Peer Pressure: Why and How to Avoid

Peer pressure is something that involves each and every child and can start at a shockingly young age. Many relate peer pressure to being an issue that mostly affects teens however it is a growing concern for all age groups. Starting as early as daycare, peer pressure can affect all age groups to varying degrees of concern. What is it that causes people to give into peer pressure? The general need to fit in is usually why people succumb. They want to be liked and they want to be accepted by their peers. Often in a school setting individuals will cave into peer pressure so that they can be part of the popular crowd or so that they can be deemed “cool.” Whatever the reasons, the results are usually the same. A person will give in to peer pressure and will end up doing something that is against their moral beliefs or outside of the their comfort level. Usually this will conclude with negative results.

So what can one do to avoid peer pressure? Experts say that peer pressure can be avoided when an individual is comfortable and confident in knowing what they think is right. For example, if you believe it is wrong to smoke cigarettes and you are completely comfortable with that fact it is not likely that others will be able to talk you into smoking a cigarette. If they tried to get you to do this you would simply say, “no thanks, I don’t like the smell of cigarettes and I know how bad they are for my health”. Once the individuals that were trying to get you to smoke the cigarette realize that you feel confident in your decision they will give up on trying to convince you. If they are true friends, they will continue to be your friend after the fact.

Unfortunately some peer pressure situations aren’t so cut and dry. Perhaps it is a situation where you are on the fence about something. For example, if you have often thought of trying to smoke a cigarette and have been intrigued by the idea in the past. Quite possibly you know that it is bad for your health and you know that your parents have told you not to do it but you have that sense of curiosity. In the case of peer pressure you would have one individual or even a group of people that are encouraging you and trying to convince you to smoke. This is when relying on your own good judgment and considering what the outcome could be if you give into the peer pressure. If you take time to weigh out the situation you will be able to conclude that smoking the cigarette because your friends are coaxing you to do it will not be worth the outcome. When you are able to make the decision and stand up for what you believe in, your confidence level is sure to soar. When you are confident you are better able to make your own decisions and you will certainly earn the respect of your peers at that point.

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