Peer Relationships: Finding Balance, Maturity, and Self-Identity

  • Posted at Sep 5, 2013
  • Written by yellowbrick

Yellowbrick peer relationships - photo source: Shutterstock

Healthy peer relationships afford young adults a feeling of togetherness while exploring individuality.  Connecting with people, sharing interests like sports, music, and areas of study or professional industry furnishes a foundation for young adults discovering their true selves. Peers tend to face developmental milestones together and look to each other for support, guidance, and acceptance. For young adults, this means deciding on future goals, like going to college, getting a job, or living on their own.

Peer Relationships May Unravel

Peer relationships during the formative years of young adulthood are tested during a period of transition. Best friends decide to rent an apartment together. To take on the role of roommates, they openly address and adjust their habits to make a happy home. College buddies split up, some accepting job offers in exciting cities, others moving back to their parents’ house. They fall out of touch as some peers flourish on their career path and others do not.

Maintaining Healthy Relationships

Adult choices become more complicated as young adults evolve throughout their twenties. This coming of age affects how peer relationships function. Responsibilities become a priority for many young adults, as they determine the steps to take to reach their goals, while progression into adulthood halts for others. Peers may differ in maturity and moderation, making it difficult for the relationship to remain healthy.

Loss of Peer Relationships

Peer relationships tend to end when young adults disagree on limitations. What was once acceptable in the relationship, like going out to bars every night, can quickly become a burden for the more mature peer as the less moderate peer drinks in excess..  A group of peers might fall out after some push the limits past drug experimentation and fall into serious states of addiction.

The loss of peer relationships causes grief for young adults. Healthy coping skills  including meditation, yoga, journaling, and talking with friends and family can alleviate natural responses to the mental and physical tensions surrounding the loss of a peer relationship by reducing overall stress. Settling into an emotional balance and coming to terms with the loss of a peer relationship will take time, even for generally stable young adults.

Building a Strong Self-Identity through Maturity and Life Balance

The young adult who struggles to achieve developmental milestones, lives with addiction, and loses peer relationships, may not have had the outlet or diversity of experiences to explore their true self or envision a clear path for their future. Programs like the Assessment Center at Yellowbrick collaborate with young adults to identify their strengths and interests, figure out how to work through complex emotional situations, and mature into adulthood. The assessment process allows for a comprehensive look at the young adult. From learning about family history and relationships, personal limitations, temperament, and the capacity to cope, carry on life skills, and function in an educational or employment setting, the team at Yellowbrick provides a safe environment for young adults to explore themselves. With careful evaluation and guidance, young adults may come to manage responsibilities of adulthood by finding their unique place in society.

Restoration of healthy functioning in peer relationships may occur once the struggling young adult gains perspective of self and ability to approach adulthood in moderation and with maturity.

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