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Hyper independence

Hyper independence

Hyper independence

You might have heard this quote saying, “Too much of a good thing can be bad for you.” A lot of you may have such qualities like being hard-working, forgiving, generous, empathetic. Although it is good to have these qualities, but they can become our weaknesses if we are not being careful enough. Another such quality is hyper independence.

Generally, we see independence as a strength and dependence as a weakness. But when you extremely believe in this thing, it leads you to overcompensation of independence. Hyper independence is the best example of how excess of a good thing can become bad for you.


This article is all about hyper independence, its signs and how you can deal with it. So, let’s get started:

Hyper independence meaning

hyper independence meaning

Independence is a quality that makes you believe in your own abilities; you are confident about yourself and do not rely on others for anything. It is a healthier quality that ensures a person can stand on his or her own two feet. But we all need help sometimes. Nobody is perfect. So, when a person’s independence starts interfering with your ability to ask for help, it is problematic. This is what is called hyper independence. Hyper independence meaning is firm refusal to accept or seek any kind of help, insisting on handling life challenges alone.

Signs of Hyper Independence

Being hyper independent can make you more isolated and distant emotionally from those around you. You depend on yourselves too much that people around you think you do not trust them or want to be around them. Here are some signs indicating that you are dealing with hyper independence:

You are a private person

Have you ever heard from people, “you are so secretive all the time” or “you are so mysterious”, or do people call you “such a closed book”? We all love to have some privacy, and that’s our right too. But one thing that you need to understand is keeping things to ourselves is different from being a private person.

You are overachiever

If you are someone who loves to be busy and always tries to indulge yourself in studies or work, hyper independence could be the reason behind it. You focus on your studies or your career because you are scared of people and the life that you will have out of this. You are always preoccupied that you can cancel plans, try to be by yourself for a long time and avoid family or friends’ gatherings.

Delegating tasks is difficult for you.

Every time you are given a leadership role, you find it difficult to delegate tasks to your team members. No matter what it is college assignments, work, social events, you end up doing the most important tasks and giving others easy ones. Also, you have a habit of micromanaging everything so that everything is done as you like. Simply you do not trust other people to do things you want them to do; rather, you would prefer to do these things on your own.

Asking for help is not easy.

No matter how hard you are struggling, you do not ask for help to get out of a complicated situation. This does not mean you are arrogant or prideful; it’s just you do not want to have to need others. You might find it difficult to trust others and their good intentions. Also, you do not want to burden others with your own problems.

You are used to do things on your own

Whether it is watching a movie, eating out, grocery shopping or running errands, you are used to doing things on your own. You spend your money and your time the way you intend; you only go out with others if they invite and you feel like it. While it is good to have a healthy relationship and be comfortable with yourself alone, it is also necessary to build a healthy relationship with others and socialize.

You make every decision alone.

You make every important decision of your life yourself and rarely ask for others’ opinions. You think that only you know what is best for you, so only you can make the right choice, not others. It is a good thing, but it also indicates that your hyper independent nature is alienating you from others.

Long term relationships are not your thing.

Whether it is friendship or love, you find it really difficult to maintain long term relationships. To be honest, you know why you do this; you want people you care about at an emotional distance. Being open to them is really uncomfortable; you keep on worrying that you are appending too much time with them. People also say that you are not good at making them feel needed or wanted, and you do not chase others who choose to leave.

You do not like needy people.

When you see people acting need even slightly, you run away from them. You do not like when people keep on texting and calling you a lot. You easily feel suffocated or smothered by others attempts to get closer with you. You think that being needy means you are weak and that nobody should rely on others but themselves.

Hyper independence is a trauma response.

Hyper independence is a trauma response

Hyper independence is a trauma response which means it stems from past experiences. These experiences may occur in a particular way at school, work or home or in relationships. They believe that this coping mechanism that they have adapted if  it works in one environment will work in others too and protect them from emotional pain and rejection.

Hyper independence can stem from childhood trauma, probably in a household where a sibling had to act like a caregiver to their siblings or parents. It can also stem because of a home where parents are narcissistic, abusive or distant towards you or other members. You watched this happening in your house and decided to never allow others to treat you or your loved ones in the same way. Bullying can strongly affect kids; those who have been through this believe that it is best to not rely on their friends to be around and help themselves.

Failed love relationship, a narcissist or abusive lover can make you hyper independent. That’s when you stop allowing others to let you in your life. You stop dating as you think letting someone in your life will hurt you.

In addition to that the death of a loved one can also make you hyper independent. Fear of a loved one dying outweighs the happiness of their company, so they would rather not depend on their friendship or love.

