Do you know when someone is peer pressuring you? When does a friendly suggestion turn into something more? As you become older and more independent, you have more of a say in who your friends are and what kind of people you spend time with. And sometimes, it’s hard to tell whether or not these people are having a negative impact on you. You may experience peer pressure and not even know it, so it’s important to be able to understand what peer pressure is and what forms it comes in.
What is Peer Pressure?
The standard definition of peer pressure is, “Influence that a peer group, observers or individual exerts that encourages others to change their attitudes, values, or behaviours to conform to group norms.” But how do we apply this to our everyday lives? Have you ever been in a situation where one of your friends has encouraged you to do something that you’re not comfortable with? They may have used one of these textbook phrases, “C’mon, everyone else is doing it” or “What harm is it going to do?”. The truth is that no matter how good a friendship you have with someone, if they make you do something you don’t want to do, it’s peer pressure and it’s wrong.
What to do:
- Say No – It may seem hard at first but the quickest way to stop peer pressure is to simply say no. You’re an individual and you have the right not to do things you aren’t happy with.
- Be around people you’re comfortable with – The people who you are comfortable being around will have the same morals as you and won’t put you in a situation you don’t like.
- Listen to your gut instinct – If deep down something doesn’t feel right, be brave enough to stand up and walk away.