Self development


Understanding peer pressure

The older we get, the more challenging it is to make certain decisions. It’s hard enough trying to make these decisions on our own, but when other people try to pressure us into making these decisions it gets even harder. 

Some of these decisions don’t have a yes or no answer, others involve serious moral questions and so on. We’re most times stuck in the phase of “what will they think of me?” that we end up making most decisions based on how people will react.

Our peers are our age mates, class mates; when they influence how we act or how we get something done then it’s peer pressure.

There’s the good peer pressure and the bad peer pressure, I’d explain with examples.

Good peer pressure:

The good peer pressure mostly turns up with positive results. Maybe you want to do something and you just don’t have the courage to get it done and your friends talk you into it. For example, you’re too scared to apply to a college or for a job because you believe you’re not good enough and your friend or family keeps telling you how you should do it cause you’re worth it. You eventually do this, and you get the job or whatever you applied for, you’ll have this good feeling about yourself. Even if the outcome is negative, that is, you don’t get the job you’ll always have it at the back of your mind that you tried and it just might push you to want to do more just to get the next job you apply for.

Now this is letting your peers influence you in a good way.

Peer pressure

Bad peer pressure:

As peers influence each other in positive ways, they also influence in negative ways. Most times, bad peer pressure is borne out of curiosity especially with young people.

Some people give in to peer pressure because they want to be liked, or fit in or accepted by a group, etc. They end up doing things they’re not comfortable with or not proud of doing.

For example; in a circle of 5 friends that have 4 who smoke, the probability of the 5th friend joining them is quite high if the person lacks discipline. Especially when they all hang out together, the other 4 might keep teasing that one person till he/she eventually joins them. Most times, he/she might not even get teased but because all his/her friends are smoking they want to join too.

Bear in mind I have nothing against smokers as your health decision is your responsibility. But don’t force the next person to join you in it. 

The trick to dealing with peer pressure is knowing the difference between following the crowd and blindly following the crowd.

Learning to say “no” too plays a great factor here. Say “no” when you feel uncomfortable doing something, say “no” when you don’t want to do something against your belief, say “no” and don’t let anyone make you feel less of yourself. It takes one of great character and self confidence to work peer pressure the right way.

Have you ever experienced any form of peer pressure? Good or bad? Share in the comment section so we can all learn a thing or two from your story!



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