--Original published at Brittany's Thoughts
Every person deals with peer pressure at some point in their life. There will always be those friends that try to get you to participate in activities that you may not want to do. Whether the person is a teenager, child or an adult, they can expect to deal with some form of peer pressure. Conformity is what plays a large role in peer pressure since it is the desire that causes people to give into peer pressure. Some types of peer pressure can be motivating for the person and others can lead to very dangerous activities. There are many different ways to avoid peer pressure, and the methods vary across age groups. Teenagers, children, and college students can all combat this peer pressure.
Peer Pressure with Teens
In an article by TeenZeen, it describes peer pressure for teens, especially in relation to drugs and alcohol. It discusses peer pressure and the consequences that it can have. For example, giving into peer pressure could lead to drug and alcohol addiction in the future. They explained reasons that teens might give into peer pressure, such as not wanting to hurt a friend, fearing rejection and not wanting to be teased. They gave several ways to avoid the peer pressure. They included saying no assertively and firmly, staying away from those dangerous situations, speak clearly, walk away, stand up for other friends, and finding new friends. I feel that some of these methods will definitely work such as finding new friends and staying away from those situations. Some might have to be used together if those pressuring the others do not listen, such as saying no firmly and then walking away if the friends ignore your assertive answer. It depends on how determined the friends are to pressure you into doing the activity. I feel that these methods would work overall.
Peer Pressure with Kids
In an article by Kids Health, it described ways that kids can deal with peer pressure. For kids, the types of peer pressure can be a bit different. For example, the pressuring could be to skip class, lie to your parents and try cigarettes. The reasons for falling for peer pressure can be the same, such as wanting to fit in, or being curious about the activities that they are pressured to do. The article tells kids to say no, but to also find friends with similar interests to stand up against those are trying to pressure you. It also talks about walking away and finding new friends, like the other article did. The article also inspires to use peer pressure positively to do things such as ending bullying. It points out that peer pressure is not always bad, so they know that they can use it for good rather than only bad. I think these methods will work better with children because they are less resistant to standing their ground about the negative activity.
Peer Pressure with College Students
A college blog by a Stanford professor talks about five ways to deal with peer pressure in college. The first way was to choose your friends wisely, meaning that you should choose friends that will support and raise you up and give you confidence, along with having similar interests in mind. The second way is not depending on one friend group, and that having one could increase your pressure to fit in with those people. The third way is to seek advice from others when you are peer pressured, preferably an older adult, your parent, or a counselor. The fourth way is to engage in activities that will give you more self confidence, such as trying out for a new sport or starting a new hobby. The fifth and final way is to accept that you may be lonely sometimes, and that occasional loneliness is better than getting in trouble or developing bad habits. I think this is good advice for students to follow without giving the usual “just say no” sort of response to peer pressure. It addresses that the conformity does exist and that it is not necessarily a bad thing to have, but that it needs to be controlled, and that you need to stay and independent person still.