Children & Adolescents, Teen Mental Health, Personal stories

12 April, 2022

How I deal with peer pressure: a young person’s experience

Group of teenagers sitting together in a park socialising

Lots of teenagers feel peer pressure at different times. Sanidhya Arora, a Transition Year (TY) student, tells us how he deals with it.

Peer pressure is something a lot of teenagers experience. Sanidhya tells us how he deals with peer pressure.

What is peer pressure?

I have experienced peer pressure. It can be an extremely difficult feeling, and can often make you do things you don’t feel comfortable with. In simple terms, peer pressure is the influence of friends and other people on the choices we make. An easy example to explain this better is to ask yourself if you have ever bought something just because your friend has it or done something you were nervous about just because everybody else did it? If the answer is yes, then peer pressure may have affected you.

These are some of the things I do to deal with peer pressure.

There are several ways to deal with this uncomfortable feeling, but, sometimes, finding these ways can be quite challenging. After trying some out for myself, I found different things I can do to solve this problem when I face it: doing these things really helps me escape the feeling of peer pressure.

These are some of the things I do to deal with peer pressure.

Talk to someone

Talking to someone, like a parent or guardian, is a great help. The first thing I did was talk to my parents. What I realised is that, no matter what, my parents will always give me the best advice on any subject, so talking to them on this issue was really helpful. They gave me personalised advice on how I can deal with this and also helped me in coming up with more solutions to the problem. Believe me, it might seem a bit intimidating to talk to your parents or guardians about this, but just be completely honest with them.

Stay away from toxic friendships

After some self-reflection, I understood that there are different types of friends. Most genuinely care for you and are your well-wishers, but there can be some who are only your friend for their own interests and really dont care about you. It is important to be able to identify who are your genuine friends. I tried cutting connections with ‘fake friends’ or toxic friendships in my life, and this has really made me feel better! It has been a crucial step in helping me to deal with peer pressure.

Follow your gut

It is important to have your own sense of right and wrong. Make your own judgement and, if you feel something isnt right, follow your senses. If I ever feel like I am being pressured into making a decision, I use my own common sense, and make sure I do what I feel is right. If you ever have any doubts about your decisions, do ask your parents or a teacher you totally trust. Doing this not only gives me more control over what’s going on, but also instils my own confidence in myself.

Be honest about your feelings

Now, this does not mean I go ahead and start a fight with them. All I do is tell this person how I’m feeling, and ask them to stop it. If, even after taking this step, you still feel uncomfortable around this person, refer to tip two! This might seem as one of the challenging things to do on the list - it sure does for me – but, believe me, it has been very effective.

Leave the situation or conversation

When I feel uncomfortable with whats happening around me, and if the steps I’ve tried to change it aren’t having an impact, I just politely leave the conversation or situation. I try to never ever remain in a position which makes me feel uneasy.

Make new friends

If peer pressure is continuing to be an issue and the same people are causing it, it might be a healthy choice to make a new group of friends. This can feel tough at the start, as it is not always easy to start fresh with a new set of friends. To make this easier, I tired meeting people who have similar interests to me: this helped me settle in with new groups of friends better. When meeting new people, I also found it helpful to:

  • Join in on their conversations, politely!
  • Be open with them
  • Be myself.

What I learned is that my fear of making new friends was just in my head. Be confident and slowly you will start feeling comfortable. Taking the first step is always the hardest part of the journey!

So, to sum up... I trust myself to cope with peer pressure.

So, to sum up...

Dealing with peer pressure might seem impossible, but it isnt. These are some of the most effective ways that have immensely benefited me in dealing with negative peer pressure - so they are tried and tested! Finding the right friends has been really important, and once I did, everything seemed much easier. Recognising peer pressure from the start is vital: this way I can deal with it quicker.

All I do is trust my mind, and I feel confident I won’t go wrong!

Read more from Sanidhya

Read more from Sanidhya

Sanidhya shared some more of his experiences with us, which you can find below.

You can also follow Sanidhya on Instagram or visit his website.