Overcoming peer pressure

If you’re currently studying in a college or university, there may be times where you find yourself doing something you won’t normally do, in order to fit into a social circle. This experience is commonly described as peer pressure.

Peer pressure is a form of influence coming from your peers that leads you to conform to their standards by changing your behaviour, attitude, or values.

It can be direct (you’re told to do something by your friends), indirect (you notice most of your friends doing certain activities that you will less likely do) or self-motivated (you put pressure on yourself to be part of a group of friends).

Experiencing peer pressure can happen at any time in our lives, but we are more vulnerable to it during our college years.

This is especially true when we’re surrounded by peers from many different backgrounds, and we’re more likely to try new activities as part of the process of understanding our relationship with others and ourselves as individuals.

To handle peer pressure well and navigate through college life better, here are some tips that could help.

Know when to say “no”

Whenever you feel pressured by someone telling you to do something you’d rather not do, say “no” politely and reasonably, even if the person tries to persuade you by saying things like, “Everyone’s doing it” or “You’re no fun.”

Responding in that manner consistently allows you to stand your ground and boost your self-confidence and self-esteem.

Differentiate between good and bad

Not all forms of peer pressure are negative.

Positive peer pressure helps you confront your insecurities and improve yourself as a person, be it staying healthy, volunteering, or being good to others.

Giving in to positive peer pressure excessively, however, can be detrimental to your wellbeing, so it’s important to do it in moderation.

Choose your friends wisely

Anyone who forces you to do something you dislike is not a true friend, so pick peers from your classes or college activities who hold similar interests, beliefs, or values and allow you to be yourself.

It’s worth noting that you and your friends don’t need to have the same opinion on everything; this enables you to learn different perspectives other than your own.

Be yourself

Always remember that the decision to act (or not to act) upon peer pressure is your choice and responsibility, so always think things through before making the decision and reflect on how your actions will eventually define you.

Also remember that whatever it is that you want to be, don’t do it just for the sake of pleasing others.

This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

This article first appeared on The Borneo Post, visit this link: http://bit.ly/2DqHWMo

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels.

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