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I feel I'm betraying family traditions by drinking and having non-vegetarian. My friends force me and I'm feeling stuck.

Question : I come from a pretty strict vegetarian Hindu family who do not drink. Recently I tried some chicken with my friends and really like it. I have also started drinking and I feel guilty because I feel like I am betraying my family traditions. My friends don’t have these rules so they don’t really get it. But last week I had a beer with my friends and they forced me to ‘be a man' and have two more. I felt really angry with them but didn’t say anything. However,I don’t want to do this again; but I’m worried that if I do they may not hang with me anymore. I feel stuck between fitting in and drawing my limits. What do I do? Teentalker , 18-year-old

Dear Teentalker,

It’s so natural to want to try new things, especially the things one’s family discourages!

As you said, breaking away from your family’s ways can evoke emotions of pleasure as well as guilt. How much to push the boundaries and where to draw the line? That’s the heart of the matter.Here are a few active steps you can take to help yourself:

In Brief:

  • Experimenting with boundaries is a way to figure out your identity as you get older – totally natural!
  • Clarify to your friends that you va.....

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