No matter what age, everyone may face the pressure to fit in. This pressure is strongly felt by teenagers because nobody wants to feel out of place.
Peer pressure finds its way and affects all the decisions that teenagers have to make. There are things that teenagers need to learn which can help them to deal with peer pressure.
Sometimes, you may not be aware that you are already experiencing peer pressure. When people are aware that you are trying to fit in, they will use this opportunity to make you do something that you do not have to do.
Understanding Peer Pressure
The people who you hang out with and who are close to your age are your peer groups. They may be funky dudes and you feel like you really want to be like them as well in order for them to accept you.
Your peer groups can be those people in the same school as you or also from your neighborhood. They can also be those people you play with or just your friends for a long time.
Peer pressure comes in when you feel like you must do something even if you actually do not want to do it. You want to do something in order to fit in or just be as cool as them. Those people may try to convince you to do something, saying: “Don’t be a chicken” or “Come on don’t be weak”.
Peer pressure is also when you try to change yourself, your appearance and the way you dress just so no one can tease you or you just want to fit it.
Some examples of peer pressure are:
- Trying alcohol, smoke or other things that are not good for your health.
- Cutting classes which can lead to problems at school and with your parents.
- Bullying other people just to please your friends.
- Wearing the clothes you think are right even if your parents do not want you to wear those.
- Dieting or doing body building as much as you can just to get the people around you to like you.
Ways To Deal With Peer Pressure
Dealing with peer pressure can be different for all of us. Here are some ways that you can consider:
Be true to yourself
You need to keep in your mind that you can also make your own decisions. Your own choices do not depend on what others think about you.
Your real friends will like you and will stay with you for who you are. If they don’t, they are not worth keeping. Think about the result of what they want you to do. Is this for your own good or for their advantage?
What can they get for pressuring you to do something that you do not want to do? If they are forcing you to study, that’s great. But if they are forcing you to drink alcohol or smoke just to have “fun”, then you better think twice.
Learn how to say no
When they want to do something, always make sure that you also consider yourself and that you think about it carefully. For instance, you have homework and your friends want to stroll in the mall. If you really feel that you want to go home to finish your homework instead of walking around the mall, learn how to say no.
Hang out with different people
This way, you will know which people are actually good influence on you. You might also find some groups who have the same interests as you. You’ll definitely find a group where you belong. You’ll know when they are bringing out the best in you and not the worst.
Support from Peers
Some peer pressure can also be positive. This is when they want you to improve your abilities and make your own choices. Here are some ways that peer pressure can be a good influence:
- They introduce you to positive things such as new good friends, movies, music and interests.
- They let you get involved with positive groups such as youth group, music group, drama club, sports team or church.
- They help you to make good choices and they let you decide for your own as well.