Everyone faces Peer Pressure either you are a Teenager or an Adult. Simply put, Peer Pressure is the desire to fit in and feel like you are part of a group. It is a feeling that you always have to do something to be accepted or respected. It can be very tough to deal with. For example; your friends might tell you to do something you don’t want to do or your friends joking around about you not doing what they are doing and hence saying you don’t fit into certain circles.
I used to be a victim of Peer Pressure right from my Secondary school days. I was a very lonely and boring girl, I didn’t make friends and I didn’t have any. I lived with my Grandparents, I wasn’t given the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do, no parties, no friends, and no form of engaging in social activities. I always left for school and went back home, nothing more!
I lived such a boring life
When I got to JSS 3, I couldn’t endure the pressure I was getting from my school mates, it was really tough. My seat was always at the back where troublesome, lazy and naughty students stayed (Only those that attended government schools win be able to relate with this). They always wanted me to join their group, become one of them, but I always refused knowing the kind of background I came from. They started picking on me,I couldn’t tell my Grandparents what I was facing because they wouldn’t just understand what I was going through.
But Alas, Secondary School days were over and I became free
Looking back I can say in a way, Peer Pressure contributed to making me the person I am today. I learned from an early age to make decisions even when no one was there with me.
Interestingly, my secondary school experiences taught me so much about Peer Pressure. I also learned that Peer Pressure can have a positive effect and be very helpful at times. For example; when I saw the way some of my classmates read their books and excelled academically, it challenged and motivated me to read harder.
I won’t deny that dealing with Peer pressure can be so challenging at times, especially for those who don’t have a strong personal Self value system. But at such times when you are going through such pressure, it is important to show your personal values and let them guide you in making decisions.
Managing Peer Pressure is not really a difficult thing to do, if only you surround yourself with people whose values, preferences and behaviours motivate you to become better.
Here are some ways you can overcome Peer Pressure
- Do what is best for you and avoid situations that make you feel uncomfortable.
- Before making a decision, ask yourself, how do I really feel about this? Does this seem right to me?
- At times when you don’t give in to Peer Pressure, people might try to threaten, belittle or criticize you for your choices. Avoid spending time with such kind of people. Rather, spend time with people who respect your decisions.
- Always remember that you cannot please everyone and you don’t have to anyway!
- When you feel that people or situations that makes you feel pressured are not avoidable “Give yourself time to think about your decision instead of giving an immediate answer”. You can say, let me think about it or I will get back to you.
- Stand up for others when you see they are being pressured into doing things they don’t want to do.
- Don’t forget to ask for advice or support from those who can give you wise counsel.
- Remember that God is your ultimate solution, so talk to him if you are facing any kind of pressure in life.
Peer Pressure can pose a big challenge to people and often make them do things they don’t want to do. But always remember, you have a choice to make. Choose rightly the things you do because your choices will greatly determine the kind of future you will have.