How often did you agree to do something that you later regretted? Said ‘yes’ when you really wanted to say ‘no’? We are social beings and so our mind can easily trick us into being submissive when interacting with others. Yielding under pressure is often perceived as a sign of social graces. Saying ‘no’ can feel selfish, unkind and arrogant – so many people struggle with speaking their truth.

J H Tepley

J H Tepley

It’s vital to understand that if we want to truly help others, we do it best by being ourselves. Living with integrity not only improves our life and allows us to live it on our terms, but it also inspires others to do the same.

Below are five powerful tips how to keep your ground and stay immune to other people’s influence.


You have to realise what is happening to take the right action. By not being aware you give the manipulator a green light. Simple as it sounds, it may take a bit of practice and discipline. When being pressured, your first step should be acknowledging it to yourself. Once you are fully aware, you’ll be amazed how much more composed and harder to sway you become.


Your breathing is your secret ally if you want to stay calm. You might have noticed that when you’re stressed, your breathing changes – it becomes faster and shallower. Following the first step above, make your breathing deep and regular (draw the air down your diaphragm) and you will instantly radiate a more powerful presence while retaining clear thinking.

Clear Mind

Keeping your mind calm and clear with the first two steps above, ask yourself whether what that person is saying to you is fair and reasonable. For example, if your boss is telling you to do extra work for free, or your friend is asking for a favour that would cost you a lot of time and effort, those demands are often unreasonable. And if you didn’t anything wrong (for example, by causing that person problems or distress earlier) they are also unfair. The Buddha said, “Your compassion is incomplete unless it includes yourself”. Remind yourself, that like everyone else, you have the right to be treated with kindness, fairness and respect.


If the person in front of you seems a bit too overwhelming, simply imagine that you are inside of a glass or a metal bubble with a mirror surface. Visualise that all negativity that the other person is projecting, gets reflected and scattered, none of it reaching you. Visualisation is a very powerful tool and you will be amazed by just how well it works!


Mastering this final step will render you immune to people’s influence in a natural, sustainable and nearly effortless way. However, it takes some preparation beforehand. Find some quiet time to yourself – if it’s difficult, you can use the time you’re in a queue or on the train. List all the things that you’re passionate about, and the things that give you true joy. It can be your hobby, learning new things, or spending time with your loved ones. Next, have a think about who you would ultimately like to become as a person, and what you would like to achieve. What do you see as your mission, your purpose, your legacy? Don’t rush it, take your time. Now, list the activities you wrote down earlier in the order of importance for achieving those goals. You can change and rewrite it as many times as you like until it feels right. This is your Integrity Blueprint. Now, every time you realise that you are being pushed into something, check it against that list. If it doesn’t help you achieve your goals and become the person you want to become, you can confidently say ‘no’. Seeing that you have a clear reason and you know what you are about will make people respect your decisions even more.

To make sure that you can rely on these tips every time you need them, simply write the letters ABCVI on a post-it note as a reminder and put somewhere where you can easily see it.

Even if other people notice, they wouldn’t know what it means, so it’s completely safe even in a public place or an office. After some practice, your mind will remember the sequence naturally and follow it every time. Going through these simple steps will help you evolve into a freer, happier and more authentic version of yourself, creating the confidence to live your life your way.

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J.H. Tepley an author, teacher, philosopher and the founder of ARIYA - a self-development movement for the warriors in spirit. Her work and research over 19 years lead to the development of ARIYA Training - a unique system for awakening the power within, consisting of meditation, awareness exercises, mindfulness, yoga, calisthenics and breathing techniques. Jay's most recent book, the Lightwatch Chronicles - a book that helps you understand your life Purpose, is available for pre-order on Amazon now.