It is tough to be the only one who says “no” to peer pressure, but you can do it. Paying attention to your own feelings and beliefs about what is right and wrong can help you know the right thing to do. Inner strength and self-confidence can help you stand firm, walk away, and resist doing something when you know better.
Seek friendships with people who have values similar to yours and will back you up when you don’t want to do something.
You’ve probably had a parent or teacher advise you to “choose your friends wisely.” Peer pressure is a big reason why they say this. If you choose friends who don’t use drugs, cut class, smoke cigarettes, or lie to their parents, then you probably won’t do these things either.
Ways to just say NO:
- “No” can be said alone: “NO!”
- “No, it’s just not my style.”
- “No thanks. My parents would kill me.”
- “No, I don’t feel like doing that.”
- “No, I don’t want to.”
- “No. I have to get home and I’m already late.”
- “No. Let’s think of something else.”
- “Nope. How bout we go to the skate park instead?”
* Remember your job isn’t to change your friend’s mind, but to stay true to your beliefs.
Other Ways to Combat Peer Pressure:
- Just say No and keep on saying it!
- Leave so that you can’t be persuaded.
- Pretend that you haven’t heard and walk away.
- Make and excuse. “Can’t stop now, I’ve got to go…”
- Talk about something else they are interested in and don’t let them change the subject.
- Laugh. “I thought you said… You’ve got to be joking!” Then change the subject or leave – still laughing.
- Pretend to be shocked or amazed.
- Have a better idea.
- Give friendly advice: “That could be a dumb thing to do. Whose idea was it? You’re too smart to get into that.”
- Say, “I’m not doing this because I’m your friend and I don’t want to see you get into trouble.”
- Say, “That’s a bit unkind. How would you feel if someone did [said] that to you?”
- Say, “You’re entitled to your opinion, I’m entitled to mine.”
* Whatever you do, speak quickly and firmly. Make it clear that your mind is made up and you don’t want to talk about it any more.