February 21, 2013

Alison Bell (writing in Teen Magazine) suggests:

1. Ask 101 questions.

For example, if a pal pressures you to smoke, ask her why she smokes, how long she has smoked, if she minds having ashtray breath.

2. Say “No” like you mean it.

Make eye contact, then say “No” forcefully, with authority. The more certain you are in your refusal, the less people will bug you.

3. Back-up a no with a positive statement.

For example, if you’re turning down an offer to smoke weed, say something like, “I like my brain the way it is, thanks.”

4. Be repetitive.

Don’t hesitate to state your position over and over again.

5. Practice saying no.

Practice saying ‘no’ in safe environments, like when your big brother asks you if you’d like to spend Saturday night doing his laundry.

6. Get away from the pressure zone.

Leave the scene… make your exit.

7. Avoid stressful situations in the first place.

If you know there’s going to be alcohol or drugs at a party, make other plans. Or, if you’re going out with a guy, avoid being alone with him… anywhere he might pressure you to get more physical than you want to be.

8. Use the buddy system.

Find a friend who shares your values and back each other up.

9. Confront the leader of the pack.

The best way to handle a peer pressure bully is to nab him (or her) when the two of you are alone and explain how you’re feeling and ask him/her to get off your case.

10. Consider the results of giving in.

Take a moment to think about the consequences of your actions.

11. Look for positive role models.

Ever notice that the real popular and successful teens at your school are the ones who weren’t afraid to say what they like and don’t like?

12. Don’t buy the line that everyone’s doing it.

The truth is, everyone’s NOT doing it.

13. Seek support.

Talk out any peer pressure you’re experiencing with other friends who are also feeling the squeeze. I can be reassuring to know that you’re not the only one.

14. Be your own best friend.

Remind yourself every now and then that you’re special and nuke any negative statements.

15. Find ways to excel.

Challenge yourself to do your best. Focus your attention on following your personal goals instead of the goals of the group.

16. Don’t pressure others.

Watch out for any subtle forms of pressure you may be exerting.

17. Speak out!

Fight peer pressure by taking the side of the underdog. Supporting others’ opinions will send the message that you think for yourself.

18. Watch your moods.

Be aware that your moods can affect your sensibility.

19. Evaluate your friendships.

If your friends are always bugging you to do something you’re not comfortable with, remember that true friends like you for who you are, not who they want you to be.

20. Find new friends.

If you’ve decided that your friends don’t have your best interests at heart, search out new friends who share your values and interests.

Remember that you are important. Your life counts, and you can make a difference in this world. If you ever need to talk about this or anything else, feel free to get in touch with us. We’re here for you.