How Insecure Attachment Feeds Unhealthy Behaviors with Expert Jasmine Alexander, Registered Clinical Counselor

IAOL 25 | Insecure Attachment

People-pleasing tendencies tend to begin in early childhood and often stem from insecure attachment. From childhood forward, we often learn to please others to obtain love, avoid conflict, and feel safe. Yet when we compromise our values and needs in order to please others, we lose touch with our inner selves and often pay the price through ongoing anxiety, depression, stress, and disempowerment. Whether you feel like a doormat or tend to appease others to avoid conflict, you can learn how to create new, healthy patterns that benefit your overall well-being and your relationships.

 

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How Insecure Attachment Feeds Unhealthy Behaviors with Expert Jasmine Alexander, Registered Clinical Counselor

People-Pleasing Behaviors Keep Us Stuck in Unhealthy Cycles That Often Stem from the Past!

People-pleasing tendencies often begin in early childhood. We learn to please others to obtain love, avoid conflict, and feel safe. Yet when we compromise our values and needs in order to constantly please others, we lose touch with our inner selves and often pay the price through ongoing anxiety, depression, stress, and disempowerment.

In this episode, we’ll focus on this reader’s real-life question, “I’ve been the peacekeeper all of my life. My parents fought constantly. I learned early on not to make waves. My little brother and I were as safe as possible. I’m 36 and in a difficult relationship where I’m constantly walking on eggshells. I try to keep the peace, but my best is never enough. Do you have any tips for me?” With that question as the focus of this episode, this is Imperfect Love.

IAOL 25 | Insecure Attachment

I’m joined by a very special guest, Jasmine Alexander, who will be sharing her expertise on letting go of people-pleasing habits and creating healthy habits and congruency with yourself. Welcome to the show, Jasmine. It’s such a joy to have you.

Thank you so much for having me.

Before we launch into our episode and answer this reader’s question, could you tell us a little bit about what makes you you?

There are certainly a number of different things about me and many different things about us that make us who we are as individuals. I am a Canadian certified counselor here in Vancouver, British Columbia, so I am a therapist full-time. I am also an educator. I teach mental health clinicians, particularly with EMDR therapy. That stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.

In addition to what I do professionally while being a therapist and an educator as a huge part of who I am, I also have a personal life like we all do. I certainly love cats. I love animals. I started horseback riding lessons. I love to dance. I love to travel. I have an affinity for photography. There are many other things that make me me, but that succinctly hold together who I am in a nutshell.

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As we move into this episode’s question about people-pleasing behavior, could you give us a background on where people-pleasing behaviors start?

People-pleasing behaviors start in childhood. They emerge due to the way that children are parented. The manner in which children are parented stems from what we call insecure attachment. Insecure attachment is where a child does not feel very secure and safe in the relationship with their caregiver. This has to do with the way that the caregiver interacts with the child, what they say to the child, and how they respond to the child.

Depending on how a caregiver interacts with and responds to the child is where people-please behaviors are going to emerge. For example, a caregiver is, let’s say, quite emotional. Maybe something has happened in their life and their personal life. Maybe one of their parents passed away and they’re quite emotional. They’re crying and grieving and their child comes up to them and says, “Are you okay?” and maybe passes a Kleenex or a tissue to the caregiver.

The caregiver may say, “I’m not. Come here. I need you to take care of me. Come and give Mommy a hug. Come and make Mommy feel better.” When a caregiver begins to involve the child in the caregiver’s needs, that’s when the child begins to learn from a very young age that they are responsible for taking care of their caregiver instead of their caregiver taking care of them. For many of us, that example is quite common.

Many caregivers inadvertently involve their children in inappropriate behaviors and pull them into having their wants and needs met. Many caregivers don’t even realize that they’re engaging in those behaviors. Unfortunately, it’s those specific behaviors that create the problem that children learn from a very young age and then they hold onto into adulthood. They continue to repeat the same patterns in childhood and adulthood with their friends, spouses, and sometimes even children. That’s where it begins.

