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9 Effective Ways to Avoid Peer Pressure

by College Life
Updated on June 20, 2023

Are you experiencing pressure now that you are enrolled at a university? Well, often you can blame it on peer pressure. This article will give you the info you need on what peer pressure is and how to avoid it.

What is "Peer Pressure" actually?

It is the type of pressure or influence from your peers that makes you act in a certain way against your will or differently than you usually would. The decisions that you might end up taking can certainly affect your future so this topic should definitely not be taken lightly.

There are two types of peer pressure:

  • Positive Peer Pressure
    • When you use it properly, this can give others motivation to change. Most of the time, habits you pick up from people won't linger long.
    • For example, maybe when you were in high school, you had frenemies. Frenemies are those people you called your friends but at the same time were your rivals/enemies. You always wanted to get better grades than them or beat them in just about anything, right? Well, this means that your frenemy actually motivated you to study harder and to achieve more, which is definitely a positive thing.
  • Negative Peer Pressure
    • Peer pressure will have negative effects if you use it for the wrong reasons.
    • For example, not smoking is apparently (to some people), "not cool" - this can be especially dangerous with roommates that smoke. Or, if you don't skip class,  people could potentially call you a "goody two-shoes" or a "nerd".

In other words, peer pressure influences you to try and fit in. You need to remember that these influences are powerful and are often subconscious. Although fitting in is one of the main sources, there are also others such as high expectations from friends.

Here are the 9 ways to deal with peer pressure!

Here are the 9 ways to deal with peer pressure!

1. Know when to say NO

2. Follow your heart... but take your brain with you

You should never make rash decisions without thinking twice about them.

3. Remember quality over quantity especially with friends

4. Getting help from grown ups is okay

5. Build the self-confidence you need

6. Make sure that whatever you're doing is your own choice and not due to someone else's influence

7. Act cool when someone is pressuring you

Don't get angry or lash out. Be level-headed and show that you aren't affected by what is being said.

8. Remember, you do not have the obligation to fulfill someone's request

9. Communicate your choices in a short and simple way. If your peers don't like your choices, then it's their loss

All in all, you can't get rid of peer pressure; it will always be there. However, by using the tips above, you will be able to avoid it as much as possible! Make sure to also read our article about networking to strengthen your communication skills which will help build your self confidence. 

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