Peer pressure can happen at any age. Whenever a classmate, friend or anyone in your life, influences you to do something, you’re under the power of peer pressure. If you think of the word “pressure” it immediately implies impact, something that has left a lasting impression upon you and possibly your values and life goals. It can have a negative or positive impact on your life and the choices you make.
It’s easy to give in such influences because we all want to fit in, be accepted and liked. Who can’t relate to thinking “everyone is doing it so is must be OK”? We give in because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings. We don’t know how to get out of a situation so we just say “yes”. Sometimes the pressure to make certain choices comes from society or popular culture. Often we don’t even realize we are being swayed and we think, “This is my choice”. Negative peer pressure is a strong influencer and can often make us push our personal values aside.
Peer pressure can work in a positive way in our lives too. It can influence you to avoid health hazards like smoking, drug and alcohol abuse, or other unhealthy life style choices. Positive examples from your family, school, faith community can help you determine what’s important to you. Those can help you set goals for success. Kindness, love and help demonstrated to you can also induce you to be kind, loving and helpful to others.
We are ALL vulnerable to society and the world around us. Why not take some time today and assess who or what is influencing you, and whether or not those people or things are positively or negatively affecting you, your values, your goals and your personal well-being?