PEER PRESSURE Peer Pressure- It is a phrase not sounding harsh or harmful at all. But trust me its harmful, even more than some of deadly diseases. I know comparing peer pressure with diseases is Insanity at its peak…but that will give you a pretty good idea. Diseases harm you physically but peer pressure harm you mentally.What is peer pressure?Peer pressure is the influence exerted by a peer group or an individual, encouraging other individuals to change their attitudes, values, or behaviors in order to conform to group norms. Peers influence your life, even if you don’t realize it, just by spending time with you. You learn from them, and they learn from you. It’s only human nature to listen to and learn from other people in your age group.What is peer group?Peer groups are groups of friends who are all about the same age. Having a group of friends is an important part of being a teenager. Peer groups can be a very positive influence on a teenager’s life, but they can also worry parents.How the peer pressure process worksAn explanation of how the peer pressure process works, called “the identity shift effect”, is introduced by social psychologist, Wendy Treynor. According to Treynor’s original “identity shift effect” hypothesis, the peer pressure process works in the following way: One’s state of harmony is disrupted when faced with the threat of external conflict (social rejection) for failing to conform to a group standard. Thus, one conforms to the group standard, but as soon as one does, eliminating this external conflict, internal conflict is introduced (because one has violated one’s own standards). To rid oneself of this internal conflict (self-rejection), an “identity shift” is undertaken, where one adopts the group’s standards as one’s own, thereby eliminating internal conflict (in addition to the formerly eliminated external conflict), returning one once again to a state of harmony.Are you under the effect of peer pressure?Even if some of us might not agree that peer pressure is affecting us, the truth is it is affecting each and every person in some way or the other. If you are doing things because your mates are, or changing what you normally do to fit in, then you are being affected by peer pressure.Positive Peer PressureMost of the things in the life depend on our attitude. We all have peer pressure in life. Taking it in positive sense is in your hands. In fact, peer pressure is one of the most effective ways for a teen to practice good behavior and make smart choices in his or her life. Peer pressure can have positive effects when people are pressured toward positive behavior, such as volunteering for charity or excelling in academics or athletics, by their peers. Positive peer pressure is pressure from others to do the right thing and not give in to doing the wrong thing.Negative Peer PressureNegative peer pressure occurs when a group coerces someone into doing something inappropriate. The group makes it clear that the person will be kicked out of the group or targeted for revenge if she does not participate. The group also makes it clear that participation leads to acceptance by the group, which is very desirable during the teen years. ince teenage is a developing phase, children are immature and so they are not able to differentiate between “friends” and “true friends”. This is where the role of parents and teachers comes into picture. The child may be falling into the trap of negative habits, under the influence of peer pressure.Dealing with Peer PressureBuild a Strong Sense of Self Confidence and Self Esteem: Self-esteem and self-confidence are things that can be only built by and individual itself. When you act confident and believe in yourself, you don’t need to impress other people or do what others say to feel good or accepted. Accepting yourself and having good self-confidence will always help you to say no to peer pressure.Remember the Consequences of Your Actions: Think twice before doing anything. God is watching everything. Make your own choices. Before you give in to peer pressure, realize that when trying to handle pressure from friends at school, that your choices have consequences. Get to know who you are and what is good for you and your life. Each action you take or do not take will have important consequences – your bad or negative decisions may hurt yourself or those you love around you.Peer help: If someone is pressuring you to do something you don’t want to, talk to someone you know will listen and help you. A good advice can help you to take the right decision.Know Your Limits: God has made each & every individual different. Hence each person has his/her limitations, may it be physical or mental. It’s important to know your own limits when dealing with peer pressure. In order to know when to say no, you have to realize that your decisions, both good and bad, can cause benefit or harm to yourself and to others.Have Respect for Yourself: If u can’t respect yourself, other respect towards you doesn’t matters. When you have respect for yourself, you don’t feel guilty or pressured into following what other people tell you to do because you know what your own morals, limits, and sense of right and wrong are.Speak Up: We often think that standing up for what we believe in will get us into trouble. Maybe so. But if you don’t stand up for something that you believe in, your conscience will make things difficult for you. Learn to speak up when you disagree with something, but don’t stand on a soapbox. Be polite, but let your opinions be known. It is important that you stand for yourself, if no one else will.Be Comfortable with Your Choices: Always take sufficient time for making choices but after making one, don’t regret. When it comes to your peer group, you will have to decide to stand against them, even if it means that you risk losing them. If you are strongly principled and have good sense of judgment, your conscience will demand the best from you, which could involve making difficult choices. Be comfortable with those choices. Learn to have no regrets in what you do, and know what whatever action you take will be the best possible action given the circumstances. If you can do this, you can deal with peer pressure.Socialize: One of the best ways to deal with, handle, and just avoid peer pressure is to stay away from it. You can do this by choosing who you decide to hang out with – know who your true friends are. Don’t hang out with the “cool” group if they do drugs or pressure you to make bad decisions – your true friends are good groups who will help you make the right choices. Just like the old sayings, “Birds of a feather fly together” and “Tell me who you walk with and I’ll tell you who you are” give advice to surround yourself with positive groups of people who make you better, so too will being with good friends help you avoid peer pressure.CONCLUSION: If you follow these helpful tips on how to handle and even avoid peer pressure, you will find yourself staying out of bad socially bad situations and trouble. Sometimes the most important part of saying no to peer pressure is simply standing up for who you are and what you believe – finding the confidence to say “no” and mean it. Though dealing with and avoiding peer pressure, especially in school, is not easy, you will thank yourself in the future when you look back and know that you made the right decision.