Pacing Compatibility Considerations

When we have similar Pacing, we can learn and grow together more easily. Common pacing lets us maintain a heart connection indefinitely. With different Pacing, we have to take more breaks from each other so we can regenerate our energy. If we are not honoring our true pacing (by falling into parental Imprint patterns), we need large breaks from the relationships we are in, and need to maintain greater psychic distance in order to survive. The key point to remember is that, with every Compatibility difference, there are solutions that can be used to counteract this disconnection. In the case of a large Pacing difference, we need to learn how to take small breaks from each other so we can regenerate, which creates greater harmony. Another suggestion is that people with large Pacing differences may need to occasionally sleep apart, because when they are sleeping together, they create an energetic engagement that prevents them from regenerating completely.

Pacing differences in romantic relationships occur because at the Instinctive level, women typically are attracted to lower-Paced men (usually by at least 15 points) because these men feel safer and more solid. Men typically choose higher-Paced women (usually by at least 15 points) because they seem more feminine. This defensive gender-role approach (choosing our opposite gender ideals) comes from imitating our parents and cultural norms. On the Intellectual level, we unconsciously compromise by choosing a person on the opposite end of the scale (a lower-Paced person chooses an equally higher-Paced person). If we are lucky, we find someone with less than 20 points difference. If not, a large difference can become intolerable over time. This intellectual pattern of choosing opposites is meant to create more security by having a partner who does well where we do not. Both traditional, lower-Paced men and higher-Paced women are just as affected as non-traditional, higher-Paced men and lower-Paced women. Unfortunately, these differences tend to exhaust both partners and make them less effective.

At the Intuitive level, we are attracted to individuals with the same Pacing (high chooses high, low chooses low) usually within 5 points. If we find a partner within this range, we automatically feel accepted and trusted, feedback is immediate, and increased life task effectiveness is produced. This occurs because we do not require breaks from each other, and can remain energetically connected without difficulty. Other benefits listed in the open-ended Pacing can also be felt when the Pacing is within five points of each other.

The key in building relationships is matching Pacing or “tuning in.” If we do not meet others, resentment builds and communication is diminished. This initially takes finding ways to honor our self and to honor the other simultaneously, operating at a Pacing level that is workable for both. The most effective process to neutralize differences in Pacing is to create a common ground. This requires that we are able to maintain our own natural Pacing in our own personal space, while simultaneously being able to connect and mediate a connection with others in the common space. This requires a great degree of consciousness and ability to direct our attention simultaneously in two directions. In other words, we are present in our own personal space and sensitive to what is going on energetically with us, while at the same time being aware of what is going on in the relationship space outside us. Tuning in to the other person’s Pacing is greatly facilitated when we create a separate space for the relationship. In this situation, we do not need to compromise ourselves in any way or deny our energetic experience. This allows us to become even more sensitive to where other people are and able to read their energy fluctuations more effectively.

Clues To Seeing Pacing

The best way to observe others’ Pacing is to calibrate their natural Pacing to our natural Pacing. We do this by identifying the speed at which we naturally assimilate new experiences and where we have the most say or control in the outcome. This is called our Home Base Pacing. This is where we feel the most creative and the most naturally open and able to engage new experiences in a self-generating and sustainable way. It is important to be in touch with that place at all times so we are clear when and to what degree we are using our energy when we are not operating at our natural Pace. Referring to our Home Base Pacing and comparing it with where others creatively resonate with their own Pacing allows us to see the gap between us and plan our best means of connecting with others. The more we calibrate the differences in Pacing with people, the more capable we will be in recognizing the effect that difference has on us, empowering us to manage our personal resources more effectively.

We will recognize that we are not in our home base if we need to rejuvenate, refresh and recover after being with others. When we use our home base effectively, we maintain our center of balance and are able to navigate through the day without getting jammed by other people at different Pacing. While the first major indication of a difference is the feeling of frustration or impatience (higher-Paced), or the feeling of being drained or overwhelmed (lower-Paced), it is easy to overestimate the degree to which the differences are experienced. For example, a higher-Paced person may seem extremely fast; a lower-Paced person may seem extremely slow.

As we covered in the previous section, there are three distortions that prevent us from seeing Pacing appropriately. They are Resistance, Inertia and Intensity. When we see Intensity in individuals, we may believe that they are higher-Paced than they actually are. They use their ability to make unilateral decisions as a way to maintain distance. This is due to the fact that they are not feeling met in their natural Pacing and rhythm. Over time, this builds up a reaction in which they appear to go even faster to pull people more towards their Pacing. Individuals who demonstrate Resistance appear to be slower-Paced than they actually are. They don’t want to be driven by the demands of others who are faster Paced than them, so they disconnect. This effect slows faster people down pre-emptively.

Finally, those who demonstrate Inertia typically have more distant backgrounds where they were not met at their Pacing level and have given up trying to be met. Ironically, they seem to go in and out of wanting us to confront them or them wanting to confront us. They feel no sense of consensus even though they go through the motions. This produces a hiding of their Pacing that makes it difficult to match them directly. When interacting with others, start with a mid-level Pace and make small adjustments according to how they respond.

