Distant “self” Perception Framework

We Distant Defense Style individuals have our own particular mythology, based on the premise that seeing is believing. The key is that we want to reinforce our safety by keeping things “fixed” and unchanging around us. The more we can anchor ourselves into our reality structure, the more it naturally reinforces our existing role-playing patterns. Optimally, we distance ourselves from the unknown by fixating on how we are known. This occurs because we objectify our self, leading us to objectify others around us. Ironically, we give away our “objectification” by how we react when others label us. It is ironic that we hate being objectified by others but find ourselves objectifying them to keep things safe and “easy”. When we are taking the Distant view, it is as if we are seeing through rose-colored glasses. The world seems flat, but we know it is not. The sun appears to circle above us through the sky, yet we realize that it is we who are circling the sun. When we place a stick or rod in water, it appears to bend, and yet we know it does not. Our Distant Defense Style perceptions want to believe that what we see is our reality, even though intellectually, we may recognize the discontinuities that exist. Our tendency is to accept the superficial appearance of things as reality, not understanding that we seek to include the perceptions of others who agree with us, to validate our perceptions. In short, when we see that the world perceived by human consciousness is not identical to the world as perceived in the consciousness of God; our limited perception is Maya, which is a superficial appreciation of life.

As Distant Defense Style individuals, we also tend to over-identify with our Gender Identity, leading us to perceive others on the basis of their gendered behavior. This causes us to be fearful about the opposite sex, or in different versions of sexual identity (Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, etc). When we fall into the perception that people are what they do, we cannot fully appreciate their contributions or their larger purpose. Instead, we tend to fixate on their behavior as the manifestations of their Intention. We do not appreciate the motivating purpose behind their Intention, while paradoxically, we are assigning an Intention to their behavior. We are naturally skeptical of other people’s perceptions, because we believe that they are less reliable than our own. As a result, we believe things need to be proven to us before we even consider accepting their validity. This makes us prime candidates for franchise opportunities. Franchises sell us on the idea that copying a proven pattern will more likely lead us to success. What is not taken into account is that true Inner Success can only be generated by finding our own authentic way of doing things. The irony is that Dynamic or Disarming Defense Style individuals would see this as a personal trap, tending to rebel against the idea that imitating anything would lead to success. They would rather trust their own ability to create their own course of action.

As Distant individuals, we seek structures as a way of maintaining our safety and security. We tend to idealize the machine-like systems theory that suggests that everybody has an appropriate part to play in the larger whole. Distant Defense Style individuals tend to have attachments to proven ways of doing things. We naturally resist change. As a result of cutting ourselves off from our environment, we tend to be disconnected from all three levels of Life, Light, and Love energies. Our fear of the unknown keeps us from being playful, spontaneous, or adventurous. We want to keep our options open while appearing to others to be solid and steady. It is the disconnection from our Self that attracts us to religious frameworks that provide a sense of safety and security. The final strength that we believe we have is the belief that our parents did not raise a person who is foolish or impulsive. We look before we leap.

The blind spot of Distant Defense Style individuals is that we are constantly caught by the future consequences of our current actions. Unable to effectively predict outcomes, we feel at the effect of the choices we have made. This leads us to try to be more selective in the choices that we make. The more controlling and discriminating we become, the less we are able to be spontaneous, thereby undermining our Passion and Playfulness. Our need for perfection blindsides us to the fact that what is happening is already perfection. Attempting to anticipate everything also makes us either martyrs who are never seen or valued for where we are, or we fall into nagging behavior where our attempts to help others inevitably backfires. In either situation, our attempts to get closer actually distance us from others.

The need for certainty also causes us to miss what is right in front of us. We want to believe that having an Intention to accomplish something will result in its fulfillment. One of the main problems is that we don’t take into account all the variables, which usually extends the processes that we are working with. Our Desire to simplify minimizes our ability to complete the projects we set our minds to. Our Belief that we know what is occurring keeps us from questioning what is occurring. In this way, our own Attachments to “what is” are further confused by our misperceptions of what is occurring. Instead of fixating on believing that the past is an indication of the future, we need to let go of what we think we know to explore what is actually possible. This requires us to see the world in a richer, more complex manner. It also helps if we are willing to question what we see, rather than accept it blindly.

