The question I would like to discuss with you today is “Am I too independent?”. Yes, we’ve all been there. We all have probably questioned our dependency towards other people. Am I too independent, or am I too dependent? We are social creatures. We rely on interaction with other people, in fact, our lives actually depend on it. But just like any other manners, there are two possible extremities that come with it: whether it’s too much, or it’s too little. Along with advancement of technology and resources available to everyone, the society is now inclining towards a higher appreciation towards people who have the capability to independently achieve their goals. To us, it shows strength. That resulted in our tendency to prove that we can rely to ourselves to achieve what we want, without assistance from any other people. But since humans also feed on relationships with other people, independence can leave us wondering whether we are unconsciously pushing people and relationships away, simply because there is no sense of need anymore.
However, when we eliminate the society’s expectations, dependence and lack thereof is really just a preference. Fundamentally, there is nothing wrong about them. The only time it becomes an issue is when there are some negative impacts that come with it. So before it comes, we need to be aware of the signs that our independence has led us heading into a pitfall. I’m here to share with you some signs that can act as good indicators on whether you are already in the state of extreme independence or not.
The first sign is related to my point earlier about relationships. When there comes a time when you feel that your relationships – especially with the closest people in your life – are directly affected by your state of independence, then we might need some fixing to do. It is completely healthy to want to know that you can rely on the people close to you, especially to your family and friends. It simply means that the relationship you have with them is strong, durable and trustworthy that you value their existence. I’m not saying that when you prefer to be an independent person then it means that the relationship doesn’t mean as much to you. It’s just that, the degree of this need for reliance can vary from person to person. But, if you think that you don’t experience any of this need from any of your relationships – including with your close ones – it might be a red light for you. Stop and take some time to have a closer look into the issue.
Moving on to the second sign you need to look out for. You settle for the second best result. There might be times when you know that you can do better with something, if you had asked for some help from other people. But, you chose to ignore it either way. You’d rather end up with the second best result from your own effort compared to asking for help. But, what’s wrong with settling down with the second best? Do we always have to be such perfectionists? Well, no, It doesn’t mean that all of us have to be perfectionists. However, these instances show that it has become more than just about your preference to be independent. Instead, your desire for independence has grown into arrogance and overly-confident behavior. If I had learned one important thing in life, is that we only have one for each of us. Hence, maximizing our life into the fullest potential is the only fair thing to do. Never let our love for independence get in the way of us achieving great heights. And of course, working hand in hand on building relationships that matter.
Finally, the third sign is: you realize that you are doing it to avoid hurt. Maybe your life experiences have served you with plenty of let-downs from the people around you. Or perhaps, people that you trusted have been incapable of living up to their promises. As a result, your mind started to associate reliance with hurt, and before you know it, a wall was built inside you to avoid yourself from trusting someone too much. I’m going to be completely honest with you: from these three signs that I have shared, this is the one where I personally struggle with the most. At a certain point, I finally realized that fear of being hurt is actually the reason why I developed the need for independence. By then, I knew that it was not right. Not the independence itself, but rather the fear of hurt that has become a trigger for me. Until now, I am still consistently and consciously training myself to spot any circumstances where I don’t ask for help just because I’m afraid the person I’m asking it from will let me down. Guess what? People will let you down. That is just a fact of life that we need to accept. Only after we learned to accept it, we can start building a nothing-to-lose attitude, and ask for help regardless of whether the person will end up fulfilling it or not. By deliberately putting an effort to fight the resistance, believe me, you will be sparing yourself from the hurt itself – by not letting fear dominate your mind.
So, are you ready to ask for help when you need it? I would love to hear what you think! Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, connect with me through my website in LifeForExperts.com, my Twitter in @lifeforexperts, or my Instagram in @lifeforexpert without the letter “s” at the end.
Thank you for trusting Life For Experts. Never stop learning to become an expert in life. I’m Dannis, and I will see you next time. Bye!