Almost everyone has experienced peer pressure before, either positive or negative. Peer pressure is when your classmates, or other people your age, try to get you to do something. It is so easy to give in to peer pressure because everyone wants to fit in and be liked. Especially when it seems like “everyone is doing it”. Sometimes people give in to peer pressure because they do not want to hurt someone’s feelings or they do not know how to get out of the situation so they just say “yes”.

What does negative peer pressure look like?

  • Insults: pressure by making a person feel bad for not doing something.
  • Reasoning: pressure by giving a person reasons why they should do something.
  • Rejection: pressure by threatening to end a relationship or a friendship.
  • Unspoken: pressure by seeing your peers do something and wanting to fit in.

How do I resist negative peer pressure?

  • Be prepared and know exactly what to say if someone asks you to do something that is not good (like trying drugs or alcohol).
  • Always be nice and polite when telling someone no.  The nicer you are to them, the nicer they will be to you and respect your decision.
  • Choose to surround yourself with good friends who make good choices.
  • Talk to a trusted adult if you feel you can't handle the negative peer pressure.
  • Politely walk away from the situation.

Don't forget that peer pressure can also be positive! Examples include:

  • Pressure to not drink, smoke, or do drugs
  • Pressure to be nice and help others
  • Pressure to exercise
  • Pressure to not cheat
  • Pressure to keep trying and not give up on something that is good.

Remember to be a good friend and a source of positive peer pressure!