Your friends – your peers – are people your age or close to it and who have experiences and interests similar to yours. You and your friends make dozens of decisions every day, and you influence each other’s choices and behaviors. This is often positive – it’s human nature to listen to and learn from other people in the same age group. You may experience peer pressure as you live up to either the individual’s or group’s expectations, or follow particular fashion or trend.
Peer pressure may be a positive influence and help to challenge or motivate us to do our best. Peer pressure may also result in you being forced to do things that may go against your own personal values. Peer pressure may influence us in a number of ways, including our fashion choices, alcohol and other drug use, choice of who our friends are and academic performance. Peer pressure can affect us directly or indirectly, often when we are feeling unsure about ourselves we are more likely to feel the effects of peer pressure.
How successfully you handle peer pressure depends a great deal on how you feel about yourself. It is quite hard to resist peer pressure. Having the strength to say “no” is difficult. However, explaining to people in a calm way why you don’t want to be part of something may earn you respect from others. Sometimes you are able to tackle peer pressure because you are older or feel more comfortable. Always remember, peer pressure can only win if you let it.