Being independent is a good thing. But as they say, too much of anything is bad. So when does independence become unhealthy? It becomes a problem when you are too self-sufficient to the point that you deny the reality that you do need others and have a hard time deepening healthy relationships.
No one is inherently too independent. We are all born into this world as infants who are completely helpless and dependent on our parents or other caring adults to survive and thrive. As we grow up, we learn to be independent but we still need others. We are, after all, social creatures. Those who are overly independent weren’t born to be one. Oftentimes, this fear of depending on others in every aspect of their life stems from past experiences.
Let’s explore why too much independence can be harmful, why some people are too independent, how overly independent people can loosen up and let people into their lives, and why it’s also important to seek help from others from time to time.
Why being too independent can be bad
Courage and perseverance to live independently are traits that we revere. The danger comes when you create unrealistic expectations of achieving goals on your own without any help from other people. If you deny yourself of other people’s support, it can hurt your personal and professional lives.
You will also miss great learning and growth opportunities from interacting with others, getting inspiration from them, and exchanging ideas. It will also hurt your chances of creating deeper and more meaningful relationships.
You are also in danger of putting too much pressure on yourself by setting very high expectations and unrealistic demands. While it is good to take care of yourself and pursue things on your own, you cannot ignore support from other people. It can be exhausting to seek complete independence. It can lead to burnout, loneliness, illness, and even depression.
Why some people become too independent?
There are a variety of reasons why people become overly-independent or ultra-independent. One of the reasons is when people are forced to grow up prematurely. These people are so used to depending on themselves that they find it hard to depend on someone other than themselves.
Sometimes, ultra independence can stem from being perceived as more resilient than others all the time that you feel like you are obliged to meet that expectation and fear that if you don’t you will appear weak. Some also might have a negative experience in showing vulnerability that now they act like they can handle everything on their own. But behind closed doors, when alone chances are these people also break down.
Being overly independent can also be a response to trauma. This can happen to people who were taken advantage of, teased or blackmailed when they asked for assistance. Because of this bad experience, they have grown to be a person who only depends on themselves and can no longer feel save or ask help from anyone.
How overly independent people can open up more and let people in
Even superheroes need support. Batman had Robin and Alfred. Iron Man (Tony Stark) had Pepper Potts. Even Black Widow who preferred working alone didn’t mind getting some help from the rest of the Avengers from time to time.
It doesn’t matter if you feel you are doing okay all by yourself for a very long time. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best person that many people can depend on. It doesn’t matter how strong and resilient you are. We all need somebody at some point. But we are shaped by different experiences so people have varying tolerance of accepting help and letting people into their lives.
First thing you should know if you are struggling to let go of a little bit of your independence is that it’s okay to show vulnerability. Needing help from others is not a sign of weakness. Our relationships with other people should be symbiotic. It should be give and take. Be comfortable in being in the shoes of someone who is on the receiving end. It doesn’t hurt.
But if you are someone who develops ultra independence as a coping mechanism then it is not going to be easy to overcome this behavior. It takes resolving past issues for you to start letting people into your lives. It takes healing of old wounds and changing behavioral patterns which is never easy to do. What can really help is Emotional Energy Healing.
Emotional Energy Healing (a type of Intuitive Healing) is a form of deep, safe and natural energy release that is able to identify and locate negative emotions stuck in our body that negatively affects how we think, feel, and respond. It can resolve past issues and traumas that might be causing your ultra independence.
For example, if someone was raised in a home where domestic violence occurred could benefit massively from Emotional Energy Healing to clear away repressed fear, worries, anxiety that could make someone constantly run on high adrenaline in an unhealthy way, or harbour low-self worth, low self-esteem from feelings of not being good enough. When these negative emotions are released, it will also alter the subconscious thought patterns so you can loosen up, give up a little bit of your independence, start letting more people in, trust more, and build better, healthier relationships.
You don’t have to rush yourself. Take it one step at a time. Let go of a little independence little by little. It takes practice. As you start asking for help, you will start to notice its benefits.
You’ll take some load off your shoulder. You will feel less stressed.
You’ll learn more. Grow more. Some people around you are excellent sources of knowledge. Don’t waste the opportunity to learn by asking help from them.
Wonderful things happen when you collaborate with others. Do not rob yourself of the opportunity to succeed further by seeking out the help of others to refine your ideas. No matter how much knowledge you have or experience you have, it always helps to know other people’s perspective.
And more importantly, asking someone for help can improve your relationship with other people. Nourishing relationships with people around you is important for your overall well-being.
Overly independent people tend to shut other people out. When you ask someone for their help, it will make them feel that you trust them enough. It will make them feel appreciated, feel loved, instead of being intimidated.
It’s okay to leave some space for others to help us out. It doesn’t make you less of a person. It’s okay not to be okay and need support. It’s okay to delegate things to others. You will get more out of life when you learn to be dependent on others.