Peer pressure is direct influence on people by peers, or an individual who gets encouraged to follow their peers by changing their attitudes, values, or behaviors to conform to those of the influencing group or individual. Our peer group values and attitudes influence, more strongly than do family values. Adolescence is the time when a person is most susceptible to peer pressure because peers become an important influence on behavior during adolescence, and peer pressure has been called a hallmark of adolescent experience. They are an important influence in adolescence and sometimes it's natural to behave in certain ways just to fit in.
Some teens give into peer pressure because:
- To gain a sense of belongingness - They want to be liked and appreciated and be part of the group
- Fear of standing out - they worry that others might make fun of them if they don't go along with the group
- Experimenting -they are curious to try something new that others are doing.
Peer pressure in young people is most pronounced with respect to style, taste, appearance, ideology, and values Adolescents might take up activities like drinking, smoking, drug use, dating in order to be accepted. In the process we may lose our self and forget that we are the best version of ourselves. Peer pressure can also have positive effects when youth leading toward positive behavior and altruistic acts, such as volunteering for charity or excelling in academics.
We can reduce the negative effects of peer pressure by:
- Understanding that we are unique
- Being firm yet polite to our peers when we do not want to partake in a specific activity.
- Having clarity of our own core values and beliefs,
- Self-confidence building
- Choosing friends wisely
- Confiding in to a trusted adult