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Ten Ways to Cope with Peer Pressure

Max Korenyi-Both, Junior Staff Writer

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      Why do you buy the car you do?  Why do you join the sports or attend the parties that you do? Why do you dress the way you do?  Peer pressure, unfortunately, is a significant motivator and can be a significant problem, especially for high school teens. .“Peer pressure is a huge problem. Especially in high school almost everyone will encounter it,” says senior Zach Resatar.  Most of us believe that all peer pressure deals with manipulating or coercing someone into activities that are illegal. But, peer pressure can also be positive: consider most fan behavior at games and peaceful protests.

       Positive peer pressure assumes that the instigator or motivator is pressuring someone into doing something that benefits that person. For example, a concerned peer could pressure someone who skips class into coming to study with the concerned peer, and to start taking school more serious. “I try to give the people around me positive peer pressure because it makes every situation better,” says senior Ruthie Sandberg. This type of peer pressure is always beneficial, but sadly, not practiced enough. Most teens, at one time or another, fall victim to negative pressure. Letting negative peer pressure dictate one’s stance or actions  is not okay, but sometimes it is very hard to reject constant peer pressure.

         US News online recommends something the reporter labels as the “X-Plan” for dealing with peer pressure.  Reporter Pannonini writes: “The plan is simple: Teens text the letter “X” to a parent or an older sibling when they need help. The recipient then calls the teen and says to leave immediately, stating that the recipient will pick up the teen. . . .The parent or older sibling doesn’t ask any questions and the teen has an excuse to leave the party or other risky situation while avoiding social ridicule.”

      Additionally, there are many other ways to deal with negative peer pressure. Here are ten options for teens to consider:

  1. Simply say “No.” Say this with confidence and authority. Make it clear to your peers that your answer is no and nothing is going to change your mind.
  2. Walk away from the situation. You always have the option to remove yourself from the scene where you are being pressured into doing something negative. “Walking is always the easiest for me whenever i’m faced with peer pressure,” states HHS Eagles quarterback, junior Davion Daniels.
  3. Choose the right friends. If you surround yourself with people who share the same beliefs and values as you do, then you will have friends to back you up and even prevent a situation where you would have to deal with peer pressure.
  4. Find support. You can discuss the peer pressure you’re feeling with any adult or even friends. There’s always someone who will listen and provide support.
  5. Remember that you are unique. You are your own person. No one can pressure you into changing who you really are. Hold onto to your beliefs and values.
  6. Remember that you don’t have to please everyone. This may be hard to accept sometimes, but you don’t have to be liked by everyone. Avoiding peer pressure may cause someone to not like you but there are many others who do like you, and that’s a point that needs to be remembered.
  7. Build your self-esteem. When you view yourself as a positive person, then you will be less likely to buy into peer pressure because you already love the way you are.
  8. Consider the consequences. If you are being pressured into something, evaluate the consequences before you make a decision. Most of the time peer pressure results in negative consequences.
  9. Be the better person. Standing up to peer pressure may be scary sometimes. You may feel like you aren’t cool, but in reality you are the better person. You may even be encouraging others to say no.
  10. Show your independence. Prove that you are your own person and you don’t need to be accepted by certain peers to feel “cool.”

          As long as teens are teens, and high schools operate as they do today, there will be groups and peer pressure.  Hopefully this article sheds some light on ways to combat this problems, because it’s an almost inescapable dilemma for everyone at some point in his or her life.

Source: https://www.usnews.com/high-schools/blogs/high-school-notes/articles/2017-03-06/teachers-parents-need-to-know-about-teen-peer-pressure

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Ten Ways to Cope with Peer Pressure