“Peer Pressure”, humph! Sounds like a bhari-bharkam term, isn’t it?
Now, what is this “Peer” yaar?
Well, a peer is someone who shares a number of similarities with you, someone who is equal to you in terms of age, abilities, social status, beliefs and so on.
Basically, your peer is your buddy, your yaar.
Waise….how is pressure related to a peer?
Alright! Let’s get serious because THIS is IMPORTANT!
All of us have followed something that is trendy or popular, be it coloring our hair, wearing jeans or pouting. Think about it…
Arey Bhai! That is so common!
Yes, it is! But, these outcomes are sometimes a result of peer pressure.
We tend to follow certain behaviors and characteristics without even realizing, simply because we fear being termed as “boring” or “out-of-the-group”. As a result, we fail to identify our true selves. Instead, we imitate others for motives like gaining popularity and attention or just to fit in.
Peer pressure is infectiously vulnerable to every age group. Your uncle trying to speak in a fake accent or your little sister crying for a pink Barbie eraser. Everybody is prone to it.
Arey yaar! Even I have done such things….
It’s alright! You should be careful from now on. Peer pressure can be really useful or thoroughly detrimental. For instance-
- A group of friends asking you to study harder, introducing you to a healthy sport, explaining why you should achieve your dreams and look for opportunities.
- A group of friends asking you to bunk, introducing you to sexual activities, explaining why you should smoke or take drugs.
You can clearly spot the difference. All of us have come across such invitations. It’s okay if you have accepted either of these, especially the latter. We learn from mistakes after all. It’s never too late.
Toh phir? What has to be done?
There are certain things you must remember:
- We are individuals who have the right to decide what we want to do, why, when and how.
- All of us have different moral and ethical values with respect to our own lives.
- We must embrace differences and accept our own thoughts, instead of being judgmental or ashamed.
- Most important – NEVER HURT ANOTHER PERSON!
When we indulge in activities we are not ready for, when we make decisions we are not mature enough to make or when we want to conform to a group, we deviate from the above points and cause a great deal of torment to our family, friends and ourselves.
Therefore, you must have understood that peer pressure could be mild or severe, but it is us who choose how to react. From the examples stated above, you could choose to color your hair or to smoke. It is you who is responsible for the consequences; none or severe.
You can decide what is beneficial or harmful for you, according to your beliefs and most importantly – YOUR FEELINGS. If you feel positive while carrying out a task, you must go on and if you don’t, you have the right to stop right there!
Negative peer pressure can have numerous outcomes ranging from suicide and depression to stealing and smuggling. Above all, it ultimately leads to a huge number of problems and the circle of influence goes on and on.
DO NOT FORCE YOURSELF EVER…Please value your own feelings. Don’t go with “Chalta hai yaar! Sab Karte Hain”. It is not worth it.
Kaise hoga bhai yeh sab? It’s too pressurizing….how will I say ‘no’ to my chaddi-buddy?
Hence, it is always hard to go against your dearest friends because you fear to lose them. You must overcome that fear and help them out. Follow the steps given below to cope up with unnecessary peer pressure:
- Believe in yourself – You must be able to identify factors that may lead to severe consequences. If you believe in yourself, you can easily convince your friends by being firm on your stance. If not, they will respect you sooner or later, for guiding them.
- Have a strong core – Talk to your parents and other adults to form an opinion. It will help you gain support and develop a positive attitude towards life.
- Look for emotional and psychological support – You must have someone you can confide in. Be it a counselor or a friend with a healthy attitude. Since such individuals can always help you out during unpleasant situations that you will encounter.
Don’t get scared. You will learn to speak for yourself as time goes on. After all, only you are responsible for what you have made out of your life. Not all peers stick to you throughout your journey.
Sahi hai yaar! I will be what I am.