The method of recovering from trauma—whether or not rooted in your childhood or unfolding within the wake of an acute traumatic occasion like a automotive accident—is complicated and tough. And particularly when your trauma was inflicted by the fingers (metaphorical or in any other case) of people who find themselves meant to take care of you, it may be a pure protection mechanism to assume others can’t be relied on.
This type of trauma response can result in the event of hyper-independence, which is the try to be unbiased in each side of life, even when it’s detrimental to take action. Right here’s the right way to inform in case you are experiencing hyper-independence, and the right way to reframe your pondering round accepting assist from others.
The place trauma-based hyper-independence comes from
If you’re recovering from trauma, “it could look like the most secure factor to do is to depend on your self, and to go it alone,” says Melissa Goldberg-Mintz, a childhood psychologist and creator of the e-book Has Your Baby Been Traumatized? If an individual grows up figuring out they’ll’t belief the people who find themselves meant to take care of them, growing excessive independence can look like one of the best type of safety.
However even when it looks as if logical response to trauma, this type of pathological self-reliance may cause extra issues over time. “It’s a survival approach,” says Kyle Kunkel, a licensed skilled counselor with Thriveworks. “It really works, however it’s not sustainable.” As Kunkel notes, growing hyper-independence because of trauma usually implies that an individual hasn’t been in a position to develop expertise corresponding to battle decision or efficient communication.
Indicators of hyper-independence
As Goldberg-Mintz notes, there’ll at all times be people who find themselves naturally extra unbiased, or crave much less social interplay. “Whether it is working for them, that’s okay,” she says. Hyper-independence begins changing into a problem if an individual needs or wants assist from others however is afraid to ask, or if they begin taking up an excessive amount of work themselves, even to the purpose of burnout, because they don’t really feel they’ll depend on others.
As Kunkel notes, indicators of hyper-independence embrace a hesitancy to ask for assist, an unwillingness to confide in others, a behavior of taking up an excessive amount of work to the purpose that it begins affecting their well being; and a bent to push others away. As she notes, these actions are usually rooted in worry, normally as a result of an individual has realized that they can’t depend on the folks round them.
When hyper-independence is rooted in trauma, it can have an effect on a number of elements of an individual’s life, from work to interpersonal relationships. This might embrace having a associate who wants extra emotional assist than an individual is keen to present; struggling to confide in and depend upon mates; or being unable to assist a struggling worker.
What to do for those who’re battling being hyper-independent
In case your hyper-independence is having a damaging influence in your life, the primary (and infrequently hardest) half is recognizing that there’s a problem, and that one thing wants to vary. “Self-awareness is our greatest ability,” Kunkel says. One of many first steps is to hunt out assist, which frequently contains remedy, whether or not it’s working one-on-one with a therapist, or enrolling in group remedy.
When hyper-independence is inflicting pressure inside a relationship, corresponding to a associate needing extra emotional assist than an individual feels snug giving, Goldberg-Mintz recommends attempting to reframe your pondering and attempting to perceive their emotional state and their wants. “It’s about attempting to be inquisitive about what’s going on of their thoughts,” Goldberg-Mintz says.
In Kunkel’s expertise as a therapist, she finds it’s important to acknowledge when emotions of uncertainty and worry are beginning to have an effect on your actions, and to develop strategies for dealing with them—which is able to hopefully embrace figuring out these folks in your life who can supply a level of assist, and discovering methods to ask them for assist.