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Learn How To Say No

If you don’t like what your friends are doing to you, the simplest way out is to say no. Tough? Yes, but not impossible. Family Therapist Malyn Cristobal tells us how.

Teenage girls usually put up with a lot of things they don’t like from their friends for fear that they won’t be accepted. You may be so scared to lose your friends, but if you just accept all the negative things they do to you, you will slowly lose yourself. Empower yourself to say no by accepting who you are. Then you’ll be confident enough to feel good about yourself without the need of others’ approval. Here are some things you could try. 

  1. Look in the mirror. Study your reflection. Most teens just look into the mirror to fix their hair and retouch their lip gloss, not to look carefully at what they see. Start with your eyes—are they filled with life and laughter or are they dull and sad? What about your mouth—is it tight with tension or relaxed and soft? Learn to be comfortable with what you see and get to know yourself and the things you like about you. Ask yourself: what would I want to do for my friend in the mirror today? What will make those eyes brighten up with joy and those lips turn up in a wide smile? Start with small daily goals. Then you can work up toward bigger, better ones. And don’t be afraid to talk to your reflection. This can be the start of a beautiful friendship.
  2. Listen to music. Music can be therapeutic. Find a song that reflects how you feel and sing along to it. Crank up the volume and sing at the top of your lungs. You’ll be amazed at how pumped up you’ll feel. And if a pop star can sing the theme song of your life, someone out there must be feeling the way you do.
  3. Think of how you feel. The hardest thing in the world is to be yourself when you can’t even figure out who that is. You don’t have to psychoanalyze yourself. Just start with how you feel. How do you feel about your barkada’s kwento, your teacher’s opinions, and your parents’ rules? More importantly, how do you feel about who you are right now? Now think of what you can do to like yourself better. And remember to find the middle ground—where you aren’t totally self-absorbed into thinking that the world revolves around you and where you can give of yourself without losing who you are.
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