Distant Defense Style

When we have a Distant Defense Style, we ignore other people and establish ourselves on our own terms.We call this a “Distant” position because we try to maintain a consistent ‘neutral zone’ with others in order to keep from being compromised by them. When we are Distant, we maintain our boundaries by physical proximity; when others move forward, we move back, and vice versa. People are attracted to this situation and to each other when they have complementary roles that can be used to define interactions. This position can be identified when we try to be clear in our Intent with others to avoid causing misunderstandings that create confusion. Because we are very uncomfortable when there is confusion, we will seek the structure of intellectual certainty. We use righteous indignation, false humility and pride as a way to keep others at bay. While we tend to hate hierarchical positions of authority and power, paradoxically we feel comforted when these roles are fixed and known in advance. In this way, we sense that we can effectively perform as a doer because there is an existing framework for knowing the right thing to do.

One of our biggest fears is to be “put on the spot” where we do not know how to relate to people in a way that will be accepted. The fear of being rejected or made a scapegoat keeps us in line. Since we are also afraid of others demanding obedience in exchange for acceptance, it is hard for us to share our true motivations, interests or desires. If we are part of a group, and the group is threatened, we use common fears to “circle the wagons”. Generally, our fear is that we will be ostracized, isolated, and not wanted by others. We use role-playing as a way of meeting others expectations of us. We are afraid to be real, to embrace change and to show up without any predefined way of being successful. Many times we are driven to be perfectionists. We keep ourselves from passionately connecting to things, for then others could have the power to take them away from us. We believe others want to be like us, so we use guilt, when practical, to attain conformance to our ideals.

Usually, our operating in a Distant pattern reflects that our parents did not know how to implement their masculine or feminine energies effectively. We became traumatized by their lack of response to us as children, and we dealt with it by becoming indifferent to them. This keeps us from effectively expressing ourselves on a creative level because we were conditioned not to show any vulnerability or passion. We believe all this is normal and tend to believe our parents performed their roles admirably. Without creatively congruent parents, we did not learn to honor our own natural expression and instead tended to become defined by our unfulfilled fantasies that we could escape the problems and pretenses of our parents. Paradoxically, the more we resisted our parents, the more we were defined by their personality fears and desires. If we fully accepted them, we adopted their life lessons instead of our own. These obstacles increase our fears of making mistakes or being wrong in our choices. We expect the judgments of others and are reassured when they oblige us.

As a Distant defense style individual, we have two levels of protection. The outer level helps us not to reveal our motives and intentions to others so they will not be able to read us. The inner level is where we disconnect from our own self so we do not need to respond to our own need to grow. While others do not perceive that we have clear boundaries, we do possess an ability to detach from the perspective of others by closing down our sensitivity. Our response to others doing things in unpredictable ways is to take action to protect ourselves preemptively, becoming passively resistant and observing where they are, or imitating someone we believe would be successful in the situation. What we want is not to be hooked, become passively resistant and observe where they are, or to imitate someone who we believe would be successful in the situation.

With a Distant defense style, we typically avoid excitement because we feel powerless when we are passionate. When we open up to others, it makes us feel vulnerable to being manipulated by others. We are incredibly sensitive and constantly interpret the motives of others in ways that make us feel good. We do not understand when they operate in a way that does not take our view into account. Ironically, even though we think we are great at interpreting the motives of others, we cannot see and own our own motives. Our big fear is that others will believe we do not take responsibility for ourselves and our actions. Unfortunately, it is easy for others to believe, because of our natural unwillingness to grow in their way, that we are not interested in growing in any way. We will grow in the way we want when we want.

The more we operate in a distant manner, the more serious we become in meeting the expectations of others so they will feel compelled to meet our expectations. In order not to be judged, we project a false sense of certainty because interiorly we need time to assess the situation to make sure we are choosing the right path. Occasionally, we feel driven to check our options with others before we are comfortable making a choice. As our strengths are on intellectual and emotional levels, we vacillate between these frameworks to justify our choice in the moment and the direction we take. Overall, we pay attention primarily to those individuals who accept us and approve of us as we are. In this way we are drawn to people who seem to be more stable, consistent and traditional in their interactions.

