Peer pressure: Dealing with it

As a young person, it’s difficult to make decisions on your own but when other people get involved and try to influence your decisions it becomes even more difficult and complicated. This is what we call peer pressure: when you feel that someone your own age is pushing you towards making a certain choice, good or bad.

Everyone gives in to pressure at one time or another and this can make you feel sad, worried, guilty, like a loser or disappointed in yourself.

But why do we give in to peer pressure?

Everyone wants to fit in and sometimes we think this will make us more liked by others. Sometimes we are curious to try something new that others are doing – "but everyone's doing it". It could also be that we aren’t sure of what they really want or don’t know how to get out of the situation. Either way it’s difficult to say ‘no’ to peer pressure, but you can do it if you learn to spot it early.

These are the different types of peer pressure:

  • Rejection: Threatening to end a friendship or a relationship. This pressure can be hard to resist because nobody wants to lose friends. For example, "If you don't drink we won't hang out anymore."
  • Put Downs: Insulting or calling a person names to make them feel bad. For example, "You're never any fun. You're so uncool. You such a baby. You a loser."
  • Reasoning: Trying to make you do something by giving reasons why it's a 'good idea'. For example, "It won't hurt you. You only live once so you'll regret it if you don't. Nobody will ever find out."
  • Unspoken Pressure: When nothing is directly said to you, but because you see others doing something, you feel pressure to do the same. For example: The Huddle: A group huddles together and looks at something you can't see, laughing and joking. Or, The Look: The 'cool kids' give you a look that means we're cool and you're not.

If any one of these is happening to you, speak to a counsellor at your local clinic or a friend who will back you up. It can also really help to have at least one other friend, who can say "no," and resist the peer pressure with you. So choose your friends wisely!

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B-Wise User Anonymous 4 July 2019 13:32

What are the negative impact of peer pressure?

B-Wise Expert Expert 9 July 2019 14:26

Hi there, thank you for your question. You can find your answer here Peer pressure: Dealing with it

B-Wise User Boitumelo Boity Beauty 8 May 2019 12:53

People who bully others will deal with karma

B-Wise User fifi cooper 11 June 2017 23:59

Some people think that they do the right things when they kill,rape and bully let them be their time will came

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 April 2018 12:09

Hi there FIFI, thank you for your feedback 

B-Wise User Reabetswe 14 September 2015 20:48

What must you do when they push you to do something you don't want to do?

B-Wise Expert Expert 4 July 2017 16:15

Hi Reabetswe, thanks for asking. Some things we have to do because they’re duties, like going to school or doing our chores. But no one has the right to force you to do anything you don’t feel comfortable with, or that doesn’t fit with who you are. If people are pushing you to do something that could be risky for you, like using drugs or alcohol, having sex or putting your life in danger, you have the right to say NO. If these people are good friends, they will understand and respect your decision. 

B-Wise User Reabetswe 14 September 2015 20:43

When someone is bullying and threatening you what must you do?

B-Wise Expert Expert 4 July 2017 16:16

Hi Reabetswe, it can be really scary to be bullied. Often bullies want you to feel powerless, and they might threaten to hurt you if you tell someone. But you have the right to be protected from bullies. Tell an adult you trust, like a family member, teacher, nurse or counsellor, who will keep a secret if you ask them to. They can give you advice or report the bully if they need to. You can also call Childline on 08000 55555. For more help, you can check out our articles “Are you scared of somebody? Are you being bullied?” and “What should I do if someone is threatening me or hurting me?”


B-Wise User FezileFlorence 2 September 2015 20:06

I think the best way to avoid peer pressure is to choose a good team and stop to interfere your self in bad things