Deal with Peer Pressure: Peer pressure is one of the most challenging problems for anyone. It affects the social life of everyone all over world.
It is one of the reasons for unclear decision making of teenager, because people around them were dictating an action that they do not want to do.
The emotional state of an individual can be affected due to peer pressure and, in a long term it can lead to serious problems such as anxiety, poor decision making and being too much dependent on other people for validation.
If a kid does not know how to deal with peer pressure usually leads to a lot of stress and anxiety in a teenager. To know if your teenager is suffering from anxiety related issues do read our article on How-To SPOT & DEAL with Teenage Anxiety Issues and gain more insights.
That is why it is important to understand some ways on how we can deal with peer pressure.
But how can you deal with peer pressure? What are the ways that you can do to avoid doing something that we do not want to do?
But first thing first!
To overcome peer pressure, it is very important to understand what peer pressure is. According to Wikipedia Peer pressure (or social pressure) is the direct influence on people by peers, or the effect on an individual who gets encouraged to follow their peers by changing their attitude, values or behaviors to conform to those of the influencing group or individual.
Meaning to say when you are pressured by your colleague, friends, or family to do a decision that you do not want to do that is considered as peer pressure.
Fortunately, pressure can be overcome easily if you know how to deal with it.
Ways to deal with peer pressure
So, here are FIVE EFFECTIVE tips that you can do whenever you feel pressured by your friends, family, or colleague
Learn to Refuse
Once you have recognized or felt that you are being pressured by your friends learn to say NO.
Peer Pressure happens because some people do not know when to refuse. They are usually called as the “YES man” and they usually succumb to peer-pressure.
You have all the rights to say NO because no one should force you to things that you dislike.
If you do not want to do a certain action such as taking alcohol, cigarette or drugs proudly say NO.
Let them know that you can decide for the things that you like and for the things that you do not like.
Whenever they force you be ready to have some excuse like “No, that just not my thing” or “No, I’ve got asthma”.
In this way, you can be in control of your actions and decision. You can also let your social group know the things that you are not into.
Speak to your children and help them out with some standard excuse for common issues that your children might face.
Issues like pressure to smoke, drink alcohol, use drugs, indulge in sexual acts, or be destructive.
Teach them how to identify these pressures and how to slip out of the situation wisely.
They were times I have even role-played with my son on few of these topics. And I have also seen him do the same type of role play with his younger brother when the younger one was close to teenage.
They say knowledge is power and while we may have trained our kids. And we believe our children may not get trapped into these social pressures.
It is still advisable that we know and be vigilant for some science How-To find out if your teenager is using drugs that we need to look out for. Read article on to know more.
Know when to Leave the Situation
If you are peer pressured at the moment, sometimes the best way to avoid it something is to leave the situation.
Learn to understand your situations. Evaluate if your friends are really forcing you to do things that you do not like? If yes then, it is much better to leave the place to avoid unnecessary decisions on your part.
Always come up with a phrase as an excuse such as “Sorry I’ve got a curfew” or “Sorry, I’ve got to meet my parents right now.”
Just make sure that you will let your friends know the reason why you are leaving. Create an excuse depending on the situation in other words make an excuse that is believable.
One important benefit of leaving the place is that you will get some space and an opportunity to think and analyze the situation. You can respond to your friends better the next day when you see them.
You can also avoid getting into a situation like this once you know how the situation is getting built up.
My son would say that when he goes with friends. And when they plan to stop on a particular tea stall. Invariably the situation of wanting to have a smoke arises.
And my son has noticed that since he does not like this habit his friends start pushing him or challenging him to take a drag.
Once he figured this pattern. He was more vigilant and anytime his friends suggest having a pit stop at the tea stall, he would slowly make his excuse and move away from the situation.
You know why certain places exist. Places like bars and pubs. So, if you feel that you will get into uncomfortable situations when you visit these places. It is just better to avoid going in the first place. The key is to be in control not to go there.
Choose positive social group
Peer Pressure will not happen if we do not let it interrupt your life in short, we must keep in control. Do not go in a place or situation where you are uncomfortable. This avoidance of triggers is a very effective way to deal with peer pressure.
Always be wary where your group of friends planned to go out with.
If the peer pressure comes from your social group or circle of friends then, maybe it is the time to be socially selective.
Choose a positive social group that can accept your personality.
Positive social group is very important if you want to deal with peer pressure because they will not pressure things on you. You will get enough freedom to decide for yourself.
Get to know your teenager’s friend circle. Keep them always in your radar. Entertain them in your house and speak to them when you get a chance. So that you can understand then better.
Even if you disapprove of some friends of your teenager do not confronted it outright. If you do your teenager might get defensive and close you out.
The best way to deal with this is to point out the behavior, or issue rather than the individual.
It is good to have positive social circles. It not only helps your teenager to grow and be better. But when they have a secure relationship with friends it also plays an important part in reducing depression related issues in teenagers.
As parents it is wise to be aware of these issues and have a watch out for the same. Read article How-to find out if your teenager is battling depression? to know more.
