From pre-school to the workplace, peer pressure is something everyone must deal with at some point in their life. It’s perfectly natural to want to fit in with the people around you, to want to make friends and be popular. However, there are times when the desire to fit in can lead you to act in ways that leave you feeling ashamed, embarrassed, guilty or frightened.
Whatever happens, try not to be judgmental: if you show you respect other’s people’s right to make their own decisions, they are more likely to respect yours.
It can be positive
Peer pressure isn’t always a bad thing. While it is most often associated with poor behavior or bad habits, it can have positive effects. The same forces that drive children of all ages to want to fit in with those around them are responsible for making them study harder in order to get the same grades as others in their friends, try out a new sport or support a worthy cause.
Peer pressure can be the driving force behind a decision to take part in a science fair or local talent show, or to take part in an activity that is fun and harmless but outside of your usual comfort zone. In other words, the right kind of peer pressure can help you reach your full potential.
In the past, many college students and older teenagers felt under enormous peer pressure to begin smoking. Although this sort of pressure is still present in some circles, a less harmful alternative exists: vaping. Most of the damage caused by smoking traditional cigarettes derives not from the nicotine but the hundreds of other substances they contain, none of which are present in vaping juice.
Another attraction is that is that there are a huge variety of flavors available to better tailor the experience to your individual tastes and better express your personality. Whether you want a simple, traditional product or hanker after a more extreme vapor sensation, you’ll easily find what you are looking for. If you can find alternatives ways of staying within your group without fully giving in to their demands, embrace them.
Dealing with peer pressure
If you’re in a situation where you feel compelled to act in a way that is counter to your own feelings or beliefs, there are a number of techniques and coping strategies you can employ to build up your resistance. Key among these is choosing the right peer group in the first place. Whatever the activity that you’re under pressure to join in with, there will always be some people who would rather do something else. The much-used line that everybody else is doing it so you should too simply doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
If you’re going to refuse to do something, it’s important to say no and really mean it. If you sound vague, you will simply encourage others to increase the pressure they put on you in the hope you will change your mind.
Practice saying “no” firmly and try to back it up with a positive statement that makes your position clear. Don’t be afraid of repeating your position as many times as you need to and be prepared to walk away as a last resort.