How do I overcome this?
Posted 15 April 2012 - 03:13 PM
Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:13 AM
That's what I did when people tried to discourage me from becoming frum and dressing the way I knew was right.
I used to dress very immodest because of my environment and because I felt like I was filling in my sense of emptiness when I showed off my body and my talents. I was even singing in front of men and was proud of being requested to do it.
Now, Boruch Hashem I am a different person. (Most people have no idea what I was before nor my struggles..)
Going against your immediate environment is one of the hardest things.
To cling to a good teacher who is also a good friend, and to make (being with) her your main "residence", is powerful.
Being picky about finding your ideal role model is also worth the troubles. When you have even the slightest doubt about your teacher, she can't be your support. I never regretted investing years to find the right teacher without compromise, in any area; all the more so in Yiddishkeit!
Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:49 AM
Also, is there anyone like you, or that lives a similar way to you, that you can become friends with? It is difficult to stay strong with such constant pressure but if you can find even one or two others and you can support each other, it becomes much more feasible.
Posted 16 April 2012 - 09:30 AM
Posted 18 April 2012 - 09:05 AM
I meant what inititially drew you to the "good" path.. were you brought up that way? Did you choose the Torah lifestyle? etc..
It is difficult not to have social support from people who are your age and living in a similar way. Do you have a plan for what to do next? I'm not sure if you are in high school, but if you are, let's say a plan to go to an area afterwards where you could find people like you.. Sometimes it helps to be future focused because you then have something to look forward to, to inspire you to stay strong. Also, you can find people who are in different areas than you and can support you. For example there is a group that sets people up to learn with other people who are similar to them. I believe it is called Partners in Torah (if you are interested let me know and I will try to get more info for you) and you can learn remotely - i.e. via skype or phone. Sometimes bonding over a spiritual pursuit can actually create a deep friendship and support system.
Posted 20 April 2012 - 04:03 PM
Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:32 AM
It's true, as you say, that it's better to find someone who you can interact with in person. But online or phone friends and mentors can provide much additional assistance for you. You can do both. Partners-In-Torah was an excellent idea. The rule here is: The more you can surround yourself with positive friends and influences, the better.
As far as how to deal with your friends, my experience with people in your situation is that the most efficient way of dealing with peer pressure is to simply tell your friends that you are religious and it is not easy to keep your religion, and you'd like their help in doing so. To do this successfully, you need to make sure you do not present your religious needs as things you have no choice but are not allowed to do but rather as a fulfillment of your religion, that you chose because you want it.
Friends like to help each other. Whether they choose to drag you to the club with them or to avoid going to the club as a group because they know you can't go, depends on which of those choices they believe "helps" you. if they think that you look at the fact that you can't eat non-Kosher, for example, as a "rule" that you "have to" keep, they will be inclined to "help" you by encouraging you to have fun and break the rule, as friends often do. But if they perceive the fact that you don't want to eat non-Kosher as your religious choice, they will be inclined to help you by assisting you to follow your choice.
Friends tend to respect religion, but disrespect rules. If they perceive you as having to follow extra rules that they don't have to follow, they will "help" you with your problem accordingly. If they perceive you as having religious beliefs that you want to keep, they will "help" you accordingly as well.
So it's important they they perceive your unwillingness to do things as a spiritual religious desire, as opposed to some rules you have to keep. You have to try to be able to communicate it that way to your friends.
One more thing. I know that you know how great it is that you are putting up this fight. And how Hashem is rooting for you to win. I just want you to know that now, we know, too.
Please let me know how your plan works out.
And for flybird, the information about Partners In Torah: http://www.partnersintorah.org/