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Essay on Peer Pressure

What are the Best Ways of Dealing with Peer Pressure?

As people age, virtually everyone finds themselves facing challenging decisions, and the solutions are not always clear-cut. Some decisions have relatively little consequences e.g. where someone is deciding whether to learn one or other sport. The consequences of other types of decisions, however, have much greater impact e.g. if someone is trying to decide whether to smoke or not or whether to drink alcohol while still under age. As they are, decisions like these can be sufficiently difficult, but choosing correctly can be a lot more complex if other people become involved or try to sway you in one direction or the other. It is for this reason that peer pressure is a really big deal. This essays looks at what is meant by peer pressure, why it is so important, and how to fight it.

In the first place, it is vital to understand what exactly is meant by peer pressure. ChildLine, which is a children’s charity, define the problem as feeling that you ought to do some particular thing because similar-aged people as you (your peers) do it and you feel a certain pressure to fit in with everyone else. This pressure can mean simple things such as wearing the same brand or style of clothes as others or it can extend to more serious matters such as bullying someone, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, taking certain drugs, or engaging in sexual activity. In most cases, excessive pressure from peers can generate negative feelings, but its influences can be positive too. Peer pressure can, for instance, lead a person into taking part in a worthwhile activity or to not smoking because no one else in a group is a smoker.   

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A huge issue associated with peer pressure is the number of young people it affects and the large number that give in because of their in-build need to fit in with those they are surrounded by. Many worry too that they will be made fun of or ridiculed if they do not join in with whatever activities everyone else is preoccupied with. Too often, this leads youngsters to ignore their better instincts and use very bad judgment to do something they feel is inherently wrong.   

Undoubtedly, it is not easy to resist peer pressure or walk away, particularly if friends are unwilling to support your resistance. If one has sufficient inner strength and is confident enough in themselves, it is possible to say no and make the right choice. Listening to your own instinct or judgment is important. If certain pressures make you feel uncomfortable, then you know already that thing is not right. Therefore, you should heed your heart and resist. Quite often too, if one person in a peer group is sufficiently brave to resist, other people will follow that person’s lead. Anyone with friends who often try to back them into certain situations is best to give up these friends. It is possible your teachers and parents have urged you to choose friends carefully, advice that is very good indeed. Seek the friendship of those who have the same beliefs and moral outlook as yourself and they will respect your decisions.

To conclude, most young people face a certain amount of peer pressure as they grow up. There is no doubt that dealing with this pressure is extremely difficult, but anyone who can find the backbone to stand up will both prevent themselves making unwise decisions and their lead may give sufficient courage to others to also resist. 

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