Home > Friends & Relationships > Defeating Peer Pressure

Defeating Peer Pressure

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 28 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Peer Pressure positive Peer Pressure

Peer pressure can sneak up on you in many shapes and sizes. Putting off your homework to go to a friend's party, ditching sports practice to go shopping and letting your crush copy from your assignments are all types of things that teens give into in the face of peer pressure. But then again, so are buckling down to study, handing over the car keys if you have been drinking and circling around when a friend is in trouble.

Peer pressure can be both positive and negative, but for the most part when we hear about peer pressure it is the harmful variety. Peer pressure can put you at risk, make you compromise your morals and deter you from your future plans. Rather than let peer pressure sway you, learn how to defeat negative peer pressure and get on with your own life!

Exploring Peer Pressure

"Peer pressure" is a fairly self-explanatory term. It is literally the pressure that we feel from our peers to do certain things, dress certain ways, use certain words, eat certain foods, and on and on. No matter how old you are there will always be peer pressure to conform to certain norms, but it can be particularly acute in secondary school, when standing out from the crowd can take a lot of courage. Though peer pressure can sometimes result in positive outcomes, like the pressure from friends to show off your beautiful voice in the school musical, usually the term "peer pressure" is used to describe a negative influence.

Giving In to Peer Pressure

It is only realistic to assume that everyone will give in to peer pressure at some time in their lives. Unfortunately there are certain characteristics that can mark out someone likely to give into negative and risky peer pressure.

Those especially susceptible to the influence of peer pressure usually display:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Little or no self-confidence
  • Few successful friendships
  • Isolation from their wider peer group, such as classmates
  • Loneliness
  • Depression

Common Activities Associated with Peer Pressure

There are certain stereotypical activities that your peers may pressure you to engage in. These activities often include:

  • Putting off school work to party or have fun
  • Sneaking out of the house
  • Allowing others to cheat by copying your assignments or exams
  • Giving up organised extracurricular activities such as music or sports
  • Drinking
  • Smoking
  • Exploring drugs
  • Shoplifting
  • Having sex before you are ready
  • Teasing or bullying others

Defeating Peer Pressure

Defeating peer pressure takes guts, and it is not the type of thing for which you can specifically prepare. Instead, you need to cultivate the self-confidence, self-acceptance and self-love that will allow you to remain comfortable with your ideals and interests even in the face of pressure from others.

On a more practical level, it can be helpful to:

  • Join clubs or groups whose members believe in the same things as you.
  • Cultivate friendships with people who do not pressure you.
  • Distance yourself from bullies or critical friends or classmates.
  • Think about where you stand on issues such as those listed above, so if confronted with them you can quickly give your opinions rather than give in to pressure.
  • Discuss your opinions and future plans with your parents, so you can make sure that you have their support.
  • Have a few excuses ready for why you can't participate in whatever activity you are being pressured about.
Blame your homework, your parents, even your baby sister if you have to, but don't give in to something you are not comfortable with.

Unfortunately, dealing with peer pressure seems to be part and parcel of being a teenager. While it is something you should be ready for, it is not something you should worry about giving in to. Know yourself, love yourself and be yourself. And don't let anyone tell you differently!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Ann
    Re: Coping with a Crush
    There is this guy I’ve told him that I like him and he told me that he likes me. So I asked him to go on a date/be my boyfriend and he said…
    17 January 2019
  • SelfHarmSucks
    Re: Warning Signs of Self Harming
    I have only very recently started self harming but my friends have being doing it for a while.The reason i started was because of…
    14 January 2019
  • Seba
    Re: Questionnaire: Are You Addicted to Social Networking Sites?
    Kindly give suggestion and idea about Social Network
    13 January 2019
  • Ann
    Re: All about Abortion
    I'm 13 and my bf fingered me with cum on his fingers and dk what to do
    10 January 2019
  • Rose
    Re: All about Abortion
    Im so afraid. Im 14 and me and my boyfriend shared our first time together, he's 15 but we're in the same year. I know its been like 12 hours…
    3 January 2019
  • Stressed
    Re: All about Abortion
    Im 16 my gf is 15 6 months between us i think she is pregnant it was a total accident but she deosnt want her parents finding out my mother…
    2 January 2019
  • save me
    Re: All about Abortion
    ok so I'm 13 and me and my bf (also 13) had sex about 7 weeks ago since then I have been put off loads of food that I would normally eat and I…
    16 December 2018
  • Han
    Re: How to Deal with Pressure From Parents
    My parents expect straight As and if i get a B they will take everything. I’m in the 10 grade taking honors classes…
    13 December 2018
  • Jax
    Re: How to Deal with Pressure From Parents
    I live in a house with my dad, step mom, older step brother, and younger brother and my dad constantly puts me under…
    13 December 2018
  • One_sun
    Re: How to Deal with Pressure From Parents
    I live in a house of five and i'm the eldest and only daughter in the family, my parents put a lot of pressure on me…
    12 December 2018