The school year has well been on its way and many teens and young adults may have experienced being with a new set of friends and getting to know them better as the months have passed.
Some of your friends or classmates may get you to try some things that are new to you or make you uneasy. This is a form of peer pressure, which may come in many other forms. When you are talked or coaxed into trying things or doing something you don’t like, it can be hard to say no. It can be hard to stand up for what you believe in especially when almost everyone around you or in your group is doing something different.
So how do you do it? How do you survive the school year with your new friends, yet still be able to resist peer pressure? Is it even possible?
The list below shows you 14 ways you can avoid peer pressure:
- “Everyone is doing it.” If someone approaches you and says this to you, don’t buy it. It’s absolutely not true. People can have fun without drugs or alcohol, and you are not going to start a habit now.
- Say “No” like you mean it. Sometimes, that’s really the best way to resist peer pressure. Make eye contact, then say “No” with conviction. The consistent you are to doing this, the less your friends will bug you.
- Back up a “No” with a positive statement. Some people just can’t take “No” as an answer so you can back it up with a positive note. For example, if someone offers you to smoke, you can say, “I like your lungs/breath the way they are, thanks” or if someone offers you weed, “I like my brain the way it is, thanks.”
- Be consistent. Again, don’t buckle or hesitate to state what you like or don’t like, and stand up for yourself.
- Ask 101 questions. If someone asks you to drink or take drugs, ask them why they do it, how long have they been doing it, what its effects are to their minds or bodies…later on, they may forgot that they offered you or even just leave.
- Don’t be in pressure situations in the first place. If you are invited in a party and you know there may be drugs there, just don’t go, or leave the scene.
- Have a back up buddy. Having a friend who shares the same values as you is great for making you feel more confident in peer pressure situations. You can both back each other up and watch out for each other.
- Consider the consequences. Their offer may be very tempting, but take a few moments to think about the consequences if you give in.
- Look up to positive role models. Look around you and see the happy, successful and well-adjusted individuals who are not afraid to speak their minds and assert their place. Even talk to them to get some insights as well.
- Seek support. Talk to other friends or people who are experiencing what you are going through. You can also talk to your guidance counselor or even your parents for advice.
- Be confident and be your self. Remind yourself that you don’t need to please everybody or anyone so you will feel good about yourself. Happiness and confidence comes from within and there will be people out there who will appreciate you for what you are.
- Excel in other things. Challenge yourself with other activities rather than dwelling or being idle. Focus your attention, time, and energy on more productive things and on following your own goals.
- Evaluate your friendships and social circles. If the people you call “friends” are forcing you to do things that you are not comfortable doing, or things that you know will get you in trouble, then these people are not friends at all. True friends will like you for who you are and will not lead you to any harm.
- Find new friends. Once you have figured that your current friends will only lead you to harm, then don’t be afraid to look for other friends. There will surely be other people who share your interests and value your individuality.
Always keep in mind that you are unique and that you matter. Your life counts and you can make a difference not only in your life, but in the life of other people and the world. Your decisions now can make a huge impact to everything around you and your future, so be careful when making a decision.
If you feel threatened or coerced into doing something you don’t like, talk to someone about it.
If you are, however, in trouble because of drug use or alcohol dependence, feel free to talk to us. We’re here for you.