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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Shilongo

Handling Peer Pressure: How To Stay True to Your Values

Hello my beautiful love. Have you ever felt like you’re losing yourself just to fit in? I’ve been there, and I know how tough it can be to stay true to who you are when everyone around you seems to be going in a different direction.

How often have you found yourself doing something you’re uncomfortable with just to be accepted by your friends, family or even co-workers?

What if you could stand firm in your beliefs and still be respected and loved by your friends?

I want to share something deeply personal with you, like an older sister who has walked this path and learned some tough lessons.

There was a time when I felt like I was losing myself just to fit in. Growing up, I always enjoyed my own company, I tend to be more creative. Whether it was getting lost in a good book or sketching fashion designs in my art book, I found joy in solitude. But as I made new friends, things began to change.

I remember vividly when my friends wanted to party and go to grove with older people. I wanted so badly to fit in and be seen as mature that I ignored my discomfort with crowds and my deep-seated values. I found myself drinking alcohol and smoking, trying to seem cool, but it made me feel terrible. Alcohol and drugs are poison to your body system my girl. The morning after, I would wake up with regret and a heavy heart.

Looking back now, I wish I had developed my sense of identity in Christ and listened to my mother's advice more when she warned me against mixing with the wrong crowd. I know now that those experiences were part of my journey to help teach others.

I am sharing my story, so you don't end up making the same mistakes I did. It's okay to explore and have fun, but it's essential to have responsible fun and develop your values so you know what is acceptable for you and what Jesus Christ wants for your life.

Practical Tips on how to handle peer pressure

  • Tip 1: Know Your Values

Understanding your values helps you make better decisions. Your values are the principles that guide your behavior and choices. They reflect what is important to you and help you stay true to yourself.

Action: Take some time to write down your core values. Consider why each value is important to you. For instance, if honesty is a core value, think about how being honest impacts your relationships and decisions.

Core Values Rooted in Christ:

  • Faith: Trust in God’s plan and timing. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." - Proverbs 3:5

  • Integrity: Be honest and truthful in all situations. "The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity." - Proverbs 11:3

  • Kindness: Show compassion and kindness to others. "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." - Ephesians 4:32

  • Purity: Maintain purity in thoughts and actions. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." - Matthew 5:8

  • Respect: Treat others with respect and dignity. "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you." - Matthew 7:12

  • Humility: Practice humility and put others before yourself. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves." - Philippians 2:3

  • Forgiveness: Forgive those who wrong you. "Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." - Colossians 3:13

  • Gratitude: Be thankful for all that you have. "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." - 1 Thessalonians 5:18

  • Obedience: Follow God’s commandments and guidance. "If you love me, keep my commands." - John 14:15

  • Perseverance: Stay strong and keep faith during tough times. "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:9

  • Love: Love God and others deeply. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." - Matthew 22:37

  • Service: Serve others selflessly. "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." - 1 Peter 4:10

  • Tip 2: Practice Assertiveness

Being assertive helps you stand up for yourself and your values. It's about expressing your thoughts and feelings confidently and respectfully.

Action: Practice saying "no" confidently in low-stakes situations. For example, if a friend asks you to do something you're uncomfortable with, practice a polite but firm "no." This will help you build the confidence to say no in more challenging situations.

  • Tip 3: Choose Your Friends Wisely

Surround yourself with friends who respect and support your values. Your friends have a significant influence on your decisions and behavior, so it's essential to choose wisely.

Action: Evaluate your current friendships. Spend more time with friends who uplift and respect you, and distance yourself from those who pressure you to compromise your values.

Peer Pressure Insight

Reflecting on my past, I realize the strength and resilience it takes to resist peer pressure. Staying true to yourself is not always easy, but it is incredibly rewarding. Remember the story of Daniel in the Sacred texts.

Despite immense pressure to conform, Daniel remained steadfast in his faith and values. His story teaches us the importance of integrity and faithfulness to God.

Handling peer pressure requires a strong sense of self and assertiveness. By knowing your values, practicing assertiveness, and choosing your friends wisely, you can handle peer pressure and stay true to yourself.

Try this

Identify a situation where you can practice saying no this week. It could be something small, like declining an invitation to an event you’re uncomfortable with or standing up for a value you believe in.

Go on, try it and let me know how it went in the comment section down below.

Closing Thought

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde

Remember, you are unique and wonderfully made. Embrace your individuality and live a life true to your values and dedicated to God.

As always, remain faithful. I love you


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