Unresolved trauma and negative childhood environments can impact your mental health and relationships! Join Dr. Carla and trauma expert Jasmine Alexander for a deep dive into the world of insecure attachment, trauma, and challenging relationships. Click To Tweet

We can talk in a moment about how society perpetuates people-pleasing behaviors, especially for women where women then become the pleasers. It’s not that men don’t become pleasers in some cases. When we look at this reader’s question and she’s talking about this very difficult childhood environment where the parents were constantly fighting so she became the pleaser and the peacekeeper, could you tell us a little bit more about the psychological underpinnings of that dynamic?

That’s a common dynamic that I see a lot of with my clients. When a child is growing up in a very chaotic, tumultuous environment where there’s a lot of yelling, screaming, and fighting going on back and forth, children learn early on a number of things from that particular dynamic. 1) They may learn, “This is what I should not do because if I do this, I’m going to get into big arguments like my mom and dad.” 2) “This is something that I should not do because it’s going to bring forth a lot of big upsetting feelings. My caregivers are far too engulfed in their own particular issues. They’re quarreling that they can’t be there for me.”

3) When caregivers are arguing in that particular way, what caregivers may end up doing is involving the child by saying things like, “Why don’t you come over here? Why don’t you talk to our daughter about this?” I’ll use myself as an example. It is like, “You think that you have a problem with me? Why don’t we ask Jasmine about this? Jasmine, do you have a problem with me?”

When the caregiver begins to involve the child in the quarreling in that manner, they get triangulated, and then it turns into a tug of war. It’s a stalemate for the child because the child is caught between wanting to be loyal to both caregivers. If they choose sides, there is going to be a consequence for the other caregiver. That dynamic can take place. There are a few other points that I can make here, but I see that maybe you want to interject at this point.

Discover tips for true healing. Time does not heal our inner wounds! Join Dr. Carla and trauma expert Jasmine Alexander for a journey into how our adult relationships are impacted by secure attachment, insecure attachment, and childhood trauma.… Click To Tweet

It’s so curious. I go back to the question for the reader. It sounds as if she had to be very small in the home environment. She had to make sure that she didn’t create any ripples. As a result of that, she can’t please everyone. It is impossible. She can’t please mom. She can’t please dad. She can’t stop them from quarreling. They’re going to quarrel.

Here she is, not allowed to be a child. She sounds like she was the protector of the little brother and also, in some ways, not necessarily the parent to the parent but certainly not being protected by the parents. She was being involved by the parents. In this case, as we know in many cases, the child becomes much smaller as a human being and isn’t able to develop. The role they embrace then is that of the tiptoer or of the pleaser. Is that what you see?

Very much so. When caregivers are correlating in that way, children learn there is no place for them. Oftentimes, what can happen is that when caregivers are quarreling so much, the children move into the background. The children are not allowed to have needs. The children are trying to stay out of the way in order to stay safe.

If there are younger siblings, then the older sibling will naturally want to care for and try to protect the younger sibling that’s involved so that they don’t hear about the quarreling and the fighting that’s going on in the background with mom and dad. When caregivers are far too fixated and focused on the arguments, they can lose sight of the children’s emotional and psychological needs.

When caregivers are far too fixated and focused on the arguments, they can lose sight of the children's emotional and psychological needs. Click To Tweet

Caregivers, for the most part, are very good about providing for the child’s physical needs. They make sure that there’s dinner, they have food in their bellies, they have their toys and distractions, and they’re off to their extracurricular activities, but they often can lose sight of the child’s emotional and psychological needs. When children are caught up in an environment where there is a lot of quarreling, then what they will do is learn, “I have to stay out of the way. I have to be quiet.”

Even if the parent doesn’t involve the child and triangulate the child in their quarreling, children do learn that they need to do whatever it is that the parent is asking of them. It is simply because if they can obey and follow what the parent wants, then they will supposedly and hopefully win the affection and the attention of the caregiver.

What ends up happening, unfortunately, is that when children become overly compliant in that way and the caregiver is not focused on their psychological and emotional needs, children will continue to forget about whatever is going on for them and make the emotional and psychological needs of their caregiver a priority over their own. When they continue to engage in this behavior, children and caregivers are not paying attention to the child’s emotional and psychological needs. This particular behavior gets practiced and overly reinforced.

