Whether you’re still in school or a young adult about to enter your career life, peer pressure is a normal aspect that everyone experiences. As individuals, we all have a tendency to conform to social standards and have a desire to feel like we belong somewhere. Most often than not, we feel peer pressure the most when we’re with our friends. Being with our friends makes us feel happy and makes us feel like we’re part of a group- even if it’s a group that’s not exactly good for you. There’s always going to be a desire within in to impress our friends with who we are, and that means agreeing to certain things that you’re not normally okay with. This doesn’t mean that just because you’re friends with them, you’re obligated to say yes and just agree with everything they’re saying. Your friends may be one of the most important people in your life, but they shouldn’t get to control your life. You’re your own self and if they’re the right friends for you, they should respect and understand where you’re coming from when you say no. With this being said, the following are ways to deal with peer pressure among your friends:
1 Find Out Your Likes And Dislikes
Before letting peer pressure affect your decisions and your behavior, you should first figure out the activities and things you like and you don’t like for yourself. This helps you realize what your hobbies and interests are to keep you grounded against the things you don’t like. In doing this, you’d also be realizing the reasons behind your likes and dislikes. The evidence of peer pressure among your friends can be rooted from the lack of knowledge on the things you like doing. Having the confidence and knowledge in doing certain things can give you the strength to say no to your friends if they’re tagging you along in an activity you don’t like.
2 Stay Grounded In Your Values
Your values, your morals and your principles comprises of who you really are. If you keep compromising your values for the benefit of fitting in with your group of friends, you can lose yourself altogether. Whether that’s a belief system or a core value, it’s important to stay grounded to deal with peer pressure among your friends. The act of comprising just shows that you’re just constantly going with whatever your friends are doing. This may feel good in the short run, but this can affect your identity in the long run. For instance, if your values center on being good and kind, your friends bullying someone and being unkind to other people isn’t something you should tolerate. After all, they say ‘your friends reflect the kind of person you are.’
3 Choose Your Friends Wisely
The thing about peer pressure is that it can only affect you if you let it. Majority of peer pressure among friends can be avoided if you have the wisdom to choose the right set of friends. You may not realize it at first, but the quality of your friend groups affect your life. Your friends can either build you up, or potentially destroy your self-esteem. For instance, it’s a better influence to have friends that you have similiar interests with and friends that support your dreams and goals. These are the life-long friends you should cherish in your life. While it can be tempting to have friends that deem to be more popular, especially in school, these may not be the friends that would have your back in your darkest of times.
4 Set Boundaries
In dealing with peer pressure, setting boundaries and sticking to these is one of the proven effective ways. This not only shows confidence on your end, but it shows the amount of respect you have for both yourself and your friendships, which is bound to also gain their respect. When you respect yourself enough not to get walked over on, your friends may not agree with your opinion and your rejection, but this will make them respect you. This might even make them value you more as their friend. You have to realize that being their friend doesn’t mean following them in all their activities and tasks. If they’re doing the wrong thing, you’re allowed to speak up about it and stand your ground. This doesn’t make you a bad friend but rather, it makes you someone of integrity.
5 Don’t “Go With The Flow”
Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn’t mean that you have to. Having friends, especially in school, isn’t always about fitting in with everyone else. Sometimes, it’s more about staying true to who you are having friends that respect and blend in with your difference. Being like everyone else isn’t the key to beating peer pressure. In fact, this makes you lose the unique and distinct aspect about yourself. Peer pressure with friends have this unmet expectation that you have to meet with regards to their standards. The only way peer pressure gets to you is if you actively do what they’re doing, even if you feel in your gut that you should have said no.
6 Toss Out The Fear Of Rejection
Whether it’s a fear of rejection or a fear of being alone, toss the idea that it’s better to have the wrong set of friends than being alone. If the cost of your solitude is having this constant need to be someone you’re not and this constant need to compromise who you are, then it isn’t worth it. Being alone isn’t always a bad thing. In fact, sometimes being alone is the key to finding your true set of friends.
In conclusion, these are just a few things to help you deal with peer pressure among the existing friends you have. Realize that just because peer pressure is present in your life, it doesn’t mean you have to let it defeat you. You’re allowed to say no and set boundaries for both your self and your friends.