Peer pressure is such a common thing that most people will experience it or have already experienced it. No matter who you are or what your age is, it could happen to you, but peer pressure if recognized a lot in high school. Being at that age where everyone is experiencing new things, and everyone also wants to fit in. That’s why it can be difficult to walk away from certain situations.
Say you’ve never had a smoke before, and one of your friends pulls out a cigarette and asks you if you want a puff. You decline the offer, but your friends keep bugging you about it and keep telling you to “just do it”. With people trying to force you to do something, it can be quite hard to stand your ground, because all you want to do is fit in with them. Because so many people want to fit in with some crowds, a lot of them will give in so they can prove that they aren’t scared.
Of course, peer pressure doesn’t just apply to smoking a cigarette, it can also be for drugs and alcohol, maybe skipping school, or even bullying someone. If someone is pressured to do some of these things and they do it so they don’t feel alienated, then there’s a high chance they can end up feeling quite guilty about it in the end. If you don’t want to be somebody that gives into peer pressure, then I have a few tips on how you can avoid it.
#1 Choose The Right Friends
You don’t want friends that are always trying to force you to do the things you are doing, even if you say no. Friends who accept who you are and respect your decisions are the best ones to have, because they are less likely to try and pressure you into something that you aren’t exactly comfortable with.
Before you agree to something, think about the risks that could come along with it. Everything comes with a consequence, some are worse than others, so it would be a good idea to give it a second thought, because doing something to fit in could get you into a lot of trouble in the long run.
#3 Your Instincts
If you know in your heart that whatever someone is pressuring you to do is bad, go with your instinct. If you ignore your instinct and go with it anyways, there’s a possibility you could be getting yourself into some very dangerous situations.
#4 Talk To Someone
Maybe telling an adult would be a better option for you, if you are finding it hard to stand up to someone and tell them no. Tell your parents, or maybe even the guidance counselor at your school. If you are upfront and honest, they won’t be there to judge you or yell at you, they’ll be there to give you advice on how to handle it.
Although lying may not be the best way to go about things, if you are ever feeling pressured and panic because you don’t know how to get out of it, you could always resort to a quick excuse. You could always pretend that you had to go home and help your mom out with something, something that would get you out of the situation quick so you don’t end up giving into the pressure.
While those are some good ways to resist peer pressure, I think it’s good to realize that not all peer pressure is bad. For me, I’m one of those people that don’t take criticism too well, and I have trouble realizing when people are just genuinely telling me what might be better to do. From personal experience, whenever my parents would try and give me advice on my shyness, I would always take it the wrong way and always felt like they were getting mad at me for being shy. If you are one of those people, then it might be hard to realize that some people are just giving you a little push. But, always follow your gut, because then you’ll be able to tell right from wrong.
If you are feeling pressured from someone to do something that you don’t feel comfortable doing, then it could also be a good option to be completely honest with them and tell them how you feel. If you are firm with your answer, then they will most likely get the hint that you’re not into that kind of thing and will back off. Of course, that might not be the easiest option to do, but it would get the job done.
Wanting to fit in is something that most people want to do or have wanted to do, but it can be hard. Trying to fit in might result in you changing how you act, or how you dress, just so you can be like other people in hopes that they would like you more and would want to hang out with you. While that’s something everyone wants, I don’t think it would ever be worth giving up who you are as a person. Stay true to yourself and don’t let other people force you to do something you don’t want to, because, most likely, nothing good will come out of it.
It won’t be easy to resist peer pressure, but once you do, you’ll end up feeling better about yourself. It will show that you were strong and confident enough to stand your ground and say no. After that, you could even give advice to other people who you know are feeling pressured. So many people are struggling the same way you are, so if you tell them how you did it, then that could make them feel like they can do it, too.