Updated: Sep 4, 2019
By Glyndora Condon MS MFT LPC; Pre-planning a strategy to offset temptations
We find that a preplanned strategy is best when one knows that temptation may lurk. As a teen I had preplanned words to say, and actions to do should a guy tempt me to let go of my virginity. I knew that if I did not have a plan then the temptation during the heat of passion would be too much for me to bear. I also knew that the male ego had to be handled delicately so as to not wound it and therefore I practiced a mindful verbiage that spoke as to how I felt and why I felt the way that I did, and what I needed to remain true to my God and myself. This indeed helped as I dated upwards of one hundred males during my adolescent years and yet maintained a solid reputation that spoke of my resolve.
Guys who only wanted to date to try to have sex did not bother even asking me out. Others asked me out and often would tempt me-yet were respectful of the boundaries that I applied. Safety was in numbers and public forums such as the movies, out to eat, riding around, ball games, horseback riding, motor cross races, auto races, devotions, church, and like. This also helped me as I journeyed through my adolescent years to maintain my virtue with honor. Did I miss out on my adolescent years? Not at all. Guys were more than willing to take me out regardless of my decision and enjoy my company. Several asked for my hand in marriage, and even when a few did decide to sew their wild oats; they left me with their respect and their good tidings. Why? Because, I showed them respect while standing true to myself.
I sometimes wonder, had I only dated one person, and allowed myself to be taken to a bedroom or like; then it would have been most difficult for me to speak the words that I had practiced to say; and a mixed message would have occurred for the guy. He too would have had a difficult time to delay gratification, or to accept a no as a genuine, decisive answer, yet would have had too- if I had the courage and the strength to utter that word. Could I have? Doubtful. However, it would be likely that this person would be resentful and frustrated of how he was mislead-had I found the courage to say no. In such cases then it could have possibly lead to rumors and embarrassment. Here it is; now decades from those years-and as I meet the wives of these men; I am able to greet them without fear or embarrassment.
Preplanning is valuable as it helps individuals face every type of temptation or trigger. People who are battling addiction or obsessive compulsive behaviors will persevere and escape the temptations if they avoid the triggers and temptations, have a preplanned statement that is heart-felt and that respects the others to whom will listen. Preplanning empowers as we already have the words and the actions available anytime we find ourselves at risk. Joseph was tempted by the King’s wife who wanted sex with him but he spoke bravely of how wrong and evil that would be; and then he fled. This did result in her lying about him and one could have thought that maybe he should have just given in-since he was in trouble anyway: but, as time passed, his character shined, and he was placed second only to the King in everything, which allowed him to save his people. If he had not fled and given into the weak moment-then he could have been put to death or used in such a way that his people would have been sacrificed. No one knows how that would have ended but we know how his story did end – with his steadfastness to honor and doing his best in service-even when this was during his servitude as a slave.
We teach how to avoid triggers, and how to change behaviors and activities to a positive and affirming choice. In addition, we teach how to plan what to say and do when confronted with triggers and temptations. Sometimes, even when a person acknowledges the theory as common sense and practical, he or she does not apply the principle and finds oneself in the middle of a high risk situation that leads to relapse and/or the same pattern. Only when a person is willing to stand true to oneself, will this person turn the page to write a better and enriching story. Turn the page…write a new story.