Dealing with Peer Pressure?

Peer pressure starts becoming a real problem in middle school. Why? Because this is when kids really start caring about what other kids think of them. In elementary school, kids tend to go along with their parents and teachers. Middle school? Totally different! You want to be cool, right? You want to fit in and be accepted. And this is where peer pressure can take you down a positive path (“Don’t take it! It’s not worth the risk!”) or a negative path (“Take it! No one’s looking!”) Yeah, this might sound preachy and obvious, but we’re not taking any chances.
By high school it can be even worse. Listen, those of us writing this information are adults, but we USED to be kids! And we remember what it felt like. We all want to be liked. We all want to fit in and be accepted. But no amount of “cool” is worth the trouble you can get into when your so-called “friends” say:
  • “Wanna get high?”
  • “You just have to be the look-out… Come on!”
  • “Everyone else is doing it…”
  • “One time! Like that’s a big deal!”
You get the idea. They’ll have every reason in the world to bring you down to their level. That is not a friend! Will they be there when you’re expelled from school? Sent to juvenile detention? No. They’ll be long gone.
It’s easy for us to say, WALK AWAY. But that’s what you have to do. Walk. Away. It’s YOUR life. What you do, and what you DON’T do, have serious consequences. Be in control of yourself. Do not hand control of your life over to some idiot who only cares about swiping a carton of cigarettes or cutting class to get high. WALK AWAY!

“Stay true to yourself. An original is worth more than a copy.” ― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun

Peer pressure can be a good thing if it’s to help you be successful, but we’re talking about some of the negative kinds of peer pressure when your peers pressure you about things like:
  • The clothes you wear
  • Trying alcohol or drugs
  • Experiences with a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Choosing your friends
  • Breaking rules in school
  • Disobeying your parents

What can you do about this kind of pressure from your friends? Think about it before it happens so you’ll have some ideas. Here are a few:

  • Make friends in different groups. If your friends in one group are putting on too much pressure, take a break from them and spend more time with other friends.
  • Learn to say no. No. Just say no. Nope. Nah. “NO!” No explanation needed. Practice saying N-O!
  • Try not to judge. There’s no need to get mad at your friends or think less of them when they are doing things you don’t approve of. Of course, if they are doing things that are dangerous to themselves or others, you should tell an adult who can do something about it.
  • Stand up for yourself. Stand up for others. When everything is said and done, doing the right thing is the best thing. Remember, everything you DO, and everything you DON’T DO has consequences. Be in charge of your life.