Can You Be Too Independent?

It might be counter dependence

Mukkove Johnson
2 min readMar 5, 2020
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Can you give him a high-five? A bump-it? A smile?

No. Nothing.

I feel the frustration rising as my social toddler buries her face in my shoulder farther with each question. Why does she act so shy?

I tell myself “I should be able to figure this out. I’ve already raised three kids. I’m supposed to know what I’m doing. They would at least give a high-five.”

As much as I feel like the shyness may be a problem my not asking for help is a bigger problem.

I can’t burden anyone by asking them to help me. I need to do things for myself.

Why do I believe that? I’ve learned it’s something called counter dependence.

Counter dependence is the fear of being dependent.

It’s not a healthy form of independence. It is a fear of depending on someone else. You need to take care of yourself and your responsibilities.

Growing up you depend on your parents to help you handle emotions as well as so many other things. If your parents did not model emotional health enough you may have learned it was best to take care of yourself beyond what was reasonable and healthy.

As always with CEN, we are not blaming our parents. We’re having the grace to say they did the best they could with what they had. We can’t go back and change the past. Accept what is and know there’s an answer to why you struggle.

Why is it so hard for me to ask for help?

Because you were taught directly or absorbed from your atmosphere that it wasn’t okay to need help. If the messages were absorbed from how things worked in your home can make them hard to identify. Whereas if you grew up in a home that told you, “you don’t need help”, “don’t ever ask for help”, that would be easier to see.

If you think you may have experienced CEN and want help in healing and recovery please reach out to me. I’d love to help.

Can you identify moments that taught you not to need help, to be afraid of asking for help? Did you know at the time or do you see it now looking back?

Share in the comments or send me an email.



Mukkove Johnson

Discipling Mothers to Disciple Nations - Author and creator of Heart Doodling with Jesus. Mother of 3 married young adults and a 7 yo.