"People! Come on! All of us are cutting history. Who wants to go take that stupid exam? We're going to BreadSticks instead. Let's go!" says the coolest kid in your class. Do you do what you know is right and go take the history exam? Or do you give in and go with the crowd? As you grow older, you'll be faced with some challenging decisions. Some don't have a clear right or wrong answer - should you practice the piano or text your girlfriend? Other decisions involve serious moral questions - should you cut class, should you lie to your parents? Making decisions on your own is hard enough, but when other people get involved and pressure you to make a certain choice, it can be much harder.
What is peer pressure? Peer pressure is the influence of a social group on an individual. It is one thing that all teens have in common. You can't escape it. It is everywhere. No matter how popular you are or how together you feel, sooner or later you will have to face peer pressure. Teenagers feel social pressure to conform to the group of peers with whom they socialize. This can influence how you dress, what kind of music you listen to, and what types of behavior you engage in, including risky behaviors such as using drugs, cigarettes, and alcohol, and engaging in sex. The intensity and kind of influence of peer pressure differs from situation to situation.
Peers can have a positive influence on each other. They can and do act as positive role models and demonstrate appropriate social behaviors. You might admire a friend who is always a good sport and try to be more like him or her. The ability to develop healthy friendships and peer relationships depends on a t...
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...le who feel the same way you do. Stupid as it may sound blame your parents. Here is an example. ?Are you kidding? If my mom found out, she'd kill me, and her spies are everywhere." It's not always easy to resist negative peer pressure, but when you do, it is easy to feel good about it afterwards. And you may even be a positive influence on your peers who feel the same way often times it just takes one person to speak out or take a different action to change a situation. Your friends may follow if you have the courage to do something different or refuse to go along with the group.
Peer pressure only works if you let it. If you refuse to let it intimidate you it loses its power. The secret is to assert you without becoming self-righteous. Stand your ground but refrain from standing on a soap box or a seesaw. Remember, peer pressure can only bite you if you let it.
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