When you practice something again and again, you start to get really good at it to the point where in this particular case with the question that was posed, this client became the peacekeeper. It’s very possible that the child stepped in and tried to mediate the fighting to try to stop the fighting because maybe the younger brother was starting to cry because of all the quarreling that was going on. This particular individual learned, “My needs don’t matter here. What matters is putting out the fire and doing whatever I have to do in order to keep my parents happy.”

I’d like to take a detour for a moment into a little bit more about attachment. You are giving an example of parents who are fostering insecure attachment because nobody is tuning into the child. There is no attunement to what the child needs. Readers, this is not about blaming or shaming any parent. There’s no need for us to back and blame ourselves or shame ourselves or our own parents. We need to use these examples to make shifts in our lives.

If you are a parent, make shifts in your life. If you’ve had parents who engaged in this behavior, maybe work on shifts to create more awareness and maybe some forgiveness in yourself for them. The point is we might be touching on some people’s sensitivities. It’s never to blame or shame. We’re all imperfect, so we’re doing our best to create awareness of healthy patterns.

When we look at the insecure attachment that we’re talking about, the behaviors where the parents are missing the attunement with the child’s needs, what we’d want to do instead is to have a secure environment where the parents are realizing, “We have a conflict. We have an issue. We can talk about this. We can have healthy, calm, respectful conflict and certainly not involve our children.”

That would’ve allowed not only this individual in her childhood to grow up with more secure attachment and comfort with healthy conflict, but then, she wouldn’t find herself having moved into a relationship where it sounds as if some of the same patterns are repeating. What are your thoughts on that as I laid it out? We can see how her childhood of insecure attachment has followed her into an adult relationship where there isn’t secure attachment.

First off, I echo and share with my clients all the time. There is no shame, blame, criticism, or negativity here. We need to look at what happened, recognize that mistakes were made, and then look at what we can do to correct and heal from those mistakes moving forward. Let’s face it. Worldwide caregivers are not required to take any course or pass a test in order to become a parent and a caregiver for a child. Until we have more mainstream education regarding secure attachment and secure parenting, we’re going to see these mistakes.

Until we have more mainstream education regarding secure attachment and secure parenting, we're going to see these mistakes. Click To Tweet

One of the mistakes made perhaps in this situation was the conflict. It may be inviting the child into the conflict or fighting in front of the child. Conflict is inevitable in any relationship. I’m not stating that conflict shouldn’t happen. Conflict does. I agree with you that the way to manage and work through conflict is not to sweep it under the rug but to calmly sit down and respectfully talk about what is going on for the person for the individual to then share what’s going on for them, and then to collaborate together in order to find a solution that works for both individuals. That is healthy role modeling of how we communicate with one another. It role models to the child how we also work through conflict and what it’s supposed to look like.

Secure attachment is all about emotional sensitivity, physical predictability, and consistency. One of the most important pieces of secure attachment is what we call mentalization. Mentalization is where we verbalize what’s going on for the other person. We verbalize, talk about, and attune to what’s happening for them. We’re trying to help them to make sense of it. We’re demonstrating empathy and understanding.

The other piece to secure attachment is that we engage in repair when there is any rupture. Ruptures are conflicts where feelings get hurt. We recognize that there has been a rupture and that we actively work and seek to repair the relationship, make it better, and understand what happened. The way that we make it better is not by buying flowers, chocolates, and toys and saying, “Let’s go out to the movies. Let’s have makeup sex.”

It’s about sitting down and talking it through. It is asking for party A to share what was going on for them and for party B to listen, attune, reflect back, and empathize to say, “I can see where you’re coming from,” and then for there to be a sharing of minds. It is for person B to then share what was going on for them and then to be able to pull all of that information together to try to make sense of how the rupture even occurred in the first place.

