“Group dependency” is the psychobabble term for needing other people around you.
Humans are generally quite gregarious but some of us need the constant comfort and support that comes from being part of a group while others are quite happy to be loners.
by Elia Strange
Group behaviour is encouraged at an early age to promote social skills.
The phrase “they’re a bit of a loner” is never meant as a compliment. However, there are many gradations between the person who simply cannot function without friends in attendance and those who find any human company oppressive.
Where do you come on this scale?
Answer the following questions and find out.
You will need a pen and paper for this exercise.
'Are you independent' Test Questions:
1. You decide to redecorate the living room. Do you:
A. Throw a “Decorating Party” and get all your friends to come and lend a hand while you serve the drinks and snacks.
B. Ask a few close friends to help out and promise to cook them a dinner.
C. You get your parents to help out.
D. You do it all by yourself with only the radio for company.
2. Your idea of heaven is:
A. A never-ending party with all your favorite people there.
B. A place where you can drop-in on friends and family, and they can drop-in on you, at any time of the day.
C. A place where you can meet people or enjoy your own company as you wish.
D. A place where you never have to meet anyone unless you want to.
3. You have a day off. Do you:
A. Plan a trip to the beach with a group of friends.
B. Visit an old college friend you haven’t seen for years.
C. Spend the day with your family
D. Go hiking on your own.
4. You have work to finish and you need to stay late at the office. No one else is there. Do you:
A. Work as fast as you can. You are uncomfortable working alone and you end up having a coffee with the cleaning person to break the monotony.
B. Finish the work quickly and arrange to have a friend to pick you up and take you out for a pizza.
C. You take your time over the work. It’s quite nice to have a bit of time to yourself for a change.
D. What’s new? You usually spend your evenings like this.
5. There is an office party and the boss makes it clear that he expects everybody to attend. Do you:
A. Offer to organize the whole thing. You love parties.
B. Go along and have a really great time.
C. You enjoy the evening although you wouldn’t want to do this sort of thing too often.
D. For you this is Hell. You feel completely out of place and leave at the first possible opportunity.
6. Your partner has to spend the weekend away at conference. Do you:
A. Phone all your friends and arrange a big night on the town.
B. Get your best friend to come over and watch movies with you.
C. Stay alone but catch a movie that you’ve been meaning to see.
D. Bring home some work that you have been meaning to finish.
7. How do you use the internet?
A. It’s a wonderful way to meet new friends all over the world
B. It’s a useful work tool that you can also use sometimes for socializing.
C. You use it almost exclusively for work apart from sending the occasional social email.
D. You have spent the last six months constructing a virus called 666 which you plan to use to bring down all modern technology
8. You are due to take a vacation. Unfortunately none of your friends are free to come with you. Do you:
A. Shop around fro a group vacation that you can join.
B. Go by yourself but make immediate efforts to make new friends when you get there
C. put off going on vacation until a friend is free to join you.
D. You would never consider taking friends on vacation as you prefer your own company
9. You get a promotion but, in order to take it, you would need to relocate. Do you:
A. Turn it down. You could never contemplate leaving all your friends.
B. Relocate but make great efforts to keep in touch with everyone.
C. Relocate and try hard to make a new circle of friends as soon as possible.
D. Relocate with ease. You don’t have any really close friends anyway.
10. You go out to enjoy a day on the beach. Do you:
A. Go to the most popular spot and manage to find a somewhat cramped space to settle down.
B. Avoid the most popular spots and try to find a quieter one that is nearby
C. Search for a beach that has plenty of room where you can spread out and not be too close to others.
D. Trek along the beach until you find the most deserted spot possible.
'Are you independent' Test Answers:
Give yourself 4 point for an A, 3 for a B, 2 for a C, and 1 for a D
35-40 You are completely group-dependent and can barely envisage your life without friends to support you. This is fine for much of the time but we all have moments when we have to be alone and you just don’t cope with these.
Try to build up a little independence so that you are not helpless without your friends. It really is possible, and can even be enjoyable, to do some things on your own.
You are almost phobic about your own company and, to avoid future problems, you need to gently accustom yourself to occasional periods of solitude.
30-34 You are very keen on being with other people but you can manage occasional periods alone.You would not be happy in any situation where you had to cope alone for long periods of time.
You really enjoy the buzz that you get from others but it would be a good idea to realize that you are a capable and effective person in your own right and that, while you may enjoy companionship, you are quite able to function without it.
15-29 You are not too bothered about being a part of a group and, although you are quite comfortable having others around, you also relish your own company.
Your attitude is quite balanced and healthy. You will find yourself able to cope well whether you have support from family, friends, co-workers or not.
Less than 15 You are a loner with little need or desire for human contact. People are an irritant much of the time and you are happier without them. You enjoy tasks that you can work on alone and you have a very good relationship with your computer because it makes no emotional demands on you.
Although you are not unhappy in your lifestyle, you are not leaving yourself open to the personal growth that can be gained from interaction with others. Could you not try to be just a little more sociable?
'Are you independent?' References:
Allen, R. (2004). Me, Myself, and I: Discover yourself with 50 revealing personality quizzes. London: Collins & Brown.
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Why do I always need to be in a relationship? (Article)
How to be more assertive (Article)
Why am I lonely? (Article)
How do we choose our partners and friends (Article)
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