Peer Pressure Advice

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Being young and trying to move smoothly through school, life and friends can be difficult, and may lead you to many road blocks. There are many instances where you might not know how to deal with situations that come your way. Good and bad events in your life are all part of the process, Latinitas has a way to help you get through uncomfortable or difficult times when it comes to what’s most important in your life.

“What do you do when most of your friends are gone because they’re into partying, drugs and drinking?”
Being the odd one out is tough, especially when your friends are off making decisions that you don’t feel particularly comfortable with. Keep in mind that there is no reason you should ever feel pressured to give into partying, drugs, or drinking! Stay true to yourself and your beliefs. If your friends have decided that partying is more important than spending time with you, then you should reevaluate your friendships. Take some time for yourself and focus on what makes you happy and what you like to do. Even better, go out and make new friends that share similar interests with you. Don’t be scared to say no to your friends and start to drift away to make new ones. It happens to all friends, especially when tough issues like drugs come into play. Step outside of your personal comfort zone and have fun in a safe, healthy way. If you feel you can’t say no to your friends, be honest about the way you feel with them. Let them know how their actions have negatively affected your friendship. Reflect and grow.

“One of my best friends sometimes lacks hope and belief in herself. She complains about how she doesn’t think she can complete certain things. Whenever I try to encourage her, she tunes me out and is ‘hard headed.’ I want her to not worry and always have faith in herself. Any suggestions?”
It’s difficult to spend time encouraging someone only to be turned down, but keep at it. Despite what she can portray by being “hard headed,” chances are she’s hearing you from time to time in the back of her head. You may feel like you’re repeating yourself too often or that she’s never going to accept your encouraging words, but she will and she’ll appreciate it. It’s important to remind the people we care about the most how loved and appreciated they are, especially when they’re feeling the exact opposite. It’s part of being a good friend. Being there when friends experience the good and when they experience the worst is extremely important. If you feel like you’re not being heard through spoken word, maybe try writing a letter. Write down what you’ve said before so that she can look at a written copy of it. If she see’s you’ve taken enough time to sit down and think about her, she’ll definitely notice your support. Most importantly, continue being as encouraging and kind as you’ve always been to her. Let her know that no matter how she may feel you will always be there to support her.

“I’m always busy with work and school, which is stressful. But my friends think I am ignoring them and always making excuses about being tired and have sometimes not invited me to places because I am always “busy.” What do I do?”
Don’t feel bad about not being able to balance school, work, and your social life. Those things are hard to keep balanced, especially when one is busier than the other. You’ve made the right choice in focusing on what’s important to you, which is your studies. Be honest with your friends about your priorities. Definitely do not disregard their friendship or their invitations, but make it clear that as much as you would love to hang out, you are busy with school, work and pursing your education. They might need to know exactly what is keeping you busy and away from them. If your friends not inviting you to places has started to hurt your feelings, maybe try to invite them to do something, or say yes every once in a while. This will show that you care and that you’ve taken steps to be with them and enjoy their company. Better yet, if you have a class that you’re all in maybe suggest having a group study date. You’ll have fun and learn together.

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