Article by Deborah Lloyd, Reiki Master
The last of this series in dealing with challenging clients will be a familiar one to anyone who provides healing services. This trait is referred to as attention-seeking. This person behaves in ways that brings focus on himself; sometimes, it is positive and sometimes, negative. He may talk incessantly about his achievements, or he may take the role of victim, looking for sympathy from others. Frequently, this person talks about his life in dramatic ways.
What is underlying these behaviors is a need for validation from others. This person may not have learned how to find worthiness within himself; but rather, he depends too much on affirmation from other people. He has found the more dramatic he describes a situation, the more interest and support he receives from other people.
It is not uncommon for the attention-seeking person to have learned this behavior as a child. Parents may have been unavailable, due to death, divorce or demanding careers, to provide needed emotional support. Or, a parent may have modeled similar behaviors, and the child mimics these to gain the parent’s attention.
There is certainly a continuum of how people are attention-seeking. Some behaviors can be easily detected, such as the overly dramatic ways a person describes her physical ailments. Some behaviors are more subtle and are more difficult to detect. These may include unusual haircuts or dressing with great flare; always being humorous; or, being the center of the party. Often, these behaviors are viewed as positive, and they may be. However, there are people who are always in this mode, and it is a difficult way to live. If it is the only way a person can feel affirmed, or see herself as a good person, then it is an issue that can be healed.
In the Reiki practitioner-client relationship, (or any service-client relationship), some behaviors that may occur are: inappropriate demands, such as requesting an appointment on one date/time only; making insulting comments about the treatment space or session; resistance to leaving at end of session; the list goes on.
Living life in an attention-seeking mode can be difficult, and it requires a great deal of energy. Often, these clients present as exhausted and discouraged. The level of acceptance a Reiki practitioner shows this client is an important aspect of healing. The client does not need to embellish an event that occurred to her or exaggerate any symptom. Having a relaxing, safe space is a wonderful panacea for this characteristic.
As mentioned in this series, the fact that Reiki energies focuses on the root cause of the issue is the most important factor. The lack of worthiness that many clients feel is strong, and unfortunately, it is a common phenomenon. We live in a world where physical appearance, wealth and material assets are seen as indicators of a person’s worth. Balancing these values with the value of the unconditional love and acceptance of Reiki’s healing energies is certainly a needed medicine!
The challenge for Reiki practitioners is not to react to attention-seeking behavior, but rather staying calm and centered. There will be times when the practitioner must establish firm boundaries. Self-treatments of Reiki are always a helpful tool!
As mentioned earlier, this is the last article in the series about Challenging Clients. Certainly, not all areas have been discussed. If you feel challenged by a client, there are a number of steps you can take: consider the underlying reasons for a client’s behavior; seek advice from another professional; ask for spiritual guidance. Trust, always, that Reiki energies will support and provide healing to the client, wherever it is most needed.
Below are all the articles on The Challenging Client series:
- The Challenging Client – Part I (The Codependent Client)
- The Challenging Client – Part II (The Unworthy Client)
- The Challenging Client – Part III (The Angry Client)
- The Challenging Client – Part IV (The Passive-Aggressive Client)
- The Challenging Client – Part V (The Resistant Client)
- The Challenging Client – Part VI (The Attention-Seeking Client)
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Deborah Lloyd is a Usui and Karuna® Reiki Master and certified holistic therapy practitioner, providing Reiki sessions and training in Asheville, NC. Deborah is the author of two books, 22 Messages from the Archangels; and, Believe and it is True: A Story of Healing and Life Lessons. She is also one of the co-authors of Reiki 101: 101 Answers for Your Reiki Questions. Reach Deborah at http://www.deblloydhealing.com/, email@example.com and at Deb Lloyd Healing on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/deblloydhealing)