Do Adults Suffer From Peer Pressure?
It is a well-known fact that children are victims of peer pressure at schools. Whether it is about excelling in the exams or performing well in a sports match, children often end up feeling pressurized to perform better than their competitors. In an undesirable way, children also pick up habits from their peers for fear of being rejected.
But what about adults? Do grown-ups also face peer pressure? Well, though most people are not aware of it, many of us still succumb to peer pressure in our personal and professional lives. If you reluctantly had a drink at the office party because you were afraid of being alienated or if you forced yourself to have a cigarette with your boss to land in his good books, you are a victim of peer pressure.
Peer pressure is not necessarily negative. It can have positive outcomes too. The right group of friends or colleagues can motivate us to perform better and inculcate a competitive spirit. In fact, many people give up smoking, thanks to their friends!
So how can one overcome negative peer pressure and bring out the best from one’s peers?
- Our core beliefs and values – We all inherently believe in a system of core beliefs and values. We have some do’s and don’ts incorporated in our minds. While adhering to them too strictly can make us look rigid, being too easy on oneself can also land us in trouble. The solution is to find the right balance. We need to be true to our core values and yet remain social, and this is possible if we learn to be assertive.
- Be Assertive – Whether you say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, learn to say it definitely. In the beginning, your friends might be taken aback at your straightforward responses but, in the long run, they will appreciate you for being honest. And if they don’t appreciate you for who you are, there is no point hanging out with them, isn’t it?
- Effect on mental health – Research has pointed out that people who take their own decisions and remain true to themselves have much better mental health than others. There is a strong sense of confidence and self-worth in them.
- Have a wider circle of friends – Having a bigger circle of friends exposes us to people with different mind-sets, cultural values and religious beliefs and helps us to be more open. Also, having more friends helps you find people who have similar core values as you. Being around people with similar beliefs can help bring out the positive possibilities of peer pressure.