Everyone who has gone through high school has faced peer pressure at some point. Teenagers are especially susceptible to peer pressure, as the high school years are full of trying new things. Teenagers might feel pressured to do a lot of things, including wearing certain clothes, playing certain sports, participating in certain activities, or experimenting with drugs and alcohol. Many teens give into peer pressure in order to feel socially accepted and not ostracized at school or social events.
The problem with peer pressure is that it can lead to extremely harmful behaviors, especially when drugs are involved. For this reason, teens need to learn how to respond when pressured. The following can help.
Have confidence in yourself
Many young people buy into peer pressure because they are insecure or confused about who they are. However, if you are confident in yourself there is no reason to try to impress people, knowing what they are doing conflicts with the type of person you want to be. Believe in yourself and learn to feel good about who you are.
Find a good group of friends
The people you spend time with greatly influence your ability and need to deal with peer pressure. If you find a group of friends who accepts you the way you are, you won’t even have to worry about trying to change you. True friends will always support your decisions and never treat you differently because of them. You don’t need to hang out with the “cool kids” especially if they are doing drugs.
Participate in activities with your friends that you will all enjoy. Stay away from parties or other social gatherings where you know there will be drugs and alcohol. Stay active and plan fun outings with your friends. One of the best ways to deal with peer pressure is to simply avoid it.
Know beforehand exactly what you will say to someone if they pressure you into trying a drug. Don’t worry about having to justify or explain your decision. Most teenagers don’t care about the logic behind why you don’t want to participate. Respond politely to the people offering three times, and if they continue to pressure you be a little more firm. Say something like, You have asked me three times and I have said no. Please stop asking or I am going to leave.
It is always a good idea to try a conversation like this out before you are in the real situation. Ask a parent, a sibling, or a friend to take on the role of the person pressuring you. Or talk out the situation over and over in your head. Tell them not to be easy but to act like a real teenager would. If you role-play different scenarios you wont be caught off guard when it really happens. You will be able to respond forcefully and intelligently.
Always remember the consequences
Finally, never forget that there are consequences to your actions. If you try a drug, it could lead to problems with the law, family, or a whole list of other health problems, as well as possible death. Ask yourself, are these consequences really worth the brief social acceptance?. Teenagers often fall into the trap of not thinking about the end result. Don’t be one of them. Remember that every action has a consequence.