Peer Pressure

November 17, 2007
Peer pressure is when we feel compelled to act a particular way because we have a desire to fit in and be accepted by others or being pushed toward a certain choice (positive or negative) by someone our age. . There is nobody that wants to be talked about or laughed at. But, regretfully, we lose focus of who we truly are sometimes because it becomes more significant to us to fit in with those around us.

Sometimes the pressure that we feel involves insignificant things, like being considered cool or dressing fashionable. We feel like we have to do things other do and say things others say. Like starting to drink because everyone does it, or maybe one of our friends is doing something illegal or something we know is not right; but we do it anyways because we don’t want them to think we are scared. At that moment all that seems to be important to us is what they think of us, but later we regret the choice that we made; because of that we might get caught and be send to jail, or an intuition, just because we wanted to fit in; peer pressure often makes people to take risks and put their life on the line.

So why do we give into negative peer pressure? Sometimes it is to show that we are independent. Others may go along because they are curious to try something new that other people around them are doing. The idea that everyone else is doing it, influence some of us to leave our better judgment, or common sense. And most of the time we give in because, we don’t want to be made fun of or talked about, by not doing what others are doing. We also do it because we are afraid of being rejected by others or because we aren’t sure of ourselves. Also we do it because we don’t want to loose a friendship, or we want to be liked by everyone. Those who give in to peer pressure have low self-esteem, uncertainty of themselves, and don’t have a sense of self worth.

The people whom we associate with impact us greatly; and when we mingle with negative people, they influence us negatively. We must try to avoid the kind of people that has a downbeat view of life, because they will pressure us in a negative way.
By giving in it makes us feel like we belong and that we are not different from our peers.

Sometimes peer pressure is not just bad it is also good. What we have to do is to learn to tell the difference between positive and negative pressures. It is ok sometimes to follow the crowd but we have to have recognition of when it does us more harm than good. Good peer pressure is being pushed into something that didn’t cross our minds or we didn’t have the courage to do; and as we think about it seemed like a good idea and with good intentions, or it is being urged by our friends, with worthy intentions for our best interest, into something positive, that didn’t cross our minds or we didn’t nave the courage to do. Our friends can pressure us into something that will improve our health and social life, and also make us feel good about the decisions we make. Unlike bad peer pressure, it won’t harm us. If we feel uncomfortable about doing something or we know it is wrong then it is not a positive peer pressure. We must know how to say no, and not be influenced by all the negativity of those around us.

We all face peer pressure sooner of later; but how successful we handle it depends greatly on how we feel about ourselves, because sometimes our personality trait may make us more prone to giving in.

Peer pressure can be both good and bad, it is how we respond to it that shows us what kind of person we are. Weather we are leaders or just followers. Even with some of the consequences we still tend crave the approval of those around us and worry about rejection. But if we associate with positive people, believe in ourselves, know who we are and have a sense of self-worth; we will be less likely to give in to peer pressure.

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