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Peer pressure

Peer pressure is feeling like you have to do something just because all your friends are doing it. It's OK to say no and make your own choices.

Image of a girl walking away from her peersWhat is peer pressure?

Your ‘peers’ are people who are a similar age to you. Peer pressure is feeling like you have to do something just because your friends or other people around you are doing it - to feel like you fit in.

You might feel pressured into:

Will I be left out if I don't do what everyone else is doing?

People should like you for who you are and respect your decisions. If someone won't be friends with you just because you don't do the same things as them, then they are not true friends.

It might seem like everyone else is doing things that you are not, but sometimes that's not the case. Some people like to talk about things that they get up to, like smoking or drinking or having sex, but they might only be saying that to look cool.

What can I do about peer pressure?

If you don't want to do something that all your mates are doing, it can be hard to stand up to them. You shouldn't have to do anything that you don't want to do. If your friends are really your friends they should respect you and not make you do things that make you uncomfortable.

Being assertive means you can tell to your friends why you don’t want to do something without being rude to them. Read more about being assertive.

If you feel like you’re being forced to do things that you don't want to, or are worried about not fitting in, you can talk to our counsellors for support. 

You can call us for free on 0800 1111. You could also email or log on for a 1-2-1 chat with a counsellor.

Feeling Pressured?

Are your friends pressuring you to do something you don't want to? You can get support from the ChildLine community on the Message Boards.

Friends message board

How did this help?

How did this information about peer pressure help you?

Peer pressure 


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