“Saying no to peer pressure” Do you feel the pressure to be like the “In” crowd? Do you find yourself saying what you think because it’s what you believe, or do you say what you think everyone else believes?
Teen’sEveryone has felt the pressure to be accepted and to follow group standards. The desire to be accepted by a particular group sometimes pressures people to do things they really don’t want to do. For example: Have you felt pressured by friends to drive your parent’s car without a license, try drugs at a party, cheat on a test, or have sex with someone you don’t know well (or even someone you do know?)
This doesn’t mean all teenagers do things because of pressure from friends. A lot of teens do things because they want to, not because their friends are doing them. Your choice to go along with friends sometimes can get in the way of what you value or what you know is right. Can you take a different stand than your friends? Are you willing to take the risks of putting up with their teasing or put–downs? Doing what you believe to be in your best interest takes courage, self–confidence, and self–esteem. The bottom line is whether you want to take the responsibility of making your own decisions or whether you’re willing to let others make the choices. If you have high self esteem, you can usually trust yourself to make good decisions. These good decisions translate to your Teenage Bill of Rights.
You have the right to:
- Change your mind.
- Say “No” and mean it.
- Decide for yourself what you think is right.
- Be responsible for your own feelings.
- Ask for what you want.
- Leave a situation where the pressure is too much.
- Express your opinions, feelings, wants, needs, and desires without manipulating or hurting others.