Dealing with Peer Pressure

By Samoa Observer 10 May 2016, 12:00AM

Peer pressure can be a big factor in life. In the past few weeks, some secondary school students in Samoa have come under peer pressure from others to do things they know are bad, wrong and even dangerous. But you can do many things to avoid and deal with peer pressure, whether you’re responding to peers or changing your own actions.


Dismiss the question. One way to respond is to dismiss their request. Tell them you’re not interested. This takes advantage of the fact that the person may not remember that they asked you earlier, and they probably will not ask again.



Make a joke. You can also shut down a request from a peer by turning the request into a joke. This shows the person that you think the request is laughable, which will quickly tell them that you won’t listen to them. This can be tricky to do if you’re not the sort of person that makes jokes easily but with a little preparation, you can be ready for any situation. 



Make an excuse to leave. Another option is to get out of the situation by leaving. Make an excuse for why you need to leave quickly. Apologize and get away, so that you can avoid them and maybe even think of a different way to handle the problem 

Keep busy with healthy activities. Another way to avoid peer pressure is to spend leisure time doing activities that you really enjoy, instead of with people who will pressure you. Find another activity that you want to do but that will keep you busy.

For example, you can take a class in a subject that interests you from the local community center.


Tell them “NO!” The most basic way to respond to peer pressure, and often the scariest, is to just say “NO!” It may not sound very fun or easy but this is the best way to respond. Say “NO!” and stay firm. This will save you the trouble of getting pressured again in the future, because it sends a clear message that you’re not interested. You can say: 

Change the subject. When someone asks or tells you to do something that you don’t want to do, there are lots of ways that you can respond. One way to respond that can help you avoid the issue is to just change the subject. By changing the subject, you can put off the question until you feel you’re ready to respond in a different way. Avoid the situation enough might even send the message that you’re just not going to listen, which can also save you some trouble. There are lots of ways that you can change the subject. 

Turn the pressure around. Another route which takes bravery but can help not only you but also the other person is to turn the peer pressure in the other direction. Use the opportunity to change their behaviour instead of letting them change yours. This can be scary but it will go the furthest to saving you from peer pressure and maybe even helping someone you care about:

Find better ways to impress people. Wanting to impress your friends is one of the most common reasons for giving in to peer pressure. However, if you find better ways to impress them, you won’t feel like you need to submit to peer pressure like that.

For example, you can start learning a cool skill like mixing music or playing the guitar.

By Samoa Observer 10 May 2016, 12:00AM

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