Why NO is a Good Word

Published: 9 March 2020

We were recording our Talk about Alcohol Misuse Podcast with some young people recently. They were really honest about the challenges and peer pressure to drink excessively that they have experienced.

Interestingly, there was a common theme of negative peer pressure. That it was ok to drink dangerous amounts of alcohol, as long as everyone in the group was doing it. So, when our guys said in their groups, ‘No, I don’t want to, I’ve had enough of this,’ the pressure became so intense over time that they felt they were being shamed into drinking and humiliated for not getting dangerously drunk. Unfortunately, this seems to a common experience for young people.

It’s ok to say ‘no’.

They ultimately stood up for themselves and made the tough decision to leave their friendship group. This is a scary thing to do. But the choice was to either stay with the crowd and do something they didn’t want to do in order just to fit in, or invest in their self-worth, stick to what was right for them and decide that NO is a good word. To bravely say ‘No, I am not doing this anymore’.

We all suffer from low self-esteem from time to time, but there are things you can do to boost yours and use it to break free from negative peer pressure.

Learn to boost your self-esteem

We all suffer from low self-esteem from time to time, but there are things you can do to boost yours and use it to break free from negative peer pressure.

1. Find the right people

How do the people you hang out with make you feel about yourself?

Spend less time with people who make you feel bad about yourself and spend all their time talking badly about others. Connect with people who value you, make you feel good about yourself and boost your confidence.

2. Set some positive goals

Plan to do something that you know will make you feel good about yourself. Set yourself a target to try something that you know you could achieve if you set your mind to it. This will remind you of what you are capable of.

3. Challenge negative thoughts and feelings

Remember you are so much more than your thoughts. Thoughts are not facts, so challenge them if they are undermining your confidence or belief in yourself.  You can emerge stronger and more confident.

4. Reach out and ask for support

It is okay not to be okay. It is okay to lean on others to build yourself up.

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Why NO is a Good Word
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Why NO is a Good Word
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