Pacing Imprinting

Pacing imprinting can be most easily identified by the degree of resistance that low-paced people exhibit or the amount of intensity that high-paced individuals exhibit. The resistance is an aversion to being pulled into the situation faster than we desire, whereas the intensity is the desire to pull people forward and have them engage things faster than they are currently willing to do. Some of us who are caught in the middle and feel that we are being whipsawed back and forth between these two extremes may also develop a sense of inertia to protect ourselves from feeling out of control. This inertia hides the deeper sensitivity we have around different paced individuals.

We can easily identify if we are being resistant by our desire to pull others into a slower Pace and slow them down to a speed that we can match. This resistance tends to amplify the natural rebellion that we feel when we compromise ourselves by going at the faster Pace of other individuals. Resistance also indicates that the other individual is likely 5–10 points faster than they seem. We usually attempt to look even slower than we are in order to get others to meet us more where we actually operate. The antidote for resistance is acceptance, where we learn to move with people where they are, realizing that fast paced people are not out to get us. Unfortunately, as low-paced people, we feel run over by fast-paced people and can fall into a pattern of resisting other people before we even get to know them.

We can easily identify when we are doing Intensity around Pacing by our non-stop flamboyant talking without any breaks or pauses in the conversation. If we are operating with a great degree of intensity, we tend to come across 5–10 points faster than we actually are. Another indicator is our speed of talking and our lack of awareness that we have not connected with others before we began talking. The antidote to doing this kind of intensity is to learn to be patient and meet people consciously and present with where they are. Unfortunately, many of us who are intense in our Pacing have not been met as children and don’t believe people are there for them.

We can identify Inertia in ourselves and other individuals by the desire for consistency, constancy and stability. As children, we usually did not have a sense of stability and therefore seek to create it in our lives in our way of being with others. We do this by anchoring ourselves in the mid-range of Pacing and making others come to us. Typically, our sense of power is derived from whether or not people are willing to acknowledge us where we are. The effect of inertia is to hide our true Pacing (usually 5-10 points different) either higher or lower than what we really are. We chose our anchor point based on our perception of the mid-range of Pacing. For example, if we are actually a 40 Pace, we may anchor ourselves at about 47 and try to have others meet us there.

The more we are imprinted by fast-Paced individuals, the more we get impressed by the quality of Intensity because it is a sense of urgency that makes our parents feel we are making an effort to be like them. When we are slow-Paced, our parents manifest their Resistance, so it is our Resistance to them that makes them notice us. Finally, if our parents are manifesting Inertia, they don’t really respect or admire us until we can do Inertia back to them. This imprinting process causes a lot of confusion because it is not only how fast or slow we are operating that tends to make us react to others in ways that do not work but it is also our past experiences around Resistance, Inertia and Intensity that cause reactions.

Communication Process is heavily tied into our experience of Pacing and vice-a-versa. Intensity is the result of others resisting our content, ignoring our context and denying our intent. Remembering in Chapter 7 where we related Thinking, Feeling and Acting as content, context and intent respectively, we can begin to see how Pacing imprinting can both confuse and highlight our Communication Process. Resistance is when others ignore our context and end up denying our content and ignoring our intent. Inertia is where others ignore our intent predominantly, so we feel unwilling to validate them on their context or content. We can see from this that where we have imprinting in our Communication Process also tends to overlay or confuse our Pacing imprinting.

On the other hand, the more we clear our Communication Process imprinting, the greater freedom we will experience in our Pacing interactions. The key issue is to be able to see the difference between context (which is the framework or container of what we are accomplishing) versus content (which is what we fill the container up with) versus intent (which movement we are trying to generate in the container). Each type of Pacing has a natural Home Base that it both protects and values in others the most.

For example if we are a Feel, Think, Act individual, we will honor our context and want others to honor our context the most, because we are Feel-First. Even when we are repressed on an emotional level, it will become an unconscious motivation for us to protect the larger possibilities. As a Think-First individual, on the other hand, we will always want to be seen first for our content, and will tend to honor the content of others more. Even when we have Intellectual imprinting on top of our Think-First way of doing things, we will seek to protect the details or the information in the situation. Finally, as an Act-First individual, we will always respect the intent of others and seek to have our intent respected. Even if we have action imprinting on top of our Act-First orientation, we will always try to protect and honor the commitment of others to do what they need to do.

Pacing also is affected if we are imprinted in our process. For example, as Feel, Think, Act individuals who are emotionally imprinted, we will be more adaptable and try to conform to others, wherever their Pacing is. Due to our lack of perceived power, our Pacing will not be perceived as strong or be easily identifiable by others. Any kind of imprinting on all three levels has an impact on the strength of our Pace and others’ ability to honor us. Imprinting in the primary centering, however, is going to have the most impact on how we are perceived in our Pacing.

As individuals with a process of Think, Feel, Act who are imprinted in our thinking, we will be particularly sensitive to the Pacing of our parents by trying to be the same Pace as the person who imprinted them. This is the way in which we create safety and security by not challenging the status quo. The more we heal our imprinting, the more our natural Pace and desire to be seen at our natural Pace shows up. The more we conform to others and operate at a Pacing that is not ours, the less energy we have to be ourselves. Instead, we are typically always exhausted or being worn down by life itself.

At its core, the more we manage our Pacing, the more energy we are able to bring to bear when we wish. Energy management, therefore, happens the more we understand and allow ourselves to operate within our natural boundaries regarding Pacing. In other words, if we are low-paced and hanging out several hours with a fast-paced person, we need to learn to give ourselves time to regenerate before attempting to be with them again. Taking breaks will assist both higher and lower-Paced individuals to restore their inner equilibrium. The more we understand these energetic realities, the greater our ability will be to make things work in all situations. If we know that we are going to be with a fast-Paced individual and we prepare ourselves so that we can be there and are willing to speak our truth when we are tired or reaching our boundaries, everything can work out. If we do not listen to ourselves and end up losing ourselves in the process, we build up resistance, inertia or intensity to help hold us in the experience. None of this works for people, for they are all artificial defensive reactions to not honoring our natural energetic boundaries.

Resistance, Inertia and Intensity all indicate that we were not seen or accepted at our natural Pacing level in our past. Each one of these elements indicates that we were hurt by others not valuing or appreciating our natural Pace. It is ironic that we tend to be attracted to those individuals that further compound our fear that we won’t be seen where we are. Over time, these reactions become more defensive and more disabling as we begin to anticipate how everyone will discount or deny us in the same way. Our ability to grow is limited by our fears that we won’t be seen for who we are. Therefore, it is important that we recover our flexibility and freedom to be who we are by initially being around people who have the same Pacing as us. It is in this way that we release the defensive patterns around these areas and regain our fluidity and flexibility to be with others in any situation.

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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