Defensive Facades

If one of our parents was repulsed by our Defense Style, and we needed to present ourselves in a different way to be seen by them, we developed a defensive Façade on top of our defense. We can have any combination of Defense and Façade. Society’s expectations also play a role in facades, so we describe them separately for men and women.

If You Have A Distant Façade (Male)

A Distant Façade is a form of Pretense where you create another defensive layer so you can pretend to be someone who others will accept more easily. You have learned to automatically distance yourself from others when you feel pressured or others place unfair demands upon you. You pretend to be independent and above the fray so others do not know how much you are affected by their attacks. A Distant Façade Defense style creates another layer of disengagement so you will have more time to respond to that which you wish and can more easily distance yourself from that which you do not wish to create. While you appreciate that you need to know what to do before you do it, you see your own hesitancy in taking action as weakness. Therefore you are sensitive about the judgments of others particularly regarding how quickly you respond to potential problems. Your natural desire is to be disconnected and unable to be hurt by the projections of others so you invest a lot of time convincing others that no matter what they do, you will persevere.

The problem with the Distant Façade is that it reinforces the perception that you do not want to be involved. This inadvertently sends the message that you are indifferent to whether or not others want you around. As a result, many individuals could preclude you from social events, which hurt your feelings. The challenge is letting people know that you want to be involved without appearing to be needy, demanding or difficult. Balancing the need to be close with the need to be distant is what makes the Distant Façade a tough juggling act. Commonly, you get caught up in contradictory impulses where one moment you believe you should call people and let them know you are available and the next moment you find yourself back pedaling and unwilling to discuss what you would like.

A Distant Façade is a great tool to use when your parents are less conscious than you. It allows you to hide your precocious perceptions and appear to accept their Truth and your own. It works particularly well, the more individuals are caught up in gender-based role-playing and need greater reassurance that you will not judge them or make them wrong. The usefulness of a Distant Façade is so your role-playing will blend with the role-playing of others. In this way, there is an unspoken agreement not to bring up anything that could be threatening to the stability of what others believe. The more authentic and conscious you behave, the more it naturally threatens others who are less conscious or aware. Role adaptation is also a natural response when you collapse energetically, have a life threatening illness or are threatened in a way that you cannot effectively defend yourself. In this way, a Distant Façade is an acquiescence approach that allows others to acknowledge their supposed superior status. You do this because there does not seem to be an easy or useful way to change the terms of the relationship. You go along to get along.

Over time, you develop inertia about who you are and how you act. It is your self-denial of who you are creatively, which creates an anchor that effectively makes it more difficult to deal with new possibilities of change. This sense of profound isolation can be further accentuated by the degree you had parents who ignored you or were unwilling to actively support you. This creates a disconnect as you believe there must be something wrong with you because you are unwanted. Instead of confronting this defensive belief, you seek to distance yourself by either being constantly busy or becoming seriously depressed and unwilling to do much of anything. While a Distant Façade does provide another layer that keeps you from feeling your pain, eventually, you find yourself disheartened by your circumstances and unwilling to go along with them anymore.

If You Have A Distant Façade (Female)

A Distant Façade is a form of Pretense where you create another defensive layer so you can pretend to be someone who others will accept more easily. You have learned to acquiesce to others and define yourself in terms of them in order to be accepted. It is easy for you to pretend to be dependent and unable to respond in a different way. Initially, this allows you to avoid making any major choices. The real reason you procrastinate in your decision making is to give you time to assess your options and make sure you will be able to get what you want with the changes that are occurring. A Distant Façade Defense style creates another layer of disengagement so you will have more time to respond to that which you wish and can more easily distance yourself from that which you do not wish to create. While you appreciate that you need to know what to do before you do it, you see your own hesitancy in taking action as weakness. Therefore you are sensitive about the judgments of others particularly regarding how quickly you respond to potential problems. Your natural desire is to be disconnected and unable to be hurt by the projections of others so you invest a lot of time convincing others that no matter what they do, you will persevere.

