The effects of peer pressure

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Teens want to feel accepted and they look to their peers to gain acceptance.  The effects of peer pressure can be divided into two categories negative and positive.  The positive effects of peer pressure are improving in school, increased confidence, and getting involved in other positive ventures.  Negative peer pressure can cause lower grades, strained relationships, low self-esteem and poor choices.

The old saying birds of a feather flock together is so true because if you are not like your peers you hang with eventually hanging with them will cause you to think and act like them.  This kind of behavior whether it is negative or positive affects your self-esteem in one way or another.  Teens who want to have fun and become responsible adults should find other teens who want the same things out of life.  There is nothing better than being with someone who has similar interest as you.  Maybe you feel pressured to hang out with teens who think having sex, using drugs and doing illegal things are cool.  Always keep in mind that you will have to deal with the consequences.  If you are having a hard time making friends and you make friends with peers who are drinking, smoking and doing other inappropriate things you may feel thrilled to be accepted.  You may not have a clear picture of what your beliefs are because you want to fit in with the crowd. Teens that have low self-esteem are easy pickings for peers who want to drag you down with them.  If you do not have confidence in yourself, you may feel insecure and you will always seek the opinions of others to determine your worth.  This is a deadly cycle because eventually you will be an adult with low self -esteem.  Your transition to adulthood is complicated enough so do not complicate your life more.

It is important that you learn how to love yourself unconditionally RIGHT NOW.  There will always be people who will find something about you to talk about.  Teens who have positive guidance from others overcome adversities.  Surround yourself with people that think and act like you.  Trust your inner voice because it tells you whether you are doing things because you want to or because your friends want you to.  For some teens, there is a dilemma inside their minds. The desire to be accepted is so intense in their minds that they go against their natural instinct (gut feeling) and give in to negative peer pressure. As a result, there is teen pregnancy, truancy, drinking, drugs, sexually transmitted diseases and the list of negative outcomes is endless.  These types of consequences can hinder your development or end your life.  You have to trust your instincts and stay away from negative peer pressure because it will affect your future.

Living life as a teen does not have to be difficult.  Sure, your hormones are out of control, but you can find clarity in knowing that if you want to enjoy your life you must find ways to feel good about yourself. Embrace your uniqueness and be whatever it is you dream you can be.

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