Adolescence is a crucial phase in one's life and peer relationships play a major role in facilitating the level of social functioning during this phase. Healthy relationship with peers helps the teenager to create an inclusive and positive environment which facilitates their growth, adjustment, and learning. Making good relations with peers is significant for a healthy emotional, mental and psychological development at various phases of one's life, the foundation of which gets laid in the adolescence. Positive peer relationships always aid one's coping with stress in an effective manner, by providing social support.
It is often seen that teenagers tend to face problems in making new friends, adjusting to new situations or fulfilling the expectations of their peers, and are unable to seek adequate guidance on how they can work on developing peer relationships.
The following skills can be nurtured in an adolescent to enable him/her to develop stable and healthy relationships with peers:
Social Skills: Nurturing or enhancing social skills is an important part of maintaining fruitful relationships. Having a better understanding of what to say to others, how to make and keep friends, how to work well with others, how to make good choices and how to act in different social situations, contributes to enhancement of social skills. The social functioning of adolescents impacts their academic performance, behavior, interpersonal relationships and participation in extracurricular activities.
Prosocial Behavior: Prosocial behaviours of adolescents form the basis for development of healthy peer relationships, such as helping, sharing, co-operating, volunteering, etc. Prosocial behaviour contributes to the development of traits like empathy, concern, fairness, honesty, which further contribute to development of one's social skills.
Positive Thinking: Positive attitude is appreciated and acknowledged in any relationship. Adolescents, who approach social situations with a positive attitude, are able to contribute positively to others, enabling them to connect and relate with others easily.
"Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together." - Woodrow T. Wilson