Peer pressure is the direct influence on people by peers, or the effect on an individual who gets encouraged to follow their peers by changing their attitudes, values or behaviors to conform to those of the influencing group or individual (Wikipedia, 2018).
The term “peer pressure” is not usually used to describe socially desirable behaviors, such as studying, helping the elderly or other positive activities. Usually, peer pressure refers to disruptive or damaging behavior. How can you as a youth avoid undesirable behavior?
1.) Be a Leader: Some people, especially youth, get into trouble by following the crowd. Always remember, other people may not have your best interest in mind. Lead by example and be a positive influence over your friends. Encourage them to make better decisions and to have desirous behavior at all times.
2.) Learn to say NO: Saying a firm NO can eliminate problems for you. Going along with bad behavior in order to get along with your friends may land you in jail or worse. If your friends told you to jump off a building, would you jump or say NO. Saying No is easier than you think and it’s YOUR decision.
3.) Get Away: Although you may like certain people, some are not good for you to hang around, especially those always in mischief. Remove yourself from them and you could be removing yourself from a dangerous situation. God will always give you a way to escape (1 Corinthians), use it!
4.) Evaluate Your Peers: Watch the company you keep, be aware of all your friends (1 Corinthians 15:33). Some people that hang around you daily are really not your friends. If they attempt to have you do evil things continually, you too may be caught up with their issue. Guilt by association is common by authorities and law enforcement, so choose your friends wisely. (i.e. selling/using drugs, burglary, etc.)
5.) Consider the Consequences: Every action has a reaction, think before you do everything. As a youth, a decision you make today can impact you for the rest of your life. Many young people are in prison today from a decision made as a teen.
Even as a young person, you can live a Godly life by being a leader, learning to say no, getting away from bad situations, evaluating your friends and considering all the consequences! Follow God (Acts 5:29), rather than peer pressure!