Identifying Another’s Pacing

The key in building relationships is matching Pacing or “tuning in.” If we do not meet the person or the group halfway, resentment builds up and communication is diminished. This initially takes finding ways to honor our self and to honor others simultaneously, operating at a Pacing level that is workable for both. Over time, we will develop greater variability by increasing our awareness about Pacing and the affects of Pacing. Initially, we gain the best ground in this process by healing our Resistance, Inertia and Intensity. By learning how and when to engage people when they are challenging by picking the circumstances that are best for both parties, we can end up feeling more seen, valued and heard by each party. The more success we experience, even in small ways, the more empowered we are to continue to expand our range over time.

While we can improve our Pacing variability (the range we operate comfortably within), it is challenging to change natural Pacing. One level of difficulty in relationships is relating energetically to an individual with Pacing that is very different from our own. The common range wherein most people can operate without difficulty is 20 points. This means that an individual at 80 and another at 35 would find it difficult to be around each other for any length of time, unless one (or both) had developed their ability to work with extreme ranges.

In all groups there are balancing/negotiation processes that automatically occur, providing a common Pacing where all can communicate. The higher-Paced have to slow down, while the lower-Paced individuals have to speed up. This compromise becomes obvious the longer the group is together. Eventually, the individuals at both extremes are worn out and must take a break to remain conscious. Balancing Pacing in an organization is critical to keeping people stimulated and moving forward (but not out of control).

Ultimately, the most effective process to neutralize all differences in Pacing is to learn how to create a common ground. This requires that we are able to maintain our own natural Pacing in our own personal space, while simultaneously being able to connect and mediate a connection with others in the common space. This requires a greater degree of consciousness and ability to direct our attention simultaneously in two directions at once. In other words, we are present in our own personal space and sensitive to what is going on energetically with ourselves, while at the same time also able to be aware of what is going on in the relationship space outside of us. Tuning in to the other person’s Pacing is greatly facilitated when we create a separate space for the relationship. In this situation, we don’t have to compromise ourselves in any way or deny our own energetic experience of ourselves. This allows us to become even more sensitive to where other people are and be able to read their energy fluctuations more effectively.

Any imprinting that comes up for us will of course create a problem, because it will be projected into the common space, creating a “merged affect” between us. This will require that we own our projection and/or fear that just came up in the circumstance, so we can clear it out of the way and return back to an independent personal space and independent relationship space. Any beliefs about how we have to be to maintain an image will also conflict with being able to tune in to others in their Pacing. Finally, if others can trigger fears in us relative to Pacing, it will also compromise our ability to really see what is going on. The whole theme is to get less attached to our Pacing and their Pacing and learn to breathe and be present in our own experience so our energy can naturally find an appropriate balance in the common ground.

Being with a Lower Pace

A lower-Paced person needs time to process or assimilate experiences, and will be reluctant to move on to another subject or focus until done with the current one. If a partner’s Pacing is 15 or 20 points lower, the partner will need to have more “private” time and longer uninterrupted rest periods. On the other hand, if we can imagine slowing ourselves down in the common ground and being able to meet them at a lower Pace, then things will naturally balance out in the common ground. Our ability to meet them will enhance their ability to meet us, and we will be more unified in our ability to work together.

A higher-Paced person can do the following to make a lower-Paced one feel less burdened by the relationship:

• Match breathing patterns
• Use or sculpt the silence between words and sentences
• Maintain a constant topical focus or context 5 to 20 seconds longer than may feel “natural”
• Associate deeply with body sensations
• Move the energy “center point” lower in the torso

Remember, we do not need to lose ourselves by going slower, just include the slower-Paced option within our framework.

Being with a Higher Pace

A higher-Paced person feels the need to “refresh” his or her space more often, and will attempt to do this by quickly changing topics, tones, conversational contexts, etc. If a partner’s Pacing is 15 or 20 points higher, the partner will need to “entertain” themselves with something not directly related to the matter at hand. On the other hand, if we can imagine speeding ourselves up in the common ground and being able to meet them at a higher Pace, then things will naturally balance out in the common ground. Our ability to meet them will enhance their ability to meet us, and we will be more unified in our ability to work together.

A lower-Paced person can do the following to make it easier for a higher-Paced person to feel less burdened by the relationship:

• Maintain a personal connection with the relationship—not the work or issue immediately at hand
•  Let them know, “I’ll be with you in a second. Let me consider what you are saying for a little while before I reply; I need to get a better handle on what this means.”
• Appreciate and delight in their creativity and eccentricity
• Move the energy “center point” higher to the throat and head

Remember, we do not need to lose ourselves by going faster, just include the higher-Paced options in our framework.

Clearly Recognizing Our Pacing Reactions

When we experience a reaction, it indicates we have triggered an internal fear that we won’t be able to live up to the expectations of others. We then create counter-beliefs or establish positions to offset these fears. People react to others by attempting to build positions so they can justify their greatness over others. In this process, we will attempt to explain why we have reactions to different Pacing styles. It all comes down to differences in beliefs and opinions about what’s right. Due to our past compromises, we don’t want to be compromised anymore. We will begin with the process of why people with similar Pacing have reactions to each other.

1. Open-Ended-Paced individual with Open-Ended-Paced individual. This has the greatest alignment as both partners have extremely flexible Pacing and are capable of working with each other under all circumstances. This alignment is further enhanced when their Home Base Pacing is within 5 points of each other, for this would permit them to regenerate with each other.

