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Peer pressure seems to go with the territory of being a teen. The solution is to figure out whether you’re under negative or positive peer pressure and respond in a way that is best for your health, happiness and well-being. Here are a few tips for dealing with peer pressure.
1. Think before acting. Your group of friends may be pressuring you to join them in an activity that you’ve never done before. Step back before committing and ask yourself if the activity will be good for you.
2. Distinguish between negative and positive pressure. Negative pressures push you to do things that may cause harm. Drinking alcohol, taking drugs, engaging in unprotected sex and participating in activities that harm others fall into the negative peer pressure category. Positive peer pressure is any activity that helps you to achieve your life goals and promotes well-being for yourself and others.
3. Say no when necessary. Turning down opportunities to hang out with friends can be a tough thing to do. You may be afraid of being alone or gossiped about by your friends. However, your real friends will understand your choices and appreciate you for who you are. It takes courage to say no, but always think about how your actions will affect your life down the line.
4. Consult with a trusted adult. Your parents, relatives, teachers, school counselors or athletic coaches may be people you can turn to if pressure from your peers starts to get to you. Adults who know you will be able to support you with situation-specific advice.