7 Creative Ways to Say No to Peer Pressure
Trying not to give in to peer pressure but don’t know how? Here are some creative ways you can deal with this dilemma.
Updated 13 Jun 2019
“You should join us at the party tonight, it’s going to be lit! Unless you want to stay home like a loser.”
Have you ever been pressured by your friends to do something you don’t really want to do? Perhaps your friends have tried convincing you to experience an illicit drug or maybe attend a late-night party when all you want to do is sleep or study for your upcoming exams.
We know it can be tough to say “no” to your friends, especially when there is more than one person trying to convince you. But, what can you do?
Know that it’s okay to say no when you don’t want to do something — it’s your life after all. Stand your ground and use these creative ways to get you out of those sticky situations.
#1. Say "NO" consistently
Just say no repeatedly until your friends give up trying to convince you to follow their plans. Don’t let FOMO (the fear of missing out) or peer pressure get to you because there’s a perfectly good reason why the voice in your head is telling you to say no to your friends.
“No” should always mean “no”, but if your friends don’t take the hint, look them in the eyes and be stern when you say no to them. If you’re afraid that you’ll be teased and called names for declining their invitation, ask yourself if joining them is worth the risk. What’s a little insult if it means you get to study longer and save your grades or if it prevents you from going to jail for doing something illegal with your friends? It’s better to be safe than sorry.
#2. Give a witty explanation
“You refused to smoke with us the other night so tonight is a must for you!”
Don’t be surprised, there are so-called friends out there who would nag you until you agree to join them. The best way to get them out of your hair is to explain to them why you oppose their ideas or plans and give a solid reason why you prefer not to join them.
You can even be witty about your response if you want to seem less uptight. For example, if you don’t want to smoke with your friends, you can turn down their invitation by saying “Oh, I like my lungs the way they are, thanks!” with a chuckle.
#3. Use delay tactics (aka stalling)
Hate confrontation and don’t have the guts to say “no” to your friends? Stalling might be the solution for you!
If your friends ask you to join them on a trip where you know there’ll be a lot of drinking involved, tell them that you need to think about it instead of immediately saying yes or no. This way, it gives them the impression that you might say yes, so they won’t hassle you about going. Later, when you finally say you can’t go, they would have less time to convince you. *evil laugh*
#4. Use the “my parents are strict” excuse
We Malaysians can always relate to this. Sometimes, we don’t even need to lie about our strict parents — they already are! So, take this opportunity to come up with excuses that involve your stern and no-nonsense parents.
Instead of revealing that you’re simply too tired to go out, you could say, “I can’t join the party tonight, I have a family dinner and my parents will kill me if I don’t attend”. If your friends can relate to your dilemma, there’s a high chance that they’ll let you off the hook. This is especially if they’ve met your parents and don’t want to upset them.
#5. Make up other plans
“Sorry, I can’t try shrooms with you guys… I have to rush home and feed my cat or she’ll die of starvation.”
Telling your friends you already have important plans is another sneaky way you can avoid being pressured into doing things you don’t want to do. Normally, people won’t try as hard to convince you to ditch your plans and hang out with them if you make it clear that your plans are important.
#6. Play the sick card
We’re sure you’ve pretended to be sick at least once in your life — especially when you wanted to avoid going to school. Guess what, it’s not a bad idea after all when it comes to dealing with peer pressure.
Your friends wouldn’t want to babysit you when you’re sick, so telling them that you’re feeling under the weather will get you off the hook in no time.
#7. Say goodbye
We’re not kidding. Your friends play a big role in shaping you and they can leave a big impact on your life. So, if they aren’t a good influence and are constantly making you feel guilty if you don’t want to follow their bad habits, it’s time to say goodbye and walk away from them.
Yes, you’ll be losing your friends, but look at it as an opportunity to make new friends who don’t influence you into doing things you don’t like.
We know what you’re thinking — are all these white lies really necessary? Well, sometimes drastic times call for drastic measures, especially if it’ll keep you from getting into trouble with the law. Now that you’re armed with these clever ways to counter peer pressure, you can finally be independent and have more time to focus on what you really want to do. Good luck!