Understanding The Three Types of Deffenses

Defenses represent positions or beliefs about who we are and who we are not. There are three basic Defense styles and each one has three levels of expression. As Defenses are created by trying to hide our fears and promote a presentation that is the opposite of our fears, it is easy to see that we cut ourselves off from our own power by being Defensive. Defenses are caused by differences in how we engage people, things, or processes. The three defense styles are Distant, Dynamic, and Disarming. They can be organized both in terms of the degree of expression of masculine and feminine and the degree to which we are able to be conscious with ourselves and others simultaneously. The diagram “Three Defenses” illustrates how these defenses form a quadrant. This diagram reveals that individuals evolve from the bottom, or Distant defense, to the top, Pioneering, which or operating without defenses.

Defense styles compromise the masculine and feminine equally, expressing neither one effectively. The Distant Defense style is at the bottom of the chart, reflecting the fact that we are not conscious of choices and feel caught up in patterns of behavior in which we feel victimized. In a Dynamic Defense style, we affirm an out-of-balance masculine expression that comes from denying our feminine side. It reflects a stepping into one side of our being and trying to express ourselves, at least on a semi-conscious level. In a Disarming Defense style, we over-express an out-of-balance feminine, while denying the masculine. Again, this energy, being equal to the Dynamic Defense style, is semi-conscious in nature. When we finally express the masculine and feminine simultaneously we will truly be able to be ourselves; this is the Pioneering stage. It represents the conscious level of our development that comes about by first adopting our feminine or masculine and then integrating the opposite energy.

Defense styles are partial expressions of our beings that are highly reactive because we do not see the whole picture. As a result, all Defense styles become charged when another individual with a different Defense style makes assumptions we do not hold as being true. The result is perpetual conflict or competition that keeps us from cooperating with others. It is important to realize we are not our Defense style. We are whole beings who, unfortunately, happen to be identified with a part of ourselves. The more we let go of this partial identification and embrace our wholeness, the less natural conflict we will have. The purpose of this chapter is to support our self-recovery process so we will no longer be polarized by the partial views of others and ourselves. Let us first discuss these three Defenses and how we learn to affirm our creativity by becoming Pioneering.

Distant Defense Style

When we have a Distant Defense style, we are caught up in our focus on outer appearances and want more than anything else to be emotionally accepted and intellectually valued for the perfection we manifest. Typically we do not embody the masculine or feminine, but instead get caught up in role-playing as provider or nurturer. In this style, we can be identified by our fear of growth and change, our inability to look others in the eye, and our focus on doing what is expected and proper. In this style, we look to others to maintain and affirm our safety and security because we believe that being with good people will protect us. This is why we call this Defense “Circling the Wagons”, because it reminds us that we only feel safe when others are committed to protecting us.

As Distant Defense style individuals, we see relationships as opportunities to prove we are wanted and needed. While we appear very solid and even rigid to a degree, most of us are both afraid to commit to something and, simultaneously, afraid to not commit to it. This paradox, in which we unconsciously shift from thing to thing, not realizing our inconsistency, confuses others. When we give others mixed messages, it makes relationships even more difficult because most of us only feel safe with people who are consistent. Paradoxically, because we desperately want to be needed, it is even more difficult for us to be seen as being needy. As a result, we get into behavior to preserve our images and suppress ourselves on both physical and intuitive levels. This focuses us on our emotional and intellectual perceptions, so we seek others who are clearly established and have pre-defined expectations with which we feel comfortable.

When we have a Distant Defense style, we fear we are not assertive enough or risk-taking enough to impress others. Others can use our guilt, if we believe we are not being perfect or living up to their expectations, to guide our choices in ways that are not always good for us. What we most fear is not being wanted and or valued for who we are. Frequently, we find ourselves being followers of others because it is easier to find someone to follow than to establish our own path. Another way we try to get along is to develop a sense of humility so we are able to let people know in a soft way when we do not feel capable of performing in the way they expect. One of our biggest challenges is our difficulty in maintaining boundaries because we find ourselves adapting ourselves to other’s boundaries. This makes us want to be Distant so we won’t feel compromised by the needs of others.

Our challenge is to learn how to embrace our own masculine and feminine so we can let go of the role-playing versions of being masculine or feminine. We often don’t notice the difference between when people want to be with us and when they don’t, which causes us to always be seeking assurance that they are with us for their own reasons. Another prime indicator that we are still doing some Distant Defense style behavior is how we protect our energy so others cannot affect us in that area. The key indication of this energy is how we make ourself unavailable and distance ourself from others when they request something of us we feel we cannot deliver. Another indication is how we use Expectations to protect ourselves from doing too much.

