In other words, peer pressure influences you to try and fit in. You need to remember that these influences are powerful and are often subconscious. Although fitting in is one of the main sources, there are also others such as high expectations from friends. Ask for advice or support from a parent or other trusted family member, a clergy person, a mentor, or a counselor if you need it. Stand up for others when you see them being pressured.
We want our children to have meaningful and healthy relationships both in personal and work settings throughout their lives. We prepare them for this when we are loving, supportive and have open communication in our homes. But adolescence is when our teens expand their relationships beyond our homes. And this is a critical developmental step towards becoming an independent adult. As teens navigate peer culture, parents play an important role in preparing them with the social skills needed to make their own smart choices and avoid peer pressure. Most teens begin to reconfigure their relationship with authority almost immediately upon reaching puberty, seeking advice and approval less from adults and more to peers. This is a normal part of adolescent development and signals a healthy move toward independence.
Direct vs. Indirect Peer Pressure
You can also get a recommendation from your physician or a friend.A therapist can help you learn to express how to deal with peer pressure your feelings better and build your confidence. Avoid places and situations that make you uncomfortable.
How does peer pressure affect a teenager?
Peer pressure can broadly impact a teen’s mental health. It may decrease their self-confidence, affect their performance in the classroom, distance them from family and well-wishers, and increase their chances of developing anxiety and depression. Untreated anxiety and depression may also lead to thoughts of self-harm or even suicide (5).
They are exploring the world around them, putting their friends first, and testing the limits their parents place before them. It’s not family; it’s friends that are most meaningful for teens.
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Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She’s also a psychotherapist, an international bestselling author of books on mental strength and host of The Verywell Mind Podcast.
It’s ok to give excuses to avoid making decisions that you may feel are not right for you. As a result of this built-in reward pathway, individuals may feel coerced into taking risky actions that they would otherwise avoid. However, science is discovering that there may be more at play within the brain that exposes us to specific influences. Knowing how to deal with peer pressure, experts say, comes with time and development. When dealing with peer pressure, start by choosing friends who won’t pressure you do things. Your friends should accept you for who you are without wanting to change you. If your friends don’t make bad decisions, you’re less likely to make them, too.
Handling the Effects of Peer Pressure
We have learned that educating teens about what not to do is not enough. Drug prevention programs that have had success have gone far beyond teaching young people to say no. They tend to teach the “whys” behind avoiding drugs, offer social skills to refuse drugs, and give opportunities to practice those skills over time. We can draw from these successful programs and from our own life experience, to empower teens to say “No” effectively. Consider these 8 tips as you prepare your teen to face peer pressure. Teen peer pressure could make them engage in activities that a teen might normally be uninterested in. Since these activities may make your teen prone to bad habits, it is safer to curb any wrong-doings at its budding stage.
Role playing is the most obvious way to practice saying no. Set aside a time where you present your teen with a variety of potential situations. For example, they get to the party and there are no parents present or they are offered a ride with someone that has been drinking.
Why nature is good for our mental health
If the peer pressure is still too much to handle, let your teens know they don’t have to deal with it on their own. If they seemingly feel unable to come to you, for now, let them know it’s also okay to seek guidance from a trusted adult other than yourself.
And we hope all good things for you in this new year. Remind yourself every now and then that you’re special and nuke any negative statements. You might want to reflect on your journal entries at times to see how you’ve dealt with things in the past and what was helpful before. Try meeting people who share common interests with you. For example, if you see someone reading a book that you like, strike up a conversation with them about the book and get to know them. If something feels “off,” don’t hesitate to make other plans. If you start to feel uncomfortable during a party, don’t be afraid to leave.