Since we are primarily externally focused in our assessment of what is going on around us, it is hard for us to identify and report our inner sensations, feelings, emotions and thoughts in an integrated way. As we use the material reality as our frame of reference, we discount anything that does not have a tangible provable existence. We become overly defined by the appearance of things without realizing that we have different perceptions internally. It is our internal fear of emptiness, which drives us to seek possessions as a way to reinforce our own internal Safety and Security. When we objectify everything around us, we end up being objectified by our environment, which makes it hard to see things in context.

When we are operating in a Distant defense style, we over-protect ourselves by finding ways to distance ourselves from any and all conflicts. The more we cut down on our interactions with others, paradoxically, the more we become conscious of how much we need others to be there for us. As we grow through the Distant defensive process, we move from the perspective of just toughening ourselves to these external issues, to interacting in a way that is mediated by a mutual interest in taking care of each other. Our real conflict arises when we realize that in order to get others to take care of us, we need to take care of them in some way. It is this fundamental compromise, which keeps us vacillating between trying to engage others and trying to protect ourselves. It also keeps us feeling a sense of scarcity because we do not know how we are going to create a solution for ourselves.

Usually, we are uncomfortable with both a simultaneous physical and emotional connection because it over-stimulates us. Because of the tension in our bodies, it is hard for us to unify our awareness within ourselves so we can address others external to ourselves. This means we can be uncomfortable with sustained physical contact. We tend to fall into the process of working on one thing at one level at a time in order to maintain a sense of focus. This makes it hard for us to keep up with others when things are changing. What we are learning is to own and speak our own truth so we can become more individuated. We need to feel that we are becoming successful in our contribution in life for us to fully embody this experience. Our way of dealing with the world is to attempt to maintain a state of tranquility within ourselves. As we begin to transcend the Distant defense style, this tranquility becomes more real.

When we realize how Distant our parents were, and how much we hated the arguments and conflict at home, we are moving out of the Distant defense style. It is easy to identify with the Distant patterns even if they are no longer fully descriptive. Some of us had parents operating at different levels, which meant that we had to behave situationally, based on which parent we were interacting with in the moment. Individuals in such environments have a Distant background, which enables them to do Disarming or Dynamic behavior, based on what is needed to protect themselves in any situation. If you are confused in reading the Dynamic and Disarming sections and realize you no longer fit the Distant pattern, it is likely you have combined various defensive structures to fit your in-the-moment needs. The upside of this process is that it you can move more easily into the Pioneering healing process. The downside is that it is more difficult for you to find balanced partners who reflect your true nature.

EXAMPLES

Gary Cooper -- actor
George Carlin – comedian
Tom Cruise – actor (is sometimes operating up to level three Distant)
Mia Farrow – actress
Sharon Stone – actress (is sometimes operating up to level three Distant)
Charlie Chaplin – actor
Pee Wee Herman – actor, children’s show host
Don Adams – actor
Andy Kaufman – actor/comedian
Mick Jagger – musician/singer
Woody Allen – actor/writer/director/producer
David Letterman – TV talk show host
Mike Tyson – prizefighter
Bill Gates – founder of Microsoft
Bing Crosby – actor/singer
Ralph Nader – consumer activist
Joan Baez – activist/folk singer
Robert Stack – actor

Sigmund Freud – psychiatrist
Sandra Bernhardt – actress/comedian
Dennis Hopper – actor
Henry Kissinger – former U.S. Secretary of State
Patrick Stewart – actor
George Foreman – former heavyweight champion boxer
George Hamilton – tanned actor
William F. Buckley, Sr. – author, news commentator
John Malkovich – actor
Bryant Gumbel – TV personality
Rex Reed – movie critic
Bruce Dern – actor
Dick Clark – TV personality
Richard M. Nixon – former U.S. President
Bob Hope – entertainer
Christopher Walken – actor
Art Garfunkle – singer
David Niven – actor

Distant Dynamic Defense Style

If you we are a Distant-Dynamic Defense style individual, you use content understanding and grasp the most tactical thing to do to keep others from influencing what you do. We need to be thinking ahead and anticipating what is needed so we can establish ourselves as the central decision-maker in any situation. We over identify with our fear that we might lose control which motivates us to quickly assert our perspective in a way others cannot preempt. We are not satisfied until we have figured out what others need to do to fulfill the opportunity in front of them. Others may consider our demands unrealistic, however, this only strengthens our resolve to continue to clarify how they should participate in our plans.

