Peer Pressure: 6 Tips for Setting Yourself Up for Success
We have all experienced the annoying thing called peer pressure at some point in our life. It can leave us feeling uncomfortable, confused, rejected, scared, and sometimes even violated. We all long to be included and desperately want to trust those closest to us. The question then becomes, how do you say no to someone you trust, love, and care about like your best friend or your boyfriend/girlfriend?
It’s not uncommon, when confronted with peer pressure, to feel like you are hurting someone’s feelings or scared to lose your place in someone’s life. However, let’s call this what it is and it’s fear. Fear is NOT a spirit from God and needs to be replaced with healthy feelings like confidence and self-worth. Creating a game plan NOW before you are confronted with difficult decisions can help you handle people and situations better. Here are some things to think about:
1) Let no one take God’s place– We have to guard God in our heart and be protective over His place there. Oftentimes we may or may not even realize it but we replace God with other people. They become our everything and we end up giving everything for them. In His Word it says, “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exo. 20:3). He says this for a reason. No one will ever give you what He can give you.
2) State your beliefs ahead of time and often– Some of my friends wouldn’t invite me to certain places because they knew my beliefs. How did they know my beliefs? I not only spoke about them but I did it often. It is my way of life. Do you any of your friends even know you are Christian? This is something to really consider. How can you change your behavior to reflect Christ?
3) Code Word/Question– I remember being asked to sleep over my friend’s house and giving my mom googly eyes so she would say no. Unfortunately, she didn’t get the hint. Setting up a code word with your parents ahead of time will help get you out of situations you don’t want to be in without feeling like you’re hurting someone’s feelings or being forced into an awkward situation. For example, you can set up a code question like, “Did you wash my blue shirt?” and this will let your parents know you need to be picked up and their response would be “I did. I’m going to pick you up in ___ minutes”.
4) Learn to do things by yourself– If you learn to be an independent, separate person with your own likes and dislikes, it will be a lot easier to stand your ground and be confident in doing so because you have already established your own sense of self apart from “the crowd”. Go ahead and try something new, take a class, travel, or volunteer somewhere!
5) Take a break– Sometimes we all need a break from the millions of voices telling us what to do, how to act, what to wear, who to date, how far to go, and so on. Shut off the TV, turn off the radio, get off Facebook, and spend time learning about you. Ask God to show you all the beautiful talents he has given you and the courage to take hold of them. What are you naturally good at? Start there.
“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139:13).
6) Know your self-worth– If you haven’t started loving yourself yet, now is a good time to start. Believe you are worth the wait, the wedding, the respect, the good grades, and everything God has planned for your life. For more advice on how to do this, click here.
By building this foundation, sometimes a ‘no’ won’t even be necessary but if it is you will be more than comfortable saying so. If God is where He should be in your life, you should be more worried about what He thinks. “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10).
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Jesus, family, ministry, and lots of coffee! My heart comes from being a young teen girl who didn’t know much and found Jesus in a dark time. My ministry focuses on the heart of God for this generation to make Godly decisions especially in the area of purity. A blog for all ages because God’s Word is eternal and has no age limit!