Questions 17 & 18

RI - Radical Independence

A distinction needs to be drawn between being chronically aloof and the healthy intention of maintaining self-reliance. Radical Independence is a fear driven coping mode. People who rely on this coping mechanism secretly long for connectedness. However such connectedness triggers feelings of imminent disappointment.

Some people who practice Radical Independence fear being “smothered” or controlled and others anticipate rejection or emotional deprivation. The conditional assumption associated with this behavior is: “If I can remain independent then I’ll be OK. If I cannot remain independent, then I’m not OK.” Being OK in this instance might be to be free from disappointment or free from criticism about being emotionally insufficient.

Sometimes this coping mode will cluster with other compensatory modes like Being Innocent. For example, the person who relies on Radical Independence will inevitably emotionally deprive important people. The guilt then triggers the desire to be found blameless. When the person frustrates and disappoints others the coping mechanism gets triggered and the behavioral cycle is then often reinforced: “This would not have happened if I would have remained aloof.”

The cost of practicing Radical Independence is that it obstructs being cared for. The person is so afraid of being emotionally deprived or victimized that he or she would rather suffer loneliness.


Record your answers to the following questions in your JOURNAL:

This Compensatory Mode is active in my life. The evidence that confirms this is as follows:

This Compensation Mode is not active in my life. The evidence that refutes this is as follows:

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