How can I stay safe?

How to resist peer pressure?

? What is peer pressure? 

Peer pressure can be subtle... when you think you have to do something just because all your friends do it or because you think that most people your age do it.

It can also be direct...when your friends in some way influence you either to do something that you wouldn't otherwise do or to stop doing something you used to do.

Peer pressure can be positive when, for example:

  • you are willing to become as good a student as your friends and you make the effort to achieve that;
  • you start a sport / activity to be able to join your friends doing the same activities as them.

Peer pressure can be negative when, for example, your friends influence you or pressure you to:

  • wear the same type of clothes as them;
  • smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs;
  • skip classes;
  • start dating;
  • start having sexual relationships;
  • humiliate, insult or attack someone.


? Why is it so difficult to resist pressure from your friends?
  • because you want to be accepted and be part of the group.
  • because you want to please.
  • because you like your friends.
  • because you are afraid of being excluded from the group if you don't comply.
  • because they threaten you or force you to comply.
  • because when you act the way they want you to you feel part of the group.

True friends like you the way you are and they do not force you to be like them. If they force you to do something you feel uneasy with then they are not really your friends.


? How to deal with peer pressure?

THINK whether what your friends are telling you to do is something you really want to do or not (ask yourself if you were already willing to do it before your friends suggested it). think also about what can happen if you say ‘yes’ and if you say ‘no’ to your friends. The consequences can be positive or negative.

DECIDE what you want to do. If you think that the consequences of saying ‘yes’ are more negative than positive, then the best thing is to say ‘no’.

TELL your friends what you want to do. This is particularly difficult when you have to say ‘no’...

• “No, thanks!”
• Give a reason – “Smoking? No! You get bad breath and yellow teeth!”
• Make up an excuse – “I can't! I've arranged to go to the cinema!”
• Repeat many times “No"

• “Not now. I'm not ready.”
• “Sorry, my parents are waiting for me, we'll decide that later.”
• “I'm busy just now, can we talk about it another time.”
• “I need to talk to someone about that first.”


lidar com a pressão dos pares

SUGGEST something else to do (when you just said ‘no’ to your friends). On other hand, suggesting is a way of saying ‘no’ without saying it directly. That is negotiation!

  • “Why don't we do this instead?”
  • “Do you think we could find something we both like to do?”
  • “Why don't we go outside instead of doing that?”