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How do you say no to peer pressure?

Hey guys! Annie here, the Content Manager at ReachOut Parents Smiley Happy


When we talk to parents about what could help them in supporting their teenagers they're always asking to know what young people actually think! We've put together a video called Creative ways to say no to peer pressure with Jay Laga'aia (hello Star Wars and Play School!!) and I want to include a list of 'common ways young people say no' on the page too, so @Ben-RO told me to pop on over.


So my question to y'all is, how do YOU say no to peer pressure?


It can be as elaborate or simple as you want, and could even be something you've never said in person but have always really wanted to.


Thanks Smiley LOL

Re: How do you say no to peer pressure?

Hi @Annie-RO,


Personally for me, if I'm really against what they're trying to pressure me to do and they are continuously pressuring me, I will simply ignore them - as they are not respecting me. Or I will simply say 'please respect my decision blah blah'

Re: How do you say no to peer pressure?

Hey @Annie-RO

Something that I found works for me suggesting something else to do. It's not foolproof but it's a good first start when people are trying to get you to do things (particularly risky things) that you don't want to do. It's just something that I do a step before putting my foot down and saying that I refuse to see if I may be able to avoid the awkward situation

Another one that I've seen my friends do with stuff like drugs, risky driving, sexual activities etc. is just pretend that they're sick. If it's somebody that you're really nervous about putting your foot down with, or you feel uncomfortable doing it in a group, just lying and saying that you feel really unwell and that you may throw up is a super effective way of getting people out of your way! (Especially with stuff like being in a car with a drunk driver - trust me, if they think you're going to throw up in your car, they'll pull over)

Of course I always like to think that I could (and would) just put my foot down and say 'no' with confidence, but if it's with people that intimidate me, or i'm with a group, or I don't want to seem like a buzzkill, I think it's always good to have some other ideas up your sleeve so that you're not caught in a tricky situation that you can't get out of.

Re: How do you say no to peer pressure?

Hey @Annie-RO! I'd be happy to help out Smiley Happy @honky and @basketofmonkeys have already given some fantastic responses.

For me, peer pressure has never been an issue. (so helpful Smiley Tongue) I've always been the kind of person who just won't do something they don't want to do. And I've been lucky enough to have people who won't pressure me too hard to do that something. The couple of examples I can think of are once at a party when a friend really wanted me to come out and join them but I was sitting around the side with another friend by ourselves. They even tried to drag me but I am a stubborn person Smiley Tongue Looking back, I don't mind. But I think of it as an example of who I am as a person. I won't let other people make me do something I don't want to.

Re: How do you say no to peer pressure?

Thanks for the responses guys!


@N1ghtW1ngit's awesome that peer pressure has not really been an issue for you! What did you say to that person who was trying to get you to come out with them?


@honkythat's a great tip to just ignore the person. When you have to explain to them that they're not respecting you how does that usually go down? What do you say to get your point across?


@basketofmonkeyssome great tips there, I especially like the one about pretending you're sick! In terms of your other tips, one kind of things do you suggest as alternative things to do? And what other things do you normally 'have up your sleeve' for those really tricky situations?


Thanks again guys, the parents will really appreciate this youth perspective Smiley Happy

Re: How do you say no to peer pressure?

Thanks @Annie-RO Smiley Happy


Generally when I explain to them that they're not respecting my decision, they would back down because they can see that I won't budge. To get my point across I would say: "I hope you respect my decision" - as this should signify that whether or not they agree, I am standing my grounds.



Re: How do you say no to peer pressure?

@Annie-RO I told them no thanks pretty much. My friends weren't very outgoing in high school, so I didn't exactly have a lot of peer pressure to experience. But it would always be the same regardless.

Re: How do you say no to peer pressure?

The way I say no to peer pressure is to just ignore them, and walk away! do not engage or bring attention to them or to egg them on, because at the end of the day your getting yourself into trouble rather then them. So I find it best to ignore or suggest something different that will help you, and them rather then follow them into the darkness.Smiley Happy

Re: How do you say no to peer pressure?

Nice answer @Libby17.

I struggle with peer pressure in terms of people pushing me into metaphorical corners. I've become a lot better at saying no and standing up for myself over the years, but it's still something I need to work on.

Where possible, I say no, or whatever it is I need to say, over text/Facebook or in writing rather than face to face because I find that being face to face with someone makes it harder and I mess up what I want to say. If that's not possible, I'll try to have someone with me as support, like another friend. 

// Spiral outward, keep going. //