Peer Pressure

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Peer pressure is when someone tries to persuade you to do something that you may not want to do. You may be pressured to change your attitude, behaviour, values/morals, or to try something that you do not want to try, for example smoking, drugs and alcohol.

He appears to be a loyal friend

He never leaves our side.

He helps us meet new friends.

He makes us popular.

He teaches us new hobbies.

He shows us how to look cool and how to act like an adult.

He makes us feel important.

When we are with him, we're never sad or depressed.

For awhile, we're sure no one could ever replace him. He's the best friend we've ever had.

After some time the fun wears off.

He's no longer great to be with.

He's changed our whole life, turned us against our parents. We are never with our family anymore. The things we once thought were cool are no longer cool after all.

We are being something we are not.

He seems to be getting us into so much trouble. We always take the blame for the messes he gets us into. We no longer want him to be our friend.

By now it is to late. Our best friend has gotten us into the worst mess of our life. We regret the day we ever became friends. Beware, this friend is not what you think. Stay away. His name? PEER PRESSURE.

Written by Sgari Beardslee, High school junior Tuscola County.

Types of Peer Pressure

Children and teens are often pressured by people around them to do things they normally would not do. There are many ways that people are persuaded into doing things, being able to recognize what peer pressure is may help you be able to make healthy decisions in uncomfortable situations. Read the following sentences and practice saying what you would want to say in these situations. Practicing your answers when no one is around and the pressure is not on you will help you to be able to say want you want when the real situation arises.

“You must be a chicken if you don’t do it! Come on don’t be such a wimp!!”

  • Remember to act confident even if you are nervous or scared. Stand up for what you believe in.

“You’re the only one not doing it! Everybody’s doing it!”

  • Remember that just because some people are doing it doesn’t mean you have to. And remember not everyone is doing it!

“Come on try it, it’s great. Just try a little bit, you’ll see you’ll like it. You gotta try it…come on try it.”

  • Remember some people may try really hard to get you to do something you refuse to do. Stand your ground and tell them to quit wasting their breath.

“If we party with them we’ll make more friends. They are popular, we should go with them so we can be popular too.”

  • Remember that sometimes the popular group isn’t the safest group of people to hang out with. Remind your friends that just because you hang out with certain people and do want certain people do, doesn’t always make you “popular”. Be yourself. Don’t change for anyone!

“Here try this stuff, you’ll like it. And cause it’s your first time…it’s free.”

  • Remember that just because something is given to you for free, doesn’t make it a deal. Drugs are very addictive, are you willing to deal with a drug problem for the rest of your life, just because it may have been free?

“Alcohol has been around for ages, if it were so bad, people would have died off ages ago. It can’t be that bad”

  • Remember that people have died from alcohol related deaths and continue to die of alcohol related deaths. So yes it is that bad for you!

"Come on it’s just a cigarette, it’s not like were snorting drugs or anything. It’s not even against the law.”

  • Remember that smoking kills. It may not be against the law but it definitely is very unhealthy for you. There is no nutritional value to cigarettes. Everything in the cigarette is harmful to your health! So what’s the point of smoking?

Independent Thinking

Many of the techniques described can be very persuasive, especially when used by a confident-sounding person. But you can resist all of them. It may seem hard, but standing up to people and holding your ground will not only give you a feeling of empowerment, it will also earn you respect. Independent thinking (making decisions on your own without letting people talk you into things that you do not want to do) is a very positive and admirable thing.