Sure, hanging out with kids from the wrong side of the tracks can be cool—but only if you stand your ground.
Step 1: Think of consequences Think about the consequences of doing what you're being urged to do. Are they good? Or are they bad?
Step 2: Ask if consequences are worth it Ask yourself if the consequences are worth it. Sure, you'll have the approval of your peers, but in the long run, who really cares if Susie thinks you're a "square"?
Step 3: Say "no" confidently Say "no" in a way that leaves no room for argument.
"No." If you act confident and self-assured, your peers won't try to push you around.
TIP: Be firm without being judgmental—no need to stoop to their level.
Step 4: Find new group of friends If your peers consistently pressure you to do bad things, find a new group of friends! Join a club where you can meet people more like yourself.
Step 5: Stay out of bad situations Don't put yourself in situations where you know you'll be pressured to do things you don't want to.
Remember, you're your own "cat."
FACT: Eighty-one percent of eighth graders say they disapprove of heavy drinking.