10 signs you’re a highly independent person (without being self-absorbed)

To be highly independent is a truly liberating feeling. After all, who wants to depend on Mom and Dad or a romantic partner to fulfill your needs? 

Knowing that you don’t have to depend on anyone for anything, be it financial, emotional, or security, etc. is truly a precious thing. 

Thus being able to cultivate independence in this life is a worthwhile pursuit. 

But independence can have a downside: we can be so autonomous within ourselves that we don’t let others inside past, our barriers. Like many things in life, the key is balance. 

I’ve put together a list of 10 signs you’re a highly independent individual (without seeming self-absorbed). Does this sound like you? Let’s find out now! 

1) You are comfortable being alone

Let’s face it, we live in a culture of distraction. We constantly rely on others for entertainment or emotional support. 

We aren’t conditioned to embrace solitude and the feeling of being alone.

For many, the lack of stimulation from being alone is uncomfortable; as they might have to grapple with their own thoughts and feelings. 

You, however, have no qualms about being alone. In fact, you may enjoy it to a degree. 

You can go to the cinema, go out to eat, or have a cup of coffee at the local cafe all by your lonesome, unbothered about what others think. 

You might even enjoy the odd solo trip. While others need regularly require some company to fill a void, you don’t really have that gaping need.

This makes you highly self-sufficient. 

2) You make your own decisions 

I’ll be honest, most people are easily swayed by media propaganda (usually in the form of clickbait headlines) or their peers’ opinions. Not you though. 

While you’re open to feedback and opinion, you ultimately make your own decisions and choices. 

You have values and goals. You’re firm about them too regardless of what society thinks.  

Let’s say you’re a woman in your late 30s and are unmarried and don’t have kids… by choice. You’re a rarity in this world. 

While many feel societal pressure to conform to norms like settling down with kids, you dictate the terms of how you want to live your life. And in my opinion, that’s pretty damn admirable. 

3) You don’t really need validation

Here’s the thing: independent-minded people like yourself know their worth. 

You don’t rely on external validation and reassurance of others to feel a sense of fulfillment. 

You’re fully aware of what you bring to the table and the opinions of other people do little to change that. 

While an insecure person might constantly be fishing for compliments, or positive feedback for a task, you don’t require this need–one of the hallmarks of a truly independent individual

4) You set boundaries 

Having boundaries is key for the independent person. 

For the independent person, this often manifests as having balance–about wanting to maintain your personal autonomy but also having functioning relationships with others. 

This means you have their priorities in order: you want to keep your personal independence so you communicate what works for you and what doesn’t when dealing with others. 

You don’t want to feel overwhelmed and fall into the trap of manipulation. You’re wise enough to know the distinction. 

Let’s say you’re in a relationship and your partner has controlling tendencies. 

They want you to have to be with him/her on weekends or have to be home at a certain time or there will be problems. You won’t let it get to this point. 

You let that other party know that you’re no pushover and that having independence is crucial for making the relationship work. 

This isn’t disrespect, this is reasonable. If they’re not willing to compromise, you being you are not afraid to walk away.  

5) You overcome fear

Let’s be real: the public is scared. 

They’re fearful of the different, the unique, the unknown. 

Fortunately, you aren’t one of these people. Your life is not dictated by these apprehensions. 

You genuinely enjoy trying new things and meeting new people, in the process creating fresh memories, adventures, and connections. 

You don’t let fear or phobias be factors in the zest you have for living life.

6) You pursue your true interests 

Fads come and go–you’re keenly aware of this. You aren’t swept up by the latest viral fashion trends.

Let’s face it, you probably aren’t that impressionable. Nor are you unnecessarily contrarian and averse to anything deemed as “popular.” 

You develop interests and hobbies solely because they appeal to you as a person, nothing more. 

Regardless if they’re trending or not, you become curious about things that are well…interesting to you, independent of what others think.

A good buddy of mine is a highly independent guy. He moved out of his parent’s house at 18 and has lived on his own ever since. 

It’s unlikely you’ll see him queuing up for a nightclub or the latest streetwear releases on weekends. 

Instead, he has his own set of niche interests like constructing miniature aircraft models or rock climbing on some remote summit.  

7) You’re resourceful

When you’re dependent on others, you’re at an immediate disadvantage in life. 

That’s just facts. 

Highly independent people are resourceful and creative when faced with life’s many obstacles. 

You’re a natural problem solver, so you don’t need to panic and call Dad to bail you out when you get in troubling situations. 

I remember being in Hungary a few years ago; somewhere on the outskirts of Budapest. 

I was in search of a fabled eatery that claimed to have the “world’s biggest schnitzel,” which unbeknownst to me was far from the city center.

The non-English-speaking cab driver dropped me off at the address in a shady neighborhood about a 45-minute drive from my Airbnb. 

I was alone with no phone reception, there were no taxis willing to bring me back, and the streets were desolate and ominous. I was on the verge of hitchhiking.  

Instead of freaking out, I somehow figured out the routes of the public bus system, which were all in Hungarian. Several hours later, I was back in downtown Budapest… much to my relief. 

I stuck out like a sore thumb to my fellow commuters on that fateful (multiple connections) journey back. But I was resourceful in a very foreign land and it paid off.

Not having to depend on others in a sticky situation and making it out is a genuinely rewarding feeling–one the highly independent person is quite familiar with.  

8) You’re open-minded

Guess what? Highly independent people like to keep an open mind, which naturally sets them apart from the rest. 

As we’ve established above, you don’t go for things just because they’re popular or trendy. You like to consider alternative perspectives and insights. 

You value things, people, and ideas that stand the test of time. 

You tend to stray from the crowd because of this mindset. 

While everyone’s playing checkers, you’re playing chess. And you’re a skilled, open-minded, and highly independent chess player at that. 

9) You’re financially independent

Here’s a big one. To be truly independent, then you have to be financially independent

You don’t rely on family or anyone else to provide for you; you’re more than capable of doing it alone. 

You didn’t work this hard and this long to constantly be asking relatives for handouts. You’ve always wanted to become independent, hence your assertive drive to chase that coin. 

You’d be surprised by the number of full-blown adults still reliant on their parents for support; this is particularly true after the pandemic. 

You being financially able though are in a pretty exclusive club. 

And in addition, you live within your means, you’re responsible with your expenses, and you pay all your bills on time. Adulting at its finest!

10) You take care of your health 

I’ll tell you this much, your family doesn’t worry about you much because they know you’re a pro at caring for yourself. 

You’re no couch potato, lying around all day, watching Friends reruns with flaming hot Cheeto crumbs spread across your chest. 

You’re active, constantly on the move, and healthy. You eat clean. You exercise regularly. You take the appropriate vitamins and supplements. You have minimal vices. 

You’re smart enough to know that taking care of your own health is vital and takes effort to maintain. An effort that has become a part of you and your daily routine. 


In short, when you’re highly independent you have a powerful sense of self and self-sufficiency. Although you prioritize your own space, you do realize the value of having relationships with others, as long as boundaries are effectively communicated.

Overall, independence is a highly positive trait if you manifest it wisely! 

Daniel Mabanta

Daniel Mabanta is a freelance writer and editor, entrepreneur and an avid traveler, adventurer and eater. He lives a nomadic life, constantly on the move. He is currently in Manila, Philippines and deciding where his next destination will be.

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