Ditch Your Porn Loving Friends – Part 2

In Part 1, we covered how it’s important to minimise the time you spend with people who have a negative influence that holds you back from quitting porn.

But I know that dealing with bad influences in your life isn’t always a black and white thing.

What if some of those people are your closest friends?

Or what if they also have a whole bunch of redeeming positive characteristics in other areas that make the relationship worthwhile?

This article will give you ideas on how to negotiate tricky situations like these and arrive at the best outcome for everyone.

Start with Great Communication

If someone is a bad influence but you decide your relationship with them is important for other reasons, the first thing to do is have a chat with them.

Start by telling them that:

  • you value their friendship,
  • you understand that they enjoy using porn,
  • you fully respect their decision to do so, and
  • you’re not trying to stop them from using porn in their own private time.

When they feel understood and not threatened, proceed by explaining that you want to avoid seeing, hearing or even talking about porn in future.

Tell them that you’d appreciate it if they could stop trying to expose you to porn in any form from now on.

You don’t even need to tell them about your decision to quit porn if you don’t want to.

You can simply say that you don’t feel it’s appropriate any more for them to try and expose you to porn.

If the person is a true friend who respects you, they should have no problem with this very reasonable request.

If they refuse to respect your wishes, you need to ask yourself how good a friend they are in the first place, and whether they deserve your ongoing friendship.

If (for some reason) you want to continue spending time with bad influences who won’t honour your requests, below are some other ideas you can try besides permanently minimising or stopping contact with them.

Take a Temporary Break

If you don’t want to lose your long term friendship with someone who is a bad influence, consider taking a temporary break.

This means limiting or stopping contact with them just until you’ve overcome and recovered from porn addiction, and porn isn’t a problem for you any more.

At that point, you may be able to safely spend (more) time around them without their bad influence leading you back toward porn use.

Of course, you’ll always need to be very careful about re-exposing yourself to people who are heavily into using and sharing porn.

No matter how much progress you make, there’s always a risk that it can be undone again, especially when others are trying to lead you astray.

Be Prepared

If taking a temporary break doesn’t work for you, then at least prepare yourself before spending time with bad influences:

  • Be very clear in your own mind about what kinds of behaviours you will and won’t tolerate from them.
  • Have a plan for responding to situations where your friends start doing things that you won’t tolerate (such as attempting to show you porn clips or encouraging you to look at certain porn websites).
  • Maintain your awareness as best you can throughout the interaction so you can anticipate inappropriate behaviour or comments in advance.
  • Be prepared to cut the interaction short if they go beyond your threshold of what is acceptable.

Some people need to be trained in how to treat you appropriately, and if you’re prepared in advance, you can send a consistent message that is most likely to influence them.

Throw Some Good Influences Into the Mix

You can also reduce the negative impact of spending time with bad influences by including more good influences whenever you do.

The worst situation is where all of the people you’re spending time with are bad influences.

By inviting good influences to join in as well, you can counteract the power of these bad influences.

It also gives you more options to physically break off from them in the moments when they’re focussing on porn, and interact with the good influences in the group instead.

Plus you can ask the good influences to back you up at times when you want to call out the bad influences on their inappropriate behaviours.

The Bottom Line

I understand that it’s tricky when a friend or family member is a bad influence on you, and yet you don’t want to break off your relationship with them.

But if your life and your future are important to you, you’re going to find ways to manage these situations and create beneficial outcomes as best you can.

You’re also going to find ways to cultivate amazing friendships without constantly being influenced toward porn use.

Ideally, this means not only doing your best to handle negative influences, but also investing time in creating relationships with people who positively influence you.

That way, you can harness the huge power of “who you spend time with is who you become” to propel you forward rather than having it pull you backward.

Your social circle has a massive impact on your whole life and success, so make sure you put some solid time and effort into making it work for you!

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