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GrabTheMeic: “I don’t want to drink, but I don’t want to lose my friends either”.

“I don’t want to drink, but I don’t want to lose my friends either”.

 You’re not alone in how you’re feeling. If all our friends are doing something (like drinking) we can feel under pressure from them and ourselves to do the same so we don’t get left out.  It might seem easier to do the thing in order to “belong” but this can lead to you doing something that you don’t think is right and isn’t “you”. It could also lead to more serious trouble if you are drunk and do stupid things.

It’s happening to me now

If you’re having a hard time right now with this it can help to talk to someone you trust – a friend, family member, teacher, youth worker, counsellor, or contact Meic to talk anonymously. You can text 84001, phone 080880 23456 or IM on the site.

It might happen to me – what can I do to stop it?

 Whilst it’s pretty normal to feel this way, it’s important to be yourself and that you don’t do anything that can make you unhappy. Taking responsibility for your happiness doesn’t mean you can’t be part of the group.

To help you manage the situation you can:

– Hang out with people who like doing similar stuff to you – you might feel more confident and it’s less likely you’ll get pressured into doing things you don’t want to do.

– Get assertive – not easy to do – be strong and say no and explain calmly why you don’t want to (without making a big fuss). Not only will you find you feel better but maybe that other people feel the same.

– Find things you and your mates can do instead. Remember, you don’t need alcohol to have fun!

If you are in the situation where your friends are drinking and they won’t accept that you don’t want to, no matter what reasoning you give, then it might be time to remove yourself from the situation – and go home.

Want to find out more? Try these: