The Cambridge Dictionary describes peer pressure as, “the strong influence of a group, especially of children, on members of that group to behave as everyone else does.”
Did you notice anything interesting about this definition? If yes, bravo! If not, bravo nevertheless! Because I didn’t expect you to notice it anyway. The salient feature of this definition is that it doesn’t label peer pressure as either ‘negative’ or ‘positive’. Most of the time, the term ‘peer pressure’ is accompanied by negative comments about it being only a menace that makes people insecure about themselves. While this is mostly true, you can tip the scales of fortune in your favour by turning peer pressure into a positive influence for you. Continue reading to learn how to easily overpower this rodeo bull called ‘peer pressure’.
Join/form a peer support group:
‘A man is known by the company he keeps’. This proverb’s base lies in the concept of peer pressure. Let’s be honest, we all feel pressured into copying our friends’ style, habits or actions sometimes. If you’re, say, a student struggling in computer science, you could join a group of computer geeks (let’s break the stigma around the word ‘geek’!) and ask them for help. Trust me, you’ll be surprised at how you’ve improved in your subject after a month if you truly try to absorb knowledge from your peers.
An effective way of using peer pressure to refine yourself is by accepting your insecurities and working on them constructively. Ask yourself questions like, “Why do I want to be like my peers?”, “What is a trait in them that I want to acquire?”, “Will that trait benefit me or harm me?, “How can I obtain that trait?” and so on. By answering your own questions and embracing your weaknesses, you’re one step closer to your dream glow up!
Remind yourself that you’re a peer too
We humans are always so preoccupied and invested in our own bubble of worries that we often forget that there are people outside our bubble, who’re observing and picking up mannerisms from us. That is why it’s so vital for you to keep reminding yourself that you may be a peer to someone too; perhaps your siblings, your friends, co-workers or even that random person you see on the bus once in a week. By being mindful of the fact that you’re likely a role model for others too, you’ll subconsciously try to be an admirable and more dignified person before them. This way, not only does the person benefit from positive peer pressure, but you do as well, by adopting good habits.
To sum up, peer pressure is a double edged sword, but with these tips, steel-like determination and continuous practice, you can definitely learn to wield this weapon with expertise!