A lot of us have the problem of not being able to boldly deny something to someone, we find it difficult to say ‘no’ when someone asks us to do something. It feels like there is an unidentified force that keeps us from rejecting! Moreover, we feel it’s bad conduct to reject someone a favor, and to be the best in the lot we ought to accept and do everything.
This might seem harsh, but the inability to reject might reflect weakness and lack of sense of individuality and dignity.
Obviously going on rejecting everything is not what this post wants you to do, but there has to be a line drawn as to what extent you must go on with agreeing and helping. In the absence of that line, there are many deadly holes that one can drag you into, maybe even that well your parents didn’t want you to jump into if your friend did.
Something to realize is, being a good person does not mean you take up every single responsibility and promise even if you can’t fulfill it- just because you don’t want to say no.
Doesn’t it absolutely annoy you when you’ve got a ton of work on your head and then your friend comes by and asks you to do something for them but you really can’t because you need to meet your own deadlines and now you said yes to them and have even more work.
Let’s take a little different view at this, what if you told your friend that no, you can’t do this because you have a lot of other work with very close deadlines? Should they force their work on you? Will they be upset with you? If they’re a true friend, no. They being a friend have the duty to understand your situation and be reasonable. Besides, who needs a friend that’s going to force their work on you despite you knowing you can’t do it, uses you and never understands you? You deserve better!
What makes you a good person is living up to all the reasonable promises you made and trying your best at helping others, in the above situation you obviously wanted to help but its understandable why you couldn’t, so that is your best! Let’s say you didn’t have that work, you were free, then saying ‘yes’ and helping them out would make sense! What do you think will hurt someone more? Making a promise knowing that you’re going to break it? or not making a promise at all (in an understandable situation)?
Note: Promise here refers to the assurance of doing someone a favor.
It appears that the inability of saying ‘no’ makes it easy for peer pressure to cause harm. When your peer might offer you the latest vape in the market or whatever, your inability of saying no is just going to make it so much easier to fall in that trap! Do you really think saying no in this situation is going to make you a bad person? Of course not!
In few situations, denying your friends requests to jump into the same bandwagon as them might cost you the friendship, but again, do you really need such a friendship?
The thing about peer pressure is, you can’t always tell when it’s happening, hence you ought to stay vigilant every single moment, examining and assessing every situation and request, knowing your self worth and being strong!
“If your friend jumps off a building, you will too?”
This is often disagreed upon by the many teenagers, and it’s understandable why because we can’t always see that we’re being pushed in the wrong path by our peers. It’s not the above mentioned statement that is relatable, but the one below.
“Hey let’s go into that building”
“Let’s explore it a bit more”
“Let’s check out the roof”
“Let’s sit near the edge”
Right about then he might jump, taking you with him, without asking you whether or not you want to jump.
Understanding the psychology of a person on why they can’t often deny someone, is that they don’t want to be guilt-tripped by the other person, they don’t want to be called out for being a coward or any other insult.
It is true that not cooperating with requests (good or bad alike) can cost you the friendship, people are scared to lose friendships no matter what, especially for an introverted person who might not have many, losing what he already has is a great fear and with that thought they keep agreeing with whatever their friends have to say in order to feel like they do belong in the pack, to avoid being secluded and avoided.
If you can relate to the above paragraph, if you feel such kind of peer pressure, you need to re-evaluate your friendships and find better people, open up to other friends, tell them about it, they should help you out and incorporate you into better friend circles, or talk it out with the very people you feel this about.
No matter how hard that is, it is definitely not impossible, and as listeners, if anyone else comes to you to vent about problems like these, it is an obligation for you to help them out and empower their inner strength so they can avoid being dragged into traps like these (notice how it’s ‘being dragged’ and not ‘falling’). If you feel you can’t do much or can’t understand them, redirect them to someone who you know has that ability.
The field of changing friend circles and adapting differently is quite wide in itself, maybe another blog post dedicated to that will do. For now, I will not mention too much about it here.
Have you ever faced such a situation? Did peer pressure drag you into a well? Were you able to get out of it and recover- stronger than ever?
Let us know of your experiences too in the comments!