Peer pressure

It can be really tempting to do everything you can to fit in with your friends. But if you don't feel comfortable, it's okay to say "no" and make your own choices.

what peer pressure means

Your friends and peers influence your day to day decisions, even if you don't realise it.

Sometimes this can be a good thing. Maybe a friend suggested a book that's now your favourite.

Other times, they might pressure you to do things you don't want to do. Like hurt someone else, or miss school.

Peer pressure is feeling like you have to do something just because all your friends are doing it. But it's okay to say no and make your own choices. And we're here to give you some tips on how to do it.

Things to remember:

  • it's okay to say no to things if you don't feel comfortable
  • you can make your own choices
  • there are ways to say no to something, but still be accepted and have friends
  • there are ways to feel more confident about saying how you feel.

Being pressured to...

Watch: Why Can't I Say No To My Friends?

4 ways to say no

It can be hard to say 'no' to your friends, especially when they're all joining in.

Sometimes it can feel like you have to do what they tell you to in order to be accepted. It can make you feel scared and alone.

It's not okay for friends to pressure you like this. And it's not your fault. Try these tips to help:

1. Say it with confidence
Be assertive. Practise saying 'no' so that it's easier when someone asks. Avoid situations which feel unsafe or uncomfortable. You could explain that you're going to pay for something instead of stealing it.

2. Try not to judge them
By respecting their choices, they should respect yours.

3. Spend time with friends who can say 'no'
It takes confidence to say no to your friends. You could try seeing how your other friends stand up to peer pressure and you can try this too.

4. Suggest something else to do
If you don't feel comfortable doing what your friends are doing, why not suggest something you could do instead.

said i didn't want to
but they all

Feeling small? Get advice on being assertive.