The problem with the Distant Façade is that it reinforces the perception that you do not want to be involved. This inadvertently sends the message that you are indifferent to whether or not others want you around. As a result, many individuals could preclude you from social events which hurts your feelings. Underneath everything, you desperately want to be seen as a human being. The challenge is letting people know that you want to be involved without appearing to be needy, demanding or difficult. Balancing the need to be close with the need to be distant is what makes the Distant Façade a tough juggling act. Commonly, you get caught up in contradictory impulses where one moment you believe you should call people and let them know you are available and the next moment you find yourself back pedaling and unwilling to discuss what you would like.

A Distant Façade is a great tool to use when your parents are less conscious than you. It allows you to hide your precocious perceptions and appear to accept their Truth along with your own. It works particularly well the more individuals are caught up in gender-based role-playing and need greater reassurance that you will not judge them or make them wrong. The usefulness of a Distant Façade is that your role-playing will blend with the role-playing of others. In this way, there is an unspoken agreement not to bring up anything that could be threatening to the stability of what others believe. The more you show up as authentic and conscious, the more it naturally threatens others who are less conscious or aware. Role adaptation is also a natural response when you collapse energetically, have a life threatening illness or are threatened in a way that you cannot effectively defend yourself. In this way, Distant Façade is an acquiescence approach that allows others to acknowledge their supposed superior status. You do this because there does not seem to be an easy of useful way to change the terms of the relationship. You go along to get along.

Over time, you develop inertia about who you are and how you act. It is your self-denial of who you creatively are, which creates an anchor that effectively makes it more difficult to deal with new possibilities of change. This sense of profound isolation can be further accentuated by the degree you had parents who ignored you or were unwilling to actively support you. This creates a disconnect as you believe there must be something wrong with you because you are unwanted. Instead of confronting this defensive belief, you seek to distance yourself by either being constantly busy or becoming seriously depressed and unwilling to do much of anything. While a Distant Façade does provide another layer that keeps you from feeling your pain, eventually, you find yourself disheartened by your circumstances and unwilling to go along with them anymore.

If You Have A Dynamic Façade (Male)

When you have a Dynamic Façade, it indicates that you do not have a Dynamic Defense Style but that you cover up it by acting overtly masculine. This usually means that you were wounded by your father or both your mother and father and believe the only safe way to get attention is to achieve an alpha male status. This also means you received a message that appearing weak could lead to disaster. Therefore you tend to over emphasize your commitment to activities and under emphasize your sensitivity to getting along with others. The more you seem demanding and determined to get what you need, the more you fit into a Dynamic Façade. It is important to distinguish this façade by the constant effort needed to dominate others around you, which is different from a Dynamic Defense Style where you merely need to succeed. With the Dynamic Façade, the emphasis is on appearing to be in charge and making sure everyone else knows they are a failure relative to you.

The inherent contradiction is that underneath you want to be a “good guy”. You may not even be comfortable with getting attention or believe yourself able to accomplish the goals you set for yourself. One of the ironies is that you may have to act more coarse and unconscious in order to convince others that you mean what you say. This inner conflict between authentic and inauthentic power creates tremendous Intensity. You falsely believe that you need to demonstrate a commitment to living your Truth, even if it is not internally congruent with where you want to go. The more you operate from a Dynamic Façade, the easier it is for you to go through the motions of making others accept your hyper-vigilant masculinity, even if the way you are invoking it is not authentic. Commonly, you express yourself in more determined, forceful, or preset ways that push the envelope in a way that reveals differences with others. You have found that provoking the concerns of others keeps them from examining your Truth or the lack of it.

Putting pressure on others accomplishes your primary goal of demonstrating your assertiveness. The more you can follow up in a structured manner and the timelines that you feel are important to manifest, the easier it is for others to believe the masculine projection of who you are. Acting in control is also a necessary ingredient in selling a Dynamic Façade to others.

