Daily Archives: March 7, 2015

Congratulations, John! (again…)

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Congratulations, John! (again…)

I know I JUST congratulated my husband on his play being selected for the starting lineup of the San Francisco Dramatist’s Guild’s new season, so it might seem a little soon to be writing another congratulatory post, but I just received word that effective this May, John will receive a great promotion.  Things are changing for him rapidly at work, and he is really enthusiastic about his future contributions to the university.

He is a man dedicated to teaching and administration, who goes over and above the call of duty to not only serve his university and his students, but also his proud family, with love and devotion.  This promotion is well deserved and I am very proud of  and humbled by him.

Congratulations, John.

Using Diffusers to Get Rid of Mice the Humane Way

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Using Diffusers to Get Rid of Mice the Humane Way

You may recall the post I made the other day about using diffused essential oils to aid in concentration.  I promised to write more about diffusers, but today, my friend  submitted this story about her own experience in getting rid of mice without killing them.

Getting Rid of Mice the Humane Way

This is my first autumn in this century-old cottage, which I am renting in a woodsy area in the middle of the city. One of the agreements I made with my landlord was that I would accept the house as it was, including the formerly mouse-infested basement.

I agreed because I love this little house a lot.

This was the most disgusting job I’ve ever had to do and I wasn’t sure that I had the gumption to tackle it myself. I thought about hiring someone to do the job for me, but I was only procrastinating… I had to clean this shit up myself.

basement

With the help of a borrowed shop vac, gifted steam cleaner, shop towels, bleach, and lots of elbow grease, I thoroughly cleaned that basement so that I finally felt safe enough to start moving my basement stuff down there.

The wooden shelf above the utility sink was the first shelf that got scrubbed and then covered with contact paper. Perfectly clean and easy to wipe down.

white shelf

The nice contact paper shelf at eye level also made it easy to spot mouse droppings one day last week, when the temperature dropped down into the 50s. A mouse! I must get rid of it!
I knew there must be a natural way to repel this mouse so I did my research and learned that mice hate the smell of peppermint. I happened to have peppermint oil in stock and so I put some peppermint oil drops on some cotton balls and shoved these into crevices and corners near the site of the mouse-dropping.
It worked for a couple of days… then on the third day–rats! He was back. Not as many mouse droppings as before, but still… I want him entirely gone.

I pondered to myself… “How can I keep a perpetually consistent smell of peppermint going in this corner?
AHA!

1aromafier

The SpaRoom Aromafier that my friend gave me to try!

The diffuser is about the size of a computer mouse (how ironic!) and it comes with a USB adapter. I happened to have an AC adapter on hand (it also runs on batteries), so I plugged it into the wall near the dryer vent (where I think the critter sneaks in), and I aimed the diffuser fan at the suspected entry point. I put about 8 drops of peppermint oil on the pad, and it’s quiet as a whisper so I’ve been running the Aromafier 24/7 and great news…. no more mouse droppings! It’s been over a week now, so this method works.
I found that I have to replenish the peppermint oil about every other day (every 48 hours). It smells nice and no more mousies!
The Aromafier is around $25, which includes a bottle of peppermint essential oil. You can order it here.

Influence, Persuasion, Manipulation, Coercion – FOUR modes of action

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Influence, Persuasion, Manipulation, Coercion – FOUR modes of action

 

A client hired me to write about this topic, and as I investigated, I decided that the topic was pretty interesting, so I’ll post the gist of my article here:

Each day, people try to influence others. I do it.  You do it.  Everyone does. Could be about something small.  Could be about something major.

For instance, I spend a good deal of time on this blog talking about the merits of healthful eating.  It doesn’t really matter to me, with any level of significance,  what anyone else eats, because that simply  isn’t my business….but on some level by writing about healthful eating I suppose I am probably trying to influence or convince you, the reader, to choose better eating habits so that you, too, can enjoy the many benefits of doing so.  Trying to influence or persuade others is a natural thing to do.

 

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1influence

There are numerous ways of persuading another person to do, think or feel something.  It is my opinion  that positive influence is the most effective and best way to do that.

Let’s break this down into understandable terms and take a look at some of the choices:

influence

Influence is simply the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen: a person or thing that affects someone or something in an important way.  I wish to positively influence others.

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The operative point here is use of the term, “without directly forcing them to happen.”  I, personally, believe that influence and persuasion are fairly interchangeable.

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persuasion

Persuasion is a voluntary choice on the part of the person being persuaded.  While influence and persuasion can be used in negative ways, they are inherently the more positive of all of the ways of convincing someone else to do something, because neither tactic involves forcing someone to do something against his or her will.

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Now, let’s talk about the nasty cousins of influence: manipulation and coercion. Usually, when people have a negative reaction to the word influence, they are actually conjuring images and ideas about these words:

manipulation

manipulation

Manipulation is unfortunately and incorrectly equated with influence. It’s a bad thing, in my opinion.   I guess it’s understandable that people equate it incorrectly with influence, since there really is only one small difference between the two .  Manipulation occurs when someone exerts shrewd or devious influence especially for one’s own advantage.  1coerce

coerce

The act of coercion is to make (someone) DO something by using force or threats  or  to GET (something) by using force or threats.

Coercion is probably the ugliest of the lot. It’s pretty much a do-whatever-it-takes approach. Brainwashing and torture fall under the heading of coercion, as do threats, screaming, hitting….Know what I mean?

How does coercion work?

The tactics of psychological coercion often involve anxiety and stress, and fall into seven main categories.

1. Restrictive techniques or exhaustive, exact repetition of demands.

2. Attempted establishment of control over the victim’s social environment, time, and sources of social support by creating social isolation; removing contact with family or friends who promote self-esteem, independence, positivity, and sense of well-being. Economic controls may contribute.

3. Rejection of alternate information and separate opinions. Rules exist about permissible topics to discuss. Communication is highly controlled.

4. Forcing the victim to re-evaluate the most central aspects of his or her experience of self and prior conduct in negative ways. The victim is made to feel like a “bad” person. Efforts are designed to destabilize and undermine the subject’s basic consciousness, reality awareness, world view, emotional control and defense mechanisms. The subject questions, doubts, and reinterprets his or her life and adopts a new “reality.”

5. Creating a sense of powerlessness by subjecting the victim to intense and frequently confusing, conflicting actions and situations which undermine the victim’s self-confidence and judgment.

6. Creating strong, aversive, emotional arousals in the subject by reactions such as intense humiliation, loss of privilege, social isolation, social status changes, intense guilt, anxiety, and manipulation.

7. Intimidation of the victim by implied power, size, voice amplitude, or implied threat. Psychological coercion can be applied to such a degree that the victim’s capacity to make informed or free choices becomes inhibited. The victim becomes unable to make the normal, wise or balanced decisions which they most likely or normally would have made, had they not been manipulated. The cumulative effect of psychological coercion can be an even more effective form of undue influence than pain, torture, drugs or the use of physical force or threats.

Coercive psychological systems violate the most fundamental concepts of basic human rights.  They imply ownership of one person or group by another.  They violate rights of individuals that are guaranteed by many declarations of principle worldwide.  An interesting fact, however…..

Often, the victims of coercion will rebel against the person or entity using the coercion and may give the impression that they are following that person’s orders, when, in reality, the opposite is true.  Bullies with a mentality low enough to attempt coercion, however, are clearly too stupid to realize this.

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