Before we get to the 7 Simple Steps – How to Handle Peer Pressure, let’s talk about the super-secret ideal for anyone dealing with Peer Pressure: Stop worrying about being cool.

Being cool is the biggest waste of time there is.  The kid who is ‘too cool for school’ is the kid who is the unhappiest kid of all.  He or she is unhappy because when they are busy ‘being cool’ and worrying about what other people think of them and how cool they are, they are crippled with the thought of losing their ‘cool’ status.  As a result, they don’t try anything new and they certainly don’t risk anything where failure is part of the equation.

Instead of trying to be cool (a big waste of time and energy) watch who you spend your time with and watch what you worry about.  Are you worried your friends won’t think you’re cool if you don’t do something that ‘everyone’s doing?’  That’s not your problem, that’s their problem.  If your friends pressure you to do something that you know is either wrong, or ‘not your cup of tea’ then find new friends.

Try hanging out with people who are smarter than you, not cooler than you.  When you surround yourself with people who are smarter than you (an essential part of your TEAM building) you elevate your thinking AND you elevate your mental habits of confidence.  By elevating your thoughts about who you are, you are able to resist comparing yourself to anyone else as well as resist any pressure from your peers.  If you sense peer pressure, try these 7 simple steps on How to Handling Peer Pressure.


  1. Stand up straight – This might sound funny, but standing up straight lets others know you aren’t willing to give into their pressure.  Standing up straight shows self-confidence, and bullies like to pick on someone who stands with rounded shoulders and isn’t sure of themselves.
  2. Make Eye Contact – When someone pressures you into doing something, it usually means they aren’t sure of themselves or what they are choosing to do.  By looking them dead in the eye, you are letting them know you mean business.
  3. Don’t Make Excuses – Say “no” with authority.  If you don’t want to do something.  Don’t.  There’s a million ways to say no; “No thanks, I’m not into that, I don’t need it, I’m good, Thanks anyway.”
  4. Suggest Something Else To Do – Find something else to do with someone else.  There are many fish and friends in the sea, so again…pick your friends wisely.
  5. Walk Away – You might get teased for walking away, but teasing never killed anyone.
  6. Stand Up For Others – There is power in numbers.  When you stand shoulder to shoulder with another person, you become a team and it is harder to bully a team than a person standing alone.
  7. Remember Who You Are This may sound weird, I know, but remember who you are and what YOU believe in.  Remember the qualities you LOVE about yourself and stop worrying about what you don’t like about yourself.  Don’t like something?  Change it.  Focus on your confidence and GET BUSY BEING AN AMAZING YOU.

Eric “Uncle E” DelaBarre is an award-winning filmmaker and the author of Saltwater Taffy, the middle grade fiction novel endorsed by 12 Teachers of the Year.   Copyright April 28, 2012.

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