Dynamic Defense Style

As individuals with a Dynamic Defense style, we try to prove our capabilities in order to earn love. When we are in a Dynamic Defense Style, we will tend to over-identify with our masculine energy, at the cost of our feminine side, so that we define ourselves independently. The paradox is that we desperately want to be loved but unconsciously make it difficult for anyone to show love to us. In other words, we act tough and strong on the outside to cover up our inner softness and vulnerability. What we want is someone strong to love us without reservation so we don’t need to prove ourselves. By defining ourselves independently of others, in a Dynamic Defense style, we become masters of time and task management. We embrace order and love finding new tools that allow us to accomplish certain tasks more efficiently.

Dynamic Defense style individuals focus on the masculine to the exclusion of the feminine. Being seen as strong, assertive, focused, orderly and masterful in outer actions is key to our vision about ourselves. Our perspective that everything has a purpose that is either fulfilled or not leads to judgments about usefulness and capability. We study the content of the circumstances to determine how to best leverage or intervene in ways that have immediate results. Tactical implementation of strategies leads to a sense of accomplishment and power. The more out of balance the masculine is, the more it leads to aggressiveness and outbursts of anger. This is why we also treasure self-discipline and depth of character that can offset our unconscious need to control or coerce others. Our goal is to get things done, whatever the cost.

As people in a Dynamic Defense style, we don’t believe we have strong relationship skills because we feel weak on the emotional and intuitive levels. Instead, we over-develop our intellectual and physical capabilities to be able to make things happen quickly. In this process, we are disconnected from our higher knowing and often end up doing things we later wish we hadn’t. This is because, when we become anxious and feel we must figure out a solution to the problem, we lose ourselves in the activity needed to solve it. The most important quality we wish to manifest is a sense of robust, silent power. Our intellectual clarity allows us to get into action quickly so we impress others by the systematic way we sort through options to find the most grounded approach.

Our biggest fear is that people might abandon or leave us, particularly if they really knew us on an emotional level. Our independence is also the cause of our isolation and loneliness, which tends to confirm that we are not lovable. Overall, we hide our emotional dependence on others very carefully by focusing on what we provide them, rather than what they provide us. A problem arises when our emotional insecurity is triggered and we tend to try to control others in order to keep our inner focus. Many times just having too many options in front of us can create such confusion as to lead others to believe we are weak. Instead, we would rather be seen as selfish and self-centered, yet with everything in order and under control.

The Dynamic Defense style is typically called a “Perimeter” Defense because of our desire to keep everything in place. While we may appear to be invincible from the outside, anyone that really knows us will be able to call our bluff and will not believe outer strength is the truth of who we are. As people with a Dynamic Defense style, we are much better at dealing with people similar to ourselves rather than people who are different than us. The more differences there are, the more uncomfortable we become. Most of the time this is simply the fear of the unknown. This is supported by the fact that we do not want to be intrusive with others because we don’t want others to be intrusive with us. It is ironic, then, when we end up being so direct. This is because we have a commitment to both telling and hearing the truth.

Disarming Defense Style

Disarming Defense style people believe they are inadequate and, therefore, have difficulty completing things. Men and women in a Dynamic Defense Style will tend to over-identify with our feminine energy, at the cost of our masculine side, so that we define ourselves in terms of others. This means that others become a defensive screen around us to help us establish our own safety. The paradox is that we desperately want to express ourselves authentically, but end up getting lost in the job and overdoing things in order to make a good impression. In other words, we act soft, flexible, and innocent on the outside to cover up our inner strength and inflexibility. What we want is someone to accept our capability and greatness so we don’t have to constantly prove ourselves. By defining ourselves in terms of our peer group, we Disarming Defense style persons become masters of relationship skills. We embrace chaos and love to invoke new possibilities without knowing how they will be accomplished.

Disarming Defense style individuals focus on the feminine to the exclusion of the masculine. Being seen as receptive, nurturing, protective of life, evocative and mysterious in our inner world is key to our vision about ourselves. Our perspective is that everything has a creative context that is either attracting what we want or not. It is our faith and commitment to engage life as it is that engenders hope. Our lack of focus is clearly seen in our trust in ambiguous processes. The more out of balance the feminine is, the more it leads to chaos and rebelliousness against the existing structure. This is why we also treasure spontaneous impulses and desire to contribute in ways that are unexpected that can offset our unconscious need to be critical or complain about others. Our goal is to hold the highest possibility, whatever the cost.

As Disarming Defense style people, we don’t believe we have strong task management skills because we feel weaker on intellectual and physical levels. Instead, we over-develop our emotional and intuitive capabilities to make sure we are doing only the best things at the right times. In this process, we are disconnected from our physical being and actions and often regret that we don’t take action immediately when we know we should. This is because, when we go into excitement or intensity, we lose our sense of focus and end up doing what other people want. The most important quality we wish to manifest is essential, simplified power. Our emotional clarity allows us to see all the possibilities so that we can better consider what to do when. Mist of the time, we don’t take advantage of our intuitive insights.

