What is peer pressure?
Peer pressure simply means the influence of your peers on you. This influence could be of positive or negative effect, but in most cases the later prevails. As humans we want to be accepted and recognize especially by our friends and peers: that sense of belonging is just so tempting and as such we tend to compromise and do all it takes just so we fit in and be accepted by them. This could be dreadful if one is not sensitive enough to discern the good from the bad influence. So many lives and future have been jeopardized, endangered and truncated because of this menace. However, it may be of great help when it pushes one to strive for something greater, excellent and not being complacent or remaining in one’s comfort zone.
Join me as we explore some of the ways to deal with peer pressure.
Choose your circles wisely.
Surrounding yourself with the wrong persons, exert a strong influence on you. Choose positive friends who won’t pressure you to do things that you feel uncomfortable to do. A popular saying goes “show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.” you are seventy-five percent of the company you keep. Why endangering yourself by keeping those friends who cause you to doubt your integrity and forces you to comprise your values and standards. I am not saying you shouldn't relate to them, but they shouldn’t be your “friend.” Why moving with an alcoholic addict when you don't want to be one? These are questions you need to ask yourself before keeping such friendship.
Believe in yourself
When you know who you are, it’s difficult for you to be deceived by vain words, vainglory, and lifestyle. You become sensitive enough to tell the wrong influence of the bad ones. Many youths are in mess today because they doubt themselves, and as such, anything goes in (like “make we just do am, since everyone is doing it”). I was once in this particular situation, where a lack of self-belief wanted to pull me away from the right path. Believe you have all it takes to succeed, believe that you don’t need to follow the crowd to make it: you mustn’t blend, believe that you are different and unique and you don’t need to try so hard to fit in. the sooner you start being yourself the better, never be ashamed of who you are, rather seek to develop yourself. Never hurt your self-esteem.
Be contented with what you have
This statement has been criticized by so many persons, but either way, to some extent it holds. What causes youth to be on tenterhook could be trace to this matter. In a world, Nigeria to be specific where all we see on the internet and the media is money, money, money. Perhaps, one could be tempted to get money at all cost: by hook or by crook. And what we fail to realize is, how they make their money. Instead, we mount unnecessary pressure on ourselves just to make money which could cost us our values. When you know what you want and love the things you have, the chances of being pressurized by your peers become slim. Never be in a hurry, don’t envy that friend, don’t admire that extravagant lifestyle, perhaps you are single and all your peers are flirting around don't get deceived. Know your worth, and focus on you.
Study God’s words
The kind of peace we get when we rely on God’s promises is so overwhelming. No matter how intense the pressure may be, trust in God with the whole of your heart and soul. Seek and follow God’s words in every situation you find yourself. The bible serves as a compass to detect what path to follow. Are you tempted or pressured to fornicate, remember God frowns at immorality, or are you pressured to steal, remember the bible warns that no thief has a part in his kingdom? Perhaps you are pressure to make money illegally, remember that true riches come from God and the love of money is the root of all evil. Conquer that pressure with the word. There is immense power in it. Believe in it. Do it
Burn the bridges
Dissociates yourself from peers or activities that mount pressure unnecessary pressure on you (bad energy); It could be peers, places, lifestyle and the likes of it. Avoid places and situations that make you uncomfortable. Disconnect from them. Be assertive about this. Do it deliberately. The future or life you dream of having cannot be achieved if you keep the wrong connections. Burn those bridges and start constructing the right ones
Talk to a mentor, guardian or trusted friend.
If you are struggling with peer pressure, talk to someone you trust. Your friends might have some advice on how they handled peer pressure that you could use. You can as well talk to your parents as they have your best interest at heart, be sincere with them and tell them about that issue that easily beset you. Also, talk to a mentor about it or someone you feel comfortable with to express yourself
Within every man there is always an internal battle, everyone wants to gain approval from friends and family, but it’s quite okay if the reverse is the case: peer pressure will always mount up and it’s something beyond our control but we can control how we respond to them. You cannot be everyone at the same time. Be you. Stand tall on your values and standard never bend the knee to negative energy.