Peer pressure can be so real! Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t want to do something, but did it anyway, just because everyone else was doing it? Well guess what? We’ve all been there! Learning to say NO is not an easy task but it’s a skill we can all build and practise.
Step 1 – Avoid putting yourself in difficult situations
Let’s say you’re not ready to have sex but a boy is inviting you to his house to “hang out” late at night. You know he’s interested in having sex but you aren’t ready to do so. What do you do?
A: Go to his house late at night
B: Say NO and ask to meet in a public place
The right answer is Option B! If you can avoid difficult situations, then avoid them. Regret is not a nice feeling, so if we can avoid it by making good decisions in the first place then that’s a step in the right direction. Don’t hangout with people who make you feel uncomfortable or pressure you to do things you’re not ready to do.
Step 2 – Think of the consequences of your actions
When you’re about to say YES or NO to a decision, don’t just act on your emotions. Spend time to think things through and think about what will happen after your decision. If you’re happy with the end result, then great. But if you’re not comfortable with how things might end up, then be strong and brave enough to say NO and turn away.
For example, there are emotional risks of having sex early, like regret, anxiety and confusion. You could also get pregnant if you do not use protection. So if you’re not ready to handle this, saying NO is the smart thing to do.
Step 3 – Speak up and stand up for yourself
Your voice matters. Your opinions matter. Don’t let anyone make you think otherwise. You have the power of choice to decide what to do with your life. So stay true to yourself.
Let’s imagine you went for option A, and went to the boys house late at night. If he asks you to have sex and you don’t want to, you have every right to say NO.
It’s your body so it’s your choice. Just because you go to his house does not give him permission to have sex with you.
Standing up for what you believe in is important. Don’t be silent if something doesn’t seem right to you.
Saying NO might be difficult, but it’s important to stand up for yourself and only do what feels right to you.