That is secure attachment. We talk about things. We talk about things in a respectful, calm way. We empathize. We are demonstrating understanding. We’re not just glaring at the other individual and have our arms crossed, but we’re present. There’s a softness and a curiosity to understand what happened. There’s a mindfulness piece, too, where we’re mindful of what’s happening to us. Are we noticing that we’re starting to get a little bit upset again as we talk about this particular issue? Get curious and ask, “Why am I getting upset? Is this particular dynamic that I’m experiencing something very familiar? It is maybe something that I experienced when I was younger.” Those are the hallmarks of what secure attachment looks like. Insecure attachment is where we’re fighting.

Let’s pause for a second before we go into insecure attachment. We want to focus for a moment on the fact that although it sounds like you must be quite an amazing, perfect person in order to engage in all of these secure attachment behaviors, secure attachment allows us to be imperfect. That’s the piece that we acknowledge. We’re all imperfect.

IAOL 25 | Insecure Attachment

This is the piece that our reader missed. She missed the parents’ modeling, “We have a problem. Let’s sit down and talk about it. You go ahead and have your turn. Explain what your needs are and how you feel, and then I’ll explain what my needs are and how I feel. Let’s collaborate and compromise.” Instead, it sounds as if there were these repeated patterns of unresolved conflict. There was no repair of the rupture, which is the critical part of secure attachment so you can feel safe again.

Instead, what a child saw were these constant conflagrations that left her feeling helpless and left her feeling like, “The only thing I can do is to please other people.” Probably, she feels very insecure and anxious. Thus, the people-pleasing behaviors. We understand what a secure attachment looks like. We understand by default what the insecure attachment looks like. It’s the instability. It is, by definition, the insecurity of not being able to connect.

Let’s take it back to her relationship in real time. We understand a lot of the background. It’s not everything, but enough. Let’s take it to what we can help her understand at the moment. She’s in this relationship. She wants help. She’s walking on eggshells. We know where it came from in her background. Can she create a secure attachment? Can she fix this relationship? Is the relationship doomed? Is it likely that her partner has an insecure attachment style? Definitely.

She has an insecure attachment style. We don’t know what type it is, but we can guess. We know he has an insecure attachment style. We don’t know which of the three types it is. What would you recommend for her? Clearly, there’s a lot of incongruency. She’s not able to work on herself, be her best self, and engage in behaviors that allow her to grow and evolve as a human being.

Certainly, there is inner work that needs to be done here for our client where we begin to explore the felt need of needing to take care of other people and making sure that there is no conflict. If this person is walking on eggshells, that’s because they don’t feel safe to have a voice. This person does not feel safe to speak up, be assertive, and share whatever it is that they’re feeling.

If a person is walking on eggshells, it’s because they don't feel safe to have a voice or to speak up, be assertive, and share whatever it is that they're feeling. Click To Tweet

What they’ve learned to do is placate. They’ve learned to give in. They’ve learned to do whatever it is that the other person needs or wants to not create ripples or waves in the relationship. That is not a relationship. It’s not a healthy relationship because what we’re doing is we lose ourselves. When we come to a relationship, it’s about two people bringing each of themselves to that relationship. The goal of the relationship is to work to understand where both parties are and what’s going on for both parties from moment to moment. It is then being able to develop this synchronously and this dance.

The client needs to explore what is going on in the present dynamic where they feel the need to give in, please, and not engage in conflict. What are they afraid of? It is to examine and look at, “What are my fears here? Am I afraid that my partner is going to get angry with me? Am I afraid that I’m going to let them down? Am I afraid that I’m going to lose the relationship? Am I afraid that this person is going to walk away?” There are lots of fears that people have that they never share with their partner. When we don’t have a sharing of minds and emotions, we lose the relationship. We lose what comprises the relationship.

You said it so beautifully earlier. Secure attachment is about imperfection. Ironically, with insecure attachment, caregivers often approach the child as if they’re perfect or as if everything that they’re doing and saying is correct, is the law, is fact, or is right. There’s no room for mindfulness. There’s no room for curiosity. Whereas with secure attachment, there’s a lot of that going on. There’s a lot of curiosity. There’s a lot of mindfulness. There’s a lot of reflection. There’s a lot of consideration.

