Honesty is always the best policy…until you are under the fire of pressure and then it looks like the worst choice. We want to be liked. We want to fit in. We do not want to see our friends or boyfriend give us another eye roll over our standards. Fitting in is not everything. Going with the flow and compromising your values to fulfill others’ desires is not worth it in the end. Your identity is at risk every time you let a piece of your beliefs, values, and standards go, until one day you look up and you do not even know who you are. You have morphed and turned into what they wanted you to be.
I know. It is hard to stand up when all you want to do is sit down with everyone else. But you, my friend, get to make the rules. You get to decide what you should and should not do. Your friends and boyfriend do not have the ability to tell you what is right for you. You get to decide.
Here is a broad view of my standards and a sampling of areas I have been asked to compromise over the years: I am not a party girl. I like to stay in at night. I do not drink because I have an addictive personality. I do not put a lot of focus on the physical side of relationships because I want to wait until marriage. I do not dress to show off my body because it is not my style. I don’t wear makeup because my skin breaks out in all sorts of evil, even with the natural products. I do not date online because I know the internet is not the best way for me to be myself and know someone else. I do not date men who do not share my faith, because it is the big non-negotiable in my life.
Your identity is at risk every time you let a piece of your beliefs, values, and standards go, until one day you look up and you do not even know who you are.
The beautiful thing about standing up for yourself is that your friends and loved ones will surprise you. I used to walk around in fear of being honest about my standards and the way I live my life. But, the more I stood my ground and said no or spoke up about what is right for me, my true friends and loved ones respected me. They did not fight me or pressure me; they did not try to change me. I have missed out on some parties over the years, but besides that, some of my relationships have only gotten stronger because of my boldness to stand up for myself.
Some people will not get you or respect you. It hurts, but that momentary pain is worth it to hang on to the truth of who you are. Sometimes the relationship will go through a rough patch and sometimes it just ends, and that is okay. In pursuit of standing up for what we believe is right and true for us, we have to respect what someone else thinks is right and true for them. We may not agree, but they do not agree with us either. We are in the same boat—just two different sides of it. It is better to sit on separate ends with respect than to try to force the other to compromise themselves.
When there is mutual respect, we can live peaceably with others, even when we disagree. But, if the pressure still rages on and the side comments become direct insults, it is okay to walk away from that friendship or dating relationship. I will say it again: no matter how much the friendship or relationship means to you, standing up for yourself is always the best choice. No person is worth compromising what you know to be true, valuable, and non-negotiable to and about yourself. If you feel uncomfortable or pressured into compromising, please stand up for yourself; people may surprise you and don’t forget to surprise others when they speak up. You might lose someone dear to you, but the confidence and respect you have for yourself and the desire to treat others with that same love is far more valuable in the long run than staying in a relationship out of fear of what could happen if you stand in truth.
Honesty is always the best policy in every situation and relationship. You are worth knowing and loving, just the way you are and who you are continuing to become. If someone can’t see that, it is best to walk away knowing that there are people out there that want to know and love you in return.
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