Ah, reputation defense – within my bubble of limited awareness, the art and craft of building and maintaining an image that is intended to protect yourself from those you perceive as separate from you.
In the animal kingdom reputation allows one to live without fear of predation. When other animals believe you are dangerous, they tend to leave you alone.
Often such creatures appear in bright colors that signal, “I’m a threat – leave me alone!”
Reputation in Survival
From a survival standpoint, that’s a good deal. Some animals benefit from the dangerous reputation of others, mimicking a symbolically threatening aspect. For example, the colorful banding of the nonvenomous king snake often confuses it with the venomous coral snake. The benign cousin benefits from its dangerous relative.
One of the problems attending this defense is the negative branding of ones potential for connection. Another is that it offers a perceived reprieve from that which we fear.
We think we are attracting security by our projected threats when in reality we are creating the very thing we fear – THREATS.