At some point everyone is going to be faced with a decision. Do you follow the crowd or do what you feel is right? There will be pressure to go against what you believe or even to do something that you do not want to do. Most often these scenarios take place during the teenage years, and as you probably already know, are referred to as peer pressure. Standing up to peer pressure is not always the easiest thing in the world to do. With a little preparation, you can be far more ready to avoid peer pressure.
One important thing to keep in mind is that peer pressure is going to happen. Additionally it is going to happen a lot; it is part of growing up. You have to learn about what you are interested in and what you believe in. As hard as it is, peer pressure can actually help you learn about yourself and become a stronger person. Keep that in mind when you are dealing with situations where your friends are telling you to do something that you know to be wrong or something that you simply don’t want to do.
- Be Yourself- You are your own person. Yes, it is important to have friends, and life would not be the same without them, but you have to be true to yourself. Do things because you want to do them, not because others told you to. In the end you will get more respect from your friends for being your own person than you will for always doing what they tell you to do.
- Join a Group- If you find yourself in stressful situations with your friends, maybe they aren’t your friends. It might be helpful to find another group of people to hang out with. You can easily find more people and the best part is you can also do what you are interested in. If you like sports then join a team, if you like movies and acting find a theatre or improve group. If you look around for something new, you will quickly find that the world is a big place; you do not have to be limited to hanging out with people that want you to do things you don’t want to do.
- Learn to say “No!”- This is usually easier said than done. The truth is, it can be tough to tell people you like that you don’t want to do what they are all doing. In spite of all that, learning to say no is an important life skill. Do you want to spend the rest of your life doing things that you don’t like because someone else said to? The sooner you learn to say “no,” the sooner you will start to figure out who you are. If you need to, try telling your friends that you have something else to do and then leave the situation.
- Find a Real Friend- If you are finding yourself in pressure situations on a regular basis, then you might need to realize that your friends are not your friends. Everyone needs someone to talk to and be open with. This person can be a friend, a cousin or even a sibling. This is a lot like joining a group, except you should focus more on being able to vent and be open with someone.
- Always Keep Learning- It doesn’t matter how old you are: life is about learning. Mistakes are good opportunities to learn what not to do next time. If a situation does not end the way that you would have liked, then use it as an opportunity to know what to do the next time.
Life is not always easy. You will be in situations that will require you to make the best decision for yourself and sometimes the decision will not be clear. Do what you know is right and best and never feel as if you have to do something that is not good for you or your future based upon what someone else told you.