Gentle refusal is sometimes necessary when you’re expected to go along with demands that you do, think, or profess something that just doesn’t feel right to you.
It’s tempting to give in to such pressure in order to preserve the relationship, and you may have done so as a child because your survival and well-being depended on humans bigger than you. As a teenager your personal development was to some extent determined by a peer group you couldn’t bear to alienate. But as an adult you need to accept your responsibility to yourself. Giving in to someone else’s weakness is no more ethical than giving in to our own. Following a loved one down the wrong road, the road life calls them to escape, is still you going down the wrong road, and it won’t help either one of you.
If you think your merciful tough stand might hurt or even end a relationship, fear not. Yes, the relationship may end, but soon you’ll see that either you’re better off without it or that your stand actually compelled the other to change and even restore the relationship. Either way, you’re safe.