Peer Pressure | Centerstone Teen
Home / Teen / Violence & Bullying / Peer Pressure

Peer Pressure


What is peer pressure?

Peer pressure happens when a person influences another person’s behavior. It is a common part of growing up and makes choosing healthy decisions that much harder.



What should I do if I need help?

Contact us to learn more about peer pressure and how we can help. If you feel like you need immediate help, call the Centerstone Crisis Line nearest you.


What should I do if I’m experiencing peer pressure?

S.W.A.G. is an acronym to help you resist peer pressure.

Stop and say no

  • Stop – take a breath.
  • Say no – say it like you mean it. If the pressure continues, you have every right to leave.


If you’ve decided it is best for you to wait until you are ready to do something, this is a decision you should stick to.

  • Sex:
    • After you say no, you can give your partner a reason why. Some examples might be:
      • I’m just not ready.
      • I’m not ready to be a parent.
      • I don’t want to worry about STDs.
      • Our relationship is fine without sex.
  • Drugs and alcohol
    • If you are experiencing pressure to drugs or alcohol, some examples might include:
      • I don’t want to put that junk in my body.
      • I don’t need that stuff to have a good time.
      • I could get in serious trouble for doing this.
      • I care way too much about my future and don’t want to mess it up by doing this.

Avoid the situation and offer alternatives

  • Don’t put yourself in a situation where you might be tempted to have sex or use drugs/alcohol. Avoid high pressure situations (being alone with your partner when no one is home, being at a party with drugs and alcohol).
  • Alternatives – Think of some things to do instead of engaging in risky behaviors. Say, “Let’s go to the movies.” Or “Let’s go get something to eat.”

Get out

  • If you feel unsafe, be prepared to leave.


How can my friends affect my decisions?

Friends play a huge role in your life, so choose wisely when picking your friends. Falling into the wrong group can have serious consequences.

  • Positive Peer Pressure
    • Developing healthy friendships can help you in a number of ways.
    • Positive peer pressure can motivate you to succeed and encourage you to make healthy choices.
    • Your friends can act as positive role models.
    • ​They can listen, accept and understand the frustrations, challenges and concerns you have.
  • Negative Peer Pressure
    • A lot of people want to be accepted.
    • Making friends is a way to feel like you fit in. But if the friends you choose make unhealthy choices, you may feel pressured to make those same decisions.
    • ​Negative peer pressure can motivate people to make unhealthy choices and engage in risky behaviors like smoking, drinking and having unprotected sex.

Being a teenager is hard. That’s why we have answers to a lot of common questions that teens might have – about mental health, drugs and alcohol, sex and relationships, social media and internet safety, bullying and more on our TEEN PAGE.

If you are a teen or parent in crisis, call the Centerstone Crisis Line nearest you now.

Call Now