People, who are your age, like friends and classmates are called peers.
Peer pressure is the stress or strain you feel from your peers to act, behave, think and look a certain way.
When you are young and still trying to understand the world around you, making decisions by yourself is hard enough; but when other people get involved and try to pressure and influence you into doing something, it gets even harder!
It’s something everyone deals with at some point – even grownups!
Not at all! Without you realizing it, peers influence your life, just by spending time with you.
You discover some things from them, and they from you. It is human nature, to listen and learn from other people in your age group.
Peers can and do have a positive influence on each other. Some good examples of positive influence are; a classmate teaches you an easy way to remember the Urdu chapter you are stuck on, you teach someone how to correct their pronunciation, someone on the cricket team shows you how to play a googly, you admire a friend who is always telling jokes and you try to be more like him/her, you convince a friend to skip a party to prepare for an exam the next day, you get others excited about the latest pop song – and now everyone’s humming it!
Sometimes peers influence each other in negative ways. Consider the following examples – you don’t know the latest trends in fashion or the gossip on popular celebrities and are ridiculed for being out of the loop, you read the Urdu paper and get teased for being so-not-“cool”, you hear so many snide remarks for not having the latest model of the mobile phone that you feel compelled to go out and buy one.
Smoking is dangerous for health – you know that, but still go against your instinct and start smoking so you fit in the crowd. You know you shouldn’t cut class but find yourself going along just because your best friends are doing it or you become a bully in a group though you know it’s wrong.
We all want to be liked. That is a basic human nature. Nobody wants to be labelled a ‘bore’, ‘nerd’, ‘loser’ or a ‘weirdo’. But to leave your better judgment and common sense behind and go do something that deep down you ‘know’ you don’t want to do is bad news.
It sure is! Remember friends worth their salt will respect your wishes and never try to force you to do anything you don’t want to. It is tough to be the only one who says “no” to peer pressure, but you can do it. You will be pleasantly surprised to see how tough and strong you will feel. Here are a few tips:
You’ve probably heard advice that you should “choose your friends wisely.” Peer pressure is a big reason why they say this. If you choose friends who don’t use drugs, bunk school, smoke, or lie to their parents, then you probably won’t do these things either, even if others do.
We all make mistakes at some point in our lives. It is important to realize our mistakes and learn from them for the future. Talking to your parents or maybe a teacher at school whom you can trust, can help you feel much better and prepare you for the next time you face peer pressure.
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