My partner and I were discussing how I would like to go for a hike on the weekend. My partner had mentioned we’ve been doing something big every single weekend and they wanted to take a break. They said, “What are your thoughts on that?” I said, “You’re right. I’m glad that you’re sharing this with me. I hear where you’re coming from. The last four weekends have been very busy. We’ve been doing something. Maybe now is the time to have a weekend where we relax and we don’t have to do something.” There was a sharing of minds there. When my partner shared with me what was going on for them, I reflected back and got curious and mindful. I reflected on what it was that they were feeling and thinking. We then collaborate to come to a solution that works for both.

What you were talking about in that case, in which you are giving an example of secure attachment, is the back-and-forth. It’s beautiful. Yet with our reader’s question, we can only imagine that her partner doesn’t have that ability to reflect back. That partner doesn’t have the emotional intelligence for her to even feel safe. I can only imagine if she said to him, “I’m afraid you’re going to leave me. That’s why I keep the peace.”

A healthy person in a secure relationship would be able to say, “I get that. I know that comes from your past. We’ve talked about it. I’m here for you. I’m not going anywhere. I’m here. I love you.” Yet we can imagine in this relationship, it sounds quite volatile where the other person, the partner, may use that as a weapon against her and then terrorize her a little bit more. We know as clinicians that this happens in relationships where instead of using their awareness of the partner’s wounds to create healing and greater healthy connection, they use their awareness of the partner’s wounds to create more harm.

That is what happens in many insecurely attached relationships. There is the perpetuation of wounds that began in childhood and were unconsciously carried into the present, and then they’re exacerbating these childhood wounds. That’s an important piece. What are your thoughts when you have a partner who doesn’t have the emotional or mental awareness to reflect and be mindful? They may not be at all interested in mindfulness.

What would you recommend for our reader may be not in a relationship that’s safe enough for her to truly share her deepest feelings? She may need to share her boundaries and be very clear about what her needs are and stand up for those, but she might not be in a place where it’s safe for her to share her deepest vulnerabilities.

It’s a tough one. I work with a number of couples and individuals. There are some individuals who are very afraid to speak up, but then, once they learn the skills to speak up and be assertive, surprisingly, their partner is quite receptive to working with them. Sometimes, we may harbor fears that may not be true. The reason they’re not true is because we’ve concocted an idea in our mind of our partner. Having said that, there are some relationships that are not healthy on both ends where the partner may be using the client’s words against them. They may use it as a weapon against the client thereby further perpetuating the lack of emotional safety in the relationship.

This is where it becomes quite difficult because both parties need to be on board with wanting to have a better relationship. Both parties need to be on board with wanting to learn the skills. Both parties need to be on board here with wanting and achieving the same goal. If both parties are not wanting to work on this particular issue together, to learn the skills together, or to make it safer for both, then we’re going to have some problems here with the relationship moving forward in a healthy way.

My opinion is unless both parties are on board and they are willing to do the work and willing to learn, we can’t move forward in having a healthy relationship. If one person is resisting, it can be very challenging for the other person to carry the weight of the relationship of their unresolved wounds and the unresolved wounds of their partner.

Unless both parties are on board and are willing to do the work and learn, they can't move forward and have a happy, healthy relationship. Click To Tweet

My book, The Joy of Imperfect Love, talks about exactly what you’re focusing on, that all relationships are imperfect. There is no magical fairytale relationship. No matter what our profession is, whether we’re clinicians, it doesn’t matter. Every relationship has its hiccups. It’s about how we approach those hiccups, rough spots, or challenges in life or in the relationship, and how our partner meets us.

That doesn’t mean the partner has to be perfect. It means that the partner needs to want to be on that journey of being a better partner, a better human, and a better overall contributor to the planet. Our relationships reflect how we’re able to go out into the world. If you could give this reader 3 or 4 core pieces of solid support and insights that could help her either evolve in the relationship or know when it’s time to move forward, what could you offer to her?