Our biggest fear is that people may reject us because we don’t live up to their standards. Our consensus-orientation with others makes it difficult to get into decisive action when necessary. Overall, we hide our physical dependence on others by carefully supporting them on an emotional level so that they are deeply connected to us and want us to have what we want. A problem that comes up is that, when our intellectual insecurities are triggered, we either disengage or try to convince them that they don’t know as much as we do. Many times, we feel limited because the possibilities in front of us don’t fit our real needs. This is hard on us, because we are very uncomfortable telling the truth about our needs, particularly in a group.

This Defense style is typically called a “Guerrilla Warfare” approach because of the covert way we divert people’s attention away from what is critical to us, so we can then do what we want in the areas they are not focusing on. While we may appear to be soft and unimposing from the outside, anyone who really knows us recognizes that we have tremendous strength that can come into play if we actually feel threatened. As persons with a Disarming Defense style, we are much better at dealing with people who are different than us rather than people similar to us because we have an ability to create intimacy that makes people feel safe being different from us. The more similarities there are, the more uncomfortable we become. Most of the time this is the fear of being seen and valued in our true creativity. As Disarming Defense style people, we see ourselves as peacemakers who wish everyone would get along. It is for this reason that, as Disarming Defense style individuals, we end up being so indirect and undemanding. This is because we have a predominant commitment to make people feel at ease even at a cost to ourselves.

Pioneering Defense Style

When we move into the Pioneering Affirmation style, it counters all previous Defenses because we see ourselves as a whole human being. We realize that our fears and personality desires no longer define who we are. This means we are able to transcend our identification with our safety and security needs, usually because we have become more identified with our creative nature. The biggest shift in us is that we are no longer attached to our positions or opinions and no longer feel the need to prove ourselves right. Instead, we look to create the whole picture around us and learn how to embrace solutions rather than be locked into a “problem state” mentality. The key quality that enables us to do that is the ability to be with both our masculine and feminine sides simultaneously without inner conflict.

An example of doing masculine and feminine can be found if we were to balance the activities of a planning group in an organization. The Dynamic defense style individuals are seeking to accomplish goals with an urgency that would tend to stifle feminine expression. The Disarming individuals will try to create an openness and flexibility by not assigning a fixed timetable, which would end up denying the masculine. If we were to put these together in a way that both the masculine and feminine could mutually be present, how would it look? It could occur by taking a structure designed by the Dynamic individuals (and doubling or tripling the timeframe) so the Disarming individuals could experience the spontaneity of invoking new possibilities along the way. Usually, a Pioneer could see both sides of the equation and seeks to optimize the situation between both extremes, so everybody could participate fully but equally.

Shifting from being Defensive to not being Defensive means we have let go of our attachments and fears that things won’t work. Instead, we trust ourselves and the process enough to give others all benefit of all doubt so we can effectively see their point of view as easily as we see our own. The major difference is we no longer need credit for what we accomplish and can instead do what is best for all concerned. In this way, we become much more effective, creative implementers because we are not susceptible to polarization based on the fears and misguided desires of others. It should be noted that by using the term “misguided”, we are not judging others, it is just that many fears are based on safety and security needs that no longer are appropriate. In other words, our defensive separation actually gets in the way of producing solutions for everyone. The more we demand that others protect us, the more we prevent higher possibilities from occurring. This is one of the common dilemmas we face as Pioneers.

Another of the key benefits of the Pioneering stage is that we know how and when to trust others because it is related to the degree they trust themselves. We also know how to create a sense of unity so our group efforts can focus us in synergistic ways of engaging others, allowing our creativity to enrich and enlarge the outcome. As Pioneers, we recognize that the value of the process matches the value of the people and the goal. Discounting any of these three things creates an imbalance, making it difficult to engender effective solutions. The more we embody our authentic creative energy and can express it with others, the more we can support others expressing themselves authentically. To the degree that we are not in our creative energy, we are uncomfortable with others being creative around us, and end up discounting or denying their contribution.

Cooperation is one of the prime indicators of a Pioneering individual. The amount of playfulness, paradox and ambiguity contribute to the adventure of interacting with a Pioneer. Pioneers also are able to be fully passionate, embrace beauty, enjoy wisdom and appreciate the dance of living. We are typically congruent on physical, emotional, intellectual and intuitive creative levels and are able to express our truth without effort or delay. This is because we live in an experience of creative alignment. It makes our interactions with others not only delightful, but informative and occasionally transformative. Finally, it is the calmness, serenity and compassion we experience with others that distinguish us from them. Most of all, we enjoy serving others by being conscious with them.

