What does hyper-independence look like in men? I have written about hyper-independence as a general topic and about the impact on generations of women. The extreme autonomy and self-reliance that invokes extreme discomfort when contemplating asking for help. There are common jokes made about men never asking for directions and about how they do not share much about how they feel or nothing at all.  

Men have historically been pushed into hyper-independence because it is the manly thing to do. If a man asks for help or shows emotions, he is weak. If he cannot take care of his household through his own efforts, he is weak. If he expresses his needs in a healthy manner, he is weak. Men will call another a derogatory name in jest or with maliciousness if someone is breaking out of the expected role and congratulate each other when they behave in ways that are considered “manly.” Unfortunately, it is not just other men who pressure but many women reinforce keeping men in this trauma state because they want “a real man.”

Do not confuse hyper-independence with toxic masculinity as the latter is a broader condition that includes hyper-independence. Men have been taught they need to stand on their own and be independent and that this is a sign of strength and identity. This is why men do not initiate going to doctors normally and only when they are married does the partner usually do that planning for them. Men are less likely to seek therapy as well because they will be just fine and can handle it. This all leads to increased violence against a partner, anti-social behavior, feelings of isolation, and suicide.

Addressing hyper-independence in men from an alternative perspective, the energy and emotions held in the body can cause harm and even death. This leads to more men than women suffering from heart issues, and before anyone points out it is on the rise for women, remember what I said about hyper-independence in women also being on the rise. See the correlation? Men generally do not live as long as women and it is attributed to the lifetime of intense pressure, stress, and emotional suppression.

The new generation of men have received strong criticism from the older generation because they are breaking “the rules” and expressing themselves. They say “these kids are too sensitive”, or “this generation is too accommodating to other people’s feelings when people just need to get over it”, or “these younger generations are soft.” But maybe there is hope for true change in men in the near future as these “sensitive” men raise a generation of openness, expression, and compassion while the older generation too stuck in their ways transition out of this life.

You will find many quotes out there on the same premise of evolve or perish. Society and humanity have not proven constructive with hyper-independent men and worse, toxic masculinity. It is an absolute necessity for men to evolve into a more compassionate human to contribute to the survival of our species.

To review, the signs of Hyper-Independence are:

  • Overachieving / Overcommitting
  • Refusing to Delegate or Ask for Help
  • Guardedness in Relationships
  • Secretiveness
  • Mistrust of Other People
  • Few Close or Long-Term Relationships
  • Stress or Burnout
  • Dislike of “Neediness”

What do you do if you suspect you are hyper-independent?

  • Start taking small, manageable steps toward allowing others to help or support you.
  • Heal and eliminate the fear of relinquishing control.
  • Delegate some tasks and carve out time for self-care.
  • Change and healing is uncomfortable, so be ready to accept that.
  • Identify how you can practice relying on individuals in your support system.
  • Forgive those who may have contributed to your trauma.

Emotional Freedom Techniques, Hypnotherapy, and Cognitive Behavior Therapy can help in this change journey. Remember, this is not a blaming exercise but rather a healing exercise. Vulnerability is healthy for all genders and should be socially accepted in our culture. Maybe some of the tragedies we are witnessing would not have if only we asked for help.