Regardless of your age, there may come a point when you feel peer pressure to drink alcohol. For example, if you're in college, your friends may pressure you to go out on the weekend and consume as a means of having a good time. Or if you're an adult, your coworkers may pressure you to take in happy hour with them.
While peer pressure will always exist, there are steps you can take to turn down these advances. Here are some things you can try:
- Offer to be the designated driver: Not only does it get you off the hook, but it's also the safe thing to do. Add to this the fact that your friends will be happy to take you up on the offer, and you have a strategy that's sure to help ease the tension.
- Explain why drinking alcohol right now isn't possible: For example, you can simply explain that you don't want to drink and drive. Or maybe you have a big test tomorrow and you need to be on your game. Regardless of the reason, have one you can lean on.
- Remove yourself: There are times when no matter what you say, your peers will continue to pressure you. It's best to remove yourself from the situation entirely, as this eliminates the potential for additional conversation about the matter. It may sound harsh, but you need to do what's best for you.
Why do people cave to peer pressure?
Even if you follow one or more of the paths above, you may still find yourself on the fence. Here are some of the reasons why people cave:
- They want other people to like them
- They're more interested in fitting in than maintaining their safety and well-being
- They're looking for a reason to drink in the first place
- They think it will be fun
If you give in to peer pressure to drink, you may soon find your situation spiraling out of control. What started out as a single drink has resulted in an officer putting you under arrest for driving under the influence (or a related crime).
If your drinking leads to your arrest, follow along with the requests of the police while taking mental notes of everything that's happening. This will help you formulate a defense strategy with the hope of avoiding a conviction and the related consequences.