As Pioneers, we knows how to affirm the contribution of others because we treasure and revere individuals being authentic and operating in a way that benefits others. The more we know who we are as creative beings, the more we realize we can never be compromised by others. The only way we could be compromised is to believe we are a victim of the circumstances. The more we are conscious, the more we could choose a sub-optimum choice temporarily until a change could be implemented. This degree of ownership means we are not a victim of the situation. We see ourselves as transpersonal beings that are able to work with others without our inner fears or conflicts becoming obstacles. This allows us to operate with mutual respect for others. In a way, we are able to anchor directly in others the experience they want. Our alignment also makes us very persuasive, as we seem to have the magic of being able to honor others concerns without being trapped in their fears. Finally, Pioneers operate with autonomy and intimacy that provide the foundation for a creative expression that is bigger than who they are.

DEFENSES REFLECT STAGES OF SELF AWARENESS

Defenses use the perception of power to convince ourselves and others of our greatness. In the initial stages of defensive development, we typically identify with our perceptions of how we are capable without considering other points of view. Losing ourselves in our defense assists us in owning our defense, which is a necessary prelude to transforming them. Defenses, therefore, are a temporary means of affirming a part of ourselves that awakens us to the fact that we may be more than we admit. We grow defensively by using the pain of being identified with some aspect of ourselves to awaken our deeper, more inclusive creative nature. Defenses help us to first acknowledge our separation so we can consciously affirm our natural connectedness. Through defenses we experience a rite of passage where we individuate our self. As long as we believe we need to protect our personality it reflects that we are not yet fully aware of our creative nature.

We become free of Defenses when we can ‘be’ and express ourselves in any particular way without self-judgment or attachment. The three major defensive judgments or attachments are 1) Objectifying ourselves (where we define ourselves in terms of outer appearances), 2) Subjectifying ourselves (where we define ourselves in terms of what we know and compare it to others), and 3) Idealizing ourselves (where we define ourselves by external standards of goodness we have not yet internalized). When we judge ourselves, it fragments our inner awareness into parts of ourselves that we accept and parts that we do not. It is ironic that by denying our own unique Creative Intelligence, we come to rely on the Creative Intelligence framework of our parents to protect ourselves. This initially occurs because the negative perspectives of our parents (reflecting how we operate) are the main issues that need to be neutralized to feel safe and secure.  The problem is that our defenses are undeveloped and require time to become a more generalized protection mechanism.

We develop our defenses by collecting reasons and rationales for the situation being what it is. As children, we commonly use fairy tales or other stories to try to make sense of the dilemmas we find ourselves in. For example, the Cinderella story, in which a girl loses her mother and father and needs to deal with a wicked stepmother and half sisters, provides a framework for accepting that a situation may not be unique. Each fairy tale creates justification for feeling separated and isolated, and therefore needing to accept compromises in the situation. In our research, it is interesting that the literal components of the story do not need to be true (such as both of Cinderella’s parents dying) as much as the emotional experience being metaphorically appropriate. Each defense allows us to believe we will be protected when we disassociate or give up an aspect of ourselves that is in pain. Unfortunately, it actually institutionalizes the inner conflict and guarantees that we attract the same types of experiences over and over. As the defense matures, we become more adept at distancing and denying our pain because we believe our defense is who we really are, rather than just a perspective of who we are.

In the movie “Waitress”, the lead actress plays a typical Distant Defense Style woman who feels incapable of changing her life. She unconsciously chooses a partner based on a sense of familiarity and the desire to be wanted. At first, she believes this partner (even though tremendously insecure) to be a good parental substitute because he did what was necessary to win her over. She comes to realize that he is an abusive, manipulative seducer that she cannot trust and she needs to get away from him. When he gets her pregnant one night after getting her drunk, she finally has to confront her fears of being a victim and finds her own voice. The circumstance appears in the form of a new doctor with whom she has a love/hate attraction. She needs the affirmation of someone, but at the same time seeks to affirm herself by leaving her husband. She has an affair with the doctor (who has a Distant Disarming Defenses style) because he is more understanding of her. She plays out her Distant Defense Style whenever he attempts to break it off by throwing herself at him. In fact, one of the sub-texts of the affair, is when one of them tries to break it off, it always motivates the other to go beyond their fear and embrace their love of the other.

