10 ways to overcome peer pressure

Saying no to peer pressure helps earn respect from your peers

Peer pressure is sometimes very hard to overcome. Peers are the people you interact with, they could be of the same age or people who influence how you operate in your day-to-day activities.

Peer pressure may be in both positive and negative phases. The positive brings out the good in you, while the negative pushes you to do something you may feel resistant to do because it feels or is wrong.


Below are some ways that one could overcome peer pressure. They are;

1. Say ‘no’ like you mean it

The most basic way to respond to peer pressure is to just say ‘no.’


Standing up to peer pressure will save you the trouble of getting pressured again in the future because it sends a clear message that you're not interested.

Be firm even when pressured.

It gives the indication you are not willing to compromise.

2. Give an excuse.

It's OK to use an excuse if the truth is too challenging.

For example, if someone offers you a drink and you want to say no but feel awkward, say you're on medication or have to get up early the next day.

3. Change the subject if you’re uncomfortable responding to questions.

Avoiding the question might send the message that you're still interested but don’t want to respond.

That may lead to further pressure later on.

Changing the subject, however, will at least buy you some time until you feel ready to respond, or not respond at all.

4. Recognize unhealthy dynamics

It's not okay for others to pressure, force, or trick you into doing things you don't want to, or for others to make threats if you don't give in.

It's not okay for others to mock, intimidate, shame, or criticize you for your choices.

You can ask others to stop these behaviour, or you can choose to avoid spending time with people who act in these ways.

Spend time with people who respect your decisions and won't put unfair pressure on you to conform.

5. Get support

Ask for advice from a trusted adult such as a parent, teacher, or school counselor.

A trusted adult can listen to you and help you with strategies that might work in your situation.

Also, a friend you can confide in that has his or her principles in check could be of great help.

6. Commit to taking personal responsibility

As a peer, so many temptations come your way.

It is fully upon you to take full personal responsibility to avoid getting exploited.

7. Always think ahead

Think of the future and what impact your present doing will have on it.

If it does not bring any good, let it be.

8. Be Yourself

Remember that you can't and don't have to please everyone or be liked by everyone. This can be hard to accept, but once you get used to it you'll understand most people will like you for their own benefit.

9. Have friends with similar values and beliefs.

It is easier to say “no” if someone else is also saying it.

Saying “no” together makes it easier for the both of you.

10. Attend therapy if you’re struggling and nothing seems to help.

A therapist can help you learn to express your feelings better and build your confidence.

Therapists are there to listen to you and offer advice. You can say anything you want without fear of judgment.

Sometimes, a therapist just isn't a good match. If you don't feel comfortable around them or aren't making progress, don't be afraid to try a new therapist.