In my teaching days, I knew a lot of guys and girls who had values. However, they didn’t always live up to those values. Instead, they only held those values so long as their friends did. They wanted to fit in so badly that they quickly and timidly gave them up just because friends didn’t agree.
While it’s always good to keep an open mind regarding ideas and values, that’s a totally different thing than having a value, wanting to keep it, then giving in simply because a friend believes something different.
Standing up for your values can be really tough at times. This is especially the case if you have values that differ from other people and you’re generally timid. You might even feel bullied into being just like everyone else.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to give in. Standing up for your values doesn’t have to be difficult or combative. You can respectfully and assertively express your opinion and values without having to turn into a total jerk.
In fact, there’s a key word: assertive. Don’t be passive (giving up your values) or aggressive (violent, emotional or otherwise). Instead, tell others how you feel and be willing to back it up. For example, if you don’t want to pick on a kid when you’re friends are, express your feelings and walk away. Or, better yet, stand up for the victim.
In most cases, you won’t even lose friends. Why? Most people of all ages respect those who stand up for what they believe in. That’s why confident, dominant guys are considered attractive and society respects strong women.
So, stand up for your values. You’ll feel better about yourself and others will probably respect you even more.