Is peer pressure making your life tough?
Have you ever felt the need to dress a certain way, flaunt a particular accessory and develop a love for music/movies or visit a place – just because your friends did? This is what ‘peer pressure’ is. Even though you don’t have an intrinsic personal desire but seeing other people you feel the need to do adopt such beliefs, attitudes and values, so that you ‘fit in’ to the group.
Peer pressure affect people of all ages. Ever seen a child throwing tantrums to possess a toy because his friends have? Many times, we as adults also participate in activities just to be part of the group – remember the last time you saw your friend with that luxury car and sudden desire to buy too! Peer pressure, in itself, is neither good nor bad. When it as an encouragement tool to drive one to work hard for betterment, it is good but when it throws one into bad habits like smoking, drinking, bunking classes etc. it is negative.
Peer pressure among teenagers and adolescents
A stage comes during the development years of children, when they prefer to spend more time with their friends than with their parents. This is perfectly normal and healthy but it can also become a source of conflict within the family. The desire to feel accepted and part of the group is very strong during these years. Sometimes, teens may end up doing things that are not right for them.
Factors affecting response to peer pressure
Individuals who have high self-esteem and strong connections with their family and community take their own decisions and are less likely to fall for peer pressure. While those who have low self-esteem and experience family issues like divorce and unsupportive parents are vulnerable to peer pressure.
6 strategies to dodge the negative peer pressure
- ‘Just say no’ is the most propagated strategy to respond to pressure for participating in harmful behaviors like smoking or drinking.
- Give a reason and leave the scene
- Make a joke of the suggestion and not showing any seriousness
- Change your group and involve yourself in separate activities, if the pressure becomes too much
- Reach out to a reliable adult like a family member to vent out your concerns
- Select friends whose values, goals and ambitions match with your own