Resentment of the practitioner - What's behind it?

If a prospective client is draining your energy with twenty questions before they commit to a small purchase, a pattern of resentment towards helpers/healing professionals could be in play. Resentment towards the practitioner is very informative and tells a lot about the person's previous experience with helpers.

Experienced practitioners will know various self-enquiry techniques to examine what the person’s behaviour is bringing up in them.

The practitioner might reflect, “When this person keeps asking for my help, but rejects everything I suggest, am I trying to prove myself in some way?”

“Am I trying to save them?”

“Do I feel I have to keep helping them simply because they keep asking?”

Perhaps, even, “Am I worried about my reputation if they are offended by the way I have handled their enquiry?”

This method of self-enquiry is useful, but there is another way. You can ascertain quickly and easily what's going on by paying close attention to your body sensations. Suspend your knee-jerk response to reflect, and instead, notice what sensations are arising within you. A desire to push them away? An impulse to run? To cry? A familiar feeling? Does your body move in any direction, no matter how subtle? And if so, does it seem to be moving CLOSER or AWAY?

What usually accompanies the client’s behavioural pattern is deep mistrust and resistance to being helped to protect them from losing their autonomy. It's an old pattern of protecting their autonomous self, probably developed around two years of age, when the child's developing boundary was not respected or allowed.

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It's not drama, it's trauma, and they are mostly likely resentful because they haven't been able to break the cycle despite reaching for help dozens of times, because surrendering to being helped feels like surrendering to death instead.

I know this might sound counter-intuitive, so let me explain it some more. In the past, accepting help from anyone more powerful than them inevitably led to their power being taken away. This happened repeatedly as a child, and at a critical ego developmental stage (around 18 months to 3 years), when they were learning to express their 'no'. Everyone's ego needs power, and at this critical developmental stage, power is delicate, tenuous, and not yet internalised. So to manage the impossible situation where they lost precious power each time they asked for help, they resolved to resist help by 'killing off' their life force energy. It seems warped, but they chose the lesser of two evils - killing themselves off before someone killed them first. They decided it was better to die than give someone else the satisfaction (power) of killing them, and so the end result was that they 'killed' themselves by closing down their aliveness and shutting themselves off to help and support.

If you interact with someone like this in your practice, and feel a response deep within your own being to wake them from their stupor, to issue some tough love, or shake them in frustration, you might be re-enacting their childhood dynamic. Clients are adept at recruiting practitioners to re-enact their patterns so they can find a way through and out of their pattern. An aware practitioner who has done their own work on the particular dynamic the client brings can hold them in compassion while they tentatively and gently explore their resistance and mistrust towards more powerful others.