Follow The Movement On TwitterMy Tweets
I’ve been around long enough to know that young people are often influenced by television, music, and by peer pressure. In this article, I will keep the focus on negative peer pressure, and give some advice on how to deal with it when it happens to you. Four things many young men and women are often pressured to do are, smoking weed, drinking alcohol, having sex, and purchasing specific clothing items. I clearly understand the risk young people take when they make decisions that are unpopular amongst their peers. They are at risk of being labeled as outcast, especially in high school where it is easy to find many social cliques, but they must learn to become responsible and self-reliant adults. After reading this article, one should be able to articulate responsible objections to peer pressure concerning the four issues listed above.
If you are being pressured to smoke weed and you are a teenager or college student, this is what you need to ask the person who is pressuring you. Is it illegal in this state? If the authorities catch us, what are some of the consequences that come with possessing or smoking it? What are the guidelines of weed being cleared to use for medical use in this state? How much money do you spend a week on the purchase of weed? If the police were to stop us right now, how would we explain whom the weed belongs to? You already know you will be told how harmless it is and that it would be legal if the government could make money from it. Regardless of if that is true or not, you want to put yourself in a position of avoiding the consequences of using it and possessing it. You can always use the excuse that your job does testing for marijuana use, or that you are looking for work and you have to pass your drug test. Just mention that employers can test your hair sample to find out if a person has smoked the smallest joint, even in a year’s time, and that you are not willing to take any chances. Feel free to share music with your peers from artists who promote a drug free and healthy life style, like Sticman of Dead Prez. Create competition to embrace and brag about how long you can go without smoking weed, and make others who are smoking weed feel that what you are doing makes you very special and unique. Tell them you have developed will power. Ask them if they have will power, or if they are too weak to take your challenge of going without it.
If you are being pressured to drink alcohol, this is what needs to be asked. What does it feel like to be drunk? What was the worse thing to ever happen to you while you were drunk? What’s the difference between a potbelly and a beer belly? What was the fatality rate caused by drunk drivers last year? Why do some people have to go to AA meetings to try to stop drinking alcohol? When you are pressured to drink alcohol, let people know that there are too many crazy people out in the world, so you have to be on full consciousness, and high alert at all times. Be proud to say you easily get dizzy and throw up after you drink, and that you are not about to make a fool out of yourself for other peoples entertainment. Feel free toshare music with your peers from artists who stopped drinking alcohol, or who talk about not drinking alcohol in their music. Share information about individuals who are suffering from alcoholism, and share information about those who fight the addiction everyday. Create competition that allows you to brag about how long you can go without drinking, and make others who are drinking feel that what you are doing makes you very special and unique. Tell them you have will power.
If you are being pressured to have sex, this is what needs to be asked. How would your life be different if you were to create another human? Can you do all the things you want to do and still be responsible for taking care of another human? What type of diseases can a person catch from having sex, and are any of them life threatening, or altering? What’s the difference between having sex with someone that you find attractive, versus someone you love and really care for? What’s the difference between lust and love? After having sex, what happens if the person you had sex with wants to spend a lot of time with you and wants to bee seen in the public with you every where you go? If someone is pressuring you to have sex because they are having sex, and thinks it makes them more cool or more mature, there are several things you can do to get them to chill out. Often times, most young people exaggerate about how frequently they are having sex, if they are having it at all. If you can expose their exaggeration with just the two of you having a discussion, it will be easier for you to ask them to stop trying to pressure you into having sex. Also, if you know someone who has a child at an early age or who sleeps around a lot, in a kind way, say you are no better than them, but that you would like to avoid some of the attention or the trials that those individuals currently experience. Tell those who pressure you about having sex that you don’t want to be burnt out from doing it so much that you become unable to enjoy and “appreciate” it by the time you get married. You can also tell them, you have a hard enough time taking care of yourself, and that you do not want to gamble and be in the situation where you are responsible for taking care of another human being, or being labeled as a dead beat who skipped over his or her responsibility.
Finally, if you are being pressured to wear a specific brand of clothing, this is what you need to ask or say. How often do clothes come and go out of style? Would you value what Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, or Martin Luther King Jr. had to say if they were not wearing designer clothes and if their clothes were purchased at Woolworth or “Walmart?” Just, because your parents have more money than my parents, and can afford to buy you more name brand designer clothes, does that make you a smarter, and better person than I? Does your clothes give you your swag, or does your knowledge give you an edge? Let people know that your clothes do not make you look good; but that you make the clothes you wear look good. Let people know you can spend less money, and you still look just as good or even better than they, because your swag is not based on purchasing expensive brand name clothing. Take pride in being an individual, and make it clear that you don’t want to look just like everybody else. Take care of the cloths that you can afford, and make sure you are not wanting to buy expensive clothes just because it’s the in thing for the season. If someone calls you out for wearing a generic brand of clothing, take ownership to it and be proud of it. Say something like this. “Even though I can’t afford what you are wearing, I am not embarrassed that my parents can not afford to buy that brand, and I’m not going to spend all the money I make, trying to buy one pair of shoes, when I can get several nice items that “I” like, from K&G.” Once people see you are confidant in who you are, they will limit their attempts to try to pressure you, or nag you, about a lot of things.