Feeling the Pressure

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The youth from Auckland, New Zealand had discussions on peer pressure during one of their Young People’s Meetings. The following points are the combined thoughts of the three groups that took part. The questions that prompted these thoughts were based on What, When, Where, Why, and How.

What is Pressure?
  • A force
  • An influence
  • Something hard to resist
What is a Peer?
  • A friend
  • People in a group you spend time with
  • An acquaintance
  • School or work mates

By putting the two together, what do you get?

  • Pressure from someone you spend time with who might, or might not be, your friend.

What sort of pressure could you get from your peers?

  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual
  • Physical (as a result of mental)
  • Generally Negative
  • Where would you be likely to fi nd peer pressure?
  • School
  • Home or Family
  • Workplaces
  • Neighbours
  • Church

How could your peers pressure you?

  • Emotional blackmail
  • Ignoring you
  • Bullying
  • Threats
  • False statements about you
  • If you agree… you’ll be part of our
  • group…
  • Make you feel stupid

Why would your peers want to pressure you?

  • They might feel that you are better
  • than they are
  • They want to feel that they have power
  • over you
  • Jealousy
  • Testing you to see if you are strong for
  • what you believe

What are some situations in which peer pressure could happen to you or your friends?

  • Skipping classes to be cool
  • Your peers might try to make you feel old fashioned because of what you wear or do
  • Your peers want you to go with them to some place that you’re not sure is good, so they pressure you and you go along with it just this once, so you don’t feel left out or look strange
  • Mob mentality
  • You have to act tough to be a part of the cool group

How should you respond to peer pressure and what would you do when you have to deal with it?

  • Kyle – Think before you act. How will it affect my future life? It doesn’t matter how bad you feel at the time.
  • Hiko – Stop being friends with people who are trying to pressure you.
  • Taye – Depends on the situation. Compare with the Bible and respond with patience. Move away if the influence is too strong.
  • Aman – Your decision can influence others. Say no, and encourage them to do the right thing, otherwise, say goodbye.
  • Nathanael – Do the right thing. Ask what would Jesus do?
  • Vicky – If in doubt, keep out.
  • Kaylene – Have the courage to say no. People only exert peer pressure when they are confident they can control you. If they realize you won’t give in, they will give up.
  • George – Respond in a responsible way. No!
  • Sandra – Must be pleasing to God first. Give a reason why you can’t or won’t.
  • Alyssia – I need to ask my mum and dad first.
  • Joe – Obey God rather than man.
  • Amane – Respond with 1 Cor. 10:31 “Do all to the glory of God.”
  • Ben – WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) – Would He be unfriendly? Would He do these things?
  • Christine – Send a prayer up to the Lord for strength to help me respond in the right way.
  • Amy – No Way! Walk away.
  • Anni, Burtukan, Caleb, Habib, Csongi, Cameron, Elmarie, Lizy – Just say no! Be consistent. Stand firmly for what you believe.  Explain why you are not going to comply. Avoid situations where you will meet peer pressure. Keep silent – walk away. Pray about it. Be obedient to principles. Obey the golden rule. Don’t judge. Confront the situation.

“Weak, pliable, easily led,many men and women fail utterly of becoming whatGod desires them to be.Those who are destitute of decision of character cannot make a success of the daily work of overcoming.”Counsels on Diet & Foods, p. 165