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Dealing with peer pressure

We all have times when we feel pressured to go along with our mates. It can be hard to stand up to peer pressure. We’ve got tips to help you out.

Peer pressure doesn’t end in the schoolyard – even adults experience it

Everybody faces situations where they feel pressured by others into doing something that goes against their values and isn’t something they’re comfortable with.

  • It’s not ok for someone to pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do or don’t feel comfortable with.

  • We all feel peer pressure in different ways and to different degrees.

  • Learning to recognise peer pressure helps you manage it better.

  • It’s important to be true to who you are and know what you’ll accept and what you won’t.

  • What you experience as peer pressure might not seem that way to another person - what matters is how it affects you and what you’ll do about it

There’s all kinds of situations where we might feel pressured by our mates, work colleagues, or family.

Learning to recognise the signs of peer pressure is the first step in addressing it. Here’s some things to look out for:

You feel pressure to do something that might get you in trouble

You feel pressure to go along with something you don’t agree with

It feels too hard to say ‘no’ or disagree with the group

You’re afraid they won’t like you if you don’t go along with it

You’re not okay with what’s happening but don’t know how to get out of it

You’re afraid there’ll be negative consequences for not going along with it

Find the courage to address peer pressure and remember you’re not alone

Each situation is different and may require a different response  Here’s a few different strategies you can try when you’re experiencing peer pressure:

Try these tips for staying strong and not giving into peer pressure:

A confident ‘no thanks’ or ‘not for me’
Using humour to deflect pressure or attention
Move away from the situation
Be direct and say you don’t appreciate feeling pressured
Get support and talk to someone you trust
If at work, discuss it with a supervisor you trust

"Standing up to peer pressure takes courage and you don’t have to do it alone. Kids Helpline is here to support you."

Peer pressure isn’t always easy to deal with but we've got your back

To get more information, support, and strategies contact Kids Helpline and talk to a counsellor.

Call us and talk to a Kids Helpline counsellor on 1800 55 1800. Or try our WebChat counselling for more support. You’re not alone.

This content was last reviewed 15/02/2018

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