2. Compassionate Imprinting

If we are doing the Compassionate expression at the imprinting level, we most likely are trying to convince others that we love them by acting sentimental, easy-going, or patient to hide our rigidity. We often encourage people to underestimate us, so we can surprise them with our strength. Also, we make sacrifices by caretaking others without really being committed to the situation. We try to be simple and pure, and it is very important to us to appear to be doing ‘the kind thing.’ We also overprotect people so they value our desire to support them. Unfortunately, while we attempt to do these things, our actual success at making others feel comfortable is extremely limited because we are not comfortable doing our own imprinting. It is recommended that Compassionate imprinted individuals not take jobs where they cannot express their authentic feelings and emotions.

Level One Compassionate Imprinting (Society’s Social Imprinting Process)

Level One Compassionate imprinting is our self-defined need to be considerate and caretaking of others. This means we have to do what is considered nice and appropriate under all circumstances and not express any unpleasant emotions or be confrontational in any way. It is most important that we are consistent in the nurturing way we are operating so that others will not be scared or intimidated by the way we are. This imprinting is typically seen in the mothering we try to do to show others that we like them. This process can be expanded into trying to be protective of others and sensitive to them when they are in pain. The more we can anticipate the needs of others, the more we believe we are demonstrating our love for them. Overall, it is difficult for others to be with us when they are being with us in this way. This is because the empathy and/or sympathy we have tend to preoccupy us. We need to realize there are limits to caretaking because ultimately it is self-defeating.

Level Two Compassionate Imprinting (Keeping Others From Being Right)

Level Two Compassionate imprinting can be identified by mediator and peacekeeper role-playing where we attempt to unify others that are having difficulties being with each other. In this situation, we feel compelled to become the “buffers” because we are not able to deal with the conflict in the situation. We end up being caught in the middle, which we hate. We persevere because we believe that conflicts have to be neutralized and that our family and friends have to be nice to each other or it reflects on us. Ironically, we are unwilling to let sleeping dogs lie, which causes us to take on and try to resolve the conflict that no one wants to deal with. We attempt to get others to agree with our middle ground as a way of hopefully bringing them together.

Unfortunately, this is rarely successful and generates reactions from both of the individuals we are trying to bring together because it does not reflect their beliefs. Ironically, our demanding that they accept our middle ground is a unilateral action, which typically compromises their autonomy. This means that eventually they will build up resentment about us. One way to heal this is to hold a Common Neutral Ground where both energies could be entertained, so that we can be present with the process without intervening in any way. We know we are beginning to release this imprinting when we start demanding that others wake up and solve their own problems.

Level Three Compassionate Imprinting (Lost in Our Imprinting)

Level Three Compassionate imprinting can be identified when we keep commitments to others even though we know they compromise us. At this level, we end up doing what is expected or needed at the cost of ourselves on a regular basis. We don’t think we have the right to say “no” when people need us. Of course we consciously rebel against this by trying not to be “selfish,” which, of course, keeps us trapped. The ironic aspect of this imprint is that we typically idealize the commitments we make, believing that others will appreciate us for the attempt to keep them. Usually we are surprised at the reactions we get from others when we share how much we had to compromise to make these commitments happen. When others are shocked by our perseverance they start to wonder about our sense of balance. This has the opposite effect that we intended, which is to have them love us for our follow-through. We know we are operating in this level when we believe whole-heartedly that we just have to do what is right no matter what the cost. We know we are releasing ourselves from this imprinting when we take action instead of complaining about how things are not working.

Anti-Compassionate Beliefs

  1. “Proving our consideration and consistency” becomes Establishing our own self-discipline about what works for us. When we rebel against others caretaking us, we try to keep them from doing things that make us feel obligated. This forces us to be on top of the situation and let them know clearly what we don’t want more than what we do want. Otherwise, they try to anticipate what we need and give it to us before we can do anything about it. It seems ungracious of us to reject their offer after they have already prepared it. We believe that they should never do anything for us without our having requested it. In fact, we find it rude that they are insinuating themselves in our lives by trying to anticipate our needs without even asking us.

  2. “Being a peacemaker by buffering conflicts” leads to Being a person who doesn’t want anyone to interfere with us. The more we see how ineffective it is for other people to represent us in any way, the more it drives us to define our relationships on our own terms. Taking responsibility for ourselves eventually allows us to be clearer about the beliefs and perspectives of others around us. This allows us to show up with people in ways that take their perspective into consideration without compromising us. Ultimately, the goal is to be an example of how we can be autonomous so that we are not at the effect of others. Usually this degrades into unilateral actions where we are not able to interact with anyone.

  3. “Overdoing the ways in which we keep our agreements” becomes Telling the truth about our agreements when they don’t work. We end up attacking people who stick to agreements that are not working just because they like to complain. We are repelled by the fact that they seem to love this negative attention when we feel it can be easily dealt with if discussed. We end up making these people wrong by believing they are drama Orchestrators or queens. We believe this process comes from their lack of clarity about who they are creatively, so that they need to be needed in these exaggerated ways.

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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