Chapter 2 of 3 – This is a story that deals with the kind of peer pressure of someone who is always trying to borrow your things without ever paying those things back. Listen to how Jarvis learns to strengthen his ‘no muscles’ by setting firm boundaries with his possessions. Listen also how Jarvis learns the difference between the people in his life who are either users or real friends.
- Click Story chapters 1-3 links: Peer pressure is hard to resist to read the previous chapter.
Peer Pressure is hard to resist
© 1999, 2014 by Debbie Dunn
Chapter 2: Jarvis gives his ‘no muscle’ some exercise
When Jarvis got home that night, he did some deep soul-searching. He stood in front of a mirror and stared at his reflection. Talking to himself, Jarvis said, "Jarvis, you are a total wimp! You have never been brave enough to tell Mike ‘No’. Therefore, you have made it easy for him to use you like an old wet dishrag. Well, no more! He's not a friend! He's a user! I know you don't like to lie. So instead, either only have enough for yourself and say so or just say ‘No’ to him."
Jarvis proceeded to start exercising his ‘no muscle’. He realized that if he didn’t want to end up stuttering or stumbling over his words, he better practice until the words came out sounding smooth.
Gazing at his own reflection, he pretended the guy in the mirror was Mike coming over to try to borrow a pencil. In his imagination, he could almost hear Mike begging to borrow a pencil. Then, Jarvis took a deep but quiet breath and said, “Sorry, Mike! I only have the one pencil.”
Jarvis practiced that line several times until the words flowed comfortably out of his mouth.
Then, Jarvis thought, “Okay, Mike is always asking to borrow some paper.” Then, he glanced at his reflection and said, “Sorry, Mike! I need all this paper for my next class.”
Once again, Jarvis practiced those words again and again until they felt natural to say.
Feeling his ‘no muscle’ getting stronger, Jarvis imagined Mike sauntering up to ‘borrow’ some money for ice cream. So, he stared firmly at the pretend Mike in the mirror and said, “Sorry, Mike! I've been looking forward to this ice cream all morning.”
He practiced those words using several different tones of voice until he found one that felt convincing.
Glancing over at his textbooks and thinking about how long it took him to do his homework, Jarvis’s mouth firmed. He thought, “I am sick of Mike getting the credit for my hard work. There is no way I am ever going to let that jerk copy my homework again.”
He strutted over to the mirror. In his firmest voice, he stated, “Sorry, Mike! I worked really hard on this homework and don't feel I want to let you copy it. You've mooched off of me long enough!"
When Jarvis felt rather confident that he had the words to where he could say them easily, he began imagining himself asking Mike to pay back all the money that he had ‘borrowed’. Jarvis shuddered and thought, "Nah, that would be too hard! I'll just chalk it up to an expensive lesson I've learned about the difference between friends and users."
- Click here to read Chapter 3 of 3 – Peer pressure is hard to resist
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