Human beings are social creatures. We crave the companionship of other people. Sometimes this can lead to problems if the people around you are pressuring you to do things you are not comfortable with. Peer pressure can particularly be a problem for teenagers. Peer pressure is something you feel when you are pushed to do something by friends, schoolmates, neighbors, coworkers, etc. in order to make you feel like you are part of a group.
Sometimes this is harmless or even helpful if it is something like getting good grades or helping a charity. However, it can also be harmful if it is something that goes against your nature or makes you feel uncomfortable or unhappy. It could even be something that puts you or others in danger. It is hard to fight peer pressure because doing so could result in your rejection from the group, and our nature tells us that being social is very important. Working as a community has helped the human race evolve and survive.
Of you feel that you are experiencing negative peer pressure, there are certain things you can do to handle it. First and foremost, is to know yourself. Think about what you like and don’t like, what you think is right and wrong, how you feel about different issues. Try and dig deep and really be honest with yourself. Decide what matters to you. You can even write about these things. Make lists and keep a diary. Keep these writings. Rereading them if you are having trouble making a decision can help.
Through getting to know yourself, you can develop your own interests without outside influences. That way you know what is important to you and what you like to do without worrying that someone else’s opinions were influencing yours.
Friends are important, but so is family. Make sure to spend time with your family, especially the parents out there. Spending time with your kids can help them make better decisions and fight peer pressure. If family time has helped them develop strong morals and a sense of right and wrong, they will not succumb to peer pressure so easily. And while kids might rebel against rules and boundaries, they are necessary and if they are logical and understandable, they will help your children stand up against peer pressure.
Kids, believe it or not, it is OK to introduce your friends to your parents. Yes, they might be a little embarrassing, but they really want what is best for you. They see more than you realize, and might see problems with your friends before you do.
There is a balance that needs to be met though, and parents, you need to understand that your involvement in your children’s social life should be limited. Other children’s behavior is not your responsibility, just your child’s.
If you are having trouble with peer pressure, may be you need to check out finding new friends. Talk to your parents or teachers or other people outside of the situation for advice. Mostly, know yourself. If a situation makes you feel bad, then it is probably something you should remove yourself from as soon as possible.