What is Peer Presure, Exactly? (TheCoolSpot.gov)
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Peer Pressure is a Serious Issue

Peer Pressure: Real Life Teen Series

VIDEO: Peer Pressure: Real Life Teen Series

What is Peer Pressure, Exactly? (TheCoolSpot.gov)

Your classmates keep asking you to have them over because you have a pool, everyone at school is wearing silly hats so you do too, and your best friend begs you to go running with her because you both need more exercise, so you go, too. These are all examples of peer pressure. Don’t get it yet?

  • A peer is someone in your own age group.
  • Pressure is the feeling that you are being pushed toward making a certain choice—good or bad.
  • Peer pressure is—you guessed it—the feeling that someone your own age is pushing you toward making a certain choice, good or bad.

What’s so difficult about avoiding peer pressure?

People want to be accepted and liked by people their own age.
Now you have the basics, but check out the other links in this section to make sure you recognize peer pressure. That way you can resist it when you need to.
Have you ever given in to pressure? Like when a friend begs to borrow something you don’t want to give up or to do something your parents say is off limits? Chances are you probably have given into pressure at sometime in your life.
How did it feel to give into pressure? If you did something you wish you hadn’t, then most likely you didn’t feel too good about it. You might have felt …

    • sad
    • anxious
    • guilty • like a wimp or pushover
    • disappointed in yourself

Everyone gives in to pressure at one time or another, but why do people sometimes do things that they really don’t want to do? Here are a few reasons. They…

    • are afraid of being rejected by others
    • want to be liked and don’t want to lose a friend
    • want to appear grown up • don’t want to be made fun of
    • don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings
    • aren’t sure of what they really want
    • don’t know how to get out of the situation

When you face pressure you can stand your ground.
Almost everyone faces peer pressure once in a while. Friends have a big influence on our lives, but sometimes they push us to do things that we may not want to do. Unless you want to give in every time you face this, you’re going to need to learn how to handle it.
The first step to standing up to peer pressure is to understand it. In this section, you’ll start by learning to recognize the different things people do when they pressure others. Check out the differences between spoken and unspoken pressures, and learn about the peer pressure bag of tricks.
Soon you’ll be able to spot peer pressure and deal with it!

 Peer Pressure bubbles

 Have your friends ever used these lines on you? Did you give in, even though you didn’t want to?


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Peer Pressure can turn the wise into fools. Always think before you act. In this situation I didn't and potentially could have been expelled from high school.

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These are a few of the goodies in the Peer Pressure Bag-of-Tricks. The tricks include put-downs, rejections, and reasoning, as well as pressure without words, or unspoken pressure.
Learn to spot the tricks. Being aware of the pressure is the first step to resisting it.

Peer pressure isn’t all bad. You and your friends can pressure each other into some things that will improve your health and social life and make you feel good about your decisions.
Think of a time when a friend pushed you to do something good for yourself or to avoid something that would’ve been bad.
Here are some good things friends can pressure each other to do:

    • Be honest
    • Avoid Alcohol
    • Avoid drugs
    • Not smoke
    • Be nice
    • Respect others
    • Work hard
    • Exercise (together!)

You and your friends can also use good peer pressure to help each other resist bad peer pressure.
If you see a friend taking some heat, try some of these lines …

    We don’t want to drink.
    We don’t need to drink to have fun.
    • Let’s go and do something else.
    • Leave her alone. She said she didn’t want any.

If someone is pressuring you to do anything that's not right or good for you, you have the right to resist. You have the right to say no, the right not to give a reason why, and the right to just walk away from a situation.
Resisting pressure can be hard for some people. Why?

    • are afraid of being rejected by others
    • want to be liked and don’t want to lose a friend
    • don’t want to be made fun of • don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings
    • aren’t sure of what they really want
    • don’t know how to get out of the situation

Sometimes resisting isn’t easy, but you can do it with practice and a little know-how. Keep trying, even if you don’t get it right at first. To get started, check out the following Quick Tips.
Quick Tips: You can resist going along with anything you may feel pressured into. These tips will make resisting a little easier. Print it, cut it out, and stash it somewhere safe where you can peek at it if you need a refresher.


Quick tips on
resisting pressure
Say no and let them know
you mean it.
  • Stand up straight
  • Make eye contact
  • Say how you feel
  • Don't make excuses
  • Stick up for yourself

Spoken pressure—when someone pressures you with words—can be difficult to resist. Most people don’t want to risk making others feel bad, but it’s important to stand up for yourself. Check out these strategies for dealing with spoken pressure.


    Say no assertively
    Stay free of whatever they’re talking about doing (alcohol, drugs, etc.)
    Suggest something else to do
    Stand up for others
    Walk away from the situation
    Find something else to do with other friends


    Attend a party unprepared to resist partaking in the pressured activities
    Be afraid to say no
    Say no too aggressively
    Act like a know-it-all when saying no
If you want to resist, you’ll need to stay in control of the situation and, of course, stay free of whatever the pressure may be. There are several ways to say no, but one is more effective than the others.

 Peer Pressure effective

Sometimes you can feel pressure just from watching how others act or dress, without them saying a word to you. This "unspoken pressure" is especially hard to resist, because instead of standing up to a friend, you're standing up to how you feel inside.
Unspoken pressure may come from role models like your parents, your older siblings, teachers, coaches, or celebrities you see in movies and on TV. Unspoken pressure may also come from peers—your friends or other people your age.
Here are some tips for resisting unspoken pressure:

    • Take a reality check—most teens don’t drink/smoke/take drugs
    • Remember it’s risky—these things can be dangerous and illegal
    • Walk away from the situation
    • Find something else to do with other friends

For more info, check out:  http://www.thecoolspot.gov/pressures.asp

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