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Keys to Success
Handling Peer Pressure

When your friends suggest, “Let’s bunk Math class today” or “Try it yaar — one cigarette won’t kill you”, how often don’t you agree with them yet go along?
People of our own age are called our peers. When they try to influence our thoughts and actions, it’s called peer pressure.
While peers can influence each other in negative ways (like asking you to lie, or be mean or steal), peer pressure can also have a positive influence – like when someone teaches you an easier way to do your sums, or encourages you to go to piano classes with him. A friend may even stop you from doing something wrong.
How do you resist peer pressure when you know it’s having a negative impact on you?
* The idea that “everyone’s doing it, so it must be cool” is not always true. Don’t go along if you are uncomfortable with the idea.
* Even though its tough to say “no” you can do it if you believe in yourself. Try it and see how good it makes you feel. Often, you will find others agreeing with you.
* It can really make things a lot easier if you have at least one other friend who is on your side.
* Make up your mind beforehand that certain things in life will always be a capital ‘NO’- like drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, lying and stealing.
* Remember that the values that your parents taught you will make you stronger in handling peer pressure.
* Since it is rather difficult to always say no to friends, try and choose likeminded people as friends.
* Refuse to let yourself down . If you can think of peer pressure as letting yourself down, it becomes easier to combat it. It will make you feel more confident and raise your own self-esteem.
* Think of yourself as a leader and act accordingly. Know where you stand on key issues like sex, drugs and alcohol.

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