“I’m not here to meet your expectations and you’re not here to meet mine,” says Bruce Lee. Let us consider peer pressure in this context.
Peer pressure/influence is when you do something you wouldn’t otherwise do because you want to fit in with your friends and have a sense of belonging. Teens are often influenced by peer pressure because they wish to fit in. They will always want to be liked, and may feel left out or ridiculed if they don’t go along with the group.
The six types of peer pressure are listed below.
• Spoken Peer Pressure
• Unspoken Peer Pressure
• Direct Peer Pressure
• Indirect Peer Pressure
• Negative Peer Pressure
• Positive Peer Pressure
A group dynamic can be a positive peer influence if the behaviors are healthy, age-appropriate and socially acceptable. Positive peer pressure, for example, might lead one to become more assertive, try new activities, or become more involved with school.
Negative Peer Pressure is whereby some teens choose to try things they normally wouldn’t be interested in like smoking or behaving in antisocial ways.
Coping well with peer pressure is mostly about getting the balance between being yourself and fitting in with your peers. Here are some ideas to help you avoid and resist peer pressure.
- Spend time with those resisting peer pressure – these are the people you want in your corner.
- Learn how to be assertive – say ‘No’ in a way that’s calm and convincing.
- Get out of the situation – have an excuse ready that you can use if you need to.
- Provide your own positive pressure – you can also focus on providing a positive alternative. For example, counter a night party invitation with a proposal to go and see a movie instead.
- It’s okay to be alone – by spending time alone, you can rejuvenate and reinforce your own priorities.
- Go with your gut – If something doesn’t feel right for you then it’s not. Period.