It is important to remember that a Dynamic Façade places another layer on top of your defenses where you are protecting yourself against others judging you as inadequate. In order to avoid being seen as inadequate, you constantly stir the pot and act as though you are indifferent to others so you are not seen as being feminine. It is ironic that you falsely believe that you have to act masculine to get accepted when you could actually be masculine and not care what others think. It is a testament to your internal fragmentation that you have conflicted goals and aspirations that end up compromising what you wish to express rather than fulfilling them. Healing your Dynamic Façade means confronting the fear that someone else’s judgment of you will be more compelling than your own self-knowing.

If You Have A Dynamic Façade (Female)

When you have a Dynamic Façade, it indicates that you do not have a Dynamic Defense Style but that you cover up it by overtly acting masculine. The source of a Dynamic Façade is primarily the drive to take care of yourself and not be taken advantage of by others. This usually means that you were wounded by your mother or both your father and mother and believe the only safe way to get attention is to prove you can do everything on your own. Therefore you tend to over emphasize your planning, control, and fixation on making sure that things go as intended. While you may not appreciate the abrasiveness necessary to convince others to respond to you in a pre-eminent way, you cannot fault the necessity for it. Usually you doubt your clarity, focus and/or direction but cannot admit it to others without their suffering a loss of confidence in you. This encourages you to come up with plans that cannot be questioned where you are able to predominantly establish your commitment to a course of action. Otherwise, you will get caught up in trying to convince others about your ideas, which will dramatically minimize the results. The more you seem demanding and determined to get what you need, the more you fit into a Dynamic Façade. It is important to distinguish this façade by the constant effort needed to dominate others around you, which is different from a Dynamic Defense Style where you merely need to succeed.

The inherent contradiction is that underneath you want to be a “nice person”. You may not even be comfortable with getting attention or believe yourself able to accomplish the goals you set for yourself. One of the ironies is that you may have to act more belligerent and overly assertive in order to convince others that you mean what you say. This inner conflict between authentic and inauthentic power creates tremendous Intensity. You falsely believe that you need to demonstrate a commitment to living your Truth, even if it is not internally congruent with where you want to go. You have found that provoking the concerns of others keeps them from examining your Truth or the lack of it. Putting pressure on others accomplishes your primary goal of demonstrating your assertiveness. The more you can follow up in a structured manner, the timelines that you feel are important to manifest, the easier it is for others to believe the masculine projection of who you are. Acting in control is also a necessary ingredient in selling a Dynamic Façade to others.

It is important to remember that a Dynamic Façade places another layer on top of your defenses where you are protecting yourself against others judging you as inconsequential. One of your greatest fears is that you will never be appreciated or seen for the power you possess. In order to be seen, you constantly stir the pot just to keep a certain tension occurring so that you can prove you do not acquiesce to others. It is ironic that you falsely believe that you have to act masculine because the inner strength of your feminine could be a more supportive and transformative path. It is a testament to your internal fragmentation that you have conflicted goals and aspirations that end up compromising what you wish to express rather than fulfilling them. Healing your Dynamic Façade means confronting the fear that someone else’s judgment of you will be more compelling than your own self-knowing.

If You Have A Disarming Façade (Male)

When you have a Disarming Façade, it indicates that you think you need to be softer and more personable to get what you need from others. Usually it is a result of being rejected as being ,,too uncouth, animalistic, impolite or belligerent. This indicates that you were wounded by your father or both your mother and father and believe the only safe way to get attention is to learn to meet others in a way that builds quality relationships. A part of this process is learning how to listen and adapt to others rather than act assertively in a way that upsets the sensibilities of others around you. Being overtly powerful could lead to disaster because people could refuse to cooperate with you. Therefore you tend to over emphasize your desire to meet others and under emphasize your task management desire to get something done. The more you seem easygoing, adaptive, and responsive to others, the more likely you are operating with a Disarming Façade. It is important to distinguish this façade by the constant effort needed to prove “you are the guy who can bring together people and make things happen interpersonally”. With the Disarming Façade, the emphasis is on finding a way to bring harmony into a situation so that you can be a great interpersonal facilitator.