Hyper independence is a trauma response. People who are hyper independent usually are rulers of the family; they run the whole household, take all responsibilities and make complicated decisions on their own. It is because they think with their mind, not their heart.

Hyper independence trauma

Hyper independence trauma

Hyper independence trauma can affect your personal and social life. People who prefer to do things on their own and always prefer to make decisions on their own may find it empowering, but it can be really overwhelming sometimes. Here is how you can deal with hyper independence trauma:

Task, Trust, Ask

For someone who is hyper independent most the important problem is that they are unable to ask for help. One way to deal with it is following the “Task, Trust, Ask” model:

Task: Start with giving others tasks to do. You will not feel comfortable with this. You have to ask for help even if you do not need it. Initially, give small tasks and then build on them.

Trust: Now that you have assigned tasks to other people, it is time to trust them. Giving others tasks will help in building trust.

Ask: Once trust is built between you two, you will feel more comfortable asking for their help when you truly need them.

You can repeat this process with anyone, and it will be easier to get closer with them. Start with those you are close to.

Trust others

We all are human, and humans make mistakes. So do not give up on others. Forgive others for their mistakes. Also, not everyone will let you down. If you have been in an abusive relationship, that does not mean you should not give any other person a chance. Leave the past behind, work on emotions that you felt as a child or a teenager.

There are people who truly love you and want the best for you, so give them a chance. Build real relationships, not distant friendships where you tell others you are doing great, how busy you are, but you actually do not talk about how you feel.

Learn to say no

As a hyper independent person, you might find it difficult to say no to a task you think only you can do in a better way. So, you just accept responsibilities and do extra work. But you do not need to do additional tasks. Learn to say no to a partner who is dependent on you or family who asks for too much. You need to create a space for yourself.

Do not get involved in co-dependent relationships.

Co-dependent relationships are really complicated for those who are hyper independent. You need to look for a partner who can manage fine on his own. Also, learn to share a load of relationships friendships ,family and life with your partner. It will help you in creating a healthy relationship.

Hyper independence test

hyper independence test

A hyper independence test can help you understand whether you are a dependent, independent or hyper independent person. Here are types of questions that are asked in a  hyper independence test:

  • Do you give in to peer pressure a lot?
  • If someone told you to run around naked, would you do it?
  • Do you act like yourself when you’re around people you don’t know?
  • Would you do anything for someone just to get their attention?
  • Would you do someone’s homework just to get them to like you?
  • If you and your friends are playing truth or dare and they dare you to drink beer, Would you?
  • If your friend wants to cheat off your test, what do you do?
  • You are in class, and you hear people making fun of your friend; what do you do?
  • Have you ever picked on someone just to go along with the crowd?
  • Have you done something that you knew was bad but did it because people were urging you to?

Hyper Independence Reddit

Here are stories of people from Reddit who are struggling with hyper independence:

“Hyper independence” is a good signifier. In the academic literature, it is more often referred to as counter dependency. This is mostly helpful for anyone who wants to read more about it. Edit: I’ve also had people tell me I don’t rely on them enough or that I’m too independent. I want to connect really bad, but I feel like I scarred over a lot of the normal human connection behaviours in my adaptation to my shitty circumstances.”

“I hope this doesn’t feel like an inappropriate comparison that in any way diminishes what you’ve been through, but it just reminded me of how, when people manage to break away from a co-dependent relationship of some kind, instead of desperately searching and hoping for another person to cling to, some people are known to suddenly run in the other direction and become hyper-independent so as to avoid falling into the trap of codependency again. I just thought it was an interesting comparison to underline, since I’ve worked a lot over time on my own codependent stuff and read a lot about it, and other trauma stuff. Anyway, good luck with your journey.”

“I was retaliated on, punished or consistently let down if I ever trusted anyone. When people want me to trust, it is due to criminal boundary issues and abusive manipulation re-framed as something else that I have not consented to. My lack of consent is not allowed to be bypassed at any point in time. No one speaks for me or has the authority to designate anyone to speak for me. Anyone claiming otherwise is admitting to fraud, identity theft, etc.”

“My whole life I thought I can “just do it myself”, resulting in reclusive avoidant lifestyle, now I have this horrible pain of loneliness and high amount of stress due to this kind of lifestyle, I realised we need love and company to thrive and that ain’t a bad thing but human nature. Sending OP, myself and everyone love.”

