What is Peer Pressure?
We all have peers, they may be our friends, cousins, or any person of the same age or with the same ground of interests and experiences. They may also be the kids of your community who belong to the same community group or performs the same activities just like you.
You may not think of them to be your peers but they all can influence you, in some way or the other, both positively or negatively. This peer influence is termed Peer Pressure.
If you can derive positive peer pressure, from the people that surround you, then that pressure will drive you towards acquiring your best self. Negative peer pressure is when you feel a certain kind of pressure from a certain group of your friends, who makes you feel that there is a certain kind of a way that you need to dress up or groom yourself to be accepted.
When you start to give in to this negative influence you often tend to end up feeling guilty or upset with certain decisions that you might have taken, or a certain path you might have chosen. You often end up disappointed in yourself for acting in a certain way that you did, which goes against your beliefs or principles.
Some instances of negative peer pressure are:
- Using addictives such as drugs or alcohol because otherwise, you feel you might not be accepted.
- Dressing in a certain way that is different from your way.
- Shoplifting or stealing.
- Engaging in sexual activities.
- Engaging in bullying.
Strategies to handle Peer Pressure:
There are a lot of ways to handle peer pressure. Here are the best of them listed below.
1. Pay attention to how you feel
If something about a certain situation or a certain decision bothers you then probably it's because the situation or the decision goes against your values or your will. So, even if your friends seem to be fine with it the situation might not be good for you.
2. Plan ahead
Always have a Plan B. Be prepared on how to deal if a certain situation goes wrong, or have a plan on how to react to different given situations.
In any situation, communication can be the key to your cure. Communicate with the person from whom you feel the pressure coming, let that person know about how you feel about the pressure or the situation.
If, you cannot talk to the person then talk to your parents or your friends or a trustworthy well-wisher of yours. Have a secret code to communicate with them, you can text them to help you out of a situation. They can call you or text you, letting you know that you need to come home or they need to pick you up.
4. Give an excuse
It’s okay to not feel up for a certain activity and it’s fine to say “no”, without explaining it. You can use a medical reason to avoid consuming something by saying that you have allergic reactions if that curtained product is consumed by you.
Or, if you feel right to avoid the situation altogether, you can best say that you need to be home immediately due to certain emergencies.
5. Having friends with similar beliefs
It’s always easier to say “no” if somebody else is saying it too. Have friends with similar values and beliefs. Saying “no” together makes it easier for both of you.
6. Medical help/Help from adults
Get support from a trusted adult, such as a parent, a teacher, or a medical counselor. They can listen to you and help you with strategies that will help you, with your situation in a mature manner.
The above methods might be very useful if you are struggling with the situations that you find yourself to be in when you experience peer pressure.
I would love to hear if any of these ways to handle peer pressure have helped you anyhow, do comment and share your experience with us.
Also, like and share this article with someone you think is going through some kind of peer pressure.