Feeling Pressured By Others? (What to Do About Social Pressure)

Jordan Brown

Being pressured by others can create an uncomfortable feeling.

And yet it is so common.

A friend wants you to go somewhere.

Your family wants you to take a certain action.

The scenarios are limitless.

And it’s one of the quickest paths to doubt, insecurity, and anxiety.

Is this even necessary?

Unfortunately, yes.

We’re all salespeople trying to get people to do what we want.

So it’s time to learn about what we can do about this daily reality.

What Social Pressure Is (And What It Isn’t)

Are you under pressure? Then you’re human.

You’re also a song by Queen and David Bowie, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Feeling pressure — and we’re talking about social pressure — is a worldwide phenomenon. It’s when one person, or people, try to influence another person, or people.

But there’s a key element of it. It’s totally up to you whether you feel pressured or not. Much like the response to trauma, one person may feel pressured in a particular situation, whereas a different person may feel no pressure at all. This complicates things.

And so the first step in dealing with pressure from other people is to identify exactly how you are feeling.

Do you feel pressured? Is it causing you anxiety? Or is it more tangential? Are you feeling pressure because that’s what you think you should be feeling, or what you feel others want you to feel?

I realize we’ve opened a can of worms here, so let’s try to simplify it.

You are feeling social pressure when you can clearly pinpoint the source of the pressure and the resulting feelings that you are having. This is the common phenomenon we’re discussing.

So What Do You Do About Feeling Pressured?

First and foremost, get your feelings clear in your body and mind.

Ask yourself :

“What exactly is it that I’m feeling?”

Identify the source:

“What is going on that is making me feel this way? Who am I feeling pressure from?”

These are important first steps. If you can’t get this initial data clear in your body and mind, it’s going to be mighty difficult to do anything to alleviate your feelings.

Next, break down the pressure points.

What do I mean by this? I mean that most situations can be broken down into many elements. For instance, say you feel pressured by a group of people to act a certain way. Maybe you have a friend group that you enjoy spending time with but also feel frustrated when they force their opinions on you. Upon further analysis, you realize that it’s not actually the group as a whole that is making you feel bad. There is one primary culprit!

With this newfound knowledge, your response strategy changes. Rather than going up against the whole group to get them the change, maybe you can have a conversation with the ringleader, the one person who is calling most of the shots. Doing this will save you energy and time, and it will likely produce a better result in the long run.

Finally, assess your progress.

A key final step in your journey to escape social pressure is to step back and analyze your results. Once you’ve taken action to alleviate the pressure you’re under, you need to see what happened.

This is a step that most people forget.

We all have a tendency to plow forward in our lives without checking our progress. Before we know it, we’re several years and hundreds of miles in the future and we don’t even realize how much our lives have changed.

So build moments into your life to analyze the actions you took and the decisions you made. Doing this will help you get a better feel for your life — and for the pressure you’re under.

Simplify your life. Break it down into elements. This strategy we just discussed is especially useful in responding to pressure from others.

And the more you do it, the better you get at it. So give it a shot.

If it doesn’t work, tailor the approach to make it yours.

The last thing you need is pressure from a random mental health guy on the Internet.

You’re already strong enough to tackle social pressure in your life. All you have to do is acknowledge it — and make a decision to do something about it.