NYC Teen: Click to return to the home page.
Translate this Page Printer Friendly Format Email A Friend Sign-up For Health News Text Size Small Font Medium Font Large Font

Dating & Friends

Peer Pressure
teen faceYou want to fit in, but you also want to be yourelf. How can you keep your own ideas and thoughts while still being part of the crowd? Learn about peer pressure and how to handle it.

> See Jamal's story


Where does peer pressure come from?
Directly: You may experience peer pressure as someone telling you what you should be doing.

Indirectly: Peer pressure may not always be obvious to you. It’s not uncommon for a group of friends to have particular habits or activities that they do together, for example smoking or drinking.

Individual: Sometimes the pressure comes from you. Feeling different from the group can be hard. To avoid this, sometimes we do things to make sure we feel like the rest of the group.



What can we do about it?
Listen to yourself. If you feel uncomfortable about something, even if your friends seem to be okay with it, it means that it’s wrong for you.

Try not to judge others. Try not to place judgments on other people’s choices. Respecting other people’s choices may help them to respect yours.

Hang out with people who like doing similar stuff. This may help to avoid a situation where you feel pressured into stuff you don’t want to do. Being seen hanging out in the “cool crowd” may not be as much fun as it looks.

Plan ahead. If you’re going to a party and you think you may be offered alcohol or drugs there, think about how you will deal with that. Decide ahead of time what you could say or do. For example, if you’re holding a soda or water, you may be less likely to be offered a drink that you don’t want.

Say “No.” Having the strength to say “no” may be hard. However, it also feels good to stick with what you believe in. Explaining to people in a calm way why you don’t want to be part of something may earn you respect from others. If you need an excuse for turning down a drink or something, think of a line you can use like, “No thanks, I’m in training for a game.”

Get help. If a situation seems dangerous, get help from someone you trust. You can always call 1-800-LifeNet and talk to someone. All calls are strictly confidential and the line is open 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

About Lifenet
About Lifenet