What is peer pressure?
If you live under a rock, let me just quickly explain what peer pressure is. Well, the way I see it if one person or a group decides to pressurize another person or group into doing something they don’t wanna do. All of us have experienced peer pressure at least once. As I said mentioned before, peer pressure is when one’s peers influence them to do something. It is a feeling that one must do the same thing as people in their social group or age are doing to be liked and respected by them.
Negative peer pressure
Negative peer pressure is when it is opposing school or home rules or even one’s values. Most of the time, the people who are trying to peer pressure the other people make fun of the other people for not doing something they don’t wanna do. That pisses me off. Why make somebody feel bad about themselves because they don’t wanna do something. That’s so stupid. Honestly, if you peer pressure anybody to do anything, I would think you’re a loser.
You know what? It depends on what you’re trying to get the person to do. For example, if you’re trying to get a person to have something sour because s/he doesn’t like sour food, you’re not that much of a loser. But, if you try to get your friends or anybody to try to do stuff they don’t wanna do such as bad stuff like drugs, alcohol and the other things, you’re surely an idiot! “If I don’t wanna do it, I don’t wanna do it”. It’s as simple as that! Someone who forces you to do such things is neither a good friend nor a good person.
Peer pressure is one of the sources for deviant behavior among school children. When their behavior is something deviated, automatically their academic achievement also is getting declined.
Studies also reveal that girl children are easily anguished than male children towards peer influence. Children are prone to deviancy at the age group 16-18 than the other younger groups.
Positive peer pressure
However, the pressure is not always negative. Peer pressure can make you practice as you have never won and performed as you have never lost. When the pressure forces or influences you rather inspires you to be yourself, share your purpose, deepen loyalties, keep promises, and also push your boundaries.
It can help you to improve your health, social life, maintain healthy relationships, and also push your limits and do something good for yourself, your career, and ultimately your life. One may ask, how can peer pressure be positive? Like Shakespeare wrote, “Men at some time are masters of their fates; The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” So, it always depends on the way we react to situations and makes the pressure positive or negative.
Effects of peer pressure
Then, the fundamental question is “How can peer pressure motivate us in our everyday lives?”
Firstly, peer pressure can help you with self-introspection. We can learn from our frugal peers to incorporate good values into our lives which can enable us to have a positive thought process. For example, if you have friends who are taking part in some art, dance, writing, competition, etc. and having fun, it can inspire you to do the same and develop your interest and progress in your field of art.
Secondly, it gives you greater exposure. It can allow you to expose yourself to various activities because man is inherently a social animal and is bound to be influenced by the people surrounding him. For example, if you have friends who read many books and have extensive knowledge, it can inspire you to read many books, gain excessive knowledge, perspective, and also absorb various sources.
Thirdly, peer pressure can enable you to improve your efficiency. For example, if you have friends who are better at a sport you like the most, it can motivate you to practice that sport more and become better at it. Julie Hore, a senior HIV/AIDS prevention officer at the International Federation says that peer education programs are most likely used to educate teens on the consequences of peer pressure because teens are most likely to take the advice when they’re advised by a peer.
Academics and peer pressure
Friends play an important role in the educational process. They provide support and resources and can both encourage and discourage academic achievement. If high-achieving students make high-achieving friends, their achievement is reinforced and maintained by their friendships.
Peer pressure appears to be a powerful force affecting educational choices and whether students undertake important investments that could improve academic performance or outcomes. In other words, peer pressure profoundly affects students’ willingness to accept opportunities that may lead to more post-secondary options.
In the end, I would like to conclude by saying that peer pressure is getting the right balance between being yourself and fitting into your environment. It can help you to reflect on your actions and the way you amend yourself. So, when you observe others working hard towards their goals, it enables you to work hard towards your goals, take a step forward, and push your boundaries.
Diamonds are always and only formed under pressure and never without it. Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.