Peer pressure is the feeling that you must do what other people in your age group are doing so that you can be liked, fit in, or be respected.
Chemutai is experiencing peer pressure. The bad kind.
Sometimes peer pressure is negative!
Negative peer pressure can influence you to engage in risky behavior or go against what you stand for. Whether it’s engaging in risky sexual behavior, hurting others, or doing drugs, it can get really crazy. Dealing with the effects of peer pressure is not an easy task.
But, peer pressure isn’t always bad!
Positive peer pressure guides you in making wise choices, helping each other get new skills, engaging in safe practices, or developing an interest in healthy habits.
When you feel pressured to participate in risky behaviors, like using drugs or having unprotected sex, it is important to remember your values or what you believe in. For example, you may value setting a good example to your siblings. Not engaging in unsafe sexual practices. Remembering your values will increase your confidence to say no to a choice that doesn’t align with what is important to you.
Do not make decisions because others think it's good for you.
Don’t be afraid to be different!
We spend a lot of time with our peers. It is important to have the right friends and to choose them wisely. But because peer pressure can be positive, choose friends who push you to follow your dreams and friends who support you.
When you have the right friends, you will likely avoid people or situations that can influence you to make the wrong decisions.
Having friends who share your values and beliefs helps.
Are you that person who spends a lot of time trying to take care of others? Do you neglect self-care in your service for others? While taking care of others is great, it can be unhealthy if overdone.
First, you can’t please everyone and that means that you will always feel like you’ve not done enough for others. Second, you can lose yourself as you try to please others. Third, you may find yourself doing things that you don’t want to do. Also, you may find that you don’t get the same kind of support when you need it. This can eventually wear you down.
Start saying yes to taking care of yourself as well. You should come first!
You have a right to say no to what you don’t feel comfortable doing.
Chemutai has that choice too!
But saying no sounds easier than it is. How do you go about it?
How to say 'No'
Saying ‘No’ is an art. You have to learn it and with time you will perfect the art. There is always the fear of disappointing others or making them uncomfortable: it is not your job to make others happy or comfortable.
These tips can help you not just affirm your stand, but also protect your relationships.
Are you afraid of saying no?
Try and be honest about why you don’t want to do something – without mentioning any physical reasons or specific reasons for refusing.
‘I just don’t feel the same way.’
‘I had other plans.’
‘Today is my rest day.’
‘I appreciate you asking me, but that’s not my thing.’
‘I’m very busy at the moment.’
Remember! You don’t always have to explain, you can just say ‘no’.
If you feel that you are struggling with peer pressure, talk to a trusted adult or friend. If this is not possible, talk to a counselor. Call 1190 for free to talk to a professional.