We Can Help Guests to Help Us
Avoid Chemically Allergic Adverse Reactions
It's easer for people to do what we ask when we ask very specifically for what we want. It sounds obvious doesn't it? But many people don't realise that they're making general statements that are not easy for the listener to translate. For example, Karen says perfume makes her sick and she is very upset that people still wear perfumed products when they visit. They say,"but it's natural, it shouldn't make you sick."
I suggested to Karen that she send this little note (or email) to all her friends and family - any new acquaintance she invites to her home:Hi everyone, This is an important update on my health fI'm sending to all my family and friends for your information. Now that I have adverse reactions to natural and synthetic perfumes, I'm requesting that you ensure that you don't wear any natural or synthetically perfumed or fragranced products when you visit me.
Unfortunately, it doesn't matter whether I can actually smell them or not, they can stil make me quite sick with severe headaches. I understand that this is inconvenient, but I hope you will keep visiting me - and support me by leaving off the fragrant stuff. Spending time with you is really important to me and I wouldn't ask this if it wasn't essential to my continued well-being. Thank you for your support in this difficult time, Karen
Sending a note like this lets everyone know that this very significant for you. ("Wow! This must be serious - she's written to everyone. Help people to help you by setting very specific parameters. Putting things in writing helps people see that you truly mean what you say.
Then if someone comes into your home and you can smell that he/she is wearing a perfumed product, you can immediately say, "Oh, I notice that you are wearing something that's causing me an adverse reaction (and name the reaction).Then your choices are:
- Suggest that you sit outside with yourself at a safe distance from the perfumed person
- Ask the person if she/he would like to take a shower and borrow some of your clothes for the duration of the visit.
- If neither of these is practicable, very regretfully say that you will have to ask them to leave, and come back another time when not wearing whatever is causing the adverse reaction.
- Let them come in and allow yourself to have the adverse reactions. (I do NOT recommend this option.)
If you let people come into your home with anything that cause you adverse reaction, they will believe that it's not important enough to worry about - "After all, she let me visit last time when I was wearing this. So it can't be that bad."
To help people to help you: make specific requests. If people don't comply, remove yourself or them from the situation. Then repeat the request next time, or for as long as it takes.