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STEALING PROBLEMCategory: Tips and Hints
Thursday, 9 October 2008
05:48:45 AM (GMT)
Question :

I have a stealing problem. Ok, a few weeks ago, me and two friends went to the mall
to do our Christmas shopping. It was all going fine, and then one of my friends
decided to steal this necklace and bracelet that were too expensive for her. Then my
other friend starting taking stuff too. I dont know why, because I had never
shoplifted before, but then I started taking stuff too. It wasnt "peer pressure" or
anything, because they never even asked me to take anything, and I felt pretty bad
because we took a lot. I promised myself I wasnt ever going to do it again. But then,
I went to the mall again a couple days ago, and ended up stealing even more! The
thing is, though I do feel bad, I just dont feel bad ENOUGH to not do it again!
Please reply to this, because I obviously cant talk to anybody about this, and I
wanted to keep it anonymous. 

Answer :

This is classic peer pressure, actually. You saw your friends doing something, and
you got the idea to do it too. Your friends don't have to actually ask you to do
something in order to make it peer pressure. They planted a bad idea in your brain,
and a few days later you acted on it. Now, you sound like a smart young woman. So let
me tell you something: shoplifting ALWAYS ends very, very badly for the person who
does it. Just think about the possible outcomes of stealing from stores:

1) You get caught. The store charges you with theft and if you are over age
16, a criminal charge goes on your permanent record. Anywhere you apply for in future
- college, jobs, even volunteer work - will have access to this record. They will
reject you, because who wants a thief in their school/workplace/community. Your
future is ruined.

2) You get caught. You are under 16, so the criminal charge will be wiped off
your record on your 16th birthday. But the store could still call the cops to take
you in. They will certainly call your parents. Your parents will never trust you
again. They will hate themselves for having raised a thief. They will always wonder
where they went wrong. You will never be allowed to go out by yourself again or be
trusted with anything. Your family life is wrecked. Your social life falls apart.

3) You never get caught. The stores you steal from have to charge more money
because they lose merchandise, and so everyone pays a higher price to shop. You know
in your heart that you are a thief. Even if you don't now, one day you'll wake up and
feel worthless. You will know what you have done, and how wrong it is. You will not
be able to undo your crimes. You will have a guilty, nasty feeling in your heart as
long as you live. You may even get into other low-down, self-destructive behaviors
like drinking or doing drugs, just to forget what a bad person you have become.

You need to look into the future. Do you want a tragic, pathetic life or a good one?
If you choose happiness and goodness, STOP STEALING NOW. If you feel out of control,
call one of the confidential teen hotlines and get free counselling. Click HERE for
Hotline numbers. But PLEASE don't throw your life away because of a silly need to be
with the crowd, or fulfill a passing impulse. It only takes a second to steal
something, but it can ruin the rest of your life permanently. Good luck.

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