2. Fast-Paced individual with Fast-Paced individual. These individuals will likely be extremely good partners in any creative process. If any difficulties arise it is because of differences in the amount of Pacing imprinting each has.

3. Slow-Paced individual with Slow-Paced individual. This combination is also extremely aligned and, again, the only problem that will arise is due to differences in the degree of Pacing imprinting.

4. Variable-Paced individual with Variable-Paced individual. This combination is usually aligned with each other. The only problem that arises when there is a lack of flexibility in either individual, which supports them getting into role-playing and caretaking. It is also likely that their imprinting, if it is different, will be the major source of conflict.

5. Confused-Paced individual with another Confused-Paced individual. This combination is the most difficult because both individuals don’t know how not to compromise themselves in their Pacing choice with the other. It is likely that, in most situations, they would just go along to get along, feeling that they had no choice about how to operate in each situation. Ironically, since they are equally out of touch with themselves, they could have some degree of empathy with each other because they understand where the other person is not being themselves.

6. Confused-Paced individual with Fast-Paced individual. This combination has one of the greatest inherent conflicts of all the combinations. The Fast-Paced indivudual will typically feel superior to the Confused-Paced individual because the Confused-Paced individual person will feel pressure to conform to the Fast-Paced individual. In this way, there is likely to be considerable role-playing and projection about how unfair the Fast-Paced person is.

7. Confused-Paced individual with Variable-Paced individual. While there may be some empathy and understanding between these two people, the Variable-Paced individual will likely be the one calling the shots. In this situation, the Variable-Paced individual has to be more flexible and find ways of engaging the Confused-Paced individual in order to make it a worthwhile process. Otherwise, the Confused-Paced individual will do their own thing without coordinating themselves with the Variable-Paced individual.

8. Confused-Paced individual with Slow-Paced individual. This combination is not very good because the Slow-Paced individual has to be flexible, defining themselves in terms of the Confused-Paced individual in order to generate any real results. If the Confused-Paced individual goes fast in order to overwhelm the Slow-Paced individual, it is likely to cause a breakdown in the relationship. Otherwise, the Confused-Paced individual could become belligerent by the differences in the way the Slow-Paced individual operates. This is because truly Slow-Paced individuals are traditionally misunderstood in our society and not appreciated for their strength. A Confused-Paced individual would feel the most out of place and not know how to engage a Slow-Paced individual if the Slow-Paced individual did not give them a framework in which to do so.

9. Variable-Paced individual with Slow-Paced individual. This combination is fairly open and resourceful as long as the Variable-Paced individual doesn’t have a tremendous amount of Fast-Paced imprinting. Both individuals will feel able to engage each other and hold their own points of view. It is also likely they will treat each other as equals, which is very helpful in minimizing some of the imprinting reactions.

10. Variable-Paced individual with Fast-Paced individual. This combination is fairly open and resourceful as long as the Variable-Paced individual doesn’t have a tremendous amount of Slow-Paced imprinting. Both individuals will feel able to engage each other and hold their own points of view. It is also likely they will treat each other as equals, which is very helpful in minimizing some of the imprinting reactions.

11. Variable-Paced individual with Open-Ended-Paced individual. This combination is fairly conscious with a growth orientation. The major issues will be the “positionality” of the Variable-Paced individual vs. the presence of the Open-Ended-Paced individual. While this is sure to create some imbalance, the flexibility of the Open-Ended-Paced individual will allow them to engage and bring out the capabilities of the Variable-Paced individual for harmonious interactions . Ultimately, it is the degree of conflict within the Variable-Paced individual that will make the process either enjoyable or painful for the Open-Ended-Paced individual. This will be the major issue about whether or not the Open-Ended-Paced individual wants to maintain the relationship with the Variable-Paced individual.

12. Fast-Paced individual with Slow-Paced individual. This is one of the most polarized combinations. While the relationship can be complimentary because they see each other’s weaknesses, there may be greater animosity because they don’t agree on much. This is because we both love and hate each other at the same time. The clearer we become about the differences in Pacing between Fast-Paced and Slow-Paced individuals and see these issues as complementary ways to get things done, the less attached we need to be to be seen as right. This creates the opportunity to honor ourselves where we are, and honor that others can contribute to the interactions in a harmonious way.

13. Fast-Paced individual with Open-Ended-Paced individual. This combination is also a growth process, particularly for the Fast-Paced individual, as they learn to engage things in a deeper way. The big challenge is that the Open-Ended-Paced individual may not enjoy the process because of the urgency of the Fast-Paced individual in trying to accomplish things. While the Open-Ended-Paced individual would automatically work within the framework of the Fast-Paced individual, they might become resentful over time if the relationship was not evolving. What the Open-Ended-Paced individual would be seeking is a greater degree of spontaneity and creative flow.

14. Slow-Paced individual with Open-Ended-Paced individual. This combination is also a growth process, particularly for the Slow-Paced individual as they learn to engage things in a more stimulating way. The big fear would be that the plodding nature of the Slow-Paced individual may become boring to the Open-Ended-Paced individual over time. While the Open-Ended-Paced individual would automatically work within the frameworks of the Slow-Paced individual, they might become resentful over time if the relationship was not evolving. What the Open-Ended-Paced individual would be seeking is a greater degree of flexibility and spontaneity on the part of the Slow-Paced individual.

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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