RA•DAR

Our biggest conflicts and pains in life are all connected to our identity. That is, who we are, who we want to be or who we see ourselves becoming in the future. When those around us, support our view of ourselves and see us in the same way, then we feel love and enjoy the harmony. Feeling like you don't fit in? Learn why you feel like this and how to find your group. Click To Tweet When there is a conflict or a gap between who we see ourselves as and how others see us, frustrations occur. Sometimes, where love is absent, these conflicts even turn to hate. We call such conflicts Identity Gap (IG). The more frequent and bigger these gaps, the more frustrations and conflicts people experience. As shared in our article teaching about Identities and Gaps, our founder, Dave Darby, developed an acronym for the cycle of managing our Identity Gaps, called RA•DAR.   We need to have our 'personal radar' on to effectively manage and control Identity Gaps.

R—Recognize & A—Adapt

If we can Recognize when there is an Identity Gap between how we see ourselves and how our Support network sees us, we can Adapt by:
  • a) Shifting our perspective of ourselves. It may be a situation where others think higher of us - which is a good perspective to adjust to. Sometimes they view us as weaker than what we feel, so shifting perspective may also mean giving up on seeing the best in ourselves.  Accepting how other's see us when it's less than how we see ourselves, or how other's want us to be, shows a weakness in those around us to inflate their self-worth.
  • b) Persuading others to adopt our personal perspective. Start selling our perspective of ourself to those around us.  They'll either come along and adapt to us or reject our view.   So either way we know where we stand at that point and we can adapt.
  • c) Integrating a new Support network and environment. Finding or creating a supportive environment that is more closely aligned with our perspective of ourselves. It involves surrounding ourselves with people who see the best in us and who are confident enough to allow us to shine.
As you can see, (a) and (b) are the normal life course for most, and (c) is an outside-the-box solution that many achieve with the support of a mentor and Significance. If a person fails to adapt, they make one of the following choices, all of which fall into psycho-social disorders.  The three options are:

D—Deny

They deny the Identity Gap exists and seek to "mask" it; usually causing drama and stress in their support network. Typical disorders associated with Denying are schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. People in denial often feel a constant threat to their Support.   They will lash out, seemingly unexpectedly, however it's not unexpected from their point of view - they are working HARD to ignore the signals around them telling them they are not who they think they are.

A—Accept

They Accept that their current Identity Gap exists BUT they are unwilling or unable to make changes. Anxiety disorders are typical with this response and chemical dependencies play a large role here as people seek to numb their pain of being unable to change or adapt.  Sometimes the internal pain overwhelms a person to the point of taking their own life. Those in this stage often feel a constant threat to their Security.

R—Reject

They outright and aggressively Reject the Identity Gap, in other words, they Reject other's perspective of them. They outrightly dismiss the other person's perspective, and it quickly and easily turns to aggressiveness. Some people join gangs just so they can be part of a group that approves of them but the group plays a dual role in rejecting others. This is key in explaining gang-related, domestic and even terroristic taunting, violence and murder. People here feel a constant threat to their Survival.

Overview

Some people get lost in DAR, going around in circles in some variation of Denying, Accepting, Rejecting.  Some people, however, who find themselves in DAR, are able to get back into the healthier RA mode of Recognizing and Adapting. The key for any advanced civilization is to learn to Recognize and Adapt so that more voices are heard. In the Identity Gap analysis, those that slip into the DAR cycle are counterproductive to our common, if not idealistic, goals. The model becomes quite simple — if we make bad choices because we (a) have bad Support or (b) don't trust our Support.  So either way, at that point we need new Support.  We are our environment. Many books and motivational speakers will encourage us to change our minds; as our thoughts go, so go our actions and success. But the mind is no match for the environment. The real truth is...as our environment and Support goes, so go our actions, successes, and ultimately our Significance.

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