Live Real

Coping with Pressure

Sometimes it’s tough to say no. That’s why planning your choices in advance gives you more choices and more confidence to make them.

If someone pressures you to do something that's not right or good for you, you have the right to resist and say “no.” And you don’t have to give a reason unless you want to.

So why do people say “yes” when they really want to say "no"? Why is it so hard to resist the pressure?

There are lots of reasons.  



You may be:

  • Afraid of being rejected by others
  • Want to be liked and don’t want to lose a friend
  • Don’t want to be made fun of
  • Don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings
  • Don’t know how to get out of the situation

Sometimes resisting isn’t easy, but you can do it with practice and a little know-how. Keep trying, even if you don’t get it right at first. Make your choice and use your voice.


Learn to Say "No"


  • You’re not alone! It’s easy to think you’re the only one who doesn’t do drugs, but lots of people your age don’t drink or smoke weed.
  • Figure out where you stand on drugs and alcohol. Knowing in your own mind makes it easier to stay true to yourself.
  • Get ready now by thinking about how you want to respond and act if someone pressures you. You could even talk to a friend or someone you trust about it.
  • Think about who is offering you the drugs and why – friends should understand if you say no, people you don’t know very well might want something in return if you say yes.
  • Say no firmly but clearly, but without making a big deal about it. If they try to push you, don’t feel like you have to change your mind.
  • Your friends will actually respect you more if you’re assertive and clear about what you do and don’t want to do.
  • Take a look around – it might not seem like it, but you’re not the only one worrying about what other people think of you. Try to focus on your own opinion of yourself – in the end, that’s all that matters.
  • Watch out for your friends - if you’re worried about a friend, don’t keep it to yourself. Talk to them, or someone you trust.
  • If you find it hard to be yourself with your group of friends, take a step back. Maybe it’s time to find a new crowd to hang with.

Northern youth have something important to say about alcohol and drugs—and how they’re affecting their communities. Over the last two years, youth in communities all the way from Inuvik to Fort Smith created My Voice, My Choice videos.

Some of the videos were part of workshops that got youth talking about what's important to them and how they want to live. Others were hip-hop videos made by youth with the help of northern recording artist “Godson.” All of these videos talked about choices and the opportunity for youth to use their voices to make healthy ones.

The results were awesome. 

Some videos will make you laugh out loud. Others will make you shudder. There’s some tight beats in there too!

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