By Zoe Mbasa
You are not alone if you feel like you are being pressured to conform to the norms of those around you, even as an adult. A survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2017 found that 75% of adults report experiencing peer pressure in their personal and professional lives.
According to Sabrina Agasha, the host of the No Filter show on NBS TV, the pressure to conform can be subtle as adults, but it can be just as challenging to overcome as the peer pressure we faced in our teenage years.
So how do we overcome adult peer pressure and maintain our sense of individuality?
It starts with recognising when we are experiencing peer pressure and communicating our boundaries, according to Florence Qitui.
Qitui continues to explain that, “This can involve letting others know where one stands on certain issues or behavioUr, like declining an invitation to a bar if you don’t drink alcohol. By communicating our boundaries, we establish mutual respect and understanding with those around us.”
Another way to overcome adult peer pressure is to seek out like-minded individuals. Hatmah Nalugwa Ssekaya advises that people should join clubs, organisations, or social groups that align with their values and interests. She asserts that this can be a great way to meet new people who share our values.
“Surrounding yourself with individuals who share our values and interests can reduce the pressure to conform to the norms of others,” she adds.
It’s important to remember that it’s okay to say NO. “Saying no can be difficult, especially when we want to please others or fit in with a group,” Sabrina says.
Learning to say NO can be incredibly empowering. Sabrina continues, “Saying no to things that don’t align with our values or make us uncomfortable can help us to maintain our sense of individuality and self-respect”.
Understanding adult peer pressure is a real and common issue that affects many of us. It’s also important to remember that we all have the right to make our own choices and live our lives according to our values and by so doing, we can have fulfilling lives that help us be true to ourselves.
The No Filter show runs every Saturday at 8:00 pm on NBS Television and you can be part of the show as a guest or by joining the conversation via #NBSNoFilter.