Defenses reflect how we insulate ourselves from these islands of scarcity, fear and polarization by unifying ourselves on an intellectual level into a self-perceived consistent way of being We create internal justifications for how we are an attractive, intelligent and good person. Over time these self-reinforcing concepts increasingly diverge from our current reality, creating a dualistic framework of viewing the world.  As we get older, the Defense becomes stronger by unifying these patterns into more consistent frameworks of what we present to others. We believe this framework will improve our outer circumstances. We increasingly hide from others because we believe we will be rejected. We solidify our Defensive beliefs by engaging individuals with opposite Defenses who challenge us to be what we believe we are. Of course, our Defenses keep us operating in a dualistic state where everything we affirm covers up what we believe we need to hide to be accepted. The more we believe our Defenses, the more ‘phony’ we feel.

As we are seeking our inner truth, our reactions to others become the primary indicator that there is some larger truth that has been personally denied. Every reaction we have indicates an unresolved conflict within us. We develop even greater Defensiveness when we superficially examine our reactions and come up with more reasons to avoid deepening our own self-awareness. Distant Defense Style individuals are completely run by their Defenses out of a fear that their “reactiveness” will be revealed to others if they have any deep conversations. As a result, they tend to keep conversations superficial to protect themselves. Dynamic Defense Style individuals like to confront reactions so others will not realize how fearful they are about them. Disarming Defense Style individuals will attempt to minimize the reactions of others in order minimize their responsibility. They appear more involved and act as a caretaker so they can minimize the possibility that things will get out of hand. We can only transform and heal our Defensiveness by being willing to honor the truth about our reactions so that we do not have to project them on others around us.

How we relate to others is the whole point of healing our Defensiveness. Until we experience the choice of how we can respond to others, we are trapped in a Defensive way of interacting. This is a difficult proposition for many of us because we get caught up in our perceptions that others could discount, deny, or ignore our intellectual truth in a way that diminishes us. From past experiences of being hurt, we manufacture the possibility that we can be hurt at any moment and use it to justify our Defensive projections. The larger truth may be that others actually deny themselves and our support, rather than affect the expression of our intellectual truth in any way. So, in effect, it is our perception about their perception of us that reinforces the belief that we need to be Defensive. We begin the process of eliminating defensiveness by not reinforcing the line that distinguishes others’ thoughts from our own. In this way, we do not try to systematically distinguish our Thoughts from their Thoughts, because CNG ways to energetically do this already exist.

The paradox of Defenses is that we have to understand Defenses in order to transform them. We learn to understand our own defensive structure and by doing so, we learn how to work with others’ defenses. We need to understand the motivations (defenses) of why people separate themselves from others. People separate themselves in order not to be responsible for what others think about them. Defenses are a way to artificially to distance ourselves from Thoughts of connections that we are not comfortable. We cannot counterbalance and neutralize their reactions until we understand our need to distance ourselves from them. This means we have to interpret their imbalance in a way that maintains harmony with them. The more we believe the outer presentation of others over their inner reality (Fears and Desires), the less effective we will be at neutralizing reactive imbalances. This is because, once we identify with a Fear or Desire, we are in fact, compounding the problem.

When we unconsciously step into their zones of Fear, we will tend to trigger their issues rather than honor them. Healing defenses is recovering our inner flexibility, to see and honor all points of view. The more that people fixate on proving they are not their Fears, the more we must take their Fears into account when we are creating a common meaning that can unify us. A more conscious person is prepared to take leadership by holding the reality that things can and will work out. People who have transcended their Defenses know how to connect with others to bring out the more expansive, unified meanings, thus enabling creative possibilities to be manifested more easily. Until we take ownership of our Defensive framework, it will continue to define our actions in ways that sabotage our Creative Expression.

When we transform our Defenses, we do not need to hide our Truth or hide from the Truth of others. We are no longer fixated on forcing others to operate in a particular way to offset our Personality Fears or to accept our Personality Desires by default. People who are defensive automatically seek to negotiate the differences in Personality Fears and Desires as a way of maintaining the connection. People who have transcended their Defenses determine if it is expedient to acknowledge these Personality Fears and Desires in others with Defenses in order to determine if there is a larger creative opportunity. If an opportunity to serve a larger good exists, the non-Defensive person not only unifies with the other, but also shows them how being attached to their Defenses keeps them from connecting with the group. This common experience of isolation and separateness is the real price we pay for being in our Defenses.

9 DEFENSIVE VARIATIONS

Initially, we suggested that our defensive position was a point of view between two extremes – valuing the masculine over the feminine (Dynamic) or the feminine over the masculine (Disarming). We also suggested that a Distant Defense Style did not embody either the masculine or feminine, but rather operated from a place of masculine and feminine roles. In effect, this is the opposite of Pioneering, which is characterized by the simultaneous embodiment of the feminine and the masculine.
However, not everyone fits neatly into the framework of these three defensive patterns. To allow us to reflect greater variation, we have expanded these three frameworks into a total of nine combinations.

