What is peer pressure?
Peer pressure is when you are made to feel that you ‘have to’ do something that you don’t really want to do, but you choose to do it because you want to fit in with your peers.
Peer pressure could be that you are persuaded by peers to do something you wouldn’t choose to do yourself or it could be that you act or dress a certain way to ‘fit in’.
So...who and what are peers?
Your ‘peers’ are normally people who are around the same age as you, they can be your friends, other people in your year, people you or your friends think are cool or anyone that could influence your decisions.
Positive peer pressure - there is such a thing!
It’s not all negative, your peers can be an extremely positive influence to you, they can help you develop as a person, give you support when you need it and even give you motivation that will drive you to succeed.
Sometimes people feel they should do things that are bad for them such as smoking, drinking or shoplifting because of the influence of their peers, this is negative peer pressure.
If you don't want to do something - DON'T
Sometimes it’s hard to be the only one not doing something and it can be scary thinking you might be picked on for not doing what everyone else is doing, but it’s important to remember that if they were really your friends they wouldn’t put you in that position and they’d be okay if you didn’t want to do it.
You will respect yourself a lot more if you stand up to them and say no than if you just go along with the crowd, good friends should understand you and respect your individuality.
Always do what YOU believe is right!
Talk about it
If you are having problems with peer pressure don’t hide it away, make sure you speak to a close friend about how you feel, tell a trusted adult such as a teacher or parent, or speak to a health professional.
Getting Help Locally
Kooth - Free online support for young people
National Support Websites
Rise Above - Phil at Rise above talks about drinking, peer pressure and what happened when he was made to go clubbing
Childline - Peer pressure is feeling like you have to do something just because all your friends are doing it. It's OK to say no and make your own choices.
BBC Radio 1 Advice - Get some information and advice about how to deal with peer pressure
Need someone to talk to?
SHAC - Sexual Health and Contraception
YZUP - Wise up to Drugs and Alcohol
Ask PHIL - support, information and advice on local services
ABC - Anti-bullying in Cornwall
Childline - a free 24 hour counselling service for children and young people
Samaritans - 24 hour confidential emotional support for people experiencing feelings of distress, despair or suicidal thoughts
Brook - free and confidential sexual health advice and contraception to young people
Kooth - free online support for young people
Think you know - internet safety and safe surfing for young people
Talk to Frank - friendly, confidential drugs advice