Peer Pressure

Have you ever felt the need to do something you didn’t want to, just because your friends were doing it? That they would stop talking to you or wouldn’t think you’re “cool” enough if you didn’t?


If you have, then it’s highly likely you have been under the influence of peer pressure.


Peer pressure is extremely common among teenagers.

 

We often do things we don’t want to so that we feel accepted and valued by our friends, regardless of how it may impact us, or others around.


However it is incorrect saying peer pressure only comes in negative forms. Peer pressure comes in both positive and negative disguises.


Through positive influence we may be encouraged to try new activities, engage in healthy competition, and build our character.


But, through negative influence we may feel pressured to dress or act a certain way, or do things we aren’t comfortable with, such as engaging in dangerous activities or consuming harmful substances.


Therefore, it’s important to understand the difference between being encouraged and getting pressured.

Peer pressure in negative forms can take a toll not only on one’s physical health, but mental health as well.


At first one will know that they don’t want to do something, but they won’t be able to stop because they’re scared of being left out.


However, after a certain point, a person might begin to lose their self esteem and constantly require validation and approval from others, instead of believing in themselves.


They might forget that they have their own voice and blindly follow whatever the others are doing without stopping for a second to think whether they’re doing it of their own will or not.


This can result in anxiety and depression, and them distancing themselves from people who care.

Although at the time it may feel like you have no choice, or that your ‘friends’ will leave you if you don’t go along with what they’re saying, it’s important to remember that you are your own person.


It’s essential to stand your ground and let your friends know that you aren’t comfortable with what they’re doing and that you will not engage in it.


Real friends won’t abandon you for standing up for what you believe in, and respect your choices as an equal individual.


You have your own opinions and beliefs and values that matter, and in the end it’s you who gets to decide whether you want to do something or not.


Peer pressure may be a strong force, but always remember you are stronger.



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