5 Strategies to Avoiding Peer Pressure

I am being pressured by my friends to be mean to one of our friends...I felt awful that I was doing this to one of my closest friends. I'm not sure it's the right thing to do. I don't want to lose my status with my friends or offend my close friend. Please help 


What is Peer Pressure?

Peer Pressure is simply when your mates press you to do or go along with something you don’t like or  you are not comfortable with. It's sort of an encouragement or influence by one's age group to engage in funny things which go against the person's choice, morals and sometimes personality.

It’s actually okay to feel confused or struggle with peer pressure as a Teenager. Everybody faces it at some point in their lives. Peer pressure is something we all have to deal with —at school, at work, among friends. It’s that seemingly overwhelming urge to conform, often against what we know is right.

There are times your friends will be engaging in an activity and you might feel pressured to join in, even when you don't want to. 

Here are some situations where Teenagers might feel pressured to follow their mates:

There are times your friends will be engaging in an activity and you might feel pressured to join in, even when you don't want to. Examples of teenage peer pressure cases include:

  • Abusive use of drugs or drinking alcohol
  • Illicit sex
  • Sexting (Sex chatting)
  • Shoplifting or stealing
  • Driving without a licence
  • Having a boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Sneaking out of home
  • Dressing or acting a certain way
  • Not being friends with someone
  • Going for a party
  • Skipping school and missing classes
  • Cheating on tests and examination malpractices

Peer Pressure Effects

Well, peer pressure is not always negative as seen generally but peer pressure is always a negative influence on adolescent behavior. Peer pressure is the cause of a lot of mental problems during the teenage years.

Mostly, cases of ‘peer pressure’ manifest itself in schools. This is often only one aspect of the story. There are two sides of a coin, and peer pressure also has positive effects. The effects of peer pressure fully depends on the kind of cluster the peers belong to.

Positive Effects of Peer Pressure

Positive Peer Pressure suggests that a teenager's peer can encourage him/her to try to do something positive, of great value or facilitate the individual in personal growth.
  • It creates a sense of Belonging
  • It gives room for Advice and Encouragement
  • Enhanced self-confidence

Negative Effects of Peer Pressure

  • Reduction in self-esteem
  • Bad impact on Academic Grades
  • Adaption to Harmful Habits 
  • Self-harm or Suicidal Thoughts
Standing up to peer pressure takes practice and courage – it can be scary at first. You might have friends who enjoy taking risks or trying new things —it doesn’t mean you have to do it too!

Succumbing to peer pressure makes you feel lonely because you'd be doing what you are not comfortable with.
Personally, most times I give in to pressure from my friends, I end up feeling empty and powerless inside. Not only that, but I am also weighed down with thoughts of regret and a bad conscience.

Many Teenagers and young people give in easily to peer pressure because they are controlled by thoughts about what others think about them. They are afraid of what their friends might say if they tell them what they really believe, or if they don’t go along with what the others are doing. 

How to deal with Peer Pressure in College

1. Act cool when someone is pressuring you

Don't get angry or lash out. Use humour to deflect pressure or attention because you're on God's side and He's equally on your side.

Psalm 118:6 says, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?” You need to arm yourself with this mindset 

Be level-headed and show that you aren't affected by what is being said. Communicate your choices in a short and simple way. If your peers don't like your choices, then it's their loss. Also, move away from the situation if you can.

2. Give a Confident ‘No thanks’ or ‘not for me’.

It isn’t easy saying ‘no’ when you’re being pressured by your mates but no matter how pressured you feel, you always have the option of saying ‘no’.

Take your stand as a child of God. There is no reason to be ashamed of being a Christian. In 1 Peter 3:17, the Bible says, “For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”

Learn to be direct and say you don’t appreciate feeling pressured. This is why you have to build the necessary self-confidence you need through God's word.

3. Don't be scared of giving up pressurizing friends.

In 1 Corinthians 15:33, the Bible tells us "to not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.” Friends that would want you to be mean 'with or without cause' to another friend are a bad company and are not good for you. 

You might be scared your friends won’t like you or want to be your friend anymore after turning them down but you have to remember quality over quantity especially with friends. Make sure that whatever you're doing is your own choice according to God's will and not due to someone else's influence. Don't let the fear of rejection from your friends make you go against God's commandments.

4. Get help from grown ups

It takes practice standing up to peer pressure and being true to yourself. Get support and talk to someone you trust.

Talking with grown ups about peer pressure issues is most appropriate as they'll know the specific things you will need to do at that point.

5. Become an example.

Remember Comrade, you're the Light of the World. You do not have the obligation to fulfill someone's request you're not comfortable with. You are God's workmanship and you only respond to good works for righteousness sake.

Matthew 5:14-16 says, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

All in all, you can't get rid of peer pressure; it will always be there. However, by trusting in the Lord using the tips above, you will be able to avoid it as much as possible.

0/Post a Comment/Comments