Pacing is also highly affected by Pacing imprinting. If individuals are not settled, solid, or congruent within themselves, they seek to identify with what they are most attempting to prove. Men sometimes try to appear fast so they won’t appear dumb. They usually have parents who are faster paced. Women are sometimes attempting to appear more grounded and so appear slower than they are. They usually have parents who are slower paced. The key is to subtract out the effort they are making to determine their true speed. We will know their true Pacing when the degree of intimacy shifts, and we experience greater trust and unity.

It is difficult sometimes to see the Pacing of others when there is imprinting on the intellectual, emotion, or action level of an individual process. This is particularly true with individuals who are Think-First and intellectually Imprinted or those who are Feel-First and emotionally Imprinted. In these circumstances, the imprinting and doubts make an individual seem more accommodating and tentative in their energetic connection with us. When a Think-First is intellectually imprinted, they hold back their opinions and try to look more easy-going to offset the fear that they are too much to handle. Feel-First emotionally imprinted individuals usually attempt to look more structured than they are and more “with it” by trying to be more on top of what is going on.

In such situations, their energies may actually seem lower or higher than they actually are. For example, an individual with a high Pace may not feel comfortable demonstrating the power to move quickly if he/she grew up in a home where they didn’t take her opinion seriously or listen when she had something to contribute. As a result, he/she would grow-up not being reinforced in his/her truth and therefore would be very easy-going and soft in his/her interaction with others. We could also confirm this process by seeing how he/she would react if they were not listened to and talked over.

If an individual was imprinted intellectually, they will get angry and possibly withdraw. This is because he/she would be angry that people are not there for him/her but he/she would be too scared to assert him/herself in the situation. Another way of thinking about this process is that they would believe that they didn’t have the right to engage others with their ideas and, instead, become emotional caretakers to keep the peace.

A similar situation could also happen to a person who is imprinted emotionally. In this situation they may actually seek to always be connected by raising their Pacing to a level that is uncomfortable for them in order to guarantee that somebody will be there for them. This occurs many times when a child feels that they are not seen and could be abandoned by others in the group.

Occasionally, action imprinting shows up in individuals where they could never do the right thing in their family. They are scared to engage in any situation and want to double check that what they are doing will be accepted before they do it. Indicators of this circumstance are individuals that were not supported in their feelings or thoughts. Instead they received all their criticism or acknowledgement in the form of behavioral acceptance. This means they either were accepted or not accepted based on what they did. In this situation, they would not know how to Pace with others and therefore would be more withdrawn and apart from people because they wouldn’t feel comfortable being connected with them. This is discussed more in the Process section where we talk about the effects of different communication styles.

Validating Our Pacing

Calibrating Questions for Pacing Clarification

  1)   Which of the following do you experience most often:
        a)    Do you feel that you struggle to keep up and end up feeling tired or exhausted after being with particularly intense people after a few hours? (lower-paced)
        b)    Do you feel you are always trying to move others along more quickly, frustrated that they are not engaging you fully, and progressively more irritated that they are so resistant to going with your flow? (faster-paced)
   2)    Do you find yourself bored, impatient, wanting to complete others’ sentences, interrupting their process with the belief that you need to stimulate them consistently to get some action? (faster-paced)
   3)    Do you feel it is your job to keep things stable and grounded under the onslaught of highly demanding people? (slower-paced)
   4)    With some individuals, do you feel an immediate connection that creates an opening where you feel you are aligned with them? Or, when you meet someone new, are you able to be creative with them without having to put a lot of effort into it or feel any reaction for or against anything they suggest or do? (Variable or Open Ended Pacing)
   5)    Do you notice that you have different groups of friends that take different levels of energy to manage? Does your connection to others shut down or do you go into denial about yourself when you are stressed out or overwhelmed? Do you notice that you bounce around various constituencies based on how loving you feel towards yourself? (All three questions indicate where you use Pacing inappropriately to create false connections that imitate the wounds of your parents.)
   6)    Examine how you responded as a child to the Pacing of your mother and father.
   a)    Did you have to be as fast as or faster to survive? (If so, you have fast-pace imprinting.)
   b)    Did you have to slow down and be more grounded than you usually are? (If so, you have slow-pace imprinting.)
   c)    Were your parents so similar with you that you felt you could become enmeshed or smothered by them? (If so, you probably found a way to protect yourselves by doing a different Pacing from theirs, throwing yourselves off your natural Pace to keep from losing your separate identity.)
   7)    In a group situation, do you speed up (low-paced people do this), slow down (higher-Paced people do this), or not notice any difference (these are medium- or variable-paced people). In other words, does your internal clock speed up or slow down around other people? Or overall, do you sense that about half the people you meet are not keeping up with you, they are going faster than is comfortable, or both?
   8)    In an energetic or impassioned conversation with other people do you find yourself wanting to complete their sentences (high-paced), feel blocked or not understood (low-paced), or are you able to go with the flow without any reaction (medium- or variable- paced)?

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© Copyright 2016, Larry Byram. All Rights Reserved.

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