Hi everyone, I’m Beth from http://lablogbeaute.co.uk which is a UK-based beauty and lifestyle blog! I live in the beautiful Devon countryside with my gorgeous fiance, four cats and a puppy. I love all things beauty-related, I am crazy about decor, and I am also a total foodie.
Thinking back to when I was a teenager, I would split my teens into two sections - the good part and the bad part. From 13 to 15 was the bad part, and from 16 to 19 was the good part, this was purely because of peer pressure.
Don’t get me wrong here, I loved being a teenager, but peer pressure made life more complicated than it needed to be. I’m sure it’s the same for you, too. I’m sure your parents and teachers at school have already warned you about peer pressure, yeah?
You’ve probably been told that peer pressure is a friend or someone from school forcing you to do something you don’t want to, am I right? But, peer pressure is so much more than that, it’s doing something, like smoking, just because everyone else is doing it.
Peer pressure can be confusing, it isn’t always about being forced to do something. For instance, if you were to see one of the cool girls agreeing to have sex with her boyfriend for the first time, you may then feel pressured to do the same. Feeling obligated to do something to fit in with the rest of your class is also peer pressure - it isn’t just about being forced by another person.
The key is not to bow to peer pressure, no matter how much you might want to - do things because you want to do them, not because someone else is doing them.
It can be hard dealing with peer pressure, which is why I thought I would share some of my top tips for dealing with it, with you, below:
Build your confidence
Yes, easier said than done, I know. When I was at school, I was the shyest kid in the world. You know the girl who sits silently in every class and goes red if she is asked to speak - that was me.
If you are confident in yourself, you are less likely to feel pressured by what other people are doing or want you to do. It might be hard to say no, but if you have confidence in yourself, you will be able to do so, more easily.
Choose your friends wisely
People who are similar tend to hang out together, so make sure to choose your friends wisely. If you choose friends who are happy with themselves and confident, they won’t try to pressure you into doing something because they would not be pressured themselves.
When I was at school, I was lucky enough to have a close group of girlfriends who were all happy and confident people. I wasn’t confident at all, but the way they acted, rubbed off on me, and over time my confidence grew - yours will do the same.
Do things because you want to
Just because everyone else is doing something, that doesn’t mean you have to. Sound familiar? Yes, that’s right, that’s what you parents and guidance counsellors have drilled into you over the years. And, you know what, they’re right. Yes, you might not enjoy them preaching at you, but believe me, one day you will thank them.
Having a puff on a cigarette or drinking under age is not something that I would personally recommend, but at some point we all do it. What’s important is that you only do it because you want to, not because everyone else is doing it, and you want to be cool.
Don’t rush into having sex
When it comes to peer pressure, sex is a whole other ball game. Unlike drinking, smoking or dressing in a certain way, you only get to lose your virginity once, so you need to be sure about it.
Yes, you might think that you love your boyfriend, but that doesn’t mean that you have to sleep with him. Your first time will be something that you remember forever - it’s a big deal, so you need to get it right.
Lots of kids at my school had sex, including some of my closest friends, but I wasn’t ready for it, and so I didn’t do it. Part of me wanted to, especially as everyone else was doing it, but I am so glad that I didn’t. I waited until after I graduated high school, met a lovely guy at college - we’re still together now, and when the time was right, slept with him.
Peer pressure is tricky, it can be so hard to say no to someone. But, you need to stay strong and be your own person. If you love your boyfriend and want to have sex with him that’s fine - as long as you’re safe, that is. But, only sleep with him if you want to, not because everyone else is doing it. If you want to try a cigarette or have a drink, that’s also fine, as long as you are doing it because you want to, not because it’s cool to do it.