It’s really fun to be with people with whom you share a common ground—such as a preference for same kind of films, or food, or style. But sometimes you get into situations where you don’t really agree with your peers. Their views and principles clash with yours, their response to your resistance often comes down to: “It’s okay, everybody’s doing it!” Of course, that doesn’t get rid of misgivings—but you still want to be liked and accepted, so it can be hard to turn them down. This is where the dilemma of peer pressure comes in.
I believe that peer pressure can be either negative or positive. It’s not always entirely wrong: sometimes it’s a sign that your friends are encouraging you to be your best self. But I’ve often dealt with the negative side of peer pressure. Growing up, I found myself in a lot of situations where I was told to just follow the “norm.” I would often get scared of not being liked or not being able to fit in if I said “no”—after all, setting yourself apart in that way can get really awkward and nerve-racking. But as time went by, I realized that saying “no” and standing up for what I believed in just show how much I value myself. There are times when your peers (and even society at large) are right to push you to do things, but there are also plenty of situations in which we can hopefully learn to just agree to disagree and simply be more understanding of one another.