What is peer pressure? It is the influence of your friends or a single person to do something you do not really want to do.
In the teen years, it is common to want to be a part of something, like a group of friends or the "cool kids"
Peer pressure can happen to anyone, more often than none it happens to young people who do not want to feel left out. Teens may decide to do what others are doing just so that they include them.
If you’re dealing with peer pressure, you’re not alone.
How does peer pressure affect us?
Peer pressure doesn't always have to be a bad thing. It can be influence in a positive way, like a friend encouraging you to study hard for a test, or a character on a TV series motivating teens to pick up litter. But you need to know that peer pressure can also be negative.
Peer pressure might influence you in a number of ways, including:
- Fashion choices
- Alcohol and drug use
- Decision to have a boyfriend or girlfriend
- Choice of who your friends are
- Academic performance
Peer pressure is often seen at school or in communities. It affects people of all ages, from young children and teens to even parents and teachers! Peer pressure can affect you in different ways:
Directly. Peer pressure can be as simple and direct as someone telling you what to do. It might be a good idea to talk to someone you trust if you feel threatened, or if you are being hurt or pressured into something you don’t want to do. You could talk to a family member, friend, teacher or counselor. Check out the NICRO Get Help section for more information about how they can help.
Indirectly. Peer pressure might not always be obvious to you. It’s not uncommon for a group of friends to have particular habits or activities that they do together. But when you’re with a different group of friends, it might be unlikely that you do those same things. For example, you might only smoke when you are with certain friends, or you might be more likely to study when you are with other friends.
Individually. Sometimes the pressure comes from you. Feeling different from a group can be hard. Sometimes this happens when people move to a new city or start a new school or job. This often means having to make new friends and fit into a new environment. To avoid feeling out of place, you might do things to make sure you feel like the rest of the group. When people feel unsure about themselves, they might be more likely to feel the effects of peer pressure.
What can you do about peer pressure?
Value common interests.
Try to hang out with pole who like the same things as you do, this way you cannot be influenced or pressured into doing something you don't want to do. Being part of the "cool crowd" may not be as cool as you may think!
Be strong, take a deep breath and say no! It may be hard at that moment and people may tease you, but in the end you are the better person for sticking to what you believe in.
Try not to judge others.
If possible, try not to place judgments on other people’s choices. Respecting someone else’s choice may help them to respect yours. Remember that you don’t have to agree with their actions. Focusing on the reasons why you don’t feel happy with the choice might help you to not judge them.
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