Begging for Emotional Attention

“The Human being works as an integrated unit of body and mind, and to take care of one is to take care of the other.” -Valerie Ann Worwood

Shopping for groceries, I walked past a woman who gave me pause — impeccably dressed, hair coiffed, nails polished with red glitter, the whole nine yards. But then my nose clamped down, my stomach lurched, and my lungs cried for mercy as the cloud of stale perfume hit the back of my throat. I held my breath as I moved past her. My mind flashed back to the time my mother-in-law gently said how my perfume announced my entrance before my body entered. Back then I had no clue what she was saying, but I sure do now. I used perfume to beg for attention when I was younger. That beggar archetype visited my life for a reason, to give me insight. It taught me to use outward things to beg for attention in order to quell my low self-esteem and lack of personal power. It taught me to beg others for attention so I could feel safe and good about myself.

Low self-esteem grows when we are neglected, or go unheard or unseen by others, especially by those we love. The shadow side of the beggar archetype can be seen emotionally when children and adults throw tantrums and overreact with disturbing behaviors. Those with the beggar archetype have alarm bells going off in their head telling them that their emotional needs will never be met. They are on hyperalert at all times with the fight or flight system really taking a toll when they’re not heard, seen or feel unsafe.

“Calming down enough to take charge of ourselves requires activating the brain areas that notice our sensations.” -Bessel Van Der Kolk

But there is a positive side of the beggar archetype, and it can be brought out using certain essential oil blends. The synergy of 3 or 4 essential oils inhaled or applied on pulse points on the body can help the brain and mind soothe and calm itself. I’ve effectively used Marjoram Origanum maiorana, Lemon Citrus limonum, and Bergamot Citrus x bergamia L. for some of my clients who have searched for ways to increase self-confidence at work or school. Peter Holmes states that Marjoram has the potential for emotional renewal, and lemon has a restorative action that can support a weak nervous system. Bergamot can bring insight and a new perspective to negative thinking patterns, according to Valerie Worwood. Be cautious with Bergamot, however, as it can be phototoxic. A maximum limit of 0.4% in a blend for topical application is advised. A 2% diluted essential oil blend in a 10 ml roller ball can be one way to comfort ourselves. Massaging the temples and upper neck area and inhaling a few drops of the blend on a tissue can help create in your mind new patterns of self-care.

Listen to your gut, watch how you breathe, and feel your feelings. This will turn your attention to listening, hearing and acknowledging that beggar inside who is demanding your attention. We can practice simple ways of self-care by simply hearing what our bodies and feelings are telling us. We can survive the stress and disappointment of our emotional needs not being met, and we can take responsibility for ourselves. The beggar archetype challenges us to take charge of our inner selves, soothe our minds, and retrain our brains — one essential oil application at a time.


“People with the beggar archetype beg for attention, love, authority, and material objects.” -Caroline Myss


Battaglia, Salvatore, (2018). The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 3rd edition. Brisbane, Australia: Black Pepper Creative Publishing.

Holmes, Peter, (2016). Aromatic; A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics: Volume 1: Principles and Profiles; Philadelphia & London; Singing Dragon Publishing.

Myss, Caroline, (2003). Sacred Contracts: Awakening Your Divine Potential. New York, NY; Harmony Books Publishing.

Mojay, Gabriel, (1997). Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit; Restoring Emotional and Mental Balance with Essential Oils. Rochester, Vermont; Healing Arts Press.

Van Der Kolk, Bessel M.D. (2014). The Body Keeps the Score. Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. New York, New York; Penguin Books.

Worwood, Valerie Ann, 1995. The Fragrant Mind. Transworld Publishing; London.

Photo Credits:
Aliyah Jamous

Anthony Tran

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