Friendship Issues Advice

The truth is this, being a teen today is harder than it has ever been before.  We need to be mindful of the pressures you face in this time and place.  As adults in your life, we should never underestimate the tough decisions you will need to make.  There are many ways to resist peer pressure and still be a likable, popular student. 

 ~Just say “No”

This may sound easier said than done, however, “no” is a simple word that expresses your opinion and leaves no room for further chat.  Saying no will show a strong personality and will give you a sense of control.  When you were a child and your parents said “no” there was no room for negotiation.  You learned to accept their answer even if it was not what you wanted to hear.  Be firm and convincing and the person should back off.

~Prepare

If you find yourself in a situation you are not comfortable with, be prepared to walk away.  Prepare by anticipating.  There is no doubt you will find yourself at a party with your friends and someone will have alcohol.  Are you prepared to deal with this situation?  Your friends will want you to drink with them and will push you, sometimes to make themselves feel more comfortable.  Be prepared to tell them you are not interested, tell them you have an alcoholic family member and are not going to drink until you are older.  Often, this will make them back off since many kids have no idea what an alcoholic is.   Although it may sound like I am promoting telling a lie, the point is most families do experience this and it is a good, solid reason to say “no”.

This is where you need to prepare, read about alcoholism and the affects it has on a family.  Understand the damage it can cause and you will have a clear understanding of why it is best to refuse to drink before you are of legal age. 

~Develop a strong presence

When it is necessary to resist peer pressure, try presenting yourself in these ways:

*Make eye contact
*Stand up straight
*Have confidence
*Speak clearly
*Trust your intuition

If you are in a situation that feels wrong in your gut, then it is wrong for you.  No true friend will pressure you to do something that does not feel right to you.  Be clear who you are and the person you are trying to become. 

~Confide

Find someone you can confide in.  Hopefully, this is a parent who will support and help guide you in your determination to resist peer pressure.  If you are unable to talk to a parent, find a relative you respect, Aunt, Uncle or older cousin.  Confide in a teacher or pastor and ask that your conversation be private and confidential.  Build a relationship with someone you trust and know will understand. 

Always remember, parents, teachers and other adults in your life have faced many of the same pressures and challenges you are dealing with today.  Do not feel you are alone.  Be proud of your strong values and let your conscious be your guide. 

These will not be easy times in your life; resisting peer pressure is one of the hardest things you will ever do.  Understand your values and always be true to yourself.  As you grow into a strong, confident young man or woman you will find by resisting the many pressures you faced as a teen, will help you as you make many more life decisions.