January 30, 2023

Hyper Independence

Hyper Independence - Helpful or Hindrance?

Written by

Hyper independence and the inability to accept help from others can result from a trauma or stress response.

Trauma and stress can happen through different experiences:

·     Events

·     Experiences

·     Effect

How someone is exposed to the traumatic or stressful event influences the effects and how long lasting these will be.  

Hyper independence is a coping mechanism that develops as a result of traumatic or negative experiences and as a result, affirms a belief that relying on and trusting others is not safe, stable or reliable and you can only rely on yourself to avoid future harm, hurt and let down. This can result from significant emotional damage, potentially caused by abandonment (through necessity or choice), neglect, broken trust, or betrayal.  

This can be short-lived and isolated to a specific situation and becomes a trauma response and reaction when this belief is applied to all areas of their life – most predominately in relationships.

Due to hyper independence forming, it can make it challenging for those affected to form connections with people, highly likely to avoid companionship and spend a high amount of time alone and in solitude.

People with hyper independence can often be viewed as strong willed, highly capable, highly efficient and demonstrating a strong character on a daily basis.  However, there needs to be that balance between being able to be strong and handle life and being vulnerable and allowing emotions to be felt and allow connections in.  Being too strong and hyper independent can put pressure on mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health by shutting people out, suffering in silence, failing to form connections, bottling up emotions and burning out by doing it all.

While independence isa healthy trait, like everything, if it is in excess, it can become unhealthy. Hyper-independence can be isolating and agonising. Those living with hyper independence work extremely hard, are highly critical of themselves and while they crave connections, are notable to fully allow this in.

The great news is that hyper independence, while this is a trauma response can be healed and removed.  As an adult, you are now capable to allow the right people, into your life and can make good choices about those that you choose to rely on.  Once you have the awareness that you may have elements of hyper independence, you can start to take action to work on this.

Signs of Hyper Independence:

·     Highly private person

·     Workaholic / Over achiever/ Uses work or other things as a form of avoiding connections

·     Prioritises work over relationships

·     Goal obsessed

·     Overburdens themselves

·     Can have a level of lack of self-care and self-neglect due to avoidance and filling time with work or other distractions

·     Inability to delegate tasks

·     Hard to ask for help and will do as much as possible to avoid asking for and accepting help

·     Rarely accept others input, advice or wisdom

·     Hard to accept help from others

·     Used to doing everything by yourself

·     Make all decisions by yourself and don’t involve others in the process

·     Struggle with longterm relationships.  Has more short-termrelationships

·     Dislike needy oroverly emotional people

·     Won’t put yourselfin situations that create vulnerability and deep connections

·     Easily move from onerelationship to the other without forming strong connections

·     Has more of an avoidantattachment style and tends to shut down and end relationships once feelings beginto develop

·     Unable to easily communicateemotions and inability to open up to people

·     Can be seen asunemotional and cold or detached

·     Has a harder time toemotionally regulate

·     Tends to retreatinto solitude more frequently than engaging in social activities

·     Uses avoidance tacticsto reduce social connection

·     Creates a level of over busyness in life  

·     Proves that they are self sufficient


Strategies to healhyper independence:


·     RTT session – get to the root cause and reason and clear this from your body and mind

·     Work through trust issues

·     Create meaningful connections.  Learn to let others In

·     Accept help and support– start small and increase over time

·     Delegate.  This also helps to build high performing teams as people feel valued by being included and supported

·     Ask for help – start small and increase over time

·     Set boundaries and say No. Don’t extend past your limits and maintain your emotional, mental and energetic levels.

·     Avoid co dependant relationships

·     Create balance in your life between work and social


How to support someone in your life that is experiencing Hyper Independence:

 ·     Stay patient and consistent.  Showing up consistently overtime and providing stability and security can help to reduce hyper independence faster

·     Be reliable. Keep your word and honour your commitments

·     Check in regularly and offer support.

·     Don’t be offended or upset if they reject your offer for help. Keep trying.

·     Remember that people respond based on their own beliefs and stories and this is not a reflection of you.

·     Show and act with compassion, empathy and understanding

·     Create a community and strong social network

·     Allow them time to retreat If needed and offer support from afar.

more blogs