We can clarify our defensive situation by identifying where we are in the diagram Defensive Summary. There are nine possible positions in this expanded defense style framework, which expands our original framework, both horizontally and vertically. In order for us to more clearly see and accept how we have grown and modified our defense style in our own history, we are now going to categorize how these combinations are actually expressed in the world. Some individuals more easily see their acceptance of both the masculine and the feminine at different points in their lives. If we have had to adapt to different parental defense styles, it may be more difficult to see how circumstances have re-focused us in our expression. For example, a Disnamic individual (one who sometimes responds as a Dynamic and sometimes as a Disarming, depending upon the other person), will likely find it difficult to distinguish how events define their response. Other individuals experience a more direct path to their current level of embodiment.

Life circumstances, such as having children and then re-entering the workforce after an extended absence, will likely shift the expression of our masculine and feminine polarities. Many of us are sophisticated combinations of both masculine and feminine. We invite you to examine how various changes in life direction have modified or otherwise shifted the focus of your expression. These changes are most likely the result of parental influence, degree of survival and success, and how aligned we are with others’ perceptions of us. If our parental relationships are/were difficult, and we have not individuated ourselves, the process of defining who we are can lead us to want to make drastic changes that effect our choice of defense. If we are isolated, and we do not have a large number of friends who expect us to be a certain way, it is easier to make such a shift. The more we are able to embody both the masculine and the feminine, the less limited and the more adaptive we are. 

Our research indicates that we can identify the defensive pattern in a child, with 70% accuracy, by the time he or she is eighteen months old. This reflects the fact that the defense style is actually a learned process that arises as a result of the relative degree of bonding or lack thereof, with both parents. Our purpose is not to judge parents for their bonding or lack of bonding with their children. Some children’s creative energy combination is more dissonant with their parent’s creative energies, whereas some combinations flow more easily. When there is a dissonant mix, bonding is more difficult. The key thing to remember is that each child is a unique, pre-existing combination of creative energies. What they learn in their development process is the Imprinting, Pretense, and Defense structures. To some extent, children simply are who they are.

Diagram: Defensive Variations

If a child does not receive adequate bonding with either parent, they initially learn to relate to others through the Distant Defense Style. When a baby boy does not bond with his father, but has a bond with his mother, it leads to a Disarming Defense Style. If a baby boy has little connection with his mother, but bonds primarily with his father, it will lead to a Dynamic Defense Style. Conversely, when a baby girl bonds primarily with her mother and not with her father, it leads to a Dynamic Defense Style. And finally, when a baby girl bonds with her father and not with her mother, she is likely to manifest a Disarming Defense Style. What can often be confusing is that these bonding issues typically lead us to later idealize the parent with whom we had the most difficulty. This occurs because we want to believe that our initial impressions about their availability (or lack thereof) were inaccurate. It is also important to remember that the defense structure is essentially formed by the age of 18 months.

While the above is true in approximately 70% of situations, it does not fully take into account changes in family dynamics or the personal growth of the parents throughout the child’s young life. For example, the death of one parent may lead to greater bonding with the remaining parent, especially if the loss is a shared one. Siblings, particularly those who serve as caretakers, also have an effect on the formation of our defensive structures. As the child becomes more mature and is able to see things from the parents’ point of view, they often come to see the ways in which their parents did love them. This can lead the former child to reinterpret their previous experiences. Also, a parent becoming more conscious by healing their defense structure can directly affect the child’s range of responses, leading to the child having a greater flexibility and range of expression. Finally, a parent who knows how to engage the child in their defensive framework, can actually re-stimulate new ways of connecting that leads to greater understanding and acceptance. These perceptions can affect our defensive identity because they have the effect of redefining our core defensive beliefs.

It is also true that every time we are in what we consider to be an unsuccessful relationship, we become more polarized in our defensive style. For example, a Distant/Dynamic woman who feels unsuccessful in her relationships, will tend to become increasingly more Dynamic with each relationship. Conversely, a Distant/Disarming man would tend to become increasingly Disarming with each successive relationship “failure.” We also have socio-economic factors that come into play. Women have learned in our society that when relationships are not stable, they need a career to provide financial security. Men, have learned that they need a relationship to maintain their sense of safety and social acceptance. These forces tend to accentuate that we need a clearly drawn defense to “protect” us.

The Distant/Dynamic and the Distant/Disarming mean that we have a desire to be either Dynamic or Disarming, but we tend to hold ourselves back, waiting for others to take action first. This forces the other person to create the parameters in which we are operating. It creates the safety and security of knowing that we are not “making a mistake.” One of the common themes of both of these defense styles is that we do not want to provide information to people for fear that they might possibly use it against us. We frequently find individuals with a Distant/Dynamic background are attracted to individuals with a Distant/Disarming background because they are both seeking to support the other by being what the other “expects” them to be. What they have in common is that they both want structures and some distance from each other in order to help them to determine their own truth.

