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It's Okay to Not Be a Part of the Flock


“If your friends jump off a bridge, would you do it as well?” This is a common question that most parents ask when their child is asking for something that all their friends have, or doing something that all their friends are doing even when they’re not supposed to be doing it. This is an example of peer pressure.


Peer pressure is common, not just among kids but also adults at the work level. Your peers often influence how you act - whether you realize it or not. However, there are various types of peer pressure, and not all of them are negative.



Why do people give in to peer pressure easily? From these examples, we can see that people want to be liked; they want to fit in. Another reason could be curiosity to try something new. It’s okay to not be a part of the larger group. Everyone is unique and has their own set of beliefs. Your job is to simply say ‘no’ if it conflicts with your ideas and beliefs. People often say that you should choose your friends wisely, and I agree with that. Do not choose your friends just because they are popular.


Effects of Peer Pressure

Peer pressure can have a negative and positive impact on people; it depends on the type of peer pressure. For instance, positive peer pressure can help a student excel academically or develop leadership skills. On the other hand, negative peer pressure can harm mental health. It can lead to lower self-esteem, declining academic performance, isolation, depression, and anxiety. If there is no intervention by parents or teachers, students can have suicidal thoughts and may engage in self-harming behaviors.



So, how to deal with peer pressure?

  1. As mentioned before, learn to say no, or find a better way to say no if you struggle with this. Permit yourself to avoid situations that do not seem right to you.

  2. Keep company with those who respect your decisions and do not pressurize you.

  3. Take a friend along with you to support you if you are going to be in such a situation.

  4. Parents would also be helpful in such situations. Perhaps you and your parents could come up with a code word. So in case you are in an unpleasant social situation, you can send a text message with the code word to your parents, which would prompt them to come to your place and pick you up.


"The creative individual has the capacity to free himself from the web of social pressures in which the rest of us are caught. He is capable of questioning the assumptions that the rest of us accept.” - John W. Gardner

Sources:

Peer Pressure and Teenagers - ReachOut Parents: https://parents.au.reachout.com/common-concerns/everyday-issues/peer-pressure-and-teenagers

Effects of Peer Pressure Expert Interview | Love to Know: https://teens.lovetoknow.com/Effects_of_Peer_Pressure

What are the 6 Types of Peer Pressure | Talk it Out:

https://www.talkitoutnc.org/peer-pressure/types-of-peer-pressure/


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sahaana Vijay

I am a proud INTJ who is passionate about Cosmology and Theoretical Physics (Especially Quantum Gravity). Being a STEM enthusiast and an amateur writer, I founded STEM 4 Everyone last year, which combine my two passions. Apart from writing and STEM, I also like to research, solve puzzles, learn new languages (I currently know 4 and I am learning 2) , and to travel.

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