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Avoid Temptation

 

Techniques Willpower > Desisting > Avoid Temptation

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Identify those things that you find tempting, and particularly those where you will find difficulty in resisting. Then either remove those things or remove yourself from the situation where you might be tempted.

If you want to learn to desist when tempted, then, when you are feeling strong enough, do a short test, exposing yourself to the temptation. If you are not sure have friends nearby to help keep you clean. If the test works, gradually expose yourself to more and more temptation until you can easily resist.

Example

A person on a diet goes shopping weekly and only keeps food in the house that they will eat within that week.

When a teenager feels they are about to explode with anger at their parents, they get up and leave the room so they can cool down without causing further problems.

A person who takes drugs with friends gives up drugs and also those drug-taking friends. They even move house so they will not meet people who they associate with drug-taking.

Discussion

This moved the point of will away from the point of temptation, for example in not buying food while in a supermarket as opposed to not eating the food that is in front of you in the cupboard or fridge.

While this may not reduce your ability to say 'no', it at least gets you out of the situation where you may be tempted. This is particularly important when you are easily tempted, for example when addicted to substances or have difficulty with self-control in certain situations.

In the Christian Lord's Prayer, a line says 'lead us not into temptation', reflecting how easily we are tempted and how often we give into that temptation (an interesting variant on this is that apparently the original Hebrew said 'lead us not into debt').

See also

Interruption

 

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