Every single day, we have to make certain decisions. Some of them are unimportant for our life, like the decision to have lunch at home or in a restaurant, and some of them bear serious consequences. As we become older, these decisions can get harder. At some point, we have to decide whether we are going to start drinking alcohol, smoke, or cut classes. Making decisions in these cases depends on a lot of things, and one of the most influential factors is the involvement of other people in the process. For this reason, peer pressure is the issue that deserves specific attention. This essay is going to examine what this notion means, how it affects our lives, and what we can do to fight it.
First things first, it is necessary to discuss the notion of peer pressure. It is usually defined as the feeling one has when they decide to do something only because their peers are doing it out of the desire to fit in a social group. Thus, for example, behavior resulting from peer pressure can include numerous things, from simply wearing certain kinds of clothes or eating certain kinds of food, to smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs. Even though peer pressure affects a person negatively in most cases, sometimes it exerts a positive influence, as well. For instance, it may persuade a person to choose a certain kind of sports or to start giving money to charity, if all their friends are doing it.
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The reason why peer pressure works is quite simple. Most young people yield to it because they want to fit in with a certain social group and do what its members are doing. Besides, they do not want others to mock them if they look or behave differently.
It is hard to avoid giving in to peer pressure, particularly in case the person does not see anyone else saying no to it. However, if one is self-confident and strong as an individual, they can resist it and make different decisions. To learn to avoid peer pressure, it is advised to always listen to one’s own intuition and think what is better for oneself, not for others. In case any discomfort occurs when one is thinking of doing something, they should not blindly follow the social group’s norms. For this reason, the people who feel the negative pressure of their peers should stop communicating with these people and find the friends, who will have similar values and behavior styles.
Parents and teachers always tell us that we should choose our friends carefully. It is good advice because having friends who share one’s beliefs and make wise decisions is extremely important. We all face peer pressure at some points of our lives, especially in the teen years, and it can be hard to deal with it, in case we choose other kinds of people to communicate with. Therefore, we need to develop our courage and self-confidence to understand what is right or wrong for us.