also takes this process of, kind of, totally reordering your origin story and your sense of identity.”

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