Coming across an independent female is common nowadays, and yet there are still many misconceptions surrounding this particular group of people. We often get misunderstood, imposed with inaccurate notions and expectations of what it means to be independent. It doesn’t help that independent women tend to perpetuate these views of them through their behavior which falsely solidifies these external impressions. The list below includes some of the common paradoxes about these people:
1. We are open to advice, but only from the select few we trust.
Yes, we always say that we are perfectly capable of solving our own problems and more often than not, if you try to meddle too much, we would bite your head off. But if you are already privy to the most intimate knowledge about us, or if we share our vulnerabilities with you, it means you are one of the few inside the circle – in this case, please offer us some care and guidance. Sometimes we are lost and alone, but are too proud to ask for help (because hey, didn’t we establish this early on, I can take care of myself??)
2. We are not as intimidating as we might come across.
If you come across an independent woman and she intimidates you in some way, do cut her some slack. Chances are, she is this way because she has only herself to depend on to get what she wants. If it helps, imagine her at her weakest, when she’s had her heart broken, in bed with no one to hold her – guarantee that it has happened. Joy and sorrow are the great equalizers; it makes us all similar.
3. We get annoyed with nosey people more easily than your average girls, unless we really like you.
Independent women get annoyed when someone wants to know everything going on in their lives. We do not feel the need to answer to anyone and instead of feeling honored, your curiosity/interest can be construed as being irksome. But don’t worry, if you do come across as annoying, you will know about it, since we will tell you in order to get you to stop. On the other hand, if we seem happy to share things with you, you are special. Ask away!
4. We enjoy exchanging opinions and listening to differing perspectives, even if it seems otherwise.
We have firm opinions and beliefs that are pretty much rooted based on experience, and which we will assert since we feel strongly about them, but we do not claim to be know-it-alls. If anything, we love listening to alternate viewpoints and comparing it with ours to see if we can get any takeaways from it. Don’t take our arguing for deliberate opposition – we actually enjoy a good banter, we just come across more aggressively because of the intensity in which we believe in our own views.
5. Vulnerability is a part of us too, but one we try to hide well.
Independent women are commonly portrayed as having everything under control, who are already sure of their place in the world. This couldn’t be more misleading. We are only human, and beneath the façade of control is someone who is equally overwhelmed by inner conflicts, insecurities, fears and goals. We are plagued with human foibles pretty much like everyone else. We just try not to show it, because much as we do believe in the inherent good of our fellow humans, we have been hurt enough times to know that there are evil, evil people out there who manipulate others’ weakness to serve their own purposes.
6. Anyone can be independent regardless of their personality; it’s a choice.
It is a common misconception that only extroverts – the loud ones, the ones who make themselves heard, the ones who are comfortable in every social scenario, might turn out to be what society deems “independent”. Media, and Hollywood especially, only serve to perpetuate this stereotype. But independence comes in many forms. It can be the whisper of resilience at the end of the day, the silent braving of the rain, the quiet fortitude during adversity. An independent woman can be either an extrovert or an introvert. Unlike the personality they are born with, independence is a trait one chooses to pick up in life.
7. Being independent is not equivalent to having a weaker sense of attachment or ties with others.
Others might think burning bridges is easy for us as we are independent and depend on no one. This is only partly true – we burn bridges easily IF we did not make an effort to build those bridges in the first place. An example of such a bridge would be something you were born with, like familial ties. That sister you have but doesn’t really care for? Yes, we could probably see that bridge going up in flames as the relationship is nothing more than a titular status of sisterhood, there is no other deeper connections, as bad as that sounds. But burning bridges we’ve worked hard to build – that of a long-term friendship or that of a lover- is as hard for us as it is for anyone else. Perhaps even harder, as we reserve our trust and emotions to only a select few.
So, as different as we might come across to others, deep down the differences between independent women and their milder counterparts are not stark contrasts, but mere tweaks along the same spectrum. We enjoy the same solicitousness given to others, but there is a line between caring and imposing on our personal space, and that line is finer for independent women. When it comes to emotions, though, we feel pretty much the same range of emotions as your average woman.