My friends often force me to bunk my tuitions and go with them. I did that once so that they stop saying things to me and making fun of me. But when I went with them, I saw that they bunk and either smoke or taste different types of alcohol. I don’t like doing such things and if my parents find out I will be in deep trouble. They constantly force me to try smoking or drinking and I really don’t like being around them anymore. I don’t know how to get out of this and feel stuck with all the names they call me and the fun they make of me. Please advise.
Thank you for writing in and sharing your troubled situation with me. Peer pressure is often really difficult to deal with, especially when you’re the only one trying to resist it. But remember that it’s better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction. If people are teasing you and trying to bring you down, it only means that you are above them. Continue to do what you feel is right.
Surround yourself with people who will lift you higher. When they keep forcing you to bunk, resist by saying no very firmly. It is illegal to drink and smoke at such a young age and it can lead to serious health issues too. Keep in mind that nobody can force you to do something against your will. It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. You could also try keeping your distance from them so that this situation can be avoided. If the pressure and teasing persists, please do tell your parents about it. You definitely have your values and priorities in place, so pat yourself on your back for that. It isn’t easy to stand up for yourself, but if you don’t, who will? Don’t change so people like you; continue to be yourself and the right people will love you. All the best.
There are several competitions that are held in school but I’m always so nervous to enrol for them. When I am at home, I always think about participating but when the teacher asks me in class, I usually end up saying no. After the competition is over, I start feeling really bad that I didn’t take up the opportunity to participate. I sometimes also feel like I could’ve done a better job than few of the other participants and tell myself that next time I will try. It’s almost like a repeated trend I follow and I am not sure how to end this.
Thank you for your email and for discussing your predicament with me. I bet it took a lot of courage to even reach out for help and the fact that you did only shows that you are capable of so much more than you are currently allowing yourself to be. An awareness of the same is the first step towards success. Feeling anxious is sometimes the worst feeling in the world. It is like being followed by a voice that knows all your weaknesses and insecurities and tries to use it against you when you need it to be quiet the most; often it’s the only voice you can hear when you want to try and do something that really want to. On the other hand, there is that worrying thought of ‘expectations’ that move much like a rocking chair. It keeps your mind preoccupied but takes you nowhere.
Anxiety happens when you think you have to figure out everything all at once. Breathe. You’ve got this. Tell yourself to take it one day at a time, one challenge at a time. Trust yourself: You have survived a lot and you will survive whatever is coming. Do not underestimate yourself by comparing yourself with others. It’s our differences that make us beautiful and unique. Your power and confidence will come when to try to challenge the way you respond to situations. What you do today will determine who you will be. Go ahead and push yourself, nobody else can do it for you. Good luck.
When life gets harder, challenge yourself to be stronger. Strength doesn’t come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.
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Until next time, stay strong!
(The columnist is psychologist and counsellor, currently working as a school counsellor.)