--Original published at Rachel Bickelman's PSY 105 Blog
Parental Peer Pressure: https://www.courierpostonline.com/story/life/2017/01/20/8-ways-cope-parental-peer-pressure/96835714/
According Grande to not succumbing to peer pressure involves an inner strength, a strong support system, trusting your gut, being assertive, avoiding debates, practicing self-care, gaining respect, and increasing family time. I think these methods for avoiding peer pressure are adequate but not perfect techniques in avoiding peer pressure. Much of peer pressure can stem from a desire to “fit in” with the group and this can happen across any age. Thus, Grande’s advice of having a supportive social system is good advice. Having a trusted and genuine support system can facilitate positive peer pressure as well.
Grande’s tips on spending time with one’s own family also fits in with a strong support system. Grande reasons that when one spends time with their family, they will be able to discern the unique values they possess. This advice is good because having a strong relationship among family can remind the person and ground them in their own beliefs since the influence of peers would not be present. Furthermore, there is no outside audience when one spends time strictly within their family and thus judgement would not be present. This could also help with conformity since one would just be with their family and thus there are no outside forces that facilitate feelings of conformity.
The first tip Grande provides, however, is not the best strategy towards combatting peer pressure. Though an individual’s willpower and own strength can aid in avoiding peer pressure, willpower throughout the day decreases and insecurities can seep in at any time, especially if one lacks inner strength. Likewise, inner strength can be hard to automatically turn on especially when one feels peer pressure and the pressure to conform.
Adolescent/Teenager Peer Pressure: https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/peer-pressure.html
This website argues coping with peer pressure necessitates a balance between one’s own morals and fitting in with the group. The argument that one needs to have a strong sense of self can backfire though. One’s sense of self can be diminished if they are present within a large group of people and feel the pressure to conform to what the group is doing. While inner strength and self-confidence are both important, these skills can be spotty when in the midst of peer pressure.
Another tip offered by the website is to join forces with another peer and stick to a decision together. This may be a good strategy because the person would not feel alone in their decision. They also suggest joining a peer and simply leaving the situation together. Since two people would be together in their decision their combined confidence may help in escaping peer pressure.
One of the tips is to “choose your friends wisely,” however, this does not guarantee that someone will or will not experience negative peer pressure. The urge to conform to what others are doing still may be present.
College Peer Pressure: https://caps.ucsc.edu/counseling/aod/peer-pressure.html
UC Santa Cruz’s Counseling and Psychological Services provides a few methods to avoid and navigate negative peer pressure. The first few tips highlight one’s recognition of their own morals and values. While this could be helpful in discerning whether an individual feels they should or should not do something, it may not aid with peer pressure since with peer pressure there is an urge to conform or “fit in.” One of the specific tips is to weight the pros and cons of the situation at hand. This may help an individual to look at the situation rationally rather than through a peer pressure perspective.
Another tip that may prove helpful is the delay tactic. This tactic may be helpful because the individual withholds their morals and values and politely declines. The individual could still be in their friends’ company but would not partake in activities they do not approve of. Some helpful phrases the website suggests replacing “no” with are “not today” and “maybe another time”
Like the previous website, UC Santa Cruz suggests taking a friend who supports you. This was the tension of conformity is mediated by someone who possesses the same perspective on the issue at hand. Having a person “in your corner” may help to alleviate peer pressure because of the increase in confidence to say “no” and stick with your decision.
Finally, the website suggests removing yourself from the situation. While this may alleviate peer pressure in the moment, if the individual continues to spend time with the same group, negative peer pressure could arise again.