Parties and Partying: How to Fit in Without Joining In
Updated: Feb 4
Saying no to friends, or when trying to make new friends can be a difficult because you want to “fit in”. It happens all the time – friends try to get you to eat something you don’t want, stay longer than you planned, or just go somewhere you don’t feel like. Sometimes situations involve more serious things like being ‘encouraged’ to drink or do drugs when you don’t want to. But the reality is, the majority of your friends, and even new people you are just meeting will be okay with your choice to pass or do it your own way.
I wanted to share one occasion where I struggled with wanting to fit in that turned out really well. In fact, it set the tone for how I handled many similar situations after that.
I had just transferred to a new college, and a friend invited me over to a hang out. She told me that she would introduce me to everyone, and it would be a fun time. I was very excited to meet new people and hoped I would “fit in”.
When I first arrived, everything was going well. I was meeting a bunch of new people and having a good time. But then people started bringing out bongs and smoking marijuana. I remember I was in the middle of talking to people when my friend looked at me, pointed to a giant bong, and said, “You’re next!”. I responded nervously that I’ve never smoked before, and she said that she would teach me.
At that point I started getting worried. I wasn’t comfortable with the idea of smoking, but I also didn’t want to be the odd one out.
Earlier that evening, there was a girl that took a couple hits from the bong. Within 15 minutes you could tell she was under the influence, giggling at nothing, slurring her words, mumbling, and her eyes were so bloodshot she could barely keep them open. But after 30 minutes things started to go downhill. She was hunched over on the couch feeling nauseous, anxious, and trembling all over. When her friends realized she wasn’t well they all tried to take care of her by taking her to a room to watch over her and tried to calm her down by reassuring her that she was going to be ok.
Seeing that girl have a bad reaction smoking scared me.
So, when it became “my turn” I finally mustered up the courage to stand up for myself, pulled my friend aside, and told her that I didn’t want to. She still tried convincing me, by saying it’ll be ok, I didn’t have to smoke that much since it’s my first time, and told me I can just do one hit. But I told her that I still didn’t feel comfortable with smoking any amount. And you know what happened? Nothing.
She said that it was ok, and I didn’t have to smoke if I didn’t want to. She then made sure that I was having a good time, gave me a hug, and that was the end of that conversation. When people offered the bong to me again later, I would just say “no thank you”. No one made fun of me for not smoking! Some people did ask why I wasn’t smoking, and I just told them that I had to drive home and had work in the morning. Again, no one made fun of me for not smoking!
I continued to have a good time the rest of the night and I even made more friends. I was so relieved that I wasn’t pressured into something I didn’t want to do and how everyone respected my choice to not smoke.
Its always difficult to say no to friends, and even new people you’ve just met. Even if you think that you’re going to disappoint them or be the party pooper. Choose what is going to be best for yourself. So if you want to fit in without joining in try what I did. You might end up like me, having a great time!
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