The inherent contradiction is that underneath you want to point out all others’ inconsistencies in their Truth and demand that they be accountable. You may not even have great skill in listening to or being present with others, yet this façade forces you to pay attention to what is going on with others around you. One of the ironies is that you may have to act more available, refined, and open to prove you are actually a caring person. This inner conflict between authentic and inauthentic love of others creates Resistance. You come to recognize that you cannot force yourself to behave in a “good way’ without tremendous resentment. This internal Resistance shows up as a fundamental compromise in your Autonomy where the more you try to be there for others, the more you naturally sabotage your self-interest. This pattern is amplified, when you have had parents who tried to convince you to be more like them. Even if you were more like them, you learn the value of following your own path. You falsely believe that you need to demonstrate a commitment to living your Truth, even if it is not internally congruent with where you want to go.

The more you operate from a Disarming Façade, the easier it is for you to go through the motions of being genteel and nice, even if you feel anger underneath. Commonly, you express yourself by being forgiving, easygoing, and accepting. Learning to slow things down and examine what must be true for others places a self-discipline on any situation which keeps you from falling into unconscious patterns. Not putting pressure on others demonstrates your compassion and ability to be forgiving in all situations. The more you can create space for yourself and other people, the more you come to appreciate how differences do not have to compromise the relationship. Acting in a way that honors your space and the space of others simultaneously, brings about a more inclusive perspective about what it takes to be in more conscious relationships. Otherwise, you find yourself trapped in unsatisfying interactions that never seem to get anywhere. A Disarming Façade gradually builds up a reservoir of frustration, which eventually explodes into emotional dumping through the sharing of grief or the projection of anger.

It is important to remember that a Disarming Façade places another layer on top of your defenses where you are protecting yourself against others judging you as difficult, demanding, or unlovable. In order to avoid being seen as a challenging acquired taste, you constantly second guess yourself and attempt to reassure others that your intentions are theirs. It is ironic that you falsely believe that you have to act feminine to get accepted when you could actually be integrated and responsive without any type of false humility. It is a testament to your internal fragmentation that you have conflicted goals and aspirations that end up compromising what you wish to express rather than fulfilling them. Healing your Disarming Façade means confronting the fear that others will reject or abandon you if you reveal your natural Aliveness. The opportunity is to step into a harmless way of communicating your experience without losing the natural masculinity and assertiveness that makes you who you are.

If You Have A Disarming Façade (Female)

When you have a Disarming Façade, it indicates that you think you need to be softer and more personable to get what you need from others. Usually it is a result of being rejected as too unrefined in your social skills. This indicates that you were wounded by your mother or both your father and mother and believe the only safe way to get attention is to learn to meet others in a way that builds quality connections. A part of this process is learning how to listen and adapt to others rather than act assertively in a way that upsets the sensibilities of others around you. Being overtly powerful could lead to disaster because people could refuse to cooperate with you. Therefore you tend to over emphasize your desire to meet others and under emphasize your task management desire to get something done. The more you seem easygoing, adaptive and responsive to others, the more likely you are operating with a Disarming Façade. It is important to distinguish this façade by the constant effort needed to prove “you are the person who can bring together people and make things happen”. With the Disarming Façade, the emphasis is on finding a way to bring harmony into a situation so that you can be a great interpersonal facilitator.

