Negative Peer Pressure makes a person feel unaccepted by their peers who bring strong pressure to bear no matter what does ,they do, whether they want to do so or not. More often than not this turns out not to be in one’s best interest. It feels as if people don’t like us for who we are and fail to respect us. Peer pressure occurs mostly to kids and teens, but can affect anyone of any age. Most of us have been victims of peer pressure at some point in our lives. Kids want to fit in with the crowd. Kids want to be cool. Sometimes what the cool kids are doing isn’t really that cool at all and can land them in trouble at an early age. Some of these habits could be sex, drinking, drugs or even violence. Kids and young adults who are usually well behaved can fall victim to peer pressure just as easily.
The good news is we can always say “NO”. One of the easiest ways to get out of a peer induced situation is to simply say “NO” and walk away which may not feel as cool at the time, but a decision we will be thankful for at a later stage.
Take a stand for what you believe is right. Don’t go through life regretting that you let others make major decisions for you. Taking a stand is the right thing to do as it demonstrates self-respect to your peers and is one of the key components of breaking the peer pressure cycle.
We need to determine who our real friends are and which ones aren’t going to pressure us into doing stuff we don’t want to do. When we ask people who have fallen victim to peer pressure why he or she did so, one of the most common responses is: We never, ever thought that or friends would lead us down that path. We trusted them to help us make the right decision. We thought that real friends would never make us do something we didn’t feel comfortable with or involve us in something that would land us in trouble. So, be selective before making friends and careful about the people whom you choose to hang out with. If they are troublemakers you will probably end up making some of the same decisions as they do.
Another great way to combat peer pressure’s negative effects is to love yourself. If you have a high enough self-esteem you aren’t really going to feel the need to fit in as much. Studies show that people with high self-esteem almost never fall victim to bad peer pressure situations. Love yourself for who you are no matter what.
Parents can help their children combat peer pressure by teaching them at a young age why they should set limits and how to stand up for themselves. They need to make decisions based on what they want to do and not what anyone else wants them to do.