Question: How can I stop my friend from trying to get me to do bad things?
Background: I am twenty years old and I just moved out of my mother and father’s house into an apartment with my friend. I am doing fine but my friend is always trying to get me to do bad things that I don’t want to do. I swear, sometimes she is downright insistent! She and I never had this problem when we lived at home with our parents. What should I do?
Answer: Many times when young people get out on their own for the first time, they experiment with things like drugs, alcohol and sex. They may experiment some at home without their parents’ knowledge but parents usually have at least some rules that they insist on being obeyed and continue to supervise to an extent, no matter how old the child is.
When the child leaves the nest, there are no rules; there is no supervision. They can pretty much do what they want and that is when they learn more about their individual preferences and begin to develop a value system.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Misery loves company”? What that essentially means is when somebody is doing something that goes directly against their morals, ethics and values they want other people to do it too. The way they see it, the more people that are doing it, the more they perceive it to be “right”, thus reinforcing and justifying their decisions.
Your friend is probably experiencing inner conflict and is not morally comfortable doing the “bad” things that she is trying to get you to do so she goes on a recruiting campaign in order to feel better about herself.
Your friend probably has self esteem issues which are prevalent in our society and the conflict she is experiencing is coming, in part, from her fear of not being accepted by her peers. At the same time she knows deep down that certain behaviors could be detrimental to her mental and physical wellbeing.
When you accept yourself, you are not nearly as dependent upon the acceptance of others. As an example, I will tell you about a client I once had who was being pressured to do drugs. After working with him on his self esteem and self acceptance, he was able to tell his friends that he wouldn’t be engaging in that kind of activity and if they wanted to hang out with him at his place, they wouldn’t be either. His friends ended up admitting that they really didn’t want to do drugs but they felt the pressure from some of their other peers. They also developed a deep respect for my client for having the guts to not do what went against his moral compass.
Is low self esteem plaguing you? You can do something about it. Make an appointment today with Houston life coach and self esteem expert, Melissa Murphy by contacting her today at [email protected].