What is peer pressure, and how can we deal with it? - Shambhavi Nautiyal
Peer pressure is the direct or indirect influence of our peers which tells us that we need to act in a certain way like the people surrounding us. It is often observed in teenage but continues as an existing matter throughout our lives regardless of age. It is a trap which makes people victims of many addicting and harmful practices. It could be wrong personality traits such as people pleasing and sometimes ruinous activities like smoking and drugs.
It starts with compellingly curious intentions of just wanting to fit in, make friends and enjoy company, but later on, it becomes a habit. For instance, something often seen in the present youth is the following of the perpetually changing Instagram trends by young school-going teenagers to feel accepted and admired.
We see kids going out of their way to follow social media trends and become famous because of peer pressure and the fact that this is seen as the definition of likeable and "cool". In school, too, we see popular girls and students liked by most of our peers or teachers, and we try to become like them. We observe that because of some of their habits, many people appreciate and admire them. To gain that popularity, we try to procure their idolized external features, skills or behaviours. In light of this fact, in this process, we lose ourselves. We lose our own identities.
We never learn to love ourselves since we are compared to others by ourselves or our parents to our peers. We become even lonelier because of masking ourselves and never focusing on nurturing ourselves. We are left with no friends of our own, not even ourselves. Even when we stop trying to be like others, we still take that habit of people pleasing with us, in which we let people cross our boundaries and put them before ourselves, creating a frail sense of self-worth. However, we can fight it, come out of it and fix this whole scenario.
As for me, I had been in some influencing company, and over time, I noticed that I had become a people pleaser and that I had been neglecting myself for my peers. I was listening more to them rather than my piece of mind. So, to fix those habits, I had to release that person from my life and start instilling healthier relationship patterns in my attitude. I had to change my outlook by changing my behaviour and thoughts. I had to make it clear to myself that it was okay for me to put myself and think about myself first before taking any decision instead of following my friends blindly and speculating about their behaviours, meaning how they treat me. I had to fix my sense of self-worth.
Always keep that in mind before wandering to search for love outside; look inside, and you will find the person who has always been and shall always be ready to love you.
Ahlcon Public School