We seek personal clarity and expect others to do the same. Being in control and helping organize others is seen as one of our primary contributions. This emerges from our desire to deal with things immediately and push as far as we can, when we can. We see ourselves as task management oriented because we do not get much joy riding heard on others. The downside is that we have difficulty incorporating the ideas of others into our creative process especially if they have not demonstrated competence. We find it difficult to let things emerge in their own time and place because it seems unproductive and diminishes our sense of making an impact on the world. We enjoy personal projects where we can control the outcome,but question our motivation when we need to depend on others who may or may not have the same intentions. Where we acknowledge ourselves is in our ability to push forward and produce results particularly with proven suppliers or supporters because it minimizes the degree of chaos that we engage.

When stressed, we tend to engage others more forcefully believing our personal will can make the difference in making things happen. Unfortunately, our bluster and hard driving need to fix a situation frequently makes it difficult for others to connect with us on a personal level, so we get little positive feedback increasing our sense of isolation. While we enjoy pushing people to get results, we also secretly want a greater sense of intimacy which others would not expect. The desire to be seen as an effective and productive individual frequently hides our vulnerability, tenderness and capacity for intimacy. While we act as if we are not sensitive to what others think about us, the truth is we are extremely sensitive to what others think. Our identification with results sets us up to believe we are admired and adored when we are making things happen or reviled and hated when we don’t. What others do not see is that we judge ourselves completely by external goals and we punish ourselves when we are not satisfied.

While our main fear is not being wanted by others, the growing fear is that we will not be seen, appreciated or loved for the contribution we make. As a result, we continually set up situations where we establish expectations that we can precisely meet. We are highly motivated to hide our feelings or emotions believing they will undermine our credibility. One of the ways we prove our capabilities is to become a leader whom others can follow. As a Distant-Dynamic Defense style individual, we grow in our ability to make things happen, especially using task management skills. By focusing on time management, we become more realistic measuring and evaluating what does work to help us make better predictions. Unfortunately, similarities between ourselves and others scare us, as we like to have clarity and objectivity and not make decisions based on any form of enmeshment. We are uncomfortable when others presume that our friendship will enable them to get by with doing less driving us to maintain distance from them to prevent this from occurring.

Initially as a Distant-Dynamic Defense style individual, we are less concerned about our past and constantly analyzing our future to determine the potential impact of any action. This shows up as more unconscious, free-floating anxiety when the future becomes clouded or compromised by factors outside of our control. As we become more confident about the value we provide, we move from being worried about our security to being more concerned about our safety because we are beginning to engage our deeper fears about the lack of intimacy in our experience. We also feel quite vulnerable when others are emotionally reactive to us or actions we have taken. While we are happy to support others seeing their truth in the situation, we do not advocate caretaking or even mentoring others in an undefined manner. Chaos and change are inherently threatening and more easily dealt with externally than internally. As a result, we are very selective and discriminating particularly around people we do not know.

Usually, in this type of defense structure, we become clearer about how our thoughts guide our actions so we can see the patterns that work. While we still find it difficult to own or honor our feelings, we are open to becoming more embodied in our actions by seeing the consequences of not speaking up. In this way, we err on the side of saying more when things do not seem to be going well. Our focus on being consistent and solid in our motivations reflects a rather narrow approach as we only honor those emotions that produce results. One benefit is that as we amplify our ability to get things done, we build greater confidence than Distant Defense style individuals. We seek to prove our value so we can be distinguished from the mainstream. This allows us to believe that we deserve greater universal support than others.

