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Peer pressure may be a common topic we are all too familiar with once in our life. We may have gone through that in school, while growing up in a neighborhood and even in the workforce. What is it? Why is it so hard to deal with?

In a society where standards have to be met, having to fit in a group is one of our means to function in a social setting. However, it is this peer pressure that pushes some of us to become what we are not all because of many reasons and factors. Let me get down to business on what peer pressure is and how we can actually deal with it.

Peer pressure is the influence of one or more group to a certain individual that encourages him/her change attitude or behaviour to conform to what is the norm in that group. Is it bad? Not exactly. It all depends on the type of people you are involved with that will make it bad or good. Let’s just say, for the sake of argument, you are in a group of people who are not the providing you good reasons to be a better person, then that is bad.

I understand that some will be in a different situation than others. However, peer pressure as a general fact, can still affect you as a person and the negative impact it has on you and the people around you can change who you are.

How to deal with peer pressure if it is negatively impacting your behaviour and views on values? Here are some tips to deal with peer pressure:

 

Know what you want and stand for it.

For instance, a friend is asking you to go out to shop but you have several assignments to complete. Kindly decline. If your friend persists, decline again. I would normally decline and resist at least 3 times and the other person will get the picture. But what if the friend still pushes you to go? The decision is all up to you. It takes a lot of guts and willpower to actually say a firm NO to someone without being rude nor rejecting. Be firm with your statement and once you’ve said it already, don’t even take it back.

You don’t owe anyone any explanation. Do not even justify why you have to turn the invitation down. It is your life, your time and your body/mind/soul. No one should contest that.

 

Avoid the person if you have to.

This will be a case to case basis. What if the scenario is like this? A friend asked you to drink beer and you don’t want to and he/she is forcing you to. What will you do? Easy, stand your ground and say stuff like you can only decide on what and what not to put in your body. People should respect that but if the friend keeps taunting you and teasing you about it, then calmly walk away. A real friend will not force something to you when he/she knows you don’t want it. Avoid the person. Plain and simple.

 

Have a straight face when you tell them NO.

Some people will take you lightly especially those who know you too well like family and friends. Even colleagues will have the tendency to dismiss how you feel because of familiarity. This is when you become firm and give it to them when you have to. A no is a no and that is it. If they keep insisting, maybe you can go on a line like this, “I have told you I can’t three times already. What is so hard to understand there? Do you want us to have a deeper conversation about this issue when I clearly said no?” People will usually back away when that happens. Don’t hold back when you know it’s not good for you and you just can’t do it.

 

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