To Pat / 01 Apr 2019
Topic: Peer Pressure
Last year my family moved home and I started in a new school. I fell out of touch with my old friends because I live far away from them and I felt really lonely. Then last month I started hanging out with a new group of girls who live in my estate. They seem nice enough and I like being with them but they do stuff that I’m not too happy about.
For example, last week “D” stole a necklace from a shop and now she has dared me to do the same. I don’t want to do it but all of my new friends are saying that I need to prove that I have guts to be part of their group.
What should I do? I don’t want to steal or get into trouble but I’m afraid that my new friends won’t want to know me if I don’t do it. I don’t know to do. I’m confused.
From Pat / 24 July 2019
Thanks for contacting Ask Pat. It sounds like you have experienced a lot of change over the past year. You mentioned moving home and moving school. You also mentioned falling out of touch with your friends. It’s understandable that you felt lonely having moved so far away from your home, school, and old friends.
From what you said, it seems that you think your new group of friends are nice but you’re not happy with some of their actions, especially “D” stealing a necklace. It sounds like on the one hand you enjoy their company but on the other hand you are feeling under pressure to steal in order to be part of the group?
As you may know, stealing is against the law and we would be concerned to hear that you’re feeling under pressure. Nobody has the right to try to make you do something that you are not comfortable with and you have been very brave in contacting Childline to get some support.
Nobody should ever put pressure on you to do something that you do not want to do or make you feel unsafe, or indeed put you in danger.
You have the right to talk to a trusted adult about what is going on for you, someone that you feel comfortable talking to. This could be a parent, an aunt or uncle, a sports coach, a teacher.
If you would like to talk a bit more about this with Childline, you can contact our phone service on 1800 66 66 66, our text service at 50101 or Live Message us on this website. All of our services are free, confidential and non-judgmental.
You might also find it helpful to read our ‘Relationship with Friends’ article on this website.
Thank you for reaching out to us today.