Consider this scenario, your friends want to check out a new restaurant and ask you to join them. You decline, considering the fact that you have your finals the next day. An ideal situation should end here, with your friends respecting your decision. But what really happens is that they guilt-trip you into coming or they too won’t go. You give in, telling yourself that you’ll be back in an hour or two; and we all know how that goes. Your day has gone by, you haven’t studied anything for your exam and now you are feeling guilty for giving in. Sounds familiar? This is one of the many examples of peer pressure.

Peer pressure is the way people of your age group can influence you and your decisions in one way or the other. It could be as harmless as bunking a class or being forced to go watch a movie together, but they can delve into much more serious issues such as giving into drugs. Whatever might be the case, peer pressure is more often than not detrimental rather than helpful.

Given below are some points on how one can identify and tackle peer pressure –

How to identify peer pressure?

  • Frequent comparisons

       One of the most common factors that can be identified is comparing each and every trivial aspect of yourself with that of the others.

  • Doing things that you aren’t fond of

          If you often find yourself doing or agreeing to things that aren’t your cup of tea, then it is surely a telltale sign of peer pressure.

  • Gut feeling

           Always trust your instincts.

How to avoid peer pressure?

  • Say no firmly

In most cases, this will suffice. Just stand your ground and say “No” authoritatively. Be certain and direct.

  • Leave the scene

Exiting a stressful situation is much better than indulging in something you might regret later.

  • Understand that if everyone else does something, it doesn’t make it right.
  • Find like-minded people. The more these people stick by you, lesser the chances of being subjected to peer pressure.
  • Don’t hesitate to speak out if it gets too much.
  • Finally, if this happens on a regular basis, you need to re-evaluate your friendships. Good friends make you feel good about yourself, not otherwise.

All said and done, it is not always easy to resist peer pressure. With a little courage and persistence from one’s side, one can definitely overcome it and become a role model for others to fight it.

After all, being yourself shouldn’t be a hard choice to make.

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