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How Hyper-Independence Can Affect Your Connection with Others


How Hyper-Independence Can Affect Your Connection with Others
How Hyper-Independence Can Affect Your Connection with Others


How Hyper-Independence Can Affect Your Connection with Others


In modern culture, independence has become increasingly honored. This is fine when done in context. Yes, individual responsibility is crucial. But it does not need to be viewed as antagonistic to collaboration. They are two sides of the same coin. The trick lies in finding the best possible balance for you.


Without balance, you can slide into a state of hyper-independence. While it’s not a diagnosis, this behavioral pattern can be triggered by past trauma or present stressors. It manifests differently in each person, but the general trends hold true. People don’t want to rely on others and/or be relied upon. Left unchecked, it’s a recipe for loneliness and distress.


Signs of Hyper-Independence

Everyone needs and deserves a fair amount of autonomy in their lives. But if they behave as described below, they may be engaging in hyper-independence.


  • Fear of dependency: Such dependency feels too much like vulnerability. Getting comfortable with being vulnerable is essential.

  • Unwilling to ask for help: This includes asking for advice. As a result, you work alone and rarely (if ever) delegate to others. 

  • Social withdrawal: Isolation feels like independence. 

  • Perfectionism: Hyper-independence requires you to be perfect in order to justify your choices. Even so, you’re never satisfied and squirm when given compliments. 

  • Burnout: All of the above adds up to overworking yourself, and inevitably, burnout. 


Being human, we may all display such behaviors every now and then. However, if they come chronic and negatively impact your relationships, now is the time to start asking for help.


What Causes Hyper-Independence?

As touched on above, there could be an underlying mental issue. Trauma is the most common in these cases. Other possible causes include:


  • Being hurt or let down in the past

  • Growing up in an unstable or abusive household 

  • Genuinely not knowing how to balance your own needs with the needs of others


How Hyper-Independence Can Affect Your Connection with Others

Self-reliance to the point of hyper-independence can damage your relationships (romantic or otherwise) by:


  • Missing opportunities to work together and collaborate 

  • Not offering mutual support

  • Inability to make decisions as a team 

  • Under developing skills pertaining to compromise 

  • Preventing profound emotional connections 

  • Missing deepen bonds of intimacy (in all its guises)


Learning How to Replace Hyper-Independence With Healthy Balance 

Step one is self-awareness. As daunting as it can feel, a hyper-independent person must come to terms with their behavior. Re-read the signs listed above and give yourself room to identify what resonates with you. This is not about guilt or blame. It’s about recognizing paths that enrich your life and the lives of those around you. 

Some of the steps and skills to consider are:


  • Commit to communication: Whether it’s your partner or anyone else close to you, a dialogue must begin — and never stop. Talk openly about each other’s needs and work together to find ways to discover productive compromises.

  • Try a little vulnerability: Until you are willing to take some risks, you cannot knock down the walls of hyper-independence. Move at your own pace, but never lose sight of your goals.

  • Learn about boundaries: You’re allowed to set boundaries but avoid those that isolate you. You want to maintain independence while maintaining space in your life for others.

  • Establish active steps: Reconnection does not happen by accident. Come up with specific plans (date nights, shared hobbies, etc.) that facilitate the desired shift.


If hyper-independence is altering your life, it can be challenging to uproot. This goes double if the underlying causes relate to trauma. Our teams of skilled providers are here to help you navigate your hyper-independence. Reach out to us today.



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