It’s a two letter word, It can’t be that hard to say NO to peer pressure right?
No! That’s not right.
It requires hard work to say no to peer pressure e.g friends, classmates and cliques.
That’s because you care about their opinion, you don’t want to be the ugly duckling or the weird one.
It may sound like a wise decision but is it?
You might get away from the external disturbance, hurtful words and gossips but how about the internal conflict?
Will you be able to get away from yourself? Or will you be the happy-fun girl outside but the shelled-kid who never smiles at home?
Make your choice after this article.
What’s peer pressure all about?
Have you ever said…
“Okay! Fine I’ll do it.”
No that’s not peer pressure although most times people think it is.
There’s a big difference between giving something a trial and succumbing to peer pressure.
Perhaps you don’t like alcohol or you don’t think you’re ready for dating…
But everyone else is dating and of course drinking is the next best thing after hi at a party.
So you’re the “odd couple-less person who doesn’t drink alcohol”.
Now, imagine you go to a party with this title?
Doesn’t sound cool right.
Exactly! That’s where the two forms of peer pressure come into play.
1. The silent pressure
It’s ironic that “silent pressure” is classified as a form of peer pressure.
…because it’s actually you pressuring yourself.
Back to our party scene…
So you’re in a party all by yourself, no boo and no booze.
You are alone, there’s no one to chat with, and you are avoiding the games because alcohol is somehow involved in all.
It’s at a party but you’re alone and bored.
You stay at a corner and picture what your life would be like if you drank or had a boo.
It looks glamorous.
You look around again, everyone is having fun except you.
Days, weeks and months after the party you keep reminding yourself of what you saw and how you felt..
Suddenly there’s a longing within, you want to feel among, you want to have what they have…
Deep down, you don’t really want it but because everyone’s doing it.
You start craving the same things you were avoiding.
2. Loud pressure
This is the most popular form of peer pressure, where your peers(friends, classmates etc.) force you to try things you don’t want to.
For example: Everyone in your clique is dating and although you’re happy for them. You don’t think you’re ready for it.
But no one listens.
They keep setting you up with their friends, pushing you off to blind dates and of course…
The ceaseless calls, the messages, the pictures, cute couple videos and juicy gists makes you go Awwnnnn…
And soon you’re trapped.
But is peer pressure a bad thing? Can your peers pressure you to do something beneficial or is it all fun.
Is peer pressure a bad thing?
This is a question you have to answer yourself.
Have your friends ever forced you to try out something you didn’t want to?
What was the outcome?
Positive, negative or a bit of “I’m not sure”
From your answer, you should be able to answer the question “is peer pressure a bad thing”
What are 3 ways you can say no peer pressure
Not everyone forcing you to do something different hates you…
Some are looking out for you in the best way they can offer.
So if your friends are pushing you to try something different ask yourself these three questions before saying yes or no.
- Does this contradict my core principles and beliefs?
- Am I going to be a better person doing this?
- Will my refusal cost our friendship? And am I ready?
Once you answer these questions, you can move on with these two steps to say no to peer pressure.
a. Be polite
No one is telling you how to or how not to act but here is the thing.
Saying NO to your peers doesn’t make you enemies.
You might have different life goals, make distinct choices and still be good friends.
That’s why you want to say No in a polite manner.
Don’t say: Are you crazy? I can never do that, I’m not like you.
Say this: I’m sorry Joe, but I can’t do this, it contradicts my…so I can’t.
Being rude might put them off faster,but is it worth it?
b. Choose to be intentional
But how can I say No, she’s my friend, he helped me when I was stuck in…
Really that’s cool buy it doesn’t stop the present pressure.
No matter how much you love your friend, if you must say no to peer pressure, then you learn to say No.
Stand up for a minute, walk to your mirror, look right into your eyes and say No for 5 times.
The truth is you may try to play smart, use different excuses to avoid the word No but your friend may have smarter words.
At some point you will have to say.
“Joe, I’m sorry but I’ve to say No I can’t go.
It hard to say No to the people who care about but sometimes it must be done.
If you’ve decided to say No to peer pressure here are 2 things you don’t want to do.
i. Say NO in all caps
Funny? But absolutely important.
When someone keeps asking you to do something you don’t wanna do…at some point it gets annoying.
It gets to a point you want to scream a big NO so they just leave you.
Effective? Yes definitely!
But it could ruin a friendship you aren’t ready to lose yet.
Except you’re tired of that friend, turn off your caps lock and aim for a calm conversation.
If the discussion starts getting annoying, it’s much better to say “I’m sleepy” or try to end the conversation.
But screaming NO in Caps Lock can be interpreted as anger or vexation.
Some friends won’t mind though…if they notice they are getting to you, they’ll keep at it.
ii. Gossip with a third party
Sometimes our friends get on our last nerve and to keep ourselves from exploding we tell someone else.
This can be helpful to you but is it helpful to your relationship?
What if the third party can’t keep a secret and rush off to spread the news…
Now,imagine your friends hear this?
It’s much better to face your peers head-on than go behind their backs especially through gossip.
You can say no to peer pressure without screaming or ending your relationship.
But it’s definitely worth the shot if you want to save the relationship.
Be firm but soft, it’s about you but it won’t be a world without them.