Managing Peer Pressure

As a teenager, you may find yourself in uncomfortable situations where your peers—or even your friends—are pressuring you. From sexual advances to questions about drugs, keep these tips in mind when saying “no” or getting out of a bad scenario.

Say “No, thank you!” in a firm, yet friendly tone.

Instead of making the other person feel bad, or enticing them to continue pressuring you, answer in a quick, yet non-judgmental way, so that the person stops.

Try changing the subject.

After saying “no,” change the subject and deflect the conversation. Bring up something at school, a recent sporting event or any other topic that the individual may be interested in.

Suggest another activity.

Ask if the person would like to go do something else – head to the movies, play a game of pick-up or any other activity that occurs within a safe space.

Focus on your body.

Remember, you must respect your body at all times. Whether it is a sexual or substance question, you must look out for what’s best for your health and happiness and answer accordingly.

Blame your parents.

Mom and dad will never be angry if you blame them for saying “no.” Something along the lines of “My parents would ground me for life if they found out, and they always do!” can do the trick.

If the person who is peer pressuring still won’t leave you alone, continue to say “no” and do your best to leave the scenario all together. Real friends or significant others should never make you do something you don’t want to do. If it continues to happen, consider distancing yourself from that individual. And remember, your UPMC Children's Community Pediatrics doctor is available to talk should you need it.