Peer Pressure? Whatever!
from the Editors of Girl World Daily
far would you go to have others think you’re
cool? Would you steal from a store? Pull a
cruel prank on a teacher? If you’d take
risks and behave in ways you normally
wouldn’t just to follow the pack, that’s
caving in to peer pressure.
What’s the Big Deal?
You’ve heard the term “peer pressure” since
third grade. Before you even understood
exactly what it meant, you knew it was some
force that had a profound impact on your
well-being. Peer pressure is the influence
your “friends” exert on you, and recent
reports blame it for everything from body
piercings to school shootings.
Not all peer pressure is negative. The
people you hang out with shape your
personality. Girls who have a supportive
network of friends are less likely to suffer
from depression. If your friends play
sports, eat right, do well in school and are
involved in community service, chances are,
so will you. If they don’t smoke or do
drugs, chances are, neither will you.
Combating Mean Girls
In-your-face peer pressure can cause even
the strongest teens to consider risky
behavior. More than 70 percent of girls in a
recent survey said they’ve seen clique
members act mean toward outsiders. Whether
you’re tempted (“Come on, it’ll be fun ...
we’ll never get caught.”), taunted (“What's
the matter, your mommy says you can’t go?”)
or threatened (“If you were really our
friend, you’d come with us.”), there are
ways to handle the pressure:
- Ask lots of questions The answers
will help you determine the level of
risk involved and will also put the
other person on the defensive, which
places you in a position of power.
- Consider the consequences Getting
grounded? School detention? Your
conscience? Contrary to what they're
telling you, everyone is not “doing it”
(no matter what it is).
- Practice saying no When you have to
say it, don’t trip up. The more certain
you are of your no, the less people will
- Get away from the pressure zone If
you know what's about to happen -- maybe
a conversation bad-mouthing a friend of
yours or an invitation to a place you're
not comfortable going to -- make a quick
- Be your own best friend There is no
feeling greater than standing up for
yourself and learning to be your own
person. True friends like you for who
you are, not for who they want you to