For example, consider a person that writes down a core belief, “Sex is for after marriage”. That belief drastically changes how they approach intimacy, right? Conversely, if they right down, “Premarital sex is okay” that provides guidance for their behavior. But, what if they don’t know? What if they don’t know what they believe in, or what they value? Well, then they end up struggling to make a decision. Should they have sex, should they not have sex? They end up conflicted because they don’t know what they believe about a major event that could be life changing.
Consider the simple rule, “Thou shalt not steal”. It makes life pretty easy when it comes to deciding to shoplift a pack of gum. And it does create some interesting moral dilemmas, like whether or not it is okay to steal bread if it is to feed a hungry person. But, this doesn’t change the rule. Because you have core values of honesty, integrity, etc. you hold the belief “Thou shalt not steal” and this makes 99.9% of your decisions about stealing fairly easy.
I suggest you take a few weeks or months to write down what you value, what you believe. Then whether or not you hang out with a person that doesn’t open a door for you will be a much easier decision. You will no longer need to ask strangers if they think it was right or wrong. You won’t have to ask other people to give you opinions of what or how you should think. Instead, when you are conflicted you can refer back to the values you have written down and see if your behavior is consistent with those values.
And of course as you grow, learn, and mature over time you can adjust and update your values.
Many years ago I went through this exercise. I wrote down things that I value. I wrote down some principles to help guide my decisions. And over time those values have changed slightly and they continue to change. For instance, one of the things I use to value more than anything was “Freedom”. I actually wrote that down as one of my top values. Over time, I revised how I thought about freedom. It is not as great a value as you might think. Too much freedom leads to a lack of discipline. I still value freedom, but how I view it has changed.
Anyway, I’m going off on a tangent at this point. The bottom line is you need to take some time to establish your core values. What are your highest values, honesty, integrity, kindness?