How to say “no” to peer pressure.
Deciding to quit smoking would be a lot easier if everyone around you already doesn’t smoke. But the reality is that you’ll probably still have people in your life who smokes, and you may feel tempted whenever they light up near you. You can’t avoid smokers your entire life, fearing the temptation of cigarettes. Instead, have a plan for how you’ll deal with peer pressure and cravings.
Here are some practical tips for how to stay strong when people are peer pressuring you to smoke or are smoking around you.
- Remind yourself that you’re a non-smoker before you head out. When you self-identify as a non-smoker, it’ll be easier for you to act accordingly to how you see yourself. It also allows you to project confidence and helps you to stand up for what you believe in.
- Revisit the list of all the reasons why you quit. When you bring to mind why you decided to quit, you’ll find it easier to say “no” to peer pressure and smoking. Remember all that hard work you’ve put into to getting yourself smokefree and the people who are counting on you to succeed. Don’t put yourself in the position of having to start over.
- Say “no,” clearly and firmly. Imagine someone pressuring you to smoke and practice saying “no” in an authoritative and strong tone. This may sound silly, but practicing will make it easier for you to respond in a cool and collected way when/if it actually happens. And the more certain you are in your refusal, the less people will continue to pressure you.
- Bring a buddy. Find a friend who also doesn’t smoke to join you. You definitely won’t be alone in your values, and you two can support each other up if one or both of you are being pressured or are tempted to smoke.
- Have an exit strategy. Have a plan in place if people won’t stop peer pressuring you or your cravings become too overwhelming. Maybe you’ll leave the party or you’ll want to bring a card game to play with other non-smokers.
- Be proud. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back for your strength and sticking to your quit. It can be really tough to say “no” to people and not listen to what they think, especially those who you care about, but it’s more important for you to be healthy and live a smokefree life.
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