How to handle peer pressure?

By: Abhimanyu R

Everyone faces peer pressure about some or the other thing - sometimes it’s a PS4 or a smartphone that your classmate has but you don’t, while other times it is the pressure over good grades that your sibling gets but you do not. Some people sulk under the pressure while others can gain strength from it. How? Abhimanyu R is here to share his tips.

Photo: Shutterstock/Prostock-studio/The person in the photo is a model, names changed. 

FOMO and Conformity

Pressure can do a lot of things. It can blow a balloon (Good Fun!), but it can also burst a balloon (painful and loud). The atmosphere exerts pressure on you all the time, and you barely feel it. Then again, while you can barely feel atmospheric pressure, there is pressure that you can strongly feel, that makes decisions for you, the pressure that is called… peer pressure!

“So what is peer pressure?” I hear you ask. I know what it is, but I don’t know what it is. Well, peer pressure is something you feel when your peers, friends, and classmates can do something, own something, or know something that you don’t, making you feel the need to be able to do, own, or know the same things that they do. 

Imagine this - You are the only person in your group of friends who doesn’t have a phone, and you always feel bad about it. This feeling doesn’t go away, and you keep on begging your parents for one, even though they say that they do not see the need for you having a phone. This begging that you did was a result of peer pressure. So, now you know. Peer pressure is a mix of Fear Of Missing Out and Conformity.  

Me telling you this will be followed by you saying, “Oh Now! FOMO and Conformity! We don’t stand a chance. No wonder so many people are affected by peer pressure!”. Fear not dear reader, for I will swoop in to help you. This gargantuan team up may be deadly, and we may be tiny compared to its power, but as a wise green Jedi Master once said, “Size matters not. Judge me by my size, do you?”. 

There! He’s right! We can defeat peer pressure with strategic attacks, and we only need a few. Why? Because this team up is huge, but remember, the bigger they are… The harder they fall! So let’s dive straight into my latest miniature novel- ‘Superior Secret Strategies: A deep dive into battle strategies against Peer Pressure’: 

Remember who you are

It doesn’t matter if your entire class has phones, or follows the latest trends, or knows cheat codes for all the popular games! You may be different from everyone in your group of friends, your class, or even your school; but don’t forget that you are still you. No matter who you are, everyone has a purpose, and no one else can do the same things you can. 

You are you, and nobody can fill the gap you create in the world by trying to change yourself just to fit in. Even if everyone in your class, including you, can speak the same language, you are the only one who can speak that language, and do other specific things that others cannot, and for each person who dislikes you for who you are, there will be 5 people who love you for it.

Does them doing/owning/knowing that something makes it necessary?

Using the same  phone example, does everyone in your group of friends, class, or even school owning a phone make it necessary? If you don’t have a phone, there must be a reason behind it, right? 

Your parents obviously have their reasons for not giving you a phone. Just because someone else has a phone doesn’t mean you need to have one too. 

So when you hear everyone in your class talking about the new iPhone 13, or the Samsung Galaxy s21, remind yourself not to fall prey to peer pressure! The world is moving so fast- today’s technology will be obsolete tomorrow; so does it really matter if you get that latest tech today or later, when you really are ready?

Put things into perspective

Just because you are missing out on the amazing pop-up camera, or the latest in-display fingerprint sensor, doesn’t mean that it’s the end of the world, does it? Your not owning the latest gadget or not following the latest trends doesn’t make you any lesser than anyone else, and it won’t make anyone hate you, or even dislike you. 

On the off chance that anyone does begin disliking you for it (I mean seriously, who will dislike you for not having a phone?), remind yourself that their dislike is baseless, and you shouldn’t care about it!

It’s over now! You have finished my miniature novel, and are on the fast track to beating peer pressure! So what are you waiting for? Get out there, strategically plan your attacks, and show peer pressure the consequences of picking on everyone. After that, become a superhero, and teach other people how to do the same things I wrote about, and you will succeed!

Abhimanyu R. is a writer, co-editor and co-publisher at the Paperless Press, a students-led news magazine dedicated to spreading positivity and uplifting news. Check it out at thepaperlesspress.net! This article was first published in the Paperless press. Read the original article here

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