The inherent contradiction is that underneath you want to point out all others’ inconsistencies in their Truth and demand that they be accountable. You may not even have great skill in listening to or being present with others, yet this façade forces you to pay attention to what is going on with others around you. One of the ironies is that you may have to act more available, connected, and open to prove you are actually a caring person. This inner conflict between authentic and inauthentic love of others creates Resistance. You come to recognize that you cannot force yourself to behave in a “good way’ without tremendous resentment. This internal Resistance shows up as a fundamental compromise in your autonomy where the more you try to be there for others, the more you naturally sabotage your self-interest. This pattern is amplified, when you have had parents who tried to convince you to be more like them. Even if you were more like them, you learn the value of following your own path. You falsely believe that you need to demonstrate a commitment to living your Truth, even if it is not internally congruent with where you want to go.

The more you operate from a Disarming Façade, the easier it is for you to go through the motions of being genteel and nice, even if you feel anger underneath. Commonly, you express yourself by being forgiving, easygoing, and accepting. Learning to slow things down and examine what must be True for others places a self-discipline on any situation which keeps you from falling into unconscious patterns. Not putting pressure on others demonstrates your compassion and ability to be forgiving in all situations. The more you can create space for yourself and other people, the more you come to appreciate how differences do not have to compromise the relationship. Acting in a way that honors your space and the space of others simultaneously, brings about a more inclusive perspective about what it takes to be in more conscious relationships. Otherwise, you find yourself trapped in unsatisfying interactions that never seem to get anywhere. A Disarming Façade gradually builds up a reservoir of frustration, which eventually explodes into emotional dumping through the sharing of grief or the projection of anger.

It is important to remember that a Disarming Façade places another layer on top of your defenses where you are protecting yourself against others judging you as difficult, demanding or unlovable. In order to avoid being seen as a challenging acquired taste, you constantly second guess yourself and attempt to reassure others that your intentions are theirs. It is ironic that you falsely believe that you have to act feminine to get accepted when you could actually be integrated and responsive without any type of false humility. It is a testament to your internal fragmentation that you have conflicted goals and aspirations that end up compromising what you wish to express rather than fulfilling them. Healing your Disarming Façade means confronting the fear that others will reject or abandon you if you reveal your natural Aliveness. The opportunity is to step into a harmless way of communicating your experience without losing the natural balance between masculine and feminine energy.

If You Have A Disnamic Façade

When you have a Disnamic facade, you learned at a very early age from the example of our parents that we needed to hide ourselves and establish our strength relative to others by opposing them. The only strength that you saw emphasized was being different as a way to distinguish yourself from others. Usually in this situation, one of your parents was more Dynamic and the other was more Disarming. They taught you, by example, that the only way to survive is to make sure that their partner did not take advantage of them or become complacent in accepting them was to oppose them. The way to prevent these issues from occurring was to create a superficial structure that made sure that others had to engage them by exploring differences and working out a negotiated settlement for how to work together. Ironically, underneath the Disnamic facade, you are either naturally Dynamic or Disarming, which, if you showed our parents either one of them, would cause them to think you were weak. This facade indicates that you were sensitive to getting the approval of both parents (usually because there was greater turbulence and/or uncertainty in the family dynamic).

As you begin to heal your Disnamic facade, you are able to appreciate that you do not have to be different to gain others’ respect. Instead of amping up your differences (with others), you learn to settle into your natural defensive way of being and own your defense style as it really is. While this is another layer to heal, it is worthwhile to engage this process because it reduces internal confusion and fear (that if you are not opposing others then they will not value you). As you ground yourself in your natural defensive style, other people may be initially surprised but will come to accept you more. This happens because, from their perspective, you are not switching back and forth to meet others in an automatically opposing way any more. While you may think that you are consistent because you have opposed everyone equally, this creates uncertainty in people who are not Disnamic and do not have a Disnamic facade. Other defense styles cannot predict which way you will jump in any situation. Many individuals locked into defensive structures and personality perspectives are challenged when they cannot predict your response in advance. What you need to do to fully heal yourself of this facade is to ask the question, “How do I really want to engage this person?” You need to equally consider whether agreeing with them (and moving in the same direction as they are) is as valuable a response as the opposing them. When this healing occurs, not only will you be more congruent with your internal truth, but other people will naturally trust you more.

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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