Peer pressure refers to when an individual is influenced by his peers, usually in a group of young individuals. Parents are often concerned about the social circle of their kids since peer pressure plays an important part in their children’s lives. Peer pressure falls into two categories – positive and negative. Given below are the differences between the two categories and how negative peers can pressure and bully an individual who is supposedly their “friend”:
How peers put pressure on an individual
“Peer pressure” – it is by constantly forcing an individual to do something they are uncomfortable with. In many parts of the world, this is also known as “ragging” and is considered a tradition. This is the first method.
The second method of peer pressure is by the use of reasoning. Peers give reasons as to why an individual needs to do something by playing on the naive nature of the adolescent to get their way.
The feeling of rejection is the third method of peer pressure. The individual is made to feel left out and he will fear rejection from a relationship or friendship. Therefore, he agrees to listen to his peers just because.
Positive Peer Pressure
There are certain types of peer pressure that prove to be fruitful in the life of an individual. When an individual learns about moral values or adopts good traits from their social circle, it means the peer pressure is beneficial for them. The positive peer pressure is when the pressure leads to the well-being and success of the individual in his life. This can result in improved health and better social interactions.
Examples of Positive Peer Pressure
- The pressure to avoid drugs
- The pressure to study well and get good grades in school
- The pressure to work out and maintain a healthy lifestyle
- The positive traits of being kind to others and values of honesty adopted by an individual after listening to their peers
Negative Peer Pressure
The second category of peer pressure is one that accomplishes negative results. In this category, the peers put pressure on an individual to perform actions that are harmful to their own health and overall well-being. There are various effects of negative peer pressure, some of which are given below:
- There is a loss of self-confidence.
This is one of the most common effects of negative peer pressure. The individual loses confidence in their own abilities and becomes dependent on their peers. This low self-esteem has a great impact on the overall well-being of the individual. In the future when they become adults, the person will be indecisive and confused.
- Academic performance of the individual declines.
A person who is negatively influenced follows the crowd and would want to be accepted by the masses. If the peers don’t want to study, the individual will be under pressure and will be forced to adapt to a more laid back attitude. The focus on performing well in academics is shifted to becoming popular among the crowd but leading to a drastic drop in grades.
- Communication gap between parents and children increases.
A child who is under negative peer pressure would feel more comfortable opening up to their friends instead of their parents. Therefore, negative peer pressure results in an increased distance from family members and the need to be with peers all the time for validation.
- Dangerous habits are adopted through peer pressure.
Negative peer pressure means that the individual can easily adopt dangerous habits. In order to feel accepted in a social circle, the individual starts smoking, drinking or doing drugs because they want to feel that they belong. They want their so-called friends to accept them. Even if the things mentioned are dangerous for the health, those people under peer pressure will not think twice about it.
Examples of Negative Peer Pressure:
- Underage drinking
- The use of drugs such as heroin and marijuana
- The pressure to be dishonest and lie to parents
- The pressure to skip school and not focus on academics
To conclude, it can be seen that peer pressure is a dominant part of an individual’s life. However, it is important for parents to recognize when it is being experienced by their children so that it can be managed in a positive and controlled manner as soon as possible.