Every Indian person have heard this saying more than a thousand times that ‘if your friend jumps off a bridge, would you do that too’ and it left us lost, juggling to come up with an alternate answer from the obvious one ‘No’. Our parents couldn’t have found a better supernatural weapon than this to keep us from unnecessary peer pressure.
Peer pressure (or social pressure) is the direct influence on people by peers, or the effect on an individual who gets encouraged to follow their peers by changing their attitudes, values. This can result in either a positive or negative effect, or both. Young people especially may struggle to cope with varying forms and degrees of peer pressure—whether it’s keeping up with middle school fashion trends or being the one who fits in.
Peer Pressure is subjected to both the negative or positive aspects but the negative aspect here has more weightage because we are influenced by our peers easily in a negative kind of way like-
Drugs and alcohol
Shoplifting or Sexual activity
Bullying or Cyberbullying
On the account of the above mentioned peer pressure problems, this is best suited- “One way to know whether something is right for you is how you feel while you’re doing it—or afterward. If you regret having done something, don’t do it again, even if your friends do”. (By Jill Whitney)
The lines given by Jill Whitney clearly portraits the idea of knowing when you are right or wrong and this is how one can boldly deal with peer pressure. These lines work as a counselor for us and we can be self – counseled by them but it is better to vaccinate ourselves with the right habits to stand up to the peer pressure right from the beginning. Those right habits could be-
How to Deal with Peer Pressure
1. Choose your group wisely
While some friends will encourage you to make positive choices, others will try to pressure you to make negative and even destructive choices. We can choose what kind surroundings we want to build for us and the choices we make go along.
2. Learn to Stop
If someone asks you to do something like having a cigarette or drugs, don’t respond to the request immediately. Take a moment to catch your breath and let your brain process the offer. Sometimes, just giving yourself that bit of time is enough to help you make the right choice in those uncomfortable situations.
3. Know when to say NO
It can be difficult to stand up to the peers that you consider your friends but it comes from within that whether the situation is healthy or not. Sense the situation and strike it out with a NO. Your peers might feel disgusted by it but like you learn to stick to your choices, they will also learn to accept your choices.
4. Consider Consequences
It is all about the thought process present in our systems. Reaching to consequences within the mind can help us know that they can be dreadful. Knowing consequences will help you to stop yourself from indulging into wrong activities.
If you continue to face peer pressure and you’re finding it difficult to handle, talk to someone you trust. Don’t feel guilty if you’ve made a mistake or two. Talking to a parent, teacher, or school counselor can help you feel much better and prepare you for the next time you face peer pressure and don’t forget that with the negative peer pressure also exists the Positive and Powerful Peer Pressure.