“Be yourself. Don't worry about what other people are thinking of you, because they're probably feeling the same kind of scared, horrible feelings that everyone does.” ― Phil Lester
What exactly is this Peer Pressure, this long word we often get to hear? It just basically means being influenced by someone from your age group. And believe me when I say this, being influenced by someone else is a whole lot different than admiring someone or looking up to someone. Sometimes this influence can end up in pretty big disasters (let’s not go into the details). Few days ago, I asked some 6th graders of our school whether they have ever felt pressurised into doing something by their friends or fellow classmates. 30% of the responses were negative (which is good), but the remaining 70% were unfortunately positive! These were some of the responses-
My friend (won’t reveal the name) and I often talk about the TV shows we watch and when I say that I don’t watch a particular show that she likes she makes faces at me and then makes fun of me behind my back. It often makes me think if I should watch that show but whenever I try I find it so boring, and end up wasting a lot of time trying to make myself like that show but in vain.”
“My friend often makes fun of me because I don’t like putting on make-up or dressing up and she loves doing that. Often she also makes fun of me or calls me names just because I love reading novels. It makes me wonder if only I like reading and look like an idiot in front of others.”
Do you feel some similarities? Or do you feel that you have been pressurised by peers in some different way. If yes, don’t keep these feelings bottled up inside you. Tell the older bhaiyas or didis. If not them, why don’t you talk about this to your other fellow mates. If you feel confident enough, talk to the peer pressurising you (don’t start a fight though). Confrontation is the best way to not become a victim of peer pressure. As Dr. Suess rightfully said, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out.” You don’t need to listen to a particular kind of music or read a particular kind of novel or watch a particular kind of show just because your peers/friends watch it. Make your own personality and carry it with pride. After all you were born to become “YOU” not someone else. It is your right to become an independent individual and no one can take that right from you.
I think, I by and far conveyed what I wanted to tell. Believe me, this ghost called PEER PRESSURE leaves no one. Even I became a victim. But then it is up to you to throw that ghost out of the window or let it live inside you and take place of your individual soul. I chose to throw it out and I am a very happy and content person now. I wrote this article so that I don’t have to study in a school with ghostly souls (no offense!) Remember to create your own personality and don’t live with ghosts!!