Avoid these sayings and respect your friends.
Arts Entertainment

6 Times You've Peer Pressured Someone And It Wasn't OK

Even unintentional peer pressure causes a lot of damage.

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We've all had one thing we're uncomfortable with whether it's not wanting to wear revealing clothing, not wanting to eat meat, or not drinking alcohol. In college or even high school, we encounter situations like these and tend to follow the group, even if one individual may be right. It's basic sociology and psychology! We've all put our friends in awkward positions of peer-pressure, most of the time intentionally. We need to start becoming aware and be more respectful. No means no and yes only means yes if someone says it, consciously. Ignorance today stems from a lack of education and since we are educated individuals, we need to do our best not to stay ignorant towards people we care about and their wishes.

1. "Do you want to try some?"

There shouldn't be a "try," ever. You know your friend doesn't want any--whatever it is. Your friend is internally doing their best to resist their urge or they're strong and know for a fact that they don't want whatever you're offering. It's cool that you thought of them and didn't want them to feel out, but trust me, they are fine. And since they might be battling inside whether to engage in an activity or not (i.e. buying scandalous clothing) and internally they don't want to, asking them this puts a lot of pressure on them and may force them to make a choice they didn't want to make.

If your friend has told you before that they don't like or want to do something, absorb it. Don't listen in one ear and let it fly out the other. Understand and process what it means and do your best to be helpful and respectful of that choice. Your friend will greatly appreciate you for this, I promise.

2. "What's your deal?"

This question is borderline rude. It was meant to be polite, but that question itself, "What's your deal?" begs the idea that I'm different from you, not unique, but a different breed of human. Just be more polite about it, man. "Hey, I hope it's not personal, but why don't you [do this or that]?" Not hard at all!

3. "Oh." 

If someone opens up to you about why they don't do something, don't just say "ok" or "oh." It makes them feel like trash, like they're doing something completely wrong and your way of doing anything is right. They want to feel confident in their choices and empowered. As a friend, and just as a human, really, you must be accepting and respectful of what they choose not to do and why they choose not to do it. A simple, "I respect that" or "I get that" or "I understand that" or anything else empowering is the right way to go. You don't want to belittle someone. You want to support them and be there for them.

4. "I'll pay you" / "I dare you" 

Provoking someone with a reward on the end of the line is a basic psychology technique. It's not okay to entice someone especially when you know they have never engaged in something before and choose not to. Your enticement will lead them to regret, hate you as a friend, and will not be respectful to their choices. Rather, you will come across as ignorant and intolerant of someone else's beliefs.

5. "Why are you scared? Nothing's going to happen."

Something will happen and it will be more internal than external. You will feel guilty, hurt, and ashamed because you broke one of your own rules and mantras that you worked so hard to upkeep. Respect is key.

You're not God. You're not mystic or a fortune teller (if you believe in those). You can't say or think that nothing will happen because what if something might happen? What if they start eating meat and they get an allergic reaction? What if on their first drink of alcohol they find out they are allergic or get alcohol poisoning? It may seem like such a simple act for another to do because you do it, but unless you have a person's will to indulge in an activity and a safe space, there's no reason you should ever tell them that nothing will happen.

6. "I do it. Look at me, I'm fine." 

You are different from someone else. Your body, your style, and your personalities not similar or even comparable to someone's else. Take the case of alcohol. Someone might be a lightweight who is tall and has a lot of body mass and someone who has less body mass and is short might have a high alcohol tolerance. Point is, you don't know what's going to happen and you should not allow others to change how you stand for your morals.

When you think this quote/phrase in your head and look at your friend who isn't indulging in the behavior you indulge in, it causes harm to them because you're judging them. You're not curious because you're thinking about the ramifications they would face and what would happen to them. For you, the ramifications are nothing and that's how you see it for them, but you're forgetting their values and their beliefs. You indulge in the activity they don't indulge in and you're okay so why wouldn't someone else be, right? That's not true at all.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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