There’s just so much to be dealing with these days thanks to the coronavirus – we won’t start listing because it will just go on and on! On top of everything else you might also be trying to handle friends ignoring COVID restrictions and the pressure that can come from friendships. You’re not alone with this issue.
Grab a cup of tea and let’s have a good chat about it…
We’ve spoken about peer pressure before and how to deal with it, but we never could have imagined that a source of peer pressure in 2021 would be if you should meet up with your friends or not.
On the outside it seems innocent; we’re social creatures, we need others around us. And now we’re being told to stay away from family and friends. It just doesn’t feel normal.
But we’re not in normal times. Hugging a friend, hanging in a big group, getting dressed up to attend a house party, clambering together for a selfie all now pose a serious risk to your health and others. And yet people are continuing to do it…
Now getting a text to see if you want to hang with the gang in the park feels like a loaded choice; the pressure to conform and be accepted still looming like it was 2019, but things are not how the were.
You Don’t Have To Follow The Crowd
If we all had a euro for every time we’ve been told by adults “If so-and-so jumped off a bridge would you do it too?”
But there is a very valid point hidden in the eye-roll worthy statement; just because others are breaking restrictions, it doesn’t mean that you should either. It’s not a free-pass system.
We get it, there’s a need and a want to fit in, to not have FOMO, to not rock the boat with friends incase they ditch you, but just because your friends are ignoring COVID restrictions doesn’t mean that you have to as well.
It may seem innocent and harmless, but we’ve now seen three times how easy it is for COVID-19 to take hold in Ireland.
And you’re not a bad person for wanting to see your friends and family, but if it doesn’t feel right and if you know it’s going against guidelines, you shouldn’t be doing it.
There comes a point in life were you have to have some personal responsibility for your actions and for you the time is now, whether you’re ready for that or not.
Real Friends Respect Your Decisions
In the words of Albus Dumbledore;
“There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
It’s hard to stand up for your beliefs and opinions, especially to friends. But if they are your friends they will respect your decision and they will also see you as an example.
Words like dry, boring, no fun are not a reflection on you, but on the people saying them. And usually they stem from their own insecurities and frustrations that you have the strength to voice what you don’t want to do.
Dealing with the complexities of friendship is something we navigate our whole lives. Drifting from friends is quite common, with one of the main reasons usually being that you start to realise that they mightn’t have the same values as you.
Seeing how some people in your life have dealt with COVID might have been an eye-opening experience for you. And that’s ok. You don’t need to scream at them that they’re a terrible person, but if you feel like you need to take a step back from them, do.
It Comes Down To Right And Wrong
It’s great that we are finally starting to move out of Lockdown, but we still have to be cautious. Meet up with your friends, but wear a mask, keep to a 2 meter distance and keep your contacts low.
This is a global health emergency, peoples lives and businesses are on the line. It’s not just a question of pushing the boundaries as a teen, it does come down to a right or wrong.
Is it fair that this burden is being put on young people? No, but it’s not fair that it’s been put on everyone, but we still have to make scarifies.
If your friends want to ignore COVID restrictions you just have to draw a line in it and left them off. In an ideal world they would be as mature and considerate as you. They will have to face the consequences of their actions. But you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that you did everything in your power to try stop the spread of COVID.
It takes a lot to stand up and do the right thing.
Have you been feeling pressure by friends to break restrictions? Let us know over on our Instagram.