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13 Examples of Independence

Independence is freedom from control by others or reliance on others. This can be applied to a person or a group including nations, organizations and teams. The following are illustrative examples of independence.

Pursuit of Happiness

Defining self-fulfillment and happiness for yourself. For example, an individual who has decided that simplifying their life is key to their happiness and development as a person.


Turning to yourself when you have a problem. For example, a farmer who aggressively experiments at small scale with different companion plantings when they need to increase yield.


Surviving on your own without help such as a student who is able to pay for their own education because the costs are reasonable.


Making your own decisions and formulating your own strategies without being pushed by others. For example, an employee who pushes forward to become valuable to their firm despite a lack of direction from their boss.


Saying what you think directly, openly and honestly. For example, a professor at a university who says what they think despite an environment of groupthink.


The ability to think of non-obvious ideas that are valid and valuable. For example, a scientist who is able to see beyond the orthodox thinking in their domain to make a new discovery.

Contrarian Thinking

Opposing or rejecting popular opinion. This can be either creative or naive. For example, an individual who dislikes all popular music as a matter of principle, no matter how good it might be, to assert independence from mainstream culture.


The ability to handle the unpleasant side of things. For example, a small business person who can handle difficult customer service situations with grace and ease.


The right to govern a nation without interference from other nations. A similar concept, personal sovereignty, applies to an individual's right to be free and to make their own decisions. For example, an individual who makes their own health choices without interference by the state.


Nonconformance is the act of breaking a rule or expectation placed on you by a society, community, culture, organization, family or group. For example, a teenager who rebels against fashion norms to experiment with independence.


Noncompliance is the act or breaking a law or regulation that will be punished by power structures such as a government. For example, protestors that break local ordinances in the spirit of revolution.

Malicious Compliance

Malicious compliance is the use of a system's own rules against itself. For example, a bureaucrat who enjoys a sense of control, power and independence by applying obscure regulations in bizarre ways.


Anomie is a sense of detachment from society, community and culture such that an individual is completely adrift in themselves. This is always portrayed in a negative light as it is considered human nature to need connection and inclusion. Likewise, a fully isolated nation with zero engagement and cooperation with the world is likely to fall apart.


Independence isn't necessarily a virtue because there is nothing wrong with depending on others or fitting into a system such as a society, community or culture if that system is reasonable. Brilliant and valuable people usually depend on others such as family or coworkers in countless ways. However, an individual who completely depends on others may benefit from independence because this is a valuable part of the human experience. It is also difficult to imagine that an individual would be unusually successful in their pursuits without some level of independent thought and action.
Overview: Independence
Freedom from control by others or reliance on others.
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This is the complete list of articles we have written about independence.
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