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Positive ways to deal with peer pressure

Positive ways to deal with peer pressure

At some point in your youth, you’ll be subjected to negative peer pressure. Handling your friends in a positive and effective manner could save you from peer rejection and further unnecessary turmoil.

Friendships are a crucial aspect of your teen years. Understanding the nature of peer pressure could help you as you enter into this new phase and follow a healthy path towards warm and fulfilling friendships.

Positive ways to deal with peer pressureBeing subjected to negative peer pressure can lead towards unsafe and unhealthy behaviours. However, adolescents with self-worth and a positive self-concept will less likely be swayed into following negative influences.

The fear of being rejected or left out of your inner circle can be quite intimidating. You need to consider your feelings on the matter. Your friends should respect your decisions and like you for who you are. A true friend would not expect you to do and be the same as them.

It may appear to you that all your friends are doing stuff that you are not, but in most cases, this isn’t true. Many adolescents like to boast about things, like drinking, smoking and having sex, but are only doing so to look cool.

Your peers may pressurise you into wearing the same clothes or having to look a certain way. You may be enticed into trying out cigarettes, drinking or taking drugs. You may also find you have to let go of positive friendships because your new friend doesn’t like them. Bullies also have a way of intimidating you into doing their dirty laundry for them. Your friends may also suggest bunking together or teasing you into having sex or sexting.

Positive ways to deal with peer pressureWhen confronted with a situation that you clearly don’t want to be involved with, it’s fine to say no or to say that you would rather wait a while, even if you have done it before. You don’t need to do something that you’re not ready to do just to please other people. You’re more likely to regret your decision if you do it under pressure.

Standing up to peer pressure means valuing your own decisions and not going along with everyone else. If your friends say things that place you under pressure, here are some comebacks you can say to keep them quiet:

Friend: “No one fancies you, that’s why you haven’t had sex.”

You: “I’m not afraid of saying no” or “I haven’t met the right guy yet”.

Friend: “He’ll dump you if you don’t do it soon.”

You: “Our relationship is not based on sex.”

Friend: “We’ve all done this many times before.”

You: “Well I haven’t and I’d prefer to do it at my own pace.”

Friend: “Would you like a reputation for being frigid?”

You: “Waiting for the right person doesn’t make me frigid, it makes me smart.”

Positive ways to deal with peer pressureThe more you learn to stand up for yourself and say no, the easier it will become to handle these situations when they come up. The word ‘no’ doesn’t mean you’re weak, it’s actually very empowering and you will get to develop and enjoy your own unique qualities.

If on the other hand you still feel like you are being forced into a situation that makes you feel uneasy or you are worried about loosing friends, you can talk to your parents or a counsellor for support.

You could also join activities that interest you and this will enable you to make friends with peers that support your decisions and best interests.


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