The first thing is bravo that she has recognized, “There’s a problem here,” and that the problem has been repeated for years. That’s the first piece. It is recognizing that there’s a problem. How do we come to a solution? First, I would recommend that she pick up your book, The Joy of Imperfect Love, to read about and recognize some of these dynamics that we pick up and learn in childhood. We unconsciously repeat these dynamics long into adulthood.

First off was to educate herself about some of these problematic dynamics. The second would be to learn and to reflect on what she’s so afraid of. When it comes to people-pleasing behaviors, there’s so much fear about, “What is the other person going to think? How are they going to react? What are the consequences? What’s going to happen if I assert myself and I have a voice here?” What are the fears? I would recommend writing out what are the fears in bullet point form.

She is then asking herself, “Have any of these things happened in my current relationship? Have they happened in previous relationships?” If they have happened in the current relationship, then we completely understand why there’s a fear of wanting to speak up because there’s a lack of emotional safety. If they have not happened in the current relationship, then the third thing would be, for example, to work on having a voice, to work on speaking up, to work on asserting whatever is in our minds and our hearts, and learning the skills of how to have a voice and speak up.

Many people who people-please, unfortunately, don’t have the skills and don’t know how to be assertive. They’ve been very submissive and quite passive their entire life. Joining a group, taking a course, reading some books, learning how to speak up and be assertive, and perhaps even doing some therapy or roleplaying with a beloved friend or a family member whom they feel safe with would also help. Being assertive and having a voice, you have to work out that muscle. If you’re not lifting weights and practicing those particular muscles on a regular basis, it does become challenging and hard to use your voice to speak up when you need to and when you want to.

If we're not lifting weights and practicing on a regular basis, it becomes very challenging and hard to use our voice to speak up when we really need to. Click To Tweet

Those are such great tips and great takeaways. Taking one more look at that one piece I promised to return to, our society, even for people who have secure attachment and have good overall mental health. For many women and some men, it has become an ingrained societal expectation that a person must be a people-pleaser and must be good and kind. It is realizing that we can be good and we can be kind, and we can also say no. We can also have boundaries. We can also have that voice that allows us to know what our needs are.

Sometimes, we’ll want to please others. Sometimes, we’ll want to engage in behaviors that allow us to take care of others and nurture others but never at our expense and, as you focus on which is so true, never coming from a place of fear. We are never doing the fight, flight, freeze, and appease response. That is the part of people-pleasing, that appeasement of, “I have to do this or I’m not safe.” That’s what we want to be looking at. Would you agree?

I would agree that appeasement is a survival mechanism that we learn early in life. When we are in situations where there’s high conflict and violence, it’s not safe physically, emotionally, and mentally because there’s abuse, neglect, and all sorts of other things going on. We learn the way to survive in that particular situation is to bow down and say, “I’ll do whatever it is that you want.” It is to appease, to please that other person, and to give in and do whatever it is that they want but to our sacrifice. We’re losing ourselves in the other person in order to stay safe.

Part of this journey moving forward is about congruency, learning who we are as a person. Earlier when you asked me, “Who are you?” I described some adjectives and basic things about who I am, but I didn’t go into what it is that makes me tick. What do I love? What do I not like? What are my boundaries? What am I comfortable with? It does take time for a person to reflect and ask themselves, “What is it that I’m comfortable with? What is it that I’m not comfortable with?” They need to make sure moving forward in every relationship to practice congruency, speaking up, and sharing with the other person when they don’t feel comfortable or when they’re not okay with something and then being able to work with the other person.

The hope is that the other person, too, will be receptive, open, and understanding. They’re not going to be closed off when in the relationship or not want to have a discussion about it. Congruency is key. Whatever it is that we’re saying and doing, we’re also feeling that it’s okay. We’re not nodding our heads and doing it to appease the other person when we don’t feel comfortable with what we are doing. I hope that makes sense.

It does make sense. Wrapping it up for our reader’s question, it’s so important to emphasize, as you’ve illustrated, that it’s a process. It will take practice for her to change. She will find her voice slowly but surely as she practices, as she does self-reflection, and as she becomes more mindful. Her partner may react in a positive way or the partner may react in a negative way. If he does not want her to change or he does not want a healthy relationship, he may certainly be a little bit more testy and more irritable. He may act out.

