why do we give into peer pressure

"Come on! ALL of us are cutting math. Who wants to go take that quiz? We're going to take a walk and get lunch instead. Let's go! " says the coolest kid in your class. Do you do what you
know is right and go to math class, quiz and all? Or do you give in and go with them? As you grow older, you'll be faced with some challenging decisions. Some don't have a clear right or wrong answer like should you play soccer or field hockey? Other decisions involve serious moral questions, like whether to cut class, try, or lie to your parents. Making decisions on your own is hard enough, but when other people get involved and try to pressure you one way or another it can be even harder. People who are your age, like your classmates, are called peers. When they try to influence how you act, to get you to do something, it's called peer pressure. It's something everyone has to deal with even adults. Let's talk about how to handle it. Peers influence your life, even if you don't realize it, just by spending time with you. You learn from them, and they learn from you. It's only human nature to listen to and learn from other people in your age group. Peers can have a positive influence on each other. Maybe another student in your science class taught you an easy way to remember the planets in the solar system or someone on the soccer team taught you a cool trick with the ball. You might admire a friend who is always a good sport and try to be more like him or her. Maybe you got others excited about your new favorite book, and now everyone's reading it. These are examples of how peers positively influence each other every day. Sometimes peers influence each other in negative ways. For example, a few kids in school might try to get you to cut class with them, your soccer friend might try to convince you to be mean to another player and never pass her the ball, or a kid in the neighborhood might want you to with him. Why Do People Give in to Peer Pressure? Some kids give in to peer pressure because they want to be liked, to fit in, or because they worry that other kids might make fun of them if they don't go along with the group.

Others go along because they are curious to try something new that others are doing. The idea that "everyone's doing it" can influence some kids to leave their better judgment, or their common sense, behind. It is tough to be the only one who says "no" to peer pressure, but you can do it. Paying attention to your own feelings and beliefs about what is right and wrong can help you know the right thing to do. Inner strength and self-confidence can help you stand firm, walk away, and resist doing something when you know better. It can really help to have at least one other peer, or friend, who is willing to say "no," too. This takes a lot of the power out of peer pressure and makes it much easier to resist. It's great to have friends with values similar to yours who will back you up when you don't want to do something. You've probably had a parent or teacher advise you to "choose your friends wisely. " Peer pressure is a big reason why they say this. If you choose friends who don't use, cut class, smoke cigarettes, or lie to their parents, then you probably won't do these things either, even if other kids do. Try to help a friend who's having trouble resisting peer pressure. It can be powerful for one kid to join another by simply saying, "I'm with you let's go. " Even if you're faced with peer pressure while you're alone, there are still things you can do. You can simply stay away from peers who pressure you to do stuff you know is wrong. You can tell them "no" and walk away. Better yet, find other friends and classmates to pal around with. If you continue to face peer pressure and you're finding it difficult to handle, to someone you trust. Don't feel guilty if you've made a mistake or two. Talking to a parent, teacher, or school counselor can help you feel much better and prepare you for the next time you face peer pressure. Powerful, Positive Peer Pressure Peer pressure is not always a bad thing.

For example, positive peer pressure can be used to pressure into acting better toward other kids. If enough kids get together, peers can pressure each other into doing what's right! Peer pressure is the feeling that people get from their friends to conform or behave in a certain way. A person s friends may dress a certain way, comb their hair in a particular style, and have certain ideas about music and movies. Some teenagers may not share these opinions or adopt these fashions, but they may feel that they should. They may be feeling peer pressure and may think that to fit in they would have to adopt similar values, beliefs, and goals or participate in the same activities as their friends. Peer pressure can affect people of all ages. A 4-year-old who begs for a toy because her friends all have it is experiencing peer pressure. An adult who buys a luxury car because others in the neighborhood have luxury cars is responding to peer pressure. Peer pressure, in itself, is neither good nor bad. It can encourage a person to study hard and get good grades or to skip school, get drunk, or smoke cigarettes. Peer pressure plays a particularly large role in the lives of teenagers. In adolescence young people begin to break away from their families and try out different roles and situations to figure out who they are and where they fit into the world. They spend more time with their friends and less time with their families. This is a normal, healthy stage of development, but the growing distance between parents and their children and the increasing importance of friends can be a source of conflict and anger within the family. The desire to feel accepted and to fit in is one of the strongest forces in adolescence. It can lead teens to do things that they know are wrong, dangerous, or risky. On the positive side, pressure to keep up with the peer group can also inspire teens to achieve goals that they might never aim for on their own.

Why Do People Respond to Peer Pressure? How much a person is influenced by peer pressure depends on many factors. People are less likely to be heavily influenced by their friends and more likely to make their own decisions if they have: strong connections to family and community. are experiencing problems in their family, such as divorce, alcoholism, drug addiction, or unemployment are afraid of not belonging or fitting in. How Can People Avoid Negative Peer Pressure? Just say no has become a slogan sometimes used to tell youngsters how to respond when they feel pressure to drink or smoke or engage in a harmful activity. Is it a useful strategy to avoid peer pressure? It may be overly simplistic to expect people to reject peer pressure to participate in risky, dangerous, or hurtful behaviors simply by saying no. Different strategies work for different people, but some commonly successful strategies are: getting help from a trusted adult (for example, a coach, counselor, or family member). Social psychologists have studied peer pressure, examining how it can influence people to change their minds to go along with other s opinions. In one study, people consistently changed their answers from what they knew was a correct response to an incorrect response, just because others (who were part of the experiment) gave an incorrect answer. Experiments like these have also shown that people are more likely to stand their ground about what they know is right and stick to their original answers if just one other person joins or agrees with them. Such studies demonstrate that people can more easily resist peer pressure together, and gives new meaning to the conventional wisdom that the friends a person chooses really do matter. The best way for teens, or for that matter people of all ages, to make peer pressure a positive rather than a negative force is to select friends whose values, goals, ambitions, habits, and behaviors they admire and believe are constructive.

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