Songwriter Carly Simon recalls an emotionally intense high school episode when her boyfriend referred to her stammer as "charming." Simon regards that moment as a turning point for her self-esteem, and so her future. Other celebrities share similar, seemingly minor moments with truly life-changing effects. Tennis champion Venus Williams recalls one of her sister's pep talks when "her words changed my life." Basketball star Shaquille O'Neal credits an offhand remark by his mother as "the words that changed everything for me." All three cases illustrate a Spontaneous Influence Event, or SIE. In this book, psychologist Michael Rousell, who has studied such events across decades, shows us how SIEs--which occur when we are emotionally charged--do occur for most of us, for better or worse. These events trigger an intense emotional response and activate a mental state of extreme suggestibility. There is thus fertile ground for statements about our worth, abilities, and potential to be implanted solidly in our minds, leading to success or failure, often without our completely comprehending the effect and why it occurred.
Rousell explains how the sudden impact of these SIEs disarms our instinctive defense mechanisms and rational thinking processes, leaving us open to instant adoption of new beliefs. In this unique book, he looks at the neurobiology of this spontaneous change, why the events occur, how to defend against the negative among them, and how to manage or promote positive SIEs. He also explains, through common vignettes, how and why the brain encodes SIEs to be triggered again and again in memory at later dates. Finally, Rousell details how we can recognize Elevated Suggestibility States or "teachable moments," then use that knowledge to create positive SIEs for ourselves and those we love. And he explains how we can undo the damage of negative SIEs that may be haunting us, holding us back, or hurting us.
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About the Author
Michael A. Rousell is a Counseling Psychologist and also holds a doctorate in philosophy. He has spent 15 years studying spontaneous influence events. His work has included adolescent counseling, family and marriage therapy, addictions, and forensics. He has also taught across the spectrum from elementary, junior high, and high school to college undergraduate and graduate programs.
Table of Contents
Ignition: How Charged Events Magnify Influence 13
Windows of Influence 23
The Foundations of Reality 33
More than Hypnosis 49
Emotion is the Rule: Rationality is the Tool 67
Elements of Spontaneous Influence 83
Aspects of Authority 99
Creating a World of Possibilities 119
Tools of Influence 139
Becoming Your Own Emotional Guide 157
Concluding Remarks 167
Building Emotional Wisdom 169
Exercising Your Strengths 173
What People are Saying About This
"Dr. Rousell writes about a subject never-before addressed…how elevated suggestibility through emotional events can lead to a positive or negative view of a person's self or their abilities. These suggestions can change the course of a life permanently.
This book is a must-read for teachers, doctors, and anyone else that wants to take advantage of everyday occurances to positively influence the people around them. Once you've read the book you'll understand when these instances occur and what you can do at that moment that could affect someone for a lifetime.
Dr. Rousell speaks in clear layman's terms, using many examples for easy understanding. It will change the way you look at events in your own past and at events that occur every day around you.'
"Some times a simple statement or event can change a life. Rousell shows how and when our words and actions produce their strongest influence. Based on sound research and many years of practical experience, Rousell teaches us all to recognize and create exceptional opportunities for those whose lives we impact. Sudden Influence teaches us how to use the right words at the right time."