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Gist_with_Chadele: PEER PRESSURE

Peer group pressure is simply the influence on your behavior from a group that you interact with socially or professionally. It can be good or bad depending on what action is taken, what consequences it brings and whether or not you want to do it. Peer group pressure (or social pressure) can also be said to be the direct influence on people by peers, or the effect on an individual who gets encouraged to follow their peers by changing their attitudes, values or behaviors to conform to those of the influencing group or individual.

Adults also have peer group pressure that usually comes from a group of people that share interests or professions. They meet with people whom they think reason like them and tend to go with the flow, agreeing to almost every suggestion brought up by those people. Sometimes this can happened in offices, where one person does not like another but because you are friends with that person, you also go ahead disliking the other person just to make your friend believe you are on his/her side.

Young people tend to be curious. They become exposed to learning about sex, drug use, and other taboo practices. Other reasons teens succumb to negative peer pressure include things like:

* A desire to ‘fit in.’
* To avoid rejection and gain social acceptance
* Hormonal inconsistencies.
* Personal/social confusion and/or anxiety.
* A lack of structure at home.

The "wannabes" just want to fit in, whatever the situation may be and don't care how they get it. They may even go as far as stealing from home just to show off to their friends or cliques. Most people fall under this category just to avoid being rejected by people they feel are better than
them and to gain social acceptance.

Well, as the saying goes "Charity Begins at home". Some persons lack the virtue of being content with what they have or accept who they are. They refuse to accept that they cannot change that no matter how much they try and pretend to be what they are not. Parents too pressurize their kids/wards by comparing them with another kid in their age group. From there the child already feels less of him/her self and has the high tendency to think/do other wise to please his/her parents or guardian just to prove their points.

On the other hand, peer pressure can also be a good thing. This is seen when someone with a low self esteem is motivated by friends to aim higher and be the best he/she can be at that time and even going forward. Not all friends are bad, as some peer groups might just be what you need to go far in life.

In this case, I have two simple options, either I stay away from them or I talk to them and try to change them.

There are ways by which we can deal with negative peer group pressures. They include trying to;

* Spend time with those who resist peer pressure.
* Learn how to be assertive.
* Ask for help if necessary.
* Get out of the situation.
* Choose friends carefully.
* Use the delay tactic.
* Think ahead.
* Provide your own positive pressure.

Making friends is a good thing but always try to make good friends. If you want to go fast, walk alone but if you want to go far, walk with the right crowd.

Till we meet again next week, I remain Chadele.