Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to communicate with a peer when you are faced with something you don’t want to do – or when you are trying to influence your peers in a positive way. Here are a couple tips to help you communicate your sun-safe knowledge to your friends.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
Offering some concrete facts strengthens your position and helps you feel more confident in what you are saying. For example, a friend who tells you they don’t worry about the sun because they tan easily might be interested to know that both burns and tans can cause skin cancer.
THINK OF AN ALTERNATIVE
Figure out what your friend’s goal is – do they want to look good for the prom? Or, do they not care about looking tan, but want to spend the day on the beach? Offer suggestions such as going to the mall to check out self tanner or buying a sun umbrella to take along to the beach.
OFFER YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
A personal story often has the most impact and is memorable.
“I played a trivia game in health class and we watched a video of melanoma survivors telling their stories. It was amazing how young some of the survivors were. Since then, I’ve started using sunscreen.”
“My grandmother had melanoma, so I definitely want to do whatever I can to protect my skin.”
Joke around about not wanting wrinkles etc – it might help get your point across in a lighthearted way.
SET A GOOD EXAMPLE
You might not be able to convince someone right away, but if you are always applying sunscreen before soccer practice, eventually they might ask you about it.