We spend a good chunk of our time in our work environments.  It’s a major place of influence that demands your energy, creativity, and the building of relationships.  You have to include your work in your purity strategy.

It’s not unusual to encounter triggery women at work.  They might dress seductively.  They may be the flirty girls.  They may remind you of your wife or an old girlfriend.  Or they may be “nice Christian girl” that you develop a friendship with.

I want to give you several tips that I’m picking up from recovery veterans on how to deal with the triggery girls at work.

1. Know what triggers you – There is no universal type of triggery girl.  Not every triggery girl is the sexy, sleezy, flirty girl.  You need to be aware of what types of girls catch your eye, which girls you are drawn to, what personalities or clothing that pushes your buttons.  Knowing yourself is essential to building a smart purity strategy.

2. Set a cold tone – I picked this tip up from a friend of mine who had multiple affairs with women in his work setting.  When he meets a new woman at work he keeps his distance by coming across as cold.  He keeps conversations short and does not go to the next level by getting personal.

3. Avoid – We can’t avoid all triggery women.  Some might work in our department or on our team.  Some by be our bosses.  But there are many women we can avoid.  The outgoing, sexy, party girls should definitely be avoided.  Any girl that flirts or dresses provocatively should be avoided.  And any girl that excites you to be around should be in your no-fly zone.

4. Don’t get personal – Some relationships need to stay strictly business.  If you have to work around or with one of your triggery girls, keep it straight.  Don’t make attempts to build a relationship or get to know her.

5. Talk about your friends and family – Inject reality into your conversations.  Talk about your wife and kids.  Make sure she understands that you love your family.  To some needy women it can be a turn off.  It also reminds you of your most important relationships.  If you are single, you can deflect personal conversation by talking about your friends.  Push the focus of the conversation away from yourself.

6. Don’t be a shoulder to cry on (emotions) – You may be an emotional guy.  You may care.  You may feel sad or sorry for her, but you can’t be the “emotional go-to” guy.  That’s a role for her girlfriends, husband, or family.  When a guy responds to the emotional struggles of a woman it pushes a powerful relationship button.  Be careful.

7. Change your route – If you have a larger office you may need to change the way you walk to the break room or to the boss’ office.  Many times we will change our route so we can look walk by the pretty girl’s desk.  Make sure you change your route for a righteous reason.

8. Don’t overestimate yourself – Don’t be the guy who says, “that will never happen to me”.  You are not that guy.  No guy is that guy.  We are all vulnerable, and don’t forget, we’re talking about a girl that already pushes your trigger buttons.

9. Don’t underestimate the girl – Don’t be the guy who says, “She will never go that direction in our relationship.”  There’s a lot we don’t know about our coworkers.  We all have hurts and brokenness.  If a needy woman feels your attention or senses you’re attraction you could be in trouble quick.

10. Pour into your critical relationships – The best offensive strategy for us is to feed the right relationships.  Spend time with God, with your wife, with your kids, and with other men.  Maintaining healthy bonds with those closest to you will help you be less vulnerable to a questionable relationship at work.

11. Pray for her – Take the first few moments of each morning while you are booting your computer up and pray for the triggery women around you.  Pray that you would see them as real people.  Pray that God would minister to their needs and keep you from temptation, lusting, and objectifying them.

12. Somebody’s daughter – Try to remember that the woman you are making eyes at is somebody’s daughter, and maybe much more than that… somebody’s mommy, somebody’s wife, or somebody’s future wife and mommy.

13. Get some accountability – You need to talk to another guy about any girls at work that you are triggered by.  You’ve got to bring it out into the light and you need another guy asking you how things are going.

Guys, I don’t want you to be paranoid about girls at work.  But we have to keep the bar very high and our relationships pure.  Don’t forget the high calling of Ephesians 5:3 “there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality”.

For all the time we spend at work, we need to make we’ve got it covered in our sexual purity plan.

Jeff Fisher is a blogger and podcaster from Raleigh, NC.  Deep recovery began when his pornography addiction caused him to lose his ministry position.  For the first time, he began discovering the sexual health that God intended for him and for his marriage.  Jeff and his wife Marsha offer hope, encouragement, and resources to individuals and couples struggling with sexual sin.