On many occasions, you might have heard from family members or friends how they are being affected by peer pressure, maybe in their office or their social circle. Peer pressure is the influence created by people within your social circle. Now, who are your peers? Peers can be anyone, from friends to office colleagues or from the same social status.
What is Peer Pressure?
Peer pressure is the pressure you feel when your peers force you to do something you would not like to do. It is a situation when your peers convince you to indulge in activities that they enjoy. We all experience some amount of peer pressure in our daily lives. However, you can feel the peer pressure grow upon you in some cases. Firstly, your peer might directly ask you to do what they are doing, or in many cases, they might not now say anything but treat you like an outcast or ignore you. You will instantly feel the pressure to indulge in their activities to join the group.
We always associate peer pressure with a negative sense. But peer pressure can be positive also. For example, you might not like attending school. But a friend might convince you to study together and participate in regular classes. It is an example of positive peer pressure.
How to Avoid Peer Pressure
- The first thing that we should do to avoid peer pressure, mainly as an adult, is to remember that just because something is good for one individual, it does not have to be good for you.
- Therefore, you have to be assertive while making your decisions because, as an adult, no one else will take your decisions.
- Being assertive just means being clear about your thoughts.
- If you feel that someone in your workplace or community is pressuring you to do something, but you do not want to look weird, you can avoid peer pressure by simply calming yourself and asserting that you are uncomfortable doing it.
- You can also prevent the situation by saying that you need time to think about it. You might leave the scene without giving any answer. Sometimes silence can be better than words spoken.
How to Build a Strong Support System to Overcome Peer Pressure
It is essential to build a robust support system to overcome peer pressure. A strong support system can be your friends, family or even your colleagues at the workplace.
- To make a powerful support system, you need to spend enough time with a peer who respects your decisions and choices.
- Keep in mind that if you feel any unnecessary pressure from your peer, you should consider talking to them about it or consider keeping away from them in worse cases.
- It is also essential that you understand the simple fact that you can’t please everyone in your workplace.
- When you have a robust support system of friends and colleagues in your workplace, you can confront the peer group that creates undue pressure on you.
- You can also ask for support or advice from your support system: a parent, a mentor, or a professional counsellor.
How to Deal with Peer Pressure?
Here are some ways in which you can deal with peer pressure:
- If you face a difficult situation at the office where your peers are forcing you to do something unethical, stop and pay attention to your inner feelings. Do not say yes, only because the others are doing so.
- You should plan what you will say to resist the ongoing pressure.
- You can talk to the person or the group pressurising you to do something against your will. Let them know your feelings and tell them to stop.
- If you want to know how to resist peer pressure without looking weird, the best option is to give an excuse.
- Have colleagues with a similar frame of mind. It becomes easier to say no if you have a robust support system.
- You can exit from the scene.
- You can straightaway talk to the group leader, building the pressure.
- You can assert your point of view over and over again.
- Build strong self-esteem where you are confident in your decisions and at no point seem confused.
- If you cannot deal with peer pressure all by yourself, you can seek the help of a professional counsellor who will help you out of the situation.
What are Examples of Positive Peer Pressure
Peer pressure is not always a negative thing. Peer pressure can also have positive connotations and positively impact a person’s life. Here are some examples of positive peer pressure:
- Your friends might pressure you to study harder, and at the end of the day, you score good marks in your examination.
- Your friends might force you to join a job after college hours so that you can earn a little more and help your parents.
- Your office colleagues might pressure you to undertake a higher post because they think you can handle the added responsibilities.
- Your office colleagues might disapprove of gossiping about someone or enjoying bigoted jokes.
- You can respect others, and by watching you, others might also get inspired to respect each other in an organisation.
Peer pressure can positively and negatively impact a person’s life. You have to be wise enough to resist negative peer pressure and embrace positive peer pressure. Many professional counsellors and therapists can help you resist peer pressure and positively lead your life.
You can get more information on resisting peer pressure by consulting the mental health professionals at United We Care.
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