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How to Help a Loved One Who is Hyper-Independent?

by Melissa Bell
4 minutes read

Hyper-independence is a psychological phenomenon. It is when someone chooses to refuse help and handles all issues by themselves. They are fiercely independent of everyone even if this affects them in a negative way. It is linked to trauma responses to past experiences. Studies have found that 60% of all adults report abuse or other difficult family circumstances during childhood and 26% of all children in the US will witness a traumatic event before they turn four. Other reasons for trauma include life-threatening situations, physical, sexual or emotional abuse and discrimination and prejudice. The coping mechanism could be being over self-reliant due to trust issues and as a means to protect themselves from further harm. The thoughts and behavior patterns often develop in an unconscious way.


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But how to be sure if someone is hyper-independent? They are extremely private, focus more on careers and being an overachiever and have a tough time seeking help. They might also decide everything by themselves without others’ input. A few basic consequences could be social isolation and mental illnesses. So how to work through it to avoid these detrimental outcomes? Read on.

Effective Therapy

Patience and kindness are the key aspects of handling a hyper-independent person. It makes sure they know that dependency on others is not embarrassing or shameful. Individual therapy and counseling from highly trained and experienced professionals are an extremely viable option. The best one will offer a caring and safe environment. Their objectivity and skills will aid in accomplishing the goal of the concerned person. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy and insight-oriented and mindfulness meditation techniques are the tools to master the problem. Other benefits could be:

benefits of therapy

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A good therapist will provide practical feedback for positive changes. They will validate your thoughts and feelings and listen to your story. It can help you experience meaningful changes bit by bit. A hyper-independent person is offered the ‘Task. Trust. Ask.’ model.

Task: The person is asked to seek a small favor from someone even if they do not require it.
Trust: Once it is done, there is a sense of trust-building between both parties.
Ask: Now they could be more inclined to ask for help when they truly need it.

Now, this exact process can be repeated by anyone in your life. It is necessary to help the person understand why exactly they refrain to ask for support. This makes it easier to get to the root of the problem. A therapist will make you feel heard and validated, check in with you and communicate well. No wonder the behavioral therapist market in the US, measured by revenue, stood at $9.8 billion in 2022. In fact, it is expected to increase by 0.4% in 2022 alone and has grown 1.3% per year on average between 2017 and 2022.  The counseled person is likely to notice a change within themselves in throughfall ways after talking to a trusted advisor.

What Can You Do?

Make sure the person follows the instruction of their therapist. Having a reliable and sensitive coach in their corner can help the person evaluate their progress. This is vital instead of having someone who makes you feel guilty, damaged and nervous and leaves you questioning your self-worth. Besides a session, below are a few things you can do for anyone living with his underrated conditions.

  1. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to psychological issues. So, it is vital to follow the guidelines laid down by your talk therapist to assure improvement. Remind them to alter their behavior and practice their recommended activities.
  2. Help them to check their ego and rationalize their decisions before taking a step.
  3. Give introverts enough time to open up. Create a small circle of friends where they are able to talk freely without hesitation or social fear.
  4. Keep reminding them that requesting to depend on someone for simple activities does not impact their overall independence.
  5. Make sure they know they are not weak for asking for a simple car lift or for not splitting the bill at dinner and letting someone else take care of it at times.

If your loved one rejects your help, connect them to a therapist. It could either be online or by visiting their office to talk about a management plan. They are able to pull them out of trouble and ensure good quality of life. But make sure the specific person does not allow anyone to control their life in the name of dependence.

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