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Peer Pressure ...
"Never underestimate the influence of the people you have allowed into your life..."

We all want to be accepted by others. We all need attention and  like to feel that we belong in a group. It's natural to try to fit in and do certain things to try to please others; but you have to learn to be strong and assertive, and learn to say NO when what they are asking you to do is not the right thing. That is when you really show who you are, what kind of person you truly are, what you are made of.

Peer pressure happens when you are influenced to do something you really don't want to do, something that is wrong or illegal or when you are stopped from doing the right thing. You want to try to live up to the expectations of others, just to feel that you are part of a group. Even when the real reasons they are asking you to do these things, is for the other members of the "group" to feel better about themselves - because they have so many problems, and they are probably afraid themselves to do what they are asking you to do. They have a low self-esteem and have many issues to work out - probably due to a dysfunctional family - and enjoy manipulating others like puppets.

Not all peer pressure is bad, though. Peer pressure can sometimes be a positive influence in your life and help to challenge or motivate you to better yourself. But, many times -unfortunately- it is a very negative influence and puts pressure on you to do the wrong thing. If you have strong moral values, things will be easier, because you will not be easily brainwashed. But if you are weak-minded and vulnerable -in need of a lot of attention- it could destroy you. Try to recognize the signs of negative pressure and don't let others -with bad intentions- manipulate you and use you. Learn to be STRONG, or you will feel bad in the end - and they truly don't care about you.
Bullies, for example, learn to control other people by instilling fear. Most of the times, they are physically strong and morally and spiritually deprived. They are full of anger and take advantage of others. Don't let them abuse you and control you. Look for help if a bully is tormenting you. Talk to your teachers, the principal, your parents or other adults that could give you advice and have the power to handle the situation. The bully has to be stopped and should face the consequences. Please, don't be afraid to seek help; we all have had experiences with these insecure individuals and we have to try to stop them (but not through violence!). We need the cooperation of teachers, principals, vice-principals, counselors and others to teach them a good lesson; before they get in more trouble.

"He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetuate it."
Martin Luther King Jr.

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