Peer pressure sadly is a part of life. Its something we will all have to cope with from time to time and often those applying it wont realise the impact they are having on your health and well-being.
In my first week of university, we were playing ring of fire-a drinking game where you can end up having to drink a ‘dirty pint’ a mix of various different drinks all combined into one. I
was unfortunate enough on this occasion to be the person who pulled out the 4th king making me the one who ‘had’ to drink the ‘dirty pint’.
As someone who struggles to hold their drink at the best of times I knew that if I drank the pint I was likely to be sick and not even make it past pre drinks to the night out. Everyone was chanting ‘drink’ ‘drink’ drink’ and the easy option would be to drink the pint.
I said no.
Knowing that my night could be ruined as well as my extremely weak digestive system. I put my foot down.
After many attempts of my flatmates telling me I ‘had to’ suggesting I had ‘no choice’. One of the guys kindly took one for the team and downed it for me.
This was such intense peer pressure and it was so difficult to say no to a group of people who I barely knew and who I desperately wanted to get along with.
My best friend at uni a couple of years later told me when she saw me stand up to everyone-thats when she decided we were definitely going to be friends.
I didn’t loose anything luckily from standing up to peer pressure, infact it seemed to raise peoples opinions of me. This wont always be the case.
Sometimes you do loose out on friendships by standing up to peer pressure but this means you wont have toxic relationships in your life-instead you will find people who share similar values to you and will support you and the decisions you make.
7 top tips to deal with peer pressure:
- Remain firm in your answer-once you’ve said ‘no’, stick to it. That way people will realise you mean what you say and will give up trying to change your opinion or mind.
- Be your own best friend. Remain true to who you are, and dont change to please someone else this is your happiness we are talking about.
If peer pressure is making you feel stressed, take time away from the situation or people and relax. Do an adult colouring book, run a bath, watch your favorite film.
- Take yourself away from those who are pressuring you if possible, and find others who value your ideas.
- Confront those pressuring you. Ask why they are doing it, and let them know how they are making you feel. This works when the person or persons pressuring you may not realise the effect they are having.
- Invest your time in a hobby or goal which means you have a focus other than the peer pressure.
This also means you may have less time to take part in whatever you feel uncomfortable with.
- Stay true to yourself and your values.
- Offer alternatives and compromise. You could dampen the pressure by offering an alternative that you feel more comfortable with.
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