Remember being very young and asking your parents for something over and over until they finally caved in? Sometimes your friends can put that same pressure on you, by verbally encouraging you to do things you don't want to do or don’t feel comfortable with. Just because someone is persistent or because they use their words to tease you or make you feel bad doesn’t mean you should give in. Verbal peer pressure can be beaten. Try these quick tips to stick to your guns:
Practice saying no. It’s not always easy to say no, even if you mean it inside. Practice saying no to people, even in situations that don’t involve peer pressure. You might turn down an invitation to go out or pass on doing homework together when you’d rather do it alone. The more you say no when you mean it, the easier it will be.
Remember your rights. When someone is arrested in the movies, the cops read them their rights. Read yourself your rights to say no when you’re feeling unsure. Your friends can't tell you what to do. You have the right to refuse anything that makes you uncomfortable. You have the right to shrug off a guilt trip and hold your head up high. Learn more about your right to resist.
Know your lines. Girlshealth.gov recommends preparing ahead of time by having ideas of what to say when you’re being pressured. You don’t need to spit out reasons like a robot, but you should practice having ways to respond to your friends pressuring you. Don’t be afraid to show some attitude. You’re an individual and you don’t want to bend to anyone’s idea of what you should be like.
Refresh your friends. Are you getting pressured more often than not? Maybe it’s time to refresh your friends. A good friend isn’t going to push you around, and a good friend won’t have a fit if you say no. Anyone who tries to force you into doing things that make you feel uncomfortable, such as drinking, smoking or shoplifting, isn’t really your friend at all. Surround yourself with friends who enjoy you for who you are.