Peer pressure is an issue which affects kids and adults, alike. Unfortunately the repercussions can reverberate not only within oneself but outside oneself when it turns into addiction and affects other people. Learn more about peer pressure and its impact on adults.
Negative and Positive Peer Pressure
Adopted values, beliefs and goals may be based on what others in a peer group believe or do which can lead to peer pressure. Whether positive or negative, it can be detrimental to follow other people and forget to listen to one’s own inner self. Some examples of negative peer pressure may include:
- Drinking with friends on weekends because everyone is doing it
- Working overtime to afford a lifestyle that keeps up with friends and family
- Buying things that are unnecessary to keep up appearances
Some positive influences may also come from peer pressure, which may include:
- Giving up smoking for health of children and family
- Get an advanced degree to pursue further career opportunities
- Going to the gym more frequently with friends who enjoy exercise
As long as the things a person does are good, health and in line with inherent values the person holds dear, peer pressure can lead to positive outcomes.
Resisting Peer Pressure as Adults
Resistance to peer pressure increases between the ages of 14 to 18 but does not change hardly at all between the ages of 18 to 30. As people begin to disengage from parental influence in later adolescence, it becomes more possible to develop one’s own inner identity. As this happens, an individual becomes more engaged with the core values and beliefs that help stand up against the negative influence of others.
How to Handle Peer Pressure
Negative peer pressure can hold a person back from realizing one’s true potential which makes resisting it all the more critical for improved self-esteem and positive life outcomes. The following are some ways to handle peer pressure:
- Stay true to personal values and beliefs
- Be assertive
- Have a wide range of friends from a variety of backgrounds
- Learn from mistakes
- Be mindful of the direction life is taking
- Pay less attention to critics
- Be surrounded by those who affirm important values
Finding ways to engage positively with peers is possible when surrounded by the right people. Whether it is family or friends, it is important to remain engaged in positive, affirming aspects of life which promote healthy self esteem and staying true to one’s core values. Not only should friends and family affirm those values, but they must also be willing to walk alongside an individual on the journey.
The Villa helps individuals and families navigate the difficult journey of giving up addiction for recovery. It is possible to heal after addiction. Call us to find out how to get started on your personal growth journey of healing.