Peer Pressure

Almost everyone has experienced peer pressure before, either positive or negative. Peer pressure is when friends, classmates or colleagues have a direct or indirect influence on your decisions and actions.

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”.

How do I resist peer pressure?

  • Understanding your own values and beliefs
  • Have Self-confidence
  • Choose your friends wisely
  • Talk to a trusted adult
  • Don’t make excuses – say exactly how you feel

Identifying peer pressure.

  • Insults: making a person feel bad for not doing something, so that they eventually will
  • 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: simply seeing all your peers doing something or wearing something can be a form of pressure

But… there is also positive peer pressure!

  • Pressure to not drink/smoke/do drugs
  • Pressure to be nice and help others
  • Pressure to exercise

(references: KidsHealth, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)