Five Top Tips For Avoiding Peer Pressure

Peer pressure affects all of us at some point in our lives. While we mostly associate it with being a teenager and going through school, it can affect us at any part of our life, and it’s often as we get older where it becomes much more dangerous.

The likes of alcohol and drugs can often be associated with peer pressure, especially as we hit college and the likes of stressful office jobs, with certain cultures creeping into our lives and causing problems.

At rehab centres such as Sanctuary Lodge, one of the premier drug rehabilitation centres in Essex, addiction problems can often be traced back to moments such as being pressured into drinking or taking a line of cocaine at an office party, eventually becoming a regular occurrence to deal with the stress of work. And it all stems from those moments of peer pressure.

So, how can you avoid it? Vital for all kinds of pressure, here are five top tips for avoiding it and ensuring you stay true to yourself…

Know Yourself and Your Values

Firstly, it’s all about staying true to yourself, so understanding yourself is a fundamental first step in that. Especially when we are young it can be difficult to understand who we are, but taking the time out to reflect on our values, beliefs, and boundaries will give you a good sense of who you are, what matters to you and where you want to draw the line.

That will then allow you to make clear decisions that don’t compromise your principles or authenticity.

Build a Supportive Social Circle

Strength in numbers can be a good tactic when it comes to combating the more negative influences in your life. By cultivating healthy friendships with people who are respectful of your decisions, you’ll find a more supportive circle when it comes to making decisions that may conflict with your values. 

What’s more, by building such a social circle, you could eradicate peer pressure from your friendship groups altogether.

Practice Assertiveness

A lot of avoiding peer pressure falls on your own shoulders and strength of character. That can be worked on and practicing being assertive can be fantastic in that. One of the hardest things to do in life is learning to say “no” in an assertive manner. But it’s also one of the most powerful tools you can learn and can really change your life for the better.

Have an Exit Strategy

Ultimately, and especially in situations where peer pressure is a little more intense, walking away can be the best option. At things like work parties and such like, uncomfortable situations can be avoided by simply having an exit strategy in place. It could be having someone to turn to when you are feeling under pressure, or by having a route out of the place, whether it be having train times to hand or someone to come and pick you up. 

It allows you to take more control of the situation and readily take yourself away from it.

Develop Confidence in Yourself

Finally, we revert back to point one really. If you have certain values, you should also be confident in them. Celebrate yourself and take pride in what perhaps sets you apart from others. They’re your choices and they’re what make you happy.

So, having the conviction and confidence in them will allow you to be more firm and resilient when it comes to moments when those values are put under pressure, allowing you to say “no” and that be the end of the matter.