I believe peer pressure is an inescapable part of our social life. We tend to think that it is experienced only by teenagers. Adults are subject to it too; for example, in their work environments and at home.
I've been subject to this pressure more times than I can remember. It played a role in me smoking cigarettes. The fact that my friends were smoking just encouraged me to continue smoking.
I remember, when I was a kid, I used to ride my bicycle with my friends and get all bruised up because of the stupid jumps and stunts they dared me to do. It is hard for a teenager to fight off influences. At that age, you want to belong and be a part of something.
At my age now, I don't care about being part of a group or pleasing a group either. I am comfortable with myself and I don't care what people think about me. The funny thing is that I associate myself with people that think somewhat like me and I find myself subject to this subtle influence.
Some professionals claim that to be subject to this influence one has to have the following qualities:
* low self esteem
* lack of confidence
* uncertainty about ones place within a given peer group
* no personal interests exclusive of one's peer group
* feeling isolated from peers and/or family
* poor academic abilities or performance
* fear of one's peers
* lack of strong ties to friends
* feeling that friends could turn on you
* close bond with a bully
I don't believe that is true because you could be subject to positive things by following a healthy diet or do sports with your friends, but you're still subject to being influenced. You are just doing positive things instead of negative things.
I believe that like minds attract each other. So you can be confident and have all the self esteem in the world and attract friends that are confident and have self esteem too and be faced with subtle pressure from them. The only way to be safe from peer pressure is not to have family and friends at all.
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