Peer pressure. What does it mean?
Peer. That means friends or people your age around you. Pressure. That means being forced to do something you don’t want to or feeling forced. Peer pressure. That means doing things your friends/people your age make you do, but you don’t want to. Well, why did I tell you this? I think I gave it away in the title, but yeah, we’re talking about peer pressure today.
Like most adolescents, I was also under peer pressure and it made me do some not so great things. It shockingly affected my mental and physical health. I became distanced from my parents (and I was actually very rude to them), I lost a few of my friends (we’re talking 4-5 of my friends here), I forgot how to enjoy (I actually did), my grades were not very high (because of distractions), and I wasted 1-3 months of my life (yeah, I said 1-3, it’s technically about 13 weeks). So, um (awkward)…
Let me explain how it went when I told my mom: We were sitting in my room, I told her everything and started crying. She listened patiently and it was kind of freaking me out because she hadn’t yelled or screamed at me. Then at the end, she was silent. After a bit, she said, “I knew something like this happened.” Then it was my turn to be silent.
Anyway, that’s mainly what happened, but let’s start talking about peer pressure, I think I’ve written more than 200 words already. First of all, why do people give in to peer pressure? In my experience, I learned that people give in to be liked, accepted, to be “cool” and popular, or even just to go along with their friends.
When people are under peer pressure, they tell lies, drop interest in their hobbies, make many excuses, lose their appetite to eat, avoid their parents, and some even fall into bad habits of drug and alcohol use.
Ok, so I know I’ve made peer pressure look and sound evil (sorry peer pressure), but it’s not always a bad thing. Some people might think I’m crazy when I say this (since I’ve complained a lot about peer pressure in this post), but again it could lead to you doing good things. And don’t worry I’m not as crazy as you think (LOL).
Let me explain good pressure. It’s actually pretty simple: it’s when your peers influence you to do good things. For example: a peer could influence you to do better in school or join some sort of group, club or committee. Like I said simpler, definitely what you should try to do, whether you’re the one being pressured or the one pressuring.
Now what are strategies to handle bad peer pressure:
- Pay attention to your feelings
- If you feel like something is wrong don’t do it, even if your friends are ok with it
- Be direct, stop your friends
- Plan ahead, practice
- Don’t be afraid to say NO if it’s a strong reason, otherwise give an excuse and walk away
- Choose right friends, remember “quality over quantity” when making friends
- Talk to a trusted adult (mom, dad, brother, sister, etc.)
- And most importantly, be confident about yourself
I wrote this post because I’m pretty sure there are others out there who are dealing with peer pressure. This is technically kind of like an advice post (I think). So, hopefully it helped or will help at least some people. Anyway, I would love to know if any of you guys have had to face peer pressure or are facing peer pressure. If so, how did you deal with it?