Friendship - Image source: images
Friends are an important and integral part of our lives. In every phase of our life we want someone to support us in getting through the tough times and in most cases we have friends who guide us. They have a huge impact on our lives. So, it becomes very important to have a bunch of friends that motivate us to do good in life. Peer pressure plays a vital role in deciding how we will turn out to be as individuals.
Read more about the importance of friends: importance of friendship
Peer Pressure is the direct or indirect influence our peers have on us due to which we decide to do things we wouldn't do otherwise. One has to face peer pressure at all stages in life but it is the most pronounced in the adolescence age and the initial years of adulthood. That is when we are most influenced by our peers and their lifestyle. We tend to adopt their habits and choices.
Peer pressure is not necessarily always negative though the word 'pressure' make it seem so. Peer pressure can be positive as well but during adolescence/early adulthood the influence is mostly negative. In fact, peer pressure has been called a hallmark of the adolescent experience.
Read more to know about peer pressure: what is peer pressure?
Peer pressure leads to low self confidence - Image source: images
Choosing the right peers plays the most important role in the kind of peer pressure you'll get to face. If you choose the kind of peers who are more into constructive activities instead of troublemaking, peer pressure could lead you into becoming a better person.
Read more about positive peer pressure: positive peer pressure helps building a successful life
Positive peer pressure - Image source: images
When your peers drag you into doing the activities you should restrain from it's the negative peer pressure. Negative peer pressure doesn't necessarily have to be related to bad habits. Negative peer pressure can also be defined as the pressure your peers put on you to be like them. It can be about dressing up and looking a certain way or having same particular interests. This pressure of being same as their peers make youngsters lose their individuality.For example, Your friends might pressurize you to wear high waist jeans instead of low waist. This in no way is a negative influence but it definitely shatters one's confidence in oneself and their choices.
Read more about the impact of negative peer pressure: 6 impacts of negative peer-pressure
Negative peer pressure leads to bad habits - Image source: images
During young age, teens become curious to try out new things. It is very natural to incline towards the wrong things easily. Also, during this age, a child becomes very conscious of how popular he/she is and how many people like him/her. So, students try out everything that is considered cool at this age in order to fit into the "popular group".
Studies show that most youngsters start drinking and smoking in order to be approved by their friends.
Read more to know the consequences of unhealthy peer pressure: Statistics on Peer Pressure-Consequences of unhealthy peer pressure
Gender too play a role in deciding the amount of peer pressure an individual will face. Girls have to face peer pressure more often than boys.
Peer pressure managing - Image source: image
When you have become a part of a certain group it is very difficult to go against them. Once you know you're under the wrong influence and you understand that you must not indulge in the negative activities it becomes a little easy to walk away.
These may help you to deal with peer pressure:
1) A better self-image: A positive image of yourself in your mind will boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. When you are confident about yourself, you don't feel the need to be like someone else.
Check out my article about self image: self image: The key to your potential
2) Say "NO" clearly: Be firm when you say 'NO' to your friends. Don't give a vague response that could be predicted as a 'MAYBE' or something similar. Let your friends know that no matter what you aren't giving in.
3) Let your positive pressure seep into the conversation: When your friends ask you to join them for drinks and you're afraid to say NO, provide them with your positive alternative of going to play soccer instead. This may help in diverting their mind to a healthier prospect.
4) Making excuses: When you face a situation that is unavoidable and saying NO won't help either, making excuses can really save you.
5) Stick to your values: You are the ambassador of your values. Know what your family values are and get them deeply rooted in your heart and mind so that whenever you're on the verge of breaking them your conscience is awakened.
6) Say Goodbye: If things become so bad that you can't find a way out, it is time to say goodbye to your toxic friends.
Find new friends who have similar interests as you and who respect your choices. Right friends can build you into a better human being.
We may not realise but peer pressure is one of the major reasons why teens indulge in unfair activities.
Peer pressure quote - Image source: kushandwisdo
According to the Kaiser foundation, over 50% of teens indulge in sexual activities during at an early age due to peer pressure.
A survey finds out that out of all the teens who drink, 46% do so to get acceptance in their peer group.
It becomes very important to recognise the kind of friends we let into our lives.
Peer pressure often makes individuals lose confidence in themselves. The constant need to be a certain way in order to be accepted makes the individual feel not enough. This leads to depression and inferiority complex.
Impact of peer pressure - Image source: images
Read more about inferiority complex: Inferiority complex: A path to low self esteem
It is not possible to get away from peer pressure completely. You have to face it at all points in life but you can make sure that it doesn't overpower you. Let your friends live their lives according to their choices. You must live your life according to yours.
Don't give into peer pressure - Image source: pin