I would like to start this article by saying that you are what you think you are. This goes without saying that we are being controlled by our thoughts and not even by what people says about us. If we can control the kind of things that comes in and stays on our minds, bravo! You can conquer the world.
So much has been said about peer group pressure/ influence and what have you. I want to lend my voice to this, and as a matter of fact and necessity, our youths and teens should learn that they can actually say ‘NO’ to their peers without ‘batting an eye brow’.
This is very easy if you can be patient and read through this write up and follow my guidelines.
What do you mean by Peer? Simply put, peers are people who you socialize with or that are similar to you in age, interests, or in some other way. Peers can include people you are friends with, go to school with, work with or meet at an event.
Pressure on its own means, to persuade someone to behave in a particular manner he is not used to. The use of persuasion or intimidation to make someone do something.
Therefore, peer pressure simply put means, when one is influenced either by persuasion or intimidation, by other people (one’s peers) to act in a certain way.
If you’re with friends who are doing something that you typically would not do and they convince you to do what they are doing, that is an example of peer pressure.
It is so easy to give in to peer pressure because everyone wants to fit in and be liked. Especially when it seems like “everyone is doing it”. Sometimes people give in to peer pressure because they do not want to hurt someone’s feelings or they do not know how to get out of the situation so they just say “yes”.
TYPES OF PEER INFLUENCE.
Peer pressure or influence can be positive or negative.
Example of positive peer influence; young people can be influenced to become more assertive, try new activities, or to get more involved with school.
Pressure to not drink/smoke/do drugs
Pressure to be nice and help others
Pressure to exercise
Negative Influence; Some teenagers might choose to try things they normally wouldn’t be interested in, such as smoking ,drugs or taking part in antisocial behavior.
Some children are more likely to be negatively influenced by peers – for example, children who have poor self-esteem, who feel they have few friends, and who have special needs. These children might feel that the only way they’ll be included and accepted in social groups is by taking on the behavior, attitudes and look of a group.
WAYS PEERS CAN PRESSURE YOU?
- Insults: making a person feel bad for not doing something, so that they eventually will.
- Reasoning: pressure by giving a person reasons why they should do something
- Rejection: pressure by threatening to end a relationship or a friendship
- Unspoken pressure: simply seeing all your peers doing something or wearing something can be a form of pressure
The way pressure is applied by peers can vary. A peer might pressure you directly by asking you to do something, or they might tease or coax you so that you will fall in line with their behavior. They may not say anything at all; instead, they may pressure you by treating you as an outcast or by ignoring you.
Children who have strong self-esteem are better at resisting negative peer influence. If you are happy with who you are and the choices you make, you are less likely to be influenced by other people. Self-esteem helps in establishing good relationships, and positive friendships
COPING WITH PEER INFLUENCE
How can you resist peer pressure?
for you to be able to resist pressure from your peers, you must do the following;
- Understanding your own values and beliefs
- Have Self-confidence
- Choose your friends wisely
- Talk to a trusted adult
- Don’t make excuses – say exactly how you feel
Coping well with peer influence is about getting the balance right. You have to be yourself. Don’t try to be another person. I have always advised youths to be confident in themselves. So am telling you also. Have a self-worth. Your self-esteem should be maintained no matter what. Trying to imitate someone else especially the wrong or bad aspect, shows an inferiority complex.
Hold your head high and keep it there no matter what your friends say or do to you. With time if you are unwavering in your decisions, they will begin to follow you and seek advice from you.
There is this antidote I had devised to help me cope with any negative remark or attitude mated to me. It has been working for me. And I know it will also work for you.
Whenever your peer tries to run you down because you refused to be persuaded into engaging in any bad behavior, ask yourself, ‘what he says or did to me, does is make me look different, does it change my name, does it remove any pin from my hair, or does it change my identity?’ If your answer to these questions is ‘NO’, then why worry yourself.
If a peer’s view of you do not bring down your personality, you need to stamp your feet on the ground and boldly say ‘NO’ to whatever negative things he or she is saying to you.
DEAR YOUTHS, THE FUTURE AWAITS YOU. YOU CAN ONLY EMBRACE IT WITH A STRONG, DETERMINED, BOLD UNWAVERING AND POSITIVE ATTITUDE. I KNOW YOU CAN, AND YOU WILL. SO DON’T LET ANYONE INFLUENCE YOU OR PRESSURE YOU.
ALL THE BEST.