Let’s Talk Peer Pressure: How To Cope At Any Age.
Let’s talk peer pressure: you may not realize it, but every day you are influenced by those around you. Your choices, opinions, even your favorite things! Perhaps a friend suggested you wear purple one day and now you wear it all the time! Most of the time this is harmless, a way of developing your tastes as you grow. You are the person you are today based on many variables and one of these are your peers: your parents/guardians, siblings, elders and those you share a classroom with. However, peer pressure becomes dangerous when you feel like you can’t escape from a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable or that you’d otherwise disagree with.
You must learn that it is okay to say no, to keep your integrity and avoid skewing your moral compasses. Here are some tips on how to cope with peer pressure at any age.
Know Yourself -Trust Your Instincts
The first and most important thing to note is that you must know yourself. This is easier said than done, of course, decades tend to go by before most people truly know themselves. The meaning of this is that you should have an acute awareness of your right and wrong, so trust your instincts. What are the important behaviors you wish to uphold at all costs? This can differ from person to person as an individual may value honesty higher than manners, but another may well value manners more. Be true to yourself and beliefs. Don’t compromise your morals for anyone, even if you’re met with annoyance. Your contentedness at doing the right thing will overshadow the fleeting feelings of trying to please.
Get Comfortable With The Word No
Secondly, it is not uncommon to struggle with your transition into adulthood but one of the most freeing things about this turbulent time is the realization that you can say no! This is much harder to do when you are younger and more impressionable. Moreover, as a youngun, you are taught and encouraged to obey. It’s as you grow that you realize how liberating the word ‘no’ really is! You made a choice. You decided and took a step to self-ownership. It feels good, right! Saying no to the damaging things will receive little repercussions! If anything, it’s rewarding! So say no and enjoy it!
Question Your Friendships
Would true friends punish you for refusing something that makes you feel uneasy? The answer is plain and simple: no. Ask yourself why you can’t say no to these people. Do they scare you? Why are you so eager to please them? Why should you have to prove you’re worthy of their friendship? If these questions orbit around your friendships then they probably aren’t healthy ones. People should love you for you! You shouldn’t have to prove yourself by getting involved in damaging situations! Proof should show through your great personality, your kindness and support for one another! You should enjoy your friend’s company and if you don’t, then maybe its time you started looking for new friends!
Is feeling guilty and bad about yourself beneficial in any way? Again, the answer is plain and simple: no. So why torture yourself? Do you not value your own person enough to treat yourself well? If you answered no, I urge you to seek some help. Speak to someone you trust or consult the well-being team at your college or a medical professional. Start to learn how to prioritize your welfare. When you feel good about yourself, you’ll start to make the right choices and even treat people better. Happiness is contagious, make your’s a priority.
It’s A Part Of Life
Furthermore, know that peer pressure doesn’t just go away. Once you accept this, you’re much more equipped to deal with it. As you get older peer pressure shifts into more adult themes, such as when the right time to lose your virginity is. The answer: when you’re ready, not when you feel like you should. Playground bullying transforms into office cliques and exclusion is as prevalent in the workplace as it is in school. Be prepared. Stick to your guns. The truth about life is that it doesn’t dramatically change as you age. If anything, it gets harder. Not only are you dealing with the same issues you did as a teen, but now you have taxes to pay! Understanding and preparing yourself for these pressures early means that, hopefully, the burden will be lesser and you have the confidence to deal with it!
Your well-being is important, make it matter!
London based writer, Victoria is currently studying English and Drama at Goldsmiths College, University of London. With a passion for poetry, she has been published several times through United Press and was chosen as a winner for their annual National Poetry Anthology in 2015! Appreciates writing in all forms, she looks to expand into the world of journalism upon graduation!