“Help was and still is dangerous to me. It’s not safe to rely on people especially if they seem to be encouraging you to depend on them. I was almost homeless because I depended on my ex. I was damn near destitute because of a bad boss. Some people are unreliable, its a good idea to believe people the first time they betray you. Its like my good healthy fears got undermined, and irrational made up fears not based on reality, but on the distorted reality of my parents were overblown, if that makes sense? I was groomed for dependence, independence and my own perspective were harshly and violently punished, and a i think lot of predatory people look out for vulnerable people to “help”. A wise redditor said something like “agency is the natural enemy of abuse” that made a whole lot of sense to me. I think the key is to learn to trust, when you feel trust, not when you are arguing yourself into it? I don’t know.”

“You can learn to trust again if you meet the right person. I went through this and my strong independence was actually an issue after I met my now husband. I think it was also compounded by the fact that I was a single mom. I did slowly learn to trust and depend on him. I still hate when he drives us though. He’s not a bad driver, but my anxiety goes through the roof if I’m not behind the wheel.”

“I am counter-dependant because when I was growing up, literally every adult let me down. Teachers, parents, parents of friends, social workers, counselors, grandparents, fucking everybody. So why the fuck should I rely on anybody now? And why the fuck should any of those people get credit for raising me?”

“Man, out of all my trauma responses I never thought of my necessity for independence as one. It makes a lot of sense though. Instead of being raised by my parents I relied on the internet to get advice and knowledge. Luckily I have an awesome group of friends now, and I’m at a good place with one of my parents who regrets not being available when I was a kid. You’re right, eventually the social anxiety and other responses you develop as a kid have to be dealt with. I absolutely loathe office jobs and co workers, but I need to push through it until I can be financially independent.”

“What I don’t understand is.. what else is one supposed to do ? People who are prone to hyper independence and don’t want to ask others for help is because they have been denied the help over and over again after asking.”

“It manifests for me as remembering nobody helped me when I truly needed it as a child and now that I’m an adult, ill never rely on anyone to help me again. That I will rescue myself. I don’t like this and even small things like, will you pick up milk for me is extremely difficult.”

“It’s not that I don’t trust anyone, but I’ve been hurt enough to where I truly feel like I don’t need anyone to help me. I think it’s avoidance. Having people help me with anything makes me feel weird and somehow makes me remember the times I was made to feel worthless for not being able to do something. I don’t like thinking about it, even if its not a fully formed thought, I just feel weird and subconsciously I think I make the connection. I also think it stems from actually never getting help and trying to overcompensate because I felt worthless. So now I feel like I actually am capable of doing things on my own 99% of the time. When I look back on my life I realize I was more than capable, I actually dealt with a lot and did a lot for just one person, but because I was treated so badly I never felt capable, I always felt weak. I try to be tough most of the time, its been engrained into my personality lol. But then again a few months ago someone made me a cup of coffee and I went to my room and cried lol. I’m totally not used to stuff like that.”

“last year I went as far as having my wrist fracture not heal for 3.5 months (14 weeks. should take 4-6), because I wouldn’t accept the fact that I shouldn’t be doing certain things. I felt terrible allowing people to help, and decided physical pain would be better. I also had some coaches and teachers who didn’t care that I was injured, and they played a large role in the healing time too.”

“Since I was a little kid I had massive trouble asking for help with anything. I remember one particular instance where I didn’t know where something was or how to do something and I asked my mother for help, and she snapped at me, telling me I was an idiot. There were more instances of that, and eventually I sulked and internalized that asking for help meant I was stupid from then on. I did really badly in school because of it.”

“I’m so bad at asking for help because whenever i do i get ridiculed for not knowing how to do it, or that as soon as i receive help the answer becomes obvious and my family makes me feel like shit about it. worst part is that i’m still at home as i’m not old enough to leave, so it really feels like i HAVE to do everything myself just to spare myself some trauma and self-loathing.”

“I am a weird combination of being hyper-independent and completely relying on someone to help me do things (like a friend or a partner). Part of my trauma involved not being allowed to do anything. As in, some days I’d just have to sit at the table for hours. Some days I wouldn’t even be allowed to eat. Its hard, because I want to be as independent as possible and won’t even call a doctor anytime I’m sick, because I think I’ll get into that pattern of not being allowed to do anything again. But I also don’t know how to do most things people my age can do normally, like something as simple as getting a bus.”


Being an independent person is a good thing; you do not rely on others for help, you can solve your problems on your own, but you also ask your friends for your help, trusted friends, whenever you are in need. Being hyper independent is different from that; that’s when you ask nobody for help and are emotionally distant from everyone because you do not want to trust them because of some past traumatic events. It would be best to take help from a therapist if you are struggling with past trauma and hyper independence.

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