What you need to know:
- Be assertive and stick with friends who share the same values as you.
- Do not feel like you must do anything just because someone else wants it or pressures you into doing it; make your own decisions.
- Talk about the pressure you are going through to avoid teen depression, which is notorious.
When it comes to peer pressure, teenagers can be especially vulnerable. They may feel like they are being left out if they don't do what their friends want them to do. Unfortunately, peer pressure is not something that goes away with time, either.
It's a constant struggle for teens of all ages and backgrounds. It can be challenging to resist the temptation of doing things you know are wrong just because your friends want you to do them.
Despite peer pressure being an ongoing struggle for all ages, there are some unique complications with being a teen.
For example, the destructive influence of peer pressure might outweigh the good when it comes to your behaviour and lifestyle.
It takes a lot of guts to resist bad influence, especially being a teen where most try to impress their peers. Some of the habits that can lead to peer pressure are:
- Drugs and alcohol abuse
- Teen dating
- Drug dealing
- Dressing in a specific style
- Fake lifestyles, especially on social media
- Teen pregnancies. Recently there has been the urge for teens to become parents.
The best way to overcome peer pressure is by following these tips:
Make your own decisions
When it comes down to peer pressure, the most important thing is making your own decisions. Do not let someone else dictate what you should do or how you should act. If they are not happy with that, then maybe it's time to find new friends who have a similar value system as yourself.
Stick with friends who have the same values as you
Friends have a significant impact on your character and decisions making. It may not be easy to resist what your peers are interested in. For example, you may be tempted to try drugs or alcohol because your friends are doing it. The only way to avoid encountering bad peer pressure is by sticking with people who share the same values as you do.
Do not be afraid to say No
Saying no is not a wrong answer. Stick to it. If you do not want to do something, then say so. There is nothing wrong with someone saying they are uncomfortable and needs space or time to think about the situation before making decisions. You have an obligation as a friend to let them know that. Then, anticipate how you will respond to different situations and never feel pressured.
Get involved in activities that interest you, even if they are not popular among your peers
It is important not to focus all your time on what other people are doing because it makes you lose sight of yourself and the things you enjoy. If there is an activity or hobby (or anything else) that interests you, pursue it. Do not let peer pressure get in the way of something you enjoy doing just because your friends do not do it or like to talk about it.
If you are feeling pressure from your peers, let them know it
Explain why you do not want to do something and then stand by those words. It may be difficult at first, but once they respect what you have said, they will stop pressuring you or trying to get on your nerves about the same thing over and over.
Find a mentor or someone older than you who can help guide you through demanding situations
When in the midst of peer pressure and feeling like there is nobody to turn to, try finding somebody else that has been where you are at before and know what it's like. Talk to your parents or guardians, teachers, clergy members, or other adults you trust. There are tons of people who have been in this position, and they would be more than happy to talk to you about it.
You cannot please everyone, so do not try it
Peer pressure is an everyday battle for everyone, not just teens. So, resist easily, and do not cave at the moment you feel it coming. This is because you should only care about your well-being first before anything else.
Be assertive and stick with friends who share the same values as you. Do not feel like you must do anything just because someone else wants it or pressures you into doing it; make your own decisions. Talk about the pressure you are going through to avoid teen depression, which is notorious.