Ask for Advice/ Seek Help from Others
Peer pressure can be a serious problem especially when you are keeping it with yourself—it is painful and stressful.
That is why it is very important to get support from others just like in a very popular phrase “No man is an Island”.
Ask for advice from your trusted friends and family. Let them know your situation and for sure they will be willing to extend their hands for you.
Make sure to seek help from people that you truly trust it can be your best friend, parents, or partner in life.
Asking for advice can help you to deal with peer pressure because you can have someone to lean on.
So, do not be shy to reach out your love ones because for sure they can help you in any situation.
We noticed that our son was not himself for few weeks in a row. We kept asking him if something was worrying him. And he always gave us vague answers.
Till one day due to a constant reaching out to him he opened up stating that he is facing problems with his best friend.
On enquiry we figured out that his best friend has joined in with some bad company and where experimenting on drugs.
My son was not very comfortable with. However, he wanted to be with his friend and not abandon him and try to get his friend out of the new company of friends.
He was not only unsuccessful, but he was also getting dragged into it and he felt stuck.
It took us a while to help our son get out of this situation and make peace with himself. For choosing to move away from bad company including his close friend.
But him reaching out to us helped us as a family to come together and build a stronger bond than before.
Sometimes kids volunteer and come to ask for help. Sometimes a little bit of a nudging from our side is needed to break the ice and reach out to our children.
But all this will be successful only when you create an emotional bond with them and maintain it.
Do you read or article on How-To Easily build Emotional Connection with your Teenager to help you in this journey?
Know Yourself Better
Peer pressure can make you feel less about yourself that is why you must know yourself better.Try to understand yourself better than anyone else. Figure out things that you like and things that you do not.
There are things that you can do to know yourself better and doing these things can help you to deal with peer pressure.
There are three things that you can do to know yourself better.
The first one
Write a daily journal; this may sound cliche but writing a daily journal can help you know yourself even more.
It can help you to reflect daily that will help you to organize your thoughts. Daily reflection in the long run can help you to overcome peer pressure.
The second one
Engage in different activities whether in a sport, boot camp or hobby.
It can help you to enjoy things and have positive perspective in life. You will also benefit with a healthy body when you engage in sports, and healthy body is equal to healthy mind.
Surely engaging with different activities can help you know yourself even more. The more you know yourself the more ready you are to be able to deal with peer pressure.
The Third one
Ask people close to you on who they think you are. Your strengths, your areas of improvement, and your weaknesses.
You will be surprised to know how they see you and you might find few things about yourself that you were not aware about.
To be more effective in this quest ask people who are in different relationship with you. Such as parents, siblings, friends, teachers and coaches, and neighbors.
Example: My son around the age of 15 started becoming friendly with a boy who worked in a mechanic shop.
And slowly we notice that my son’s outlook of life was changing.
He started talking about how he can get a job immediately and start earning money.
At his age, a daily wage was good and higher when he compared to the allowance, we were giving him. He started justifying to himself that this was the best he could do and not study further.
It was his coach who came to our rescue at this trouble times. His coach spoke about him about his talent in cricket. Pushed him with extra classes. Highlighted his strengths and slowly made him realist that he could do far more than becoming a mechanic helper boy in a shop.
Ignited by the feedback from his coach. My son would come asking us on who we thought he was. And was it possible that he can achieve what his coach believes him to achieve. And we helped along the way in bringing to his notice what we think he was.
There are many ways we can build self-awareness in our children. Talks and feedback are one effective way. Self-awareness leads to self-confidence.
To know ways in which parents can help build self confidence in their teenager do read our article How to develop self-confidence in your teenager
In conclusion, there are things that you can do to cope up with peer pressure or social pressure. You must understand and classify first the problem to fight against it.
For parents: Read our article How to Prepare your Teenager Face Challenges in Life to help your teenager with the most needed life skill.
All problems in this world have a solution. You can cope up with peer pressure by doing an intervention:
Know when to say NO in a situation,
- Leave a situation when necessary.
- Always be in control in your life in any situation,
- Do not be afraid or shy to ask for advice from your friends, family, or love ones.
- You must know yourself better to gain clarity in life
You can be the beginning to overcome peer pressure when you are experiencing it.
Once you have learnt to cope up with it do not forget to extend your hand to help another person. Help your friends, family or love one that may possibly experience peer pressure.
Peer pressure is a phenomenon that we will encounter at some point of our lives. You must be ready and knowledgeable enough in order to cope up with it.
Since for sure each of us will experience it, we must change our perspective about it. Let us think that it is a challenge that we must accomplish in order to be promoted in life.
Let us think of it as an opportunity to showcase our ability as an individual. In this way we can have a positive perspective even in darkest hour of our life.
However, I am a mother growing 3 kids. Am a concerned parent.
I like to share my knowledge with the hope that it will be help to someone somewhere and make a difference to a very worried parent.
I have written this article, basis my experience, my talk with experts in this line and research on this topic. Also, I have implemented it in my life with my kids.
I like to emphasize that this is only for knowledge sharing and information purpose.
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