The real issue for Distant-Dynamic individuals is that we want to avoid fixed beliefs about how to be with others. The less flexible or accepting a potential partner is, the more fearful we are that we won’t be able to meet his needs. Since it takes us a long time to become deeply involved and it is easy to say no to our partner, we can be callous and indifferent if our partners’ expectations seem too much. We test the limits of our newfound reputation by going beyond others’ expectations of what we will and will not do. This acknowledges that we need to be able to tell our partner when we are being emotionally overwhelmed so we can slow the process (and go deeper into it). Since the last thing we want to do is stir up dissent or disagreement, it is ironic that we distance ourselves by making critical or judgmental statements that others are likely to perceive as attacks. It is hard for us to see that by distancing ourselves, we evoke the very response we seek to avoid. The more we take a stand (and care for ourselves), the more we are an example of being vulnerable and open without losing our inner sense of strength. It is only by acting with intimacy that others are inspired to provide the adoration we crave.

Distant Disarming Defense Style

Distant-Disarming Defense style individuals, use intention to help and serve others and to protect ourselves from their judgments. We over identify with our desire for goodness and expect others to act civilly to us. Because of our conviction about how things should be, others rarely disagree with us. We are not satisfied until we know that we are doing all we can to encourage others to be all they can be. Others may view our behavior as being overly demanding or idealistic, however, we consistently feel we are not doing enough.

We seek a sense of relatedness and expect others to want the same. We attempt to see the best in others and to keep options open, which is the primary means by which we contribute to others. We see ourselves as people oriented because we do not get much joy from wrestling with ideas or taking pre-emptive action. The downside is that many things, which inspire us, never get beyond a conceptual stage. We find it difficult to complete thoughts or take action when we need to do it alone. While we believe we are capable of doing anything we want to do, we doubt our motivation when it is not in alignment with those around us. We give ourselves the benefit of the doubt in predicting the likely behavior of others because we trust our observations and believe we have sufficient insight to effectively predict their behavior.

When stressed, we tend to distance ourselves from others while we recuperate because of our inner belief that since we do not enjoy ourselves, why would anyone else. Unfortunately, this isolation frequently sends us into a tailspin, further reducing our ability to regenerate. The judgments we make about how others will negatively respond are reinforced when we are in a particular mood. The desire to be seen as a good person drives us to hide our true nature, so noone will learn the range or diversity of our experience. While we are sensitive to what others think about us, it is easy to get caught up in comparisons where we cannot win. As a result, we separate and isolate from others as a form of penance that also confuses those who love us. What they do not understand is we care most about them, so we try to protect them from our unruly parts where we act out our fears.

While our main fear is not being wanted by others, the growing fear is that we will be proven inadequate in our contributions. As a result, we continually set up situations where we under-promise and over-deliver. We are highly motivated to hide our fears of inadequacy and prove to the world just how capable we can be. One of the ways we prove our capabilities is by becoming a leader others can follow. As a Distant-Disarming Defense style individual, we are growing in our ability to appreciate people. Our capacity to provide effective feedback to others is increasing and we become more cognizant about the differences between people. Unfortunately, differences are scary if we cannot see how they can be worked out. When they seem bigger than our capacity to deal with them, we automatically avoid discussing them. Otherwise, we are on the front line helping people to accept their differences with others. This is one of the ways we provide value.

As we become more confident about the value we provide, Distant-Disarming Defense style individuals move from being worried about our safety to being more concerned about our security. This means we become less concerned about re-creating our past (where our safety was established) to worrying about the future because of the changes we see going on around us. While we are happy to support others in changing their circumstances, we do not always appreciate the changes happening in our own life. This is because change is threatening and is more easily dealt with internally rather than externally. As a result, we are very selective with how and where we decide to address changes.

Usually, we become clearer about our own feelings, which allows us to accept the feelings of othersmore easily. While we still find it difficult to own or honor our sensations, we are open to becoming more embodied in our actions by accepting their consequences. Ironically, this increased acceptance of our energetic wellbeing is not the result of how others treat us but rather how we come to accept and treat ourselves. One benefit is that we amplify our ability to love ourselves and accept support from the universe. This shows up as being less judgmental or being as stuck as Distant Defense style individuals. While the sense of scarcity becomes less pronounced, overall, we seek to understand and know the structure of others’ expectations so there will not be any unexpected demands.

