Handling peer pressure as a teenager is not always an easy thing to do. It is not unusual for you to want to fit in and be a part of the crowd. Unfortunately, being a part of the crowd these days can be a very dangerous proposition. You wanting to fit in can cost you your grades, your friendships, your freedom and in particularly tough cases, your life. Here are five ways you, as a teen, can deal with peer pressure directly:
Evaluate Your Friendships
One of the easiest ways to deal with peer pressure is to look at your current list of friends. Do they reflect who you want to be as a person? Do they put you in positions you are uncomfortable with? Often, the worst peer pressure comes from friends with different ideals or morals than we have. Consider revising your friends list to include those that share your feelings and interests.
A meek voice in the group will be an easy target for peer pressure. Don’t ever be afraid to be the voice that disagrees with a bad idea. As a teen, you are building the life and character that will mold your life…make it a strong and proud one. Stand up for the things you believe in and you will become known as someone to leave alone. Oddly, peer pressure only works when you let it. As soon as you take the focus off of what people expect and put it on what you believe, speaking up becomes rather easy.
If you are uncomfortable, walk away. Forget how it makes you look or whether you are going to be made fun of. Your health and safety is far more important than fitting into an ideal you don’t believe in to start with. This is how you find yourself in trouble…staying when you should walk away. Tough situations that put you in a position of weakness can be avoided if you are willing to walk away early. For example, if someone is throwing a party that will have illegal drugs, simply don’t show up. This is walking away without having to actually walk away.
Talk to Someone
Peer pressure loses it’s power when you bring it into the light of day. Talking about it with someone you trust is a surefire way to help you see it clearly and deal with it. If you are being pressured to do something that feels wrong, talk to your mom, dad, siblings or other trusted friend. Ask them what to do and whether you are being reasonable. You might forget that mom and dad was once your age and can actually give some pretty good advice.
Be Confident in Yourself
One of the most liberating things you can do as a teen is to become the positive source of peer pressure in your group. Start a culture of positive choices in your group and make it hard for your friends to make poor decisions instead. This is done by showing confidence and standing firm in your beliefs. It takes a special person to do that and that person is you!