--Original published at Sarah's Blog
Peer pressure is a big part of today’s society. Everyone goes through peer pressure at one time or another, even if they do not realize it. It is very easy to fall into the pattern of “everyone else is doing it”. It is challenging to be able to resist peer pressure, but there are ways to be able to conquer it.
For parents, hearing that their children have fallen to peer pressure is very challenging. An article on Love and Logic.com talks about some ways for parents to help their children resist peer pressure. The tips the author gives to parents are to teach children what the consequences are when bad decisions are made and to let the child use the parent as an excuse when confronted with something they do not want to do. I know from personal experience that these tips are helpful with children. As they get older and enter teenage years the child does not want to listen to the parents so it may not be as effective then. In the article, they also say that the parent should be more positive when discussing the child’s friends. Being positive is better because being negative can make the child feel separated from the family and can drive them away.
For college students, peer pressure is a big part of your four years at college or university. An article written by the University of California Santa Cruz Counseling and Psychological Services discusses tips for college students to handle peer pressure. Some of the tips that they give are to spend time with people who do not force you to do anything you do not want to, using an excuse or try to delay giving yourself time to think about your decision. As a college student myself, I feel that these tips are useful. The tip about spending time with people who respect your decisions is very important because the student will then not feel pressured to share their opinion. It also will not cause pressure in the friend group, allowing you to focus on your studies and spending time with your friends doing healthy activities.
Humans deal with peer pressure all the time, even as adults. Peer pressure in adulthood is more indirect, but it is still present. An article from MentalHealthCenter.com talks about peer pressure in adulthood and ways to persevere through it. In this article, it talks less about direct ways of saying no but rather talks about being true to yourself and being more thoughtful about how you want to live your life. This is important as an adult because having good self-esteem and morals will help you have a successful life with fewer failures and mistakes. This article also states that a person should find friends that support them and do not force them to do anything they are against. They also suggest having a diverse friend group, which may or may not be successful depending on the personality of the people. If all the friends in the friend group are okay with everyone believing something different then it would be okay. There can be tension in a diverse friend group that has some members that believe they are superior.
Peer pressure is in all of our daily lives. Dealing with peer pressure appropriately as a child, a college student, and even as an adult can increase your happiness in life and your health as a whole.