The “Disnamic” category is a combination of Disarming and Dynamic. We Disnamic individuals define ourselves in response to others, in an effort to make things flow more easily. Paradoxically, this makes others want to support us as well as provide optimum flexibility to allow them to influence and modify our behavior and the behavior of others. We often take opposing points of view, polarizing against the Defensive framework of our partner, just to prove that we are strong enough to do so. We do this in order to ensure that others take us into account and do not underestimate our contribution. In rare situations where we feel safe and valued, we can take the same point of view as our partner, without feeling that we are losing ourselves in some way. The problem with operating from this position is that most of the time, we do not feel fully seen by our partner or by those around us. We tend to become resentful and disenfranchised in our creative expression when we always see ourselves as adapting to others. Others can also become confused and believe that our over-adaptive behavior is a sign of our weakness, rather than our strength. Being “Disnamic” can be effective in helping us to transcend our defensiveness in that we tend to understand both points of view in any given situation. We can see the lack of openness that occurs when others take on a single point of view. The downside of “Disnamic” is that we can easily fall into not trusting any option or answer, leading us to become jaded and indifferent.

The Pioneering/Dynamic and the Pioneering/Disarming individuals are in the process of integrating our masculine and feminine sides. We are no longer blind to the downsides of our defensive structures. We can see how our defense style sabotages our expression. We recognize that there is more than one point of view in any situation, and we are open to investigating what the best approach might be. If we are Dynamic and engaging the Pioneering process, we become softer, more inclusive, and more open to seeing other’s points of view. As Dynamic individuals, we become interested in including and valuing the creative uniqueness of each individual into the overall contribution. Dynamic individuals become more powerful by valuing the importance of the process, by being receptive to unexpected opportunities. If we are Disarming and engaging the Pioneering process, we become more clear and clean in how our personal creativity can contribute to others. As Disarming individuals, we become more comfortable making an impact and defining ourselves in terms of results. Disarming individuals become more powerful by defining our goals in more concrete ways and allowing us to be more accountable in our life expression.

Finally, the Pioneering affirmation style indicates that we have reached a place of simultaneously embodying our feminine and masculine sides. We know we have reached this point of self-realization when we no longer hold defensive beliefs that limit us in our expression. We no longer live out the assumptions and expectations of others, believing we need to define ourselves in other’s terms, in order to gain their acceptance. In short, we no longer compromise ourselves as a way of taking care of others. This is actually not selfish, but rather selfless, when we recognize our commitment to contribute to the world in a supportive way. Wherever we are locked into certain beliefs about where others are or how they will interact with us, it indicates that we are using a defense as a way to protect ourselves.

If a child does not receive adequate bonding with either parent, they initially learn to relate to others through the Distant Defense Style. When a baby boy does not bond with his father, but has a bond with his mother, it leads to a Disarming Defense Style. If a baby boy has little connection with his mother, but bonds primarily with his father, it will lead to a Dynamic Defense Style. Conversely, when a baby girl bonds primarily with her mother and not with her father, it leads to a Dynamic Defense Style. And finally, when a baby girl bonds with her father and not with her mother, she is likely to manifest a Disarming Defense Style. What can often be confusing is that these bonding issues typically lead us to later idealize the parent with whom we had the most difficulty. This occurs because we want to believe that our initial impressions about their availability (or lack thereof) were inaccurate. It is also important to remember that the defense structure is essentially formed by the age of 18 months.

While the above is true in approximately 70% of situations, it does not fully take into account changes in family dynamics or the personal growth of the parents throughout the child’s young life. For example, the death of one parent may lead to greater bonding with the remaining parent, especially if the loss is a shared one. Siblings, particularly those who serve as caretakers, also have an effect on the formation of our defensive structures. As the child becomes more mature and is able to see things from the parents’ point of view, they often come to see the ways in which their parents did love them. This can lead the former child to reinterpret their previous experiences. Also, a parent becoming more conscious by healing their defense structure can directly affect the child’s range of responses, leading to the child having a greater flexibility and range of expression. Finally, a parent who knows how to engage the child in their defensive framework, can actually re-stimulate new ways of connecting that leads to greater understanding and acceptance. These perceptions can affect our defensive identity because they have the effect of redefining our core defensive beliefs.

