Here’s what peer pressure really looks like
Our friends’ opinions really matter to us. It’s normal to want to do the same type of activities as your peers but it becomes a problem if you’re doing it just to fit in. You’d be surprised at the number of teenagers and young people who experience peer pressure without even knowing it. Here’s what peer pressure actually looks like.
Peer pressure isn’t always obvious
Although you may think peer pressure always involves being asked to do something illegal or dangerous - most of the time, peer pressure is really subtle. For example, your friends can convince you to change the way you look and dress, or your partner could keep convincing you to prove your love for them through .
The truth is, Choma, if you find yourself constantly having to explain or justify why you do or don’t want to feel something to your friends, you’re probably experiencing peer pressure.
Peer pressure can be non-verbal
Sometimes people don’t have to say anything to put pressure on you. For example, feeling like you need to stay longer at a party because your friends will be angry if you leave, is a kind of peer pressure. That’s because your actions are being influenced by what they expect from you, rather than how you feel.
Peer pressure isn’t always bad
Sometimes your peers can put positive pressure on you. Your friends may influence you to become more assertive, try new activities, or to do better in school. It’s better to hang around people who motivate you and encourage you to do positive things, instead of people who always get you into trouble.
Ways to deal to peer pressure
Be yourself - It’s okay if you’re interested in the same things as your friends. Just make sure that you’re doing these things because you genuinely like them and not because you want to please your friends.
It’s okay to say no - Although it might be hard at times, there’s nothing wrong with saying no to your friends or bae when they ask you to do something that makes you uncomfortable such as smoking, drinking or having sex. Remember, someone who really cares about you, won’t be upset at you for not doing something that makes you uncomfortable.
Ask for advice - Some situations make it really hard for you to say no, especially if you’re being bullied into doing something. Rather speak to your guardians, mentor, educators or for advice on how to handle situations where you feel like you’re being forced to act a certain way.
Peer pressure can be quite tricky to deal with. Although it can be positive, you should always do things because you really want to, and not because your friends or partner will be upset with you if you don’t.
Remember if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on , send me a , , or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).
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