Peer Pressure Essay, Research Paper
Sometimes in our lives we are tempted to follow others. Usually these people tend to be either stronger or more popular than we are. In schools today, most students fall under the influence of peer pressure. Peer pressure is when “friends” persuade you to doing something that you do not want to do. But maybe you want to do it, and you just don’t have the courage to do it and your friends talk you into it. Peer Pressure can be broken down into two areas: good peer pressure, and bad peer pressure.
Bad peer pressure is being coerced into doing something that you didn’t want to do because your friends said that you should. Friends have a tendency to think that they know what is best for you. They always offer their opinion whether it is wanted or not. Well, if friends are going to tell you what to do, what can you do about it? The most basic thing that you can do is to say, “No, I don’t wish to do that!” or if you want to do it, say, “Yes, give me a try!” For instance, if one of your friends offered you a cigarette, you might say “No, that just doesn’t interest me.” But being able to say no may not be the problem; the real problem arises when your friends repeatedly ask you to do something. This is where you have to be able to say to yourself, “I made a decision and I truly feel that my decision was the correct one”, and then be able to express that repeatedly to all of your friends. This seems like a difficult task, doesn’t it? It takes a tremendous amount of will power to be able to stand up to the people that you know, trust, and respect … your friends.
One of the major problems with peer pressure occurs when you get sucked into something that you really didn’t want to do and subsequently, become addicted to it. Usually, people get backed into a situation to try illegal drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes and more times than not, these behaviors can become habit forming. If and when someone comes up and offers you one of these substances, it is your decision whether you want to try or continue to use these substances. You should be prepared to make these decisions and to make a good decision you must be educated on that topic. For instance, say you were going to buy a stereo. You wouldn’t just go out and pick the one that looked nice; you probably would go to the library and look into it. You might do some research in a few magazines, ask a few friends what they thought, go to the store and listen to each stereo through multiple speakers and finally make an educated decision. Before engaging in a specific situation, you should take the time to read about each one and the possible drawbacks before you decide to try or not to try anything.
The reasoning behind not telling you what to do with each decision is because through out school, we were always told “Say NO to drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.” You see, we may have always been taught other people’s opinions. We think that it is better hat one finds out what will happen, how it will happen, and get whatever information that you need to make an educated decision. So, arm yourself with wisdom and knowledge and some decision-making skills, so you can live your own life and finally accept the consequences of doing or not doing something.
Good peer pressure, on the other hand, is being pushed into something that you didn’t have the courage to do or just didn’t cross your mind to do. However, as you think about it, it seems like a good thing to do. Good peer pressure can also be a situation when your friends convince you not to do something you were going to do because it wasn’t in your best interest. Some people say that good peer pressure is when you get pushed into something that you didn’t want to do and it turned out well. Well, this may be nice, but ask yourself this question: how do you know “ahead of time” whether what you are doing will turn out good or bad? Can you? Most people can’t, but if you can, your problems may be solved! When the time comes for you to make these big decisions, it is important to think before deciding. Take as long as you need just to think about whether you want to do it, think about whether you should, and finally think about the consequences. These are the important things that must be done before any big decision is made. Also, knowing who is asking you to do something helps you make the decision. If the person is not your friend, you should really consider what they want you to do, but if you know, trust and respect this person then you might seriously consider what they ask.
But how do you know? For each person, deciding who is your friend or not, is a difficult decision. It might be of benefit for you to develop some sort of personal grouping system of your friends and depending on what group they fall into will determine how strong an influence you allow them to have in your life. One possible classification scheme might be as follows: Not Your Friend – People you usually don’t associate with under normal circumstances. Acquaintance – This group of people includes those that you might see in school, but you don’t associate with out of school. You might occasionally cross their path out of school, but you wouldn’t normally seek them out. Wannabe Friends – These are people you might want to be friends with for some selfish reasons, such as hoping to be more popular. People who fall into this category are never your true friends because the foundation for the friendship does not have a solid basis. True Friends – These are the ones in the small, close group of people that you confide in and you know that they have your best interest in mind. The people in this group are those who have an influence on your life, and helps to make you a better person.
It all comes back to one thing, who is, and who isn?t a friend. It is hard to decide sometimes, but ultimately you know deep inside whether a person is good or bad for you. Most of the time a real friend wouldn?t try to pressure you into doing something you do not want to do. Take a step back and think does this sound like something good to you.