Peer Pressure

The pressure you feel from others to do something.

Types of Peer Pressure

Everyone deals with peer pressure at some point in their lives. You can be pressured toward just about anything including...

  • Drugs
  • Kissing
  • Sex
  • Getting bad grades
  • Drinking
  • Teasing someone
  • Breaking the law
  • Using Firecrackers
  • Smoking
  • Gossiping
  • Shoplifting
  • Joining a sports team
  • Joining a gang
  • Using a gun
  • Fighting

Who deals with the consequences?

The irony is that those people that pressure you don't have to deal with your consequences. If you tease someone because others think its cool, you'll hurt that person's feelings, and as a result you won't feel great about yourself either. Caving in to sexual pressure can make you very vulnerable to getting hurt emotionally. Many of these things can put you in legal trouble. A criminal record can cause you difficulty when trying to get a job in the future. If your parents find out, you may destroy the trust you have earned from them, and as a result the privileges you enjoy may get taken away. Your body and health can suffer. Some of these things could result in permanent damage to your body.

Why do we give in?

Even when people are aware of all these consequences, they may still go ahead and do things they don't feel comfortable doing. Why? Because we live in a society. No human lives completely alone. Every day we are forced to interact with others. Our success is greatly effected by the sum of these interactions. Imagine trying to get your daily tasks done when everyone you interact with puts you down and interrupts your train of thought. Now imagine what you can accomplish with the help and encouragement of everyone around you. So, our success in life and even in day to day activities depends a great deal on our ability to get along with others. If we don't feel accepted, life can feel very difficult. Because of this fact of life, we have a strong desire to be accepted. Being accepted feels good. Being an outcast feels bad.

Make the decision that is best for you

When you are pressured by others to do something, if you want to make the best decision for you, you must consider the benefits and costs to each option. Benefits may include acceptance, friendships, a temporary rush. Costs may include a criminal record, punishment from your parents, hurt feelings, damage to your health, damage to your future. For most people, it's easier to focus on the immediate benefits than on the long term costs, especially when others are encouraging you to go for the immediate benefits. But in order to ensure a more enjoyable path through life, you must consider the costs, weight the two sides and make the best decision for you.

Why people pressure others

If friends are only your friends as long as you do what they want, maybe they aren't friends at all. Maybe they're more selfish than giving. More careless than caring. Maybe they know what they're doing is a bad choice, and they need someone else to do it too, in order to feel comfortable with their decision. In terms of drugs, once you make a choice to use, you may find that you have become addicted and can't stop. If you can't stop, wouldn't you feel better about yourself if others did it with you regardless of how it effects their health? We all like to feel like we make the right decisions. The more people that make the same decisions we make, the more confident we are with our decisions. This is one of the reasons why people pressure others to do things that are not good for them.

How to say "No"

Say it with confidence. If you act like you're unsure, they will continue to pressure you. If you look them in the eye, say it clearly, to the point, without flinching like George Clooney, they should get the picture. Here's some examples...

  • No.
  • No thanks.
  • I'm not into that.
  • I don't feel like it.
  • I'm OK. Thanks anyway.
  • No, I don't like the taste.
  • It doesn't suit me.
  • No, I don't need it.
  • No, I don't think that's cool.
  • No, I've killed enough brain cells playing the X Box. Thank you.
  • I'd rather masturbate.
  • I like my lungs the way they are.
  • No, If I do that, I'll lose my kingdom and turn back into a frog.
  • No, I'll jeopardize my campaign to become the next President of the United States.
  • No, that doesn't go with my eyeliner.
  • Drugs are not allowed in the shrine.

Back to Top