As an adolescent you enter these teen years, you may begin to focus more on your peers or friends. The desire to fit in with peers can be a very strong influence on any teenager. Peers influence most aspects of a teen’s life, including how you dress, what music you listen to, and what kind of activities you may get involved in. Peer pressure can be direct or indirect, but it is almost always present. Learning to handle peer pressure helps you mature and learn positive ways to get along with others.
Peer pressure is not always bad. Good friends can encourage you to do well in school, get involved in positive activities, volunteer, eat healthy foods, and avoid drugs, alcohol, and other risky activities. Friends can also help you learn good social skills and better ways to communicate and work out problems, and give good advice.
Even pressure to do good things can be bad for teens, however, you need to learn to say NO when you need to. For instance, you may need to say no to going to a movie if you have homework that needs to be done. Always going along with what others want can cause you to have lower self esteem, and to give up things that are important to you.
Negative peer pressure is when teens feel pressured to do something they know is wrong, such as smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or stealing, or something they don’t want to do such as cutting class or having sex.
You may be tempted to give in to negative peer pressure because you want to be liked or fit in, you may even be afraid of being made fun of, or you want to try something other teens are doing. Negative peer pressure will remain a part of a teen’s life into adulthood, which is why it is important for you to learn how to deal with it.