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Dealing with Peer Pressure

By: Dilya Keragala

     What is Peer Pressure?

Peer Pressure often involves members in the group influencing each other to participate in behaviors or activities they usually wouldn’t engage in. The peer can be anyone in the same social groups or when you or others are able to have some type of influence over someone. 

Who experiences it?

Peer Pressure could happen to anyone at any age but it may often start when someone when they are a child, for example disobeying rules, name calling, or bulling other kids could be the start. As we grow up these feeling for us needing to comply with others can follow us later on. As a teen peer negative pressure can come from friends or others around them and escalate into one trying alcohol, drugs, or other activities that could negatively affect them as a person. Leading onto someones adult life, peer pressure can still effect them at work with their coworkers, however as an adult you may have consequences leading up to your actions. 

The types of Peer Pressure

SPOKEN - one or many individuals in a group verbally asks another to participate in an activity 

UNSPOKEN - an individual is exposed to a certain behavior or action and feels as they need to participate in this behavior to ‘fit in’

DIRECT - social behavior that can can be non-verbal or verbal from another individual from the type of environment (EX: teen hands another teen a cigarette)

INDIRECT - can be less harsh but has a great impact on an individual (EX: overhearing gossip from others and reacting to it)

NEGATIVE- possibly spoken, unspoken, direct or indirect pressure that would negatively affect an individual

POSITIVE- possibly spoken, unspoken, direct or indirect pressure that would positively impact an individual 

Side Effects

There are different emotions a person feels when they are experiencing peer pressure that can affect them. As someone begins to take part in negative activities, the person will also begin to change drastically physically and mentally. They may begin to feel depressed and anxious, especially when they know that their actions go against their own beliefs and they cannot keep living up to their peers expectations which can mentally exhaust them as a person. A big change of peer pressure can be getting distant from close friends and family as the person begins to make their peers that influence them their main priority, which leads them to slowly abandoning their families beliefs and change it to their peers expectations. There can also be added risky behaviors to peer pressure depending on what they are participating in from their peers. 

How to Deal With Peer Pressure

  1. If You Don't Want to, Don’t

If you feel very uncomfortable with what someone has offered you and you don't want to, you shouldn’t. You shouldn’t have to follow anyone else's expectations except your own. If someone keeps insisting you should you should let them know that you need some time to think it through.

  1. Listen to yourself 

You should always listen to yourself, if you feel like it would go against what you believe or it just doesn’t feel right. You shouldn’t have to please other peoples expectations except your own. 

  1. Setting Boundaries

When setting boundaries you are able to remind yourself of what you believe in. If you are in a uncomfortable situation and you are constantly feeling pressured by others you should should look back to your boundaries and you will automatically know that you are respected in the environment you are in and should relocated yourself. 


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