Being a civilized person means self-control that often contradicts human nature and is hard to possess. That’s why laws, religion, and moral principles exist. If one of those doesn’t work for you, another one will. Yet, there are still some counter forces – peer pressure and the tendency to herd thinking.
In our teenage years, we are the most susceptible to bad influence – our minds and beliefs are not that rigid. And if we get used to listening to other people at that age, it won’t be easier as we grow older. However, in this article, we will share 4 tips on recognizing peer pressure and dealing with it irrespective of whether you’re a teenager or an adult.
You Give Up on Your Old Values or Goals
Usually, this is the case when you take advantage of one’s help, ditch everything you used to like, or start looking for loopholes to avoid hard work. Of course, there is nothing bad about an occasional seeking for assistance.
For example, due to overload, students often ask for help from an essay service like Essay Hub, but turning for help every time you choose to party or skip classes despite being diligent in the past indicates that something is wrong. The same goes for a change of heart about a hobby.
If you simply follow your peers’ suggestions you don’t like despite preferring to stay at home and play a game they consider boring or stupid, you might be dealing with peer pressure. It means it is time to decide what is more important to you: being like your friends or staying true to yourself. You don’t have to give up on your friends, though. It is always possible to stay an individual, resist the pressure, and still have people to rely on.
Your Decisions Are Not Based On Your Opinion
Do not confuse this with following the recommendations you have looked or asked for. For instance, if you have no experience in using writing services for students, you will probably need some advice when it comes to choosing one. Whether it’s about checking the best essay writing services review at NoCramming or asking your classmates for a recommendation, it’s you who decided to seek help.
Instead, when others insist on you doing something even though you believe it’s the wrong way, this is high time to ask yourself why they would want you to act like that and what consequences you may face. It doesn’t always mean they do that out of spite, though. All of us have been brought up differently, and sometimes, certain behavior and actions are the only things we’ve known our whole lives. So, we may try to impose our own opinion or way of life on others.
You Do What You Don’t Feel Comfortable About
At this stage, it is hard to recognize peer pressure. Usually, one stops having doubts about any decision, leave alone analyzing it, observes only their peers’ actions, and follows suit.
You may start:
- neglecting people’s feelings
- abusing substances just because everyone around you does
- getting involved in illicit activity
- ditching your old friends for no particular reason
- giving up on your studies, hobbies, or job
- putting your peers’ needs and wishes before self-care
At the same time, you might not feel good about your actions. Bad mood, nervousness, secrecy, and cynicism are the main indicators that you betrayed your feelings. The thing is, it’s always easier to do what is not right when you are not alone in that. So, the most effective strategy is to have some time with yourself and think about why you feel bad about this or that situation.
This strategy is not the easiest one, though, that’s why you should also consider help from a therapist, school counselor, or an old friend you trust.
Your Behavior Changes in the Presence of Some of Your Peers
The last sign of peer pressure is probably the most obvious one, but it’s hard to notice it yourself. You have probably seen some series or movies where one of the characters suddenly changes their voice and manners when seeing an acquaintance, but the only ones who can see it are those around them.
Of course, all of us act differently based on the people we are surrounded with at a particular moment. That is called flexibility. You wouldn’t act the same with your freid and college professor. Yet, only the closest ones are able to notice that some changes in our behavior are simply not typical for us. So, if they express such concerns, do not discard those right away. Take your time to think about the reasons for the mentioned changes.
Finally, one should always mind that changed values may not be a sign of peer pressure. The younger you are, the more chances that your worldview has still not been shaped and that this process is still ongoing. The same goes for reluctance to do something – it can also be a sign of burnout, depression, and so on. What if you’re just head over heels and, thus, can’t focus on anything but your loved one?
Yet, there is still a criterion one can be guided by: if you feel there is something really off with the changes that occurred to you lately and going back to normal will make you lose your peers even though you will feel more comfortable without them, it means that there is some influence you may be under.
In this case, it is highly recommended that you go through your values. Many people don’t ever think about those. But if you ponder the most important things about yourself and people, like their way of life or attitude toward you, you may notice that there are some core principles you can’t give up on. Unfortunately, it might be the case that you need to increase the distance between you and your friends, or sometimes, even part ways with them. However, there are high chances that you simply need time to reassess your priorities and then get back to your friends.