It is also true that every time we are in what we consider to be an unsuccessful relationship, we become more polarized in our defensive style. For example, a Distant/Dynamic woman who feels unsuccessful in her relationships, will tend to become increasingly more Dynamic with each relationship. Conversely, a Distant/Disarming man would tend to become increasingly Disarming with each successive relationship “failure.” We also have socio-economic factors that come into play. Women have learned in our society that when relationships are not stable, they need a career to provide financial security. Men, have learned that they need a relationship to maintain their sense of safety and social acceptance. These forces tend to accentuate that we need a clearly drawn defense to “protect” us.

The Distant/Dynamic and the Distant/Disarming mean that we have a desire to be either Dynamic or Disarming, but we tend to hold ourselves back, waiting for others to take action first. This forces the other person to create the parameters in which we are operating. It creates the safety and security of knowing that we are not “making a mistake.” One of the common themes of both of these defense styles is that we do not want to provide information to people for fear that they might possibly use it against us. We frequently find individuals with a Distant/Dynamic background are attracted to individuals with a Distant/Disarming background because they are both seeking to support the other by being what the other “expects” them to be. What they have in common is that they both want structures and some distance from each other in order to help them to determine their own truth.
The “Disnamic” category is a combination of Disarming and Dynamic. We Disnamic individuals define ourselves in response to others, in an effort to make things flow more easily. Paradoxically, this makes others want to support us as well as provide optimum flexibility to allow them to influence and modify our behavior and the behavior of others.

We often take opposing points of view, polarizing against the Defensive framework of our partner, just to prove that we are strong enough to do so. We do this in order to ensure that others take us into account and do not underestimate our contribution. In rare situations where we feel safe and valued, we can take the same point of view as our partner, without feeling that we are losing ourselves in some way. The problem with operating from this position is that most of the time, we do not feel fully seen by our partner or by those around us. We tend to become resentful and disenfranchised in our creative expression when we always see ourselves as adapting to others. Others can also become confused and believe that our over-adaptive behavior is a sign of our weakness, rather than our strength. Being “Disnamic” can be effective in helping us to transcend our defensiveness in that we tend to understand both points of view in any given situation. We can see the lack of openness that occurs when others take on a single point of view. The downside of “Disnamic” is that we can easily fall into not trusting any option or answer, leading us to become jaded and indifferent.

The Pioneering/Dynamic and the Pioneering/Disarming individuals are in the process of integrating our masculine and feminine sides. We are no longer blind to the downsides of our defensive structures. We can see how our defense style sabotages our expression. We recognize that there is more than one point of view in any situation, and we are open to investigating what the best approach might be. If we are Dynamic and engaging the Pioneering process, we become softer, more inclusive, and more open to seeing other’s points of view. As Dynamic individuals, we become interested in including and valuing the creative uniqueness of each individual into the overall contribution. Dynamic individuals become more powerful by valuing the importance of the process, by being receptive to unexpected opportunities. If we are Disarming and engaging the Pioneering process, we become more clear and clean in how our personal creativity can contribute to others. As Disarming individuals, we become more comfortable making an impact and defining ourselves in terms of results. Disarming individuals become more powerful by defining our goals in more concrete ways and allowing us to be more accountable in our life expression.

Finally, the Pioneering affirmation style indicates that we have reached a place of simultaneously embodying our feminine and masculine sides. We know we have reached this point of self-realization when we no longer hold defensive beliefs that limit us in our expression. We no longer live out the assumptions and expectations of others, believing we need to define ourselves in other’s terms, in order to gain their acceptance. In short, we no longer compromise ourselves as a way of taking care of others. This is actually not selfish, but rather selfless, when we recognize our commitment to contribute to the world in a supportive way. Wherever we are locked into certain beliefs about where others are or how they will interact with us, it indicates that we are using a defense as a way to protect ourselves.

Our conditioning and defensive beliefs attract certain lessons that appear to confirm our need for our defense. Some of us develop our defense style in a consistent manner, and over time, we have no major redirections or changes in our core defensive beliefs. If this is true for you, then this previous chart does not deepen the discussion for you. However, for those people who have undergone major shifts in core defensive beliefs, the previous chart will help you to explain your defensive experience as it has developed and evolved. It will also allow you to make sense of the conflicting beliefs that you have held at different points in your life.

For example, we may grow up with Distant parents who do not bond with us. Over time, however, a young girl may become closer to her father. This would indicate movement from a Distant Defense Style into a Distant/Disarming Defense Style. If her father were to die, the development of her Disarming defense might become compromised, and it’s likely that she would seek the safety and security of a “Disnamic” defense style. Being in this position may make it difficult for her to bond with potential partners. After a number of “failures,” she would tend to become more Dynamic. After engaging this work, she could come to understand how she has taken on different defensive perspectives. Ultimately, when we fully see and appreciate our own defensive structure, we become more compassionate and able to see what has led to the defensive structures of others.

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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