The real issue is that we want to avoid fixed beliefs about how we should be with others. The less flexible or accepting a potential partner is, the more fearful we are that we won’t be able to meet his needs. Since we easily become involved and it is very hard to say no to our partner, we can get submerged in situations where others’ expectations become too much. In this situation, we test the limits of our newfound ability to share our truth with others in a way that minimizes their reactions. This reflects that we need to admit our limits and acknowledge appropriate boundaries with our partner. Since the last thing we want to do is to hurt our partner, we fear he will think we are callous and non-accepting if we limit our support in any way. It is hard for us to see that defining ourselves independently of the situation, actually increases our ability to address the problem. The more we take a stand (and care take ourselves), the more we are an example of what our partner needs to accomplish. It is only by being selfish enough to honor our own minimum requirements, that others are encouraged to do the same.

Distant Defense Style individuals can best heal by addressing the following:

  1. We need to stimulate our inner energetic connection with our Self so we are free to fully be our Self with others. The first step is to minimize our negative, critical self-dialogue. Instead, we need to build a positive inner framework for affirming and re-interpreting (from the glass is half empty to it is half full) our creative process. We also need to eliminate whatever beliefs limit our creative re-birth. This means in situations where we feel driven to make things perfect, we need to let go of this image and find ways to see the perfection in what actually is in front of us. This will increase and build a sense of connection that will lead us to discover how much we are wanted.

  2. We need to stop personally engaging guilt as a Creative Self-denial process. The more we need to justify our existence by caretaking and providing support to others, the more we will be caught in activities that do not honor or support us. When we use guilt to get our Self to do things we do not want to, it is easy to use guilt to get others to do what we want. If we do this, we will be more likely to take on their guilt when they want something in return. In short, using guilt opens us up to being guilty about others.

  3. We need to stir up our lives and increase our willingness to engage change so we do not fall into pre-established expectations that limit our spontaneity. In other words, we need to use the fire of Transmutation to burn through our entranced, conditioned behavioral patterns. Inertia is the primary obstacle to shifting out of defensive interactions. Recognizing and healing our unconscious reaction patterns demonstrates that we are not these patterns and can change and evolve. This will allow us to playfully engage new opportunities without getting caught up in performing.

  4. It would be useful to investigate our thoughts and emotions on a deeper level in a way that allows us to see how they do not always need to calibrate to one another. As Distant defense style individuals one of our core protection patterns is to constantly shift between thoughts and emotional perspectives, to create a less reactive interpretation of what is occurring. When we see how our thoughts and emotions are just two out of five frameworks (physical, feeling, emotional, intellectual, and intuitive) it reduces our need to explain everything in terms of these two. The result is we are less reactive. This allows us to be more open and responsive to others in the moment. Currently, we may be scared by divergent emotions and seemingly contradictory thoughts and end up disappearing in the confusion.

  5. It is time to question and challenge our perceived Safety Fears and Security Desires that were instilled in us as children and may no longer serve us. While many of these old patterns were useful to us as a child, as adults they keep us from being present with our Self and our outer circumstances. We can start by challenging our fears in areas where there is little to no consequence, moving on to larger issues, such as our fear of death. We want to release the energy trapped in these patterns (which is causing use to become rigid) so we can regain our fluidity and be spontaneous.

  6. We can investigate how we create a superficial sense of harmony between us as people by avoiding conflicts and reactions. By addressing our internal conflicts and reactions, we discover that we have nothing to fear about them. We also can at the same time, release our frustrated desires about how others should love us. The more we can see that our Personality Fears and Desires are past conclusions we do not need to act out in the present, the less relationship baggage we need to bear. We also need to examine whether our roles are actually keeping us from building a creative flow and expression with others. If possible, we should try changing our roles, experimenting with how creative and flexible we can become.

  7. With the help of a partner we trust, we can explore how we can simultaneously feel emotionally connected and physically affectionate. The key is to “unthaw” the frozen energy caught up in past patterns. We can also try to slow down the process in order to notice how we ebb and flow between these our emotions and sensations. We may need to share our reactions and patterns as they arise for some period until we can be completely present with our Self. This will be a great healing process as long as we do not judge our self (or own up to it as it is occurring) or our partner. This should allow us to learn how to relax and be present with our partner as well as our Self.
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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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