If she chooses to stay and keep finding her power and keep working on things, it may exhaust her. It may be taxing. She may ultimately decide to leave the relationship. She may decide that there is another place that she would rather be where she doesn’t have to walk on eggshells and where she can practice her empowerment skills in a safer place. Since we don’t know about the partner, let’s kindly assume that he is a good soul and wants to evolve with her. If he doesn’t, then she gets to practice. If she wants to exit, she gets to exit and move into a better situation.

I love the piece about congruency. Congruency is about having your internal world match your external world. It is having your internal thoughts, feelings, and desires matched by where you are in life where you are evolving and wanting to be. It doesn’t mean that we are always 100% congruent. That’s sometimes impossible, but we want to keep striving for greater congruency so that we can be our authentic selves. When we’re able to be our authentic selves in every situation, that’s the ultimate congruency. Wouldn’t that be our best wish for her that she’s able to evolve to a more congruent way of being where she doesn’t have to walk on eggshells and she can be her best self?

I agree. My hope for her is to be able to learn and regularly practice those skills of speaking up. Congruency is about speaking up. There’s a sharing of minds. There’s a sharing with the other person about, “This is what’s going on for me. This is how I’m feeling.” Sometimes, it might be hard to hear, but we do need to approach the other person when there is a misunderstanding or when there is conflict. When we bring our true, authentic, congruent selves, then we’re able to move forward and feel good about who we are. We’re not sacrificing who we are for the sake of the relationship or for the sake of the other person, or to prevent the other person from acting out, which may or may not be based in reality. We don’t know at this point.

IAOL 25 | Insecure Attachment

It’s about practicing and using our voice, not being afraid to come forward and share what’s in our minds and our hearts. If we are afraid, it is to reflect on why are we afraid. What are we afraid will happen? Both you and I are big advocates and proponents of, “Go into your own personal therapy. Work with a therapist to explore and understand where this is coming from.” It is then to work through it to massage it so that the client is able to evolve into their best self and their most congruent self.

One of my favorite little sayings that I like to quote and tell my clients is, “You can speak your truth with dignity, courage, and respect.” That’s the goal in this very imperfect journey of life and relationships. Thank you so much for sharing your time with us as well as your wisdom, expertise, and vast knowledge. Where can our audience find you?

www.JasmineAlexander.ca is where they’ll be able to find me and get more information about how I practice and how I work. Thank you so much for inviting me as your guest for this very special episode. It was an absolute pleasure to be here to answer this particular question. I hope that our audience will be able to relate to what we’ve been talking about and that they’ll be able to take away some key points to help them evolve and recognize we are human. As humans, we are valuable. Valuable means imperfect, and that is okay to embrace that, accept that, and then use that in moving forward with our goals and what we need to do.

Thank you so much. Thank you for the reminder. We are all imperfect. We’re all fallible. It’s how we manage our imperfections and how we manage our frailties that makes every difference.

Thank you again.

To our audience, thank you for joining us for another episode of the show.

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About Jasmine Alexander

IAOL 25 | Insecure AttachmentJasmine Alexander, a Canadian Certified Counsellor, specializes in the assessment and treatment of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Dissociative Disorders, anxiety, depression, addictions and relationship problems due to unresolved trauma from insecurely attached relationships. She practices exclusively as an EMDR Therapist and provides individual therapy to children, adolescents, and adults. Jasmine is well regarded for her clinical expertise and has an extensive waiting list as a result of her specialization in EMDR Therapy.

Jasmine is an EMDRIA Approved Training Provider, and the founder and Director of Training at The EMDR Center of Canada. She is an EMDRIA Approved Consultant, and an EMDRIA Certified Therapist. She has travelled extensively across North America to obtain advanced training in the use of EMDR Therapy for complex and specialized populations, and has personally trained with many of the world’s top EMDR Trainers and Trauma Clinicians.

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