How to deal with Peer Pressure?

Understanding what is peer pressure and how it works makes it easier to identify it and deal with it. When under peer pressure, one may feel the need to conform to the rules and norms of a social group or people their age in order to feel belonged to the group. They may continue to act in ways that make them feel bad in order to feel connected to the group. Peer pressure can be the highest during high school and can manifest in some of the following ways-

The Causes of Peer Pressure could be these

Alcohol and substance use- According to a survey, around 55 percent of teens reported having started substance and alcohol use as a result of peer pressure. It can go on to have adverse consequences on the individual depending on the properties and amount of substance consumed. It may also increase the chances of engaging in other risky behaviors- they may drive in their state of intoxication, get into fights and heated arguments or commit crimes under the influence of the substance.

Sexual activity- Teens may hold the perception that everyone is hooking up or that having sex is casual and that it’s not a big deal and they may themselves experience the pressure to engage in sexual activity. But by succumbing to the pressure and engaging in sex without thinking or proper planning can lead to serious issues like teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Bullying- When a group of friends is bullying someone and one among them decides to not participate in the bullying behavior or not encourage them then they may be treated as an outcast and engaging in the same can make them feel negative about themselves.

Stealing- Sometimes teens maybe challenged or given a dare to do certain things or engage in activities such as stealing which they may go on to engage in out of the fear of exclusion. However, activities such as stealing can lead to strong feelings of guilt, fear of getting caught and remorse as the adrenaline rush wears off.

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Tips to handle Peer pressure in Teenager

  • Stay aware and in touch with your emotions. While your friends may feel that doing something is okay if you don’t feel good about a certain situation or that it may not be right for you, then pay attention to these feelings and listen to yourself. Keeping a check on your feelings can prove to be helpful.

  • If you think someone is forcing you or tricking/ manipulating you into doing something that is not aligned with your value systems then tries to communicate the same with them. Let them know how you feel and that it is not okay.

  • Finding peers with similar value systems can be extremely helpful in terms of avoiding peer pressure. 

  • Seek help from a parent, teacher or a counselor if you think that it might be getting difficult for you to handle by yourself. Speaking to a trusted adult may help in the healthy release of the emotions you are experiencing and also they may be able to help you in coming up with better strategies to deal with peer pressure. 

If you are feeling emotionally stressed out, sad, or low, you are not alone. We can help you, reach out to us without any hesitation. Contact us now.