Some people’s choices are influenced by peers or popular opinion for varied reasons. Those who do not want to stand out tend to make decisions based on how people around them choose. There is nothing wrong in discussing politics and election related topics with others. But it can be a problem if it means giving up your right to explore options and ideas before electing leaders into positions that could potentially impact not just your future but millions of others.
Peer Pressure and Influence
Positive and negative peer pressure is all about influencing thoughts, decisions, and behaviors. It is the results, however, that separate the good and the bad of peer pressure. Negative peer pressure can lead to decisions and behaviors that are contrary to your beliefs, core values, and instincts. The outcomes usually do not bring a sense of satisfaction of fulfillment in your life.
Most, if not all, people are exposed to positive and negative influence on a daily basis. If you take a closer look at the people around you, there will be those who inspire positive behaviors in you while there others that may try to influence you to think or act against your own principles. Finding ways to avoid peer pressure when making important decisions is critical.
Handling Differences in Views
Here are some ways to deal with differences of views and opinions without giving up your right to choose freely.
1. Follow your internal compass. Stay true to yourself can help you stand up to even the most intense form of peer pressure. You can avoid negative influence when you honor your values and have a clear idea of the principles you live by. You acknowledge your own individuality and respect yourself enough not to give in to negative influences that could make you betray your own belief system.
2. Review and reflect on your choices. Decisiveness is not about acting rashly. Before making any decision, take time to consider the consequences. Some people will try to influence your decisions to suit theirs. You do not have to jump in any bandwagon to please others.
3. Think of what matters to you. Ask yourself if giving in peer pressure can help you sleep well at night. Think of the things that you stand for and the things that matter to you. Consider how your choices can impact you and others around you.
4. Maintain boundaries. There will always be people around you who will try to challenge your beliefs and decisions. You do not have to engage in ugly conflicts and arguments just to prove a point. Stay respectful but maintain your personal boundary. Stick to your decision without putting pressure on others to accept your views.