As much as you’d like it not to be true, peer pressure is real. You feel pressured to go out when your friends do, you feed pressure to attend the same events like them, even you like it or not. It’s a rule: everybody goes to the same place and does the same things as the others. But this type of behaviour can take you to an endless cycle of bad decisions.
You let yourself tricked into bad decisions by peer pressure mainly because you want to feel like you’re part of a group, that you belong. This makes you feel accepted, loved and valued. But this isn’t always the case. You will be amazed, but peer pressure can be great at times. It can motivate you to study harder, score higher on your tests, and so on. The bad thing about peer pressure is that it rarely occurs in such forms. In most cases, it occurs under the form of dangerous behaviours, like underage drinking and substance consumption. If you’ve ever been pressured into such behaviours previously, follow our witty tips to avoid this n the future.
Alcohol consumption rates in British teenagers
According to some data from 2016, almost 45% of teenagers between 11 and 15 had been using alcohol at least once. You most probably are part of these numbers, since the rate of teenagers who have used alcohol at least once seems to increase with age. For instance, only 15% of 11 years old had been using alcohol in 2016, while a staggering proportion of 75% of children aged 15 had been using similar substances. We know, data is boring, but what do you think that generates all this data. You’ve guessed it: peer pressure. So, what can you do to break the cycle and completely avoid being tricked or pushed into such behaviours? Read below, we have a handful of advice!
Choose to be the designated driver
When you know there will be drugs and alcohol involved at parties or events you attend, volunteer to take over the designated driver role. This way, your friends are unlikely to pressure you into such behaviours. Plus, they won’t mind or even observe you’re not actively drinking, since you’re the one responsible for their well-being and safety.
This way, you can escape peer pressure in no time, without being shamed or feeling guilty about your choices. This is always the simplest solution you have at hand.
Stay healthy because of your hobbies
When asked why you’re not drinking or using various substances, you can always motivate your choice by telling your friends you have to stay healthy for your hobbies. Especially if you’re involved in various sports, being in your best form is important for your performance. After all, who wants to be hangover during an important team game?! Definitely not you! In the end, they’ll understand and leave you be.
Choose to drink alcohol-free beverages at parties
Parties are wild and there will be a lot of alcohol. But once you have a drink in your hand, be it alcoholic or not, people will stop noticing your lack of drinking. So, they’ll leave you alone. Besides, who would insist to offer you a drink if you’re already holding on to something? When you’ll be sure the party you attend will only have alcoholic beverages, bring your own sodas. This is the safest path you can choose.
Tell them you’re on medication that prevents you from drinking
Nobody will dispute the authenticity of this information. Although your friends can be pushy, they also are empathic. Worst case scenario? They will pity you for not being able to have the fun they have. If this helps (although you will have to take this white lie up a notch), research how different medicines interact with alcohol and tell them about these interactions. Nobody would ever want to endanger your life. And if they do, we have bad news for you: you need to find new friends.
Dance or play the DJ role
Looking busy or actually being busy is the best way to avoid being pressures into alcohol use or substance abuse. In fact, this advice is offered by the specialists at https://www.help4addiction.co.uk/ offer recovering addicts to avoid temptation. At parties, dance and have fun. If you like music enough to play the DJ’s role, do it. Nobody will come begging you to drink a glass or two. If your friends do seem to insist, tell them you will have once you finish having your fun.
Blame your parents
You know, you can always blame your parents for your lack of drinking. We’re sure your parents won’t mind. When friends insist on you having a drink, tell them you come from a very strict, alcohol-free household. In fact, you can tell them every time you go out for the night, your parents are waiting for you to come back. This is how they can make sure you’re sober. This is a solid excuse you can use whenever you feel there is no way out for you.
When your friends insist to have a drink with them, you can easily motivate your lack of appetite for alcohol with genetics? Confused by how this might work? Well, alcoholism seems to be a genetic predisposition. Tell them many of your relatives have struggled with this addiction, and the predisposition runs in the family. When offered a drink, tell them you don’t want to open this path for your future, because you have seen how alcoholism can impact your life and your loved ones’ lives. This is a solid motif if you ask us!
These are our best suggestions you can use whenever you feel like you’re pressured by your friends or colleagues to get into unhealthy behaviours like drinking and abusing other illegal substances. It’s tempting to try a bit of everything when you’re a teenager, but remember that you have other priorities right now. And using alcohol or drugs won’t help you achieve them.