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Tips to Deal with Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is when a person or group of people try to get you to do something you don’t want to do. Sometimes it is hard to avoid. Read this section for tips on how to deal with peer pressure.

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Dealing with peer pressure

Peer pressure is when a person or group of people try to get you to do something you don’t want to do. We may feel that pressure from friends, classmates, and even people we don’t really know. Sometimes it isn’t obvious they are doing it. Usually, you feel pressure to join in because “everyone is doing it”. Not all forms of peer pressure are bad. Sometimes they just want you to try an activity that is fun and safe. But certain situations can be harmful, for example when they pressure you to pick on someone else or take part in a dangerous activity. Sometimes people think if they take part in an activity they will become more popular or make new friends because that is what they are told by others. Often this is not what happens. Most people who do something they didn’t want to often feel like they did it against their beliefs and feel bad about it. It also usually does not have the outcome they were promised or expected.

Sometimes it is hard to avoid peer pressure. Here are a few tips:

Say “No”, followed by a strong statement.

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For example, if someone asks you to drive when you have been drinking say, “No, I like having my driver’s license and I don’t want to risk my life or the lives other people on the road”

Confront people when you feel pressured by them.

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For example, if someone is pressuring you to skip class, you can say, “You are pressuring me to do something I do not want to do. I don’t like it and want you to stop.” Those who are peer pressuring others will usually stop once someone has called out what they are doing. It may be awkward to do this in front of others, so you can also take the person aside to talk in private.

Leave the situation.

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If the peer pressure does not stop, the best solution might be to leave the situation all together. For example, you are at a party where people are constantly trying to get you to drink or do drugs you do not want to do. It might be best to hang out with a different group or leave the party.

Consider what could happen if you give in to the peer pressure.

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If you feel pressured to do something, think about what could happen if you do it. Do not listen to what other people say will happen. If you think the activity will probably result in harm, then you know you should avoid it.

Surround yourself with friends who back you up.

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When you are facing peer pressure, your friends should support your decision not to do something. And, you should support your friends if they do not want to do something as well.

Bullying is different from peer pressure. If you feel like you’re being bullied, there is support and information here: http://foundrybc.ca/resource/bullying/

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