Peer pressure is feeling that you have to do something just because your friends or peers are doing it. Peer pressure can happen at any age, however, 11 to 15 year olds are often more susceptible. It is normal for teens to want to fit in with others their age. Being the same often helps you to feel that you belong to a group and are accepted.
Peer pressure can take many different forms, such as pressure to wear the same clothes, dye your hair, have ears pierced and listen to the same music. Most of these are relatively harmless, however, peer pressure can also take the form of pressure to drink alcohol, smoke or take drugs, bunk off school or start having sex.
Peer pressure is not always doing what your friends at school do. It might also be wanting to do things that others your age do.
Sometimes it is hard to stand up to your friends or peers if you do not want to do something that they do. If your friends are really good friends, they will accept you as you are, respect you and not make you do things that make you feel uncomfortable or that will get you into trouble.
If you are changing what you normally do just to fit in, then you may be affected by peer pressure. If you are worried about not fitting in or are being forced to do things, you can ask for help or talk to someone about it. You should talk to parents, relatives or teachers. Older siblings can be a great help and schools are sometimes a very good source of help, especially around anti-drugs initiatives and information, bullying and sex education.
Find more information and help about Peer Pressure and how you can overcome your fears of certain Life Issues by talking about them and getting support.