3 Signs You're More Independent Than You Think

By Millennial standards, independence is next to godliness. There are a lot of reasons why the self-empowerment train (the depletion of gender roles, birth of positive psychology as a field of study) is chugging full steam ahead these days, and it makes sense: nobody else is responsible for your sh*t. In the words of Oprah, "You are responsible for your life. And if you are waiting for someone to save you, to fix you, or to even help you, you are wasting your time. Because only you have the power to take responsibility to move your life forward."

While research (and common sense) can tell us that the largely individualistic society we've constructed for ourselves may not necessarily be the most mentally and emotionally beneficial (people need people, plain and simple) there's a big difference between not wanting anyone, and not needing them. If you are a grown adult, you should strive to get to the point where you don't need anyone else. Even if you do receive and accept help, and have happy relationships in with you are somewhat symbiotic, needing someone else to ensure your survival is limiting at best, and dangerous at worst.

There are a few main ways that every capable, adult individual should strive to be independent: financially, emotionally and mentally. This means that you are able to take care of yourself in the physical, practical ways, and you're also not reliant on other people's approval or love to get you through the day. It's pretty self-evident why these things are crucial, but perhaps less obvious why people struggle to completely see themselves as independent, which is pretty much the most important part of it all. So without further ado, the three main signs you're actually more independent than you think you are:

You Pay The Bills You Are Responsible For

You pay for the electricity you use. You pay for the education you got. You pay for the car you drive, for the food you eat, the phone you have and the clothes you wear. There is nothing wrong with receiving help from others financially (if the party has offered, not been guilted or pressured), but the importance of financial responsibility cannot be underestimated.

When someone else is responsible for your essentials, that someone also has something pretty major they can hold over your head if they wanted to. This may sound unnecessarily #dark, but there are many people with many stories of how they wouldn't associate with certain people if they didn't legitimately need to.

Even If It's An Anatomy Of A Disaster — You Have A "Plan B"

"Plan B" looks like many different things: a savings account, a groomed résumé if your job ever fell through, a place to go in an emergency, insurance for your car/home, and uh, actual plan B in your bathroom drawer. The point is: you have a plan. Even if that plan is the anatomy of a disaster, you're in charge of your life enough that you know what you'd do if the worst possible outcome came to pass.

A Breakup Would Hurt, Not Kill

Any sane, healthy individual would be upset to part ways with someone they love (whether it's platonic or otherwise). Yet, there is a major difference between "being upset that it's over" and "actually going into panic mode because you think you need this person for your emotional fulfillment."

The latter is the case more than many people like to realize. You cannot be mentally or emotionally dependent on someone else's presence or approval or love. Not that you aren't deserving of all of that and then some — just that this life is brutal and short and unpredictable and to be attached to something inevitable (people die, relationships end, lovers leave) is to set yourself up for misery.

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