So your friends are inviting you to try this newly-opened coffee shop downtown and hang out for a while because it’s a weekend. You are deciding whether you should come so you can unwind.. You really want to go but with the piles of homework and upcoming exams that you have next week, is it okay to say “no”?
Wanting to be more accepted and valued by your friends is a normal part of being a teenager. You might have heard the term “peer pressure” being used a lot to better describe how your behavior as a teenager is shaped. Peer pressure is often associated with negative behaviors such as doing drugs and drinking alcohol. However, you can turn the pressure into a positive one. The secret lies with coping well with the pressure and getting the balance between being yourself and fitting in. This means: knowing your priorities, distinguishing the right from the wrong, choosing what’s best for you, and building a strong self-esteem to resist the influence that often comes with the pressure.
So is it okay to say “no”? The answer is a resounding YES. Here’s why,
You are the only one who really knows your priorities.
We all live such busy lives. That’s what makes it challenging to do everything that we want to do. However, living your life will be determined by the choices you make every day. That’s why it is important to know what’s valuable to you and what will make you happy. Always make the wise decisions. Never waste your time on less important things.
If you are not sure about something and the idea makes you feel hesitant and/or uncomfortable, say “no” to it. No one should dictate you about what you should be doing and what not. You know yourself well. You are the only one who can do this for yourself.
You are not obligated to do something for someone.
Sure, your seatmate let you borrow his notes because you were absent last week and you need to catch up. Your best friend helped you to run that errand yesterday because you couldn’t carry the huge box from your house to the other town. Nevertheless, you’re still not obligated to repay their good deeds by joining them to cut class and spend the rest of the day playing computer games or smoking. Good friends won’t force you to do things that they know will harm both of you.
You have the freedom to choose what’s right for you. Don’t allow others to make you feel bad or guilty for living the life that you deserve.
You can never control people’s opinion of you.
“What other people think of me is none of my business.” – Wayne Dyer
You do not need to be too concerned about what other people think of you. Moreover, you don’t have to try to please everyone, and/or beg for approval. Whatever you do, whatever you say, people will judge you. Whether fair or harsh, don’t sweat this small thing.
You are in-charge of yourself.
If you got too drunk, got a throbbing headache and a hangover after last night’s wild party, or you’re sent to the guidance office for inappropriate behavior, will your peers stand by your side? Probably not. Just like you, they are too busy with themselves.
Deciding to do something and failing to follow through affects the people around you. Do not say “yes” to a lifetime commitment that you’re not really happy about. Because in the long run, you are the one to suffer.
There is more to life than always saying “yes.”
Life is too short to be wasted. But that doesn’t mean that you should try everything that life throws at you. There are things that are worth pursuing for. There are things that don’t really matter. You should know how to differentiate and prioritize.
In the end, it will always be your call. Start living the life that you want and deserve by realizing that it is actually okay to say “no”.