Who Are Your Peers?
When you were a child, your parents usually chose your friends, by putting you in play groups or with children of their friends who were of the same age. Now that you are older, who you are friends with and whom you spend time with is up to you.
Your friends or your peers are people your age or close to it who have experiences and interests similar to yours. You and your friends make many decisions over the course of a day, and you influence each other choices and behaviours. It is human nature to listen to and learn from other people in your age group.
The Effects Of Peer Pressure On Teenagers Is Not Necessarily Bad
Peer pressure is when individuals in a group of friends influence others in the group to engage in an activity or behaviour that they may not otherwise partake in.
Teen years can be some tough years of one’s life. You are in the process of figuring out who you are, what you believe in, what you are good at, your place in the world and so on.
It is comforting to have friends with whom you can face these problems together. Although parents and teachers usually highlight the negative impacts of peer pressure in teenagers, peers can also positively influence each other and play important roles in each other’s lives:
- Positive examples: Peers set many good examples for each other. Peers who do well in school or other activities like sports or music can also influence you to be more goal-oriented and work hard.
- Feedback and advice: Your friends listen to you and provide you feedback as you explore new ideas and discuss problems. They can help you decide what courses to take and how to handle family arguments and problems. Your friends will be quick to warn you if they think you are making a mistake or doing something risky. They also help you get through break-ups and family issues.
- Socialization: Your group will give you opportunities to try out new social skills. You get a chance to explore new friendships, build relationships and work out differences.
- Encouragement: Peers help you work hard to get into activities you want to be a part of, like concerts or school plays; they help you study, listen and support you when you are upset or troubled.
- New experiences: Your peers may help you get involved in sports, school clubs, or religious groups. They also help you experience new things like trying sushi for the first time, listening to new bands, or offering moral support in many situations.
What is Negative Peer Pressure?
Sometimes, the stress in your life can come from your peers. They may pressure you to do something you might be uncomfortable with, like shoplifting, doing drugs or drinking, taking part in a dangerous or risky activity or having sex before you are ready.
Most of the time, peer pressure is less easy to define, like making subtle signals on how to dress or talk, behave with teachers, other students, and parents, and adopt certain attitudes towards school to win acceptance and approval. It is not an overt activity like teen bullying.
The pressure to conform can be powerful and hard to resist. A person can feel pressure to do something just because others are doing it. The effects of peer pressure on teenagers are many. It can lead to feelings of anxiety in teenagers and in severe cases may lead to teen depression. Peer pressure can influence someone to do something that is harmless or something that has more serious consequences. This is why it is important to know how to deal with peer pressure effectively and when you need to get help.
How To Deal with Peer Pressure?
Peer pressure in teenagers can range from subtle to overt, so some forms of peer pressure are easier to spot than others. Nearly everyone faces peer pressure at some point. No matter how carefully you choose your friends or how well you think you know them, you can get into a situation where you face direct or indirect peer pressure.
Talking about your feelings and setting boundaries is another way to ensure you can stay comfortable in any environment. If your boundaries are not respected, and the pressure continues, it is a sign that your environment is not a place where you are respected, and you need to rethink what company you keep.