Peer pressure is an unknown pressure one feels that they must do the same things or behave in the same way everyone around them does. We tend to do this out of fear – fear of being left alone. We don’t want to miss out on the company of people our age, let go of our social status, or hanging out with our colleagues. We tend to act, speak, and behave in the same way that we, and the group we are in, consider ‘normal’. While it can be both positive and negative, it certainly strips us of our individuality, uniqueness, beliefs, and motivation.
It is for us to decide what kind of person we want to be and it can get difficult in a social group. Especially if we perceive ourselves to be a weaker member of the group. However, it is extremely important to assess what actions we are basing on our own understanding, logic, and research and what things we are doing because ‘everyone else is doing it,’ or ‘that’s the way it is.’ More experienced members might find it difficult to abandon their comfort, but it is important to rise above and pave our own way.
In the end, dealing with peer pressure means establishing boundaries and assessing things that make you uncomfortable, and speaking up against them. Stick to your beliefs and do not waiver. It sounds simple as a thought but taking action can be difficult. Let us take a look at how one can deal with peer pressure at work with some small and simple steps.
- Learn how to say ‘NO’
As we grow up, we are taught to avoid saying ‘no’ because it may be considered disrespectful. However, it is an extremely important life skill. One should be able to decide for themselves the things they want to engage in and things they want to avoid. Clearly stating your mind and leaving no place for ambiguity is the best thing you can do when you feel you are being pressured into doing something you would rather not do.
- Take a stand
The power of peer pressure can be summed up in one word – conformity. People conform to save themselves from being seen or isolated. Not that all who conform are powerless. It takes courage to stand up and speak up against the wrong things.
- Get help if needed
Battling peer pressure is a resource extensive battle at times. You can ask for help if you feel there is a possibility of getting help. You might feel powerless and feel like there is no way forward. Ask for help from your managers, or colleagues, or regulatory departments such as your organization’s HR. Assess the situation thoroughly and be sure and confident when asking for help. If you feel you are not getting help from within the organization, you can decide to take matters into your own hands.
- Remain calm
Do not let people get to you. If they see that you are struggling, they might pressurize you, even more, to make you do their bidding. Taking a stand requires courage, and if you believe your stand to be true, you will persist. It is better to ignore toxic people at the workplace, avoiding them if possible, and raising the alarm if you feel trapped.
- Stay focused on your tasks
Do not let the pressure hamper your productivity. If you feel that that’s what’s happening, reach out to your superiors. Addressing the issue will allow you to stay focused on your work. You’ll be able to move past things slowly and steadily.
It is important to feel comfortable in your workplace. It is a very basic right and your employer is also liable to provide you with a comfortable working experience. Reach out to the leadership in your organization if you feel management is not up to the mark. After all, the difference between leadership and management is that leaders create the way while managers follow it.