Peer pressure is one phenomenon many of us cannot overcome, especially as teenagers. Many of our friends smoke, drink, womanize and engage in other activities that we know do not speak well of our morality. Yet, because they are our friends, and we want to be as cool as we think they are, we follow them in their activities.
Before we know it, we have become drug and alcohol addicts and engage in other morally challenging activities. This is the influence of peer pressure, and it is absolutely necessary to deal with it the moment we notice it is getting a better part of us. How do we empower ourselves and say no to peer pressure? Let’s look at five possible ways.
1. Know yourself
To be able to deal with peer pressure, you have to fully understand yourself. Know your strengths and your weaknesses, and know your friends. Only your friends can make you bow to their pressure so you should be able to know which of your friends can influence you to do something you know is not quite right. To empower yourself and say no to peer pressure, you need to know yourself and your peers and ensure that they don’t influence you in one way or another.
2. Speak out loud when you have to
Some youths find themselves in dismay when their peers influence them to do something negative. They may find out that they are the only one who opposes an idea or a circumstance being proposed by their peers. If you find yourself in such a situation, you should be able to speak out against the idea. Speak out and do so loud enough. You will likely create an impact and save yourself and possibly some friends from being pressured by your peers.
3. Make use of your sense of judgment
To be able to stand up strong against peer pressure, you will have to be able to tell if what you are being pressured into is good or bad. Peer pressure generally leads to negative actions and consequences, so if you are being pressured into something that you know is not bad, it probably should not be considered as peer pressure. Your sense of judgment is therefore important in determining whether you can stand against peer pressure.
4. Identify and control those who orchestrate peer pressure
In every group or community, there are a few people who influence the major decisions and actions of the gathering. These are usually the people who put pressure on their peers to destabilize them. Sometimes, instead of trying to deal with peer pressure, you could identify those who would mastermind the pressure and control their actions. If you can do this, you save yourself and the rest of the group the whole trouble of dealing with peer pressure. And contrary to what people may think, this is not a very challenging task.
5. Be firm and happy with the choice you make
When dealing with peer pressure, it is important to note that you will have to make tough choices. Sometimes, your choices will put you at risk of losing your friends. You should be firm and happy though because no matter what, your conscience affirms that you are doing the right thing. And that is what is most important here; doing the right thing. The effects of peer pressure will always be negative, so do the right thing and say no if you really must do so.