An important skill to learn in life is the ability to say “No,” and not feel guilty about it. Pressure comes in all forms, and for the most part, it’s never ending. When you’re my age it’s things like feeling the pressure to have the perfect job and own a house, or your family pressuring you to get married and have kids. But when you’re young, the pressure usually revolves around trying to fit in and find acceptance among your peers.
This episode of DTV reminds me of my college days. I don’t drink. I’ve tried alcoholic drinks (no more than a few sips), but I’ve never consumed alcohol with the intention of getting buzzed or drunk, and I never will. At that age when you tell people you don’t drink, strangers in particular take it as a challenge to try and get you to drink. Never once have I felt guilty about turning down alcohol, because this is something I refuse to budge on. I was lucky because my friends who drank were cool with it and never tried to force me into doing it.
While I didn’t succumb to peer pressure when it came to alcohol, I did often go out to parties when I didn’t really want to. I’m not really the party type, but at the same time how would it look if you constantly kept turning down invitations to hang out with your friends? As a teenager/young adult the party scene was one of those things I felt like I had to do whether I wanted to or not, but as an adult I don’t bother hiding my lack of interest in going to bars or things like that (social drinking is by far the most popular adult activity). Personally, it feels weird sometimes because nondrinkers aren’t exactly viewed as “cool” or whatever, and it’s easy to feel left out when you’re not interested in something so many people take part in regularly. But nowadays I simply can’t imagine being bored or miserable doing something I don’t want to do just for the sake of impressing everyone else.
It’s okay to say “No,” and it’s okay to do your own thing, even if you’re the only one doing it.