not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world
to live up to mine.”
― Bruce Lee
The pressure, both positive and negative, felt from our peer group is known as Peer Pressure. Be it in sports or studies.
“Hey! Come on! We all are bunking our Math class. Who wants to go for a boring quiz session? Rather, let’s go for a stroll and grub a grub, instead.” Says the smartest kid in the class. Then, what does one do? Will he move along with him, or remain seated in the class?
As one grows older, they are forced to take over certain challenging decisions, while not having a clear idea, whether they are right or wrong. Like, for young boys, whether one should play Hockey or Cricket. Other decisions have a serious moral question hidden in it – whether to bunk classes or smoke or else lie blatantly to parents.
Taking decisions on our own is a difficult one, but when coaxed or influenced by other people around, it can turn out to be even more difficult. The ones of our age group or school/college mates are known to be ‘peers’. And when they try to influence in what manner we should lead our lives or take decisions, it is known as Peer Pressure. It is one thing which is dealt with not only the youth around us but the adults also.
Outlining ‘Peer Pressure’
Peers influence our life, irrespective of the fact whether we are aware of it or not. Just by spending ‘quality’ time with them, we tend to get influence. It is human psychology and no one can deny this fact. They can have both positive and negative influence on each other. It may so happen, that one of our friends taught us how to solve a difficult math question or get over successfully with a Science experiment. And we start admiring that individual and try to follow his footsteps. Or it may so happen that a few ones try to influence us to bunk classes or cheat during the exam time. Some of us WILL get influenced and start following their traits blindly.
Peer pressure leads to the situation where an individual or a group tries to encourage others (usually of their age) to do certain things that they would not do or try to change their mindset, behavior or attitude towards certain things.
It plays a major role behind manipulating the minds of the teenagers into smoking, doing drugs and alcohol. If one tries to evade from these ill habits, then they are considered to be an ‘outcast’ or ‘not-so-cool’ by the contemporaries.
One’s wish to get into the grid. Leads them to consume alcohol or do drugs. Peer pressure can simply make someone sad, guilt-conscious, disappointed or anxious. The best method to get over this situation is to diplomatically handle the individual, by not hurting their emotions.
There is always a flip-side of a coin. And it is applicable to the concept of ‘Peer Pressure’ also. It is not always that this particular concept is having only negative aspects. Peers or friends do also have a positive influence on an individual. This rather helps in the improvement of health and social life. One should always take time out while comprehending the effects of Peer Pressure. And it can turn an individual into a better human being!
Peer Pressure’s influence – reasons
The notion “everybody is doing it!” leads to many in the grip of Peer Pressure. Curiosity and always trying to be in the limelight makes the individual getting carried away with the flow. Some kids give into the Peer Pressure, simply because they desire to be preferred in the group. Or they are constantly worried about the fact that their friends might boycott him! And others are seen to be shrugging their shoulders with the concept of Peer Pressure and giving it a leeway.
Shrugging shoulders from Peer Pressure
Replying with a ‘No’ stands out to be really tough, sometimes. But, if one is determined, they can do it. Paying attention to their individual feelings, beliefs, and notions of what is correct or incorrect, helps one deciphering the right path. Self-confidence and inner-strength rather aid one to stand firm and walk away, while resisting themselves from bowing their head towards the negative influence.
It is really commendable of having friends who can reply with a ‘NO’, to others and also having in them the similar values of life. It can be of real help to have at least one such peer or friend.
Everyone has gone through the phase where the teachers or parents advised while saying, “Choose your friends in a wise manner.” Peer Pressure is ONE of the main reason of them saying so. If an individual chooses friends who do not do drugs, bunk classes or smoke or lie to their parents, then they probably will not be doing those things either. Rather, one should try helping out an individual from falling into trouble due to Peer Pressure. It means a lot, when an individual joins hands with them and together replies by simply saying, “I am standing by your side. Do not worry.”
If it becomes difficult dealing with the Peer Pressure, one should seek confidence upon someone, he or she has faith in. guilt-consciousness should not be there always. Confessing parents, teachers or counselors and discussing these matters, can help them in a positive manner.
Convincing, Confident Peer Pressure
Peer Pressure can be used in compelling the intimidators into acting in a better manner towards other kids. They are then compelled to do the correct thing at the correct time.
The ‘Profit – Loss’ factors of Peer Pressure
Imagine walking down the aisle and one witness something that is quite disturbing. But then the friend of his advises him to be quiet and move on. That individual carries on, in spite of knowing that what he is doing is not correct. Hence adopting somebody’s (peers) personality or attitude towards life directly can lead to either a positive or negative effect. It then depends on that individual of whom to follow as the role-model. Reasons are various for following blindly the Peer Pressure.
- Pretention is very deceptive in nature. And there are people present who does the same with much confidence and the certain individual does get affected. Nobody prefers being mocked in front of others, and hence pretends to be strong and acts like those with whom they are moving around.
- In recent times, competition and comparison are present together. Many parents can be seen comparing their kids with others. And this takes a toll on the kid, with whom the others are being compared. It sometimes leads them to follow the negative way, while being obligated to their parents.
- People having low confidence level have the tendency to follow the lead.
- “Curiosity is the mother of invention”. But in this case, the invention is not always done positively. Mostly observed amongst the teenagers, the adolescent years can be very deceptive, while having an attitude of, “Everybody is doing the same, why not me!”
Falling prey to Peer Pressure is a human tendency. And there is no denial in that fact. Nearly most of the individuals succumb to the pressure, in either a positive or negative manner. It is somewhat like installing an application in the smartphone, for the reason that everybody has it or as big as taking a decision of shoplifting with the associates. They tend to fall prey in all these various situations. And the one thing one requires to handle the Peer Pressure is BRAVADO or BOLDNESS.
Tips for handling Peer Pressure
It is a known and seen fact that if an individual participates in any school event or competition, and those peers who do not fit into the bill, try to demotivate and discourage the person concerned. It results in failure or non-participation in the event. When an individual is trying to concentrate on the syllabus during examinations, there are peers present who try to distract them. This results in getting poor grades in the examination.
Peers are those, who belong to the similar age-group, standards or work together in any organization. It is rather difficult to shun their presence in life. Their behaviour does a great impact on the individual, on their mind, body, and soul. Thus it is necessary to have a good ‘Peer group’, who has the real guts in them. Those who detours one by challenging their capabilities must be ignored. But, it does not denote this meaning of not having friends. The role of friends is very important in one’s life. If an individual has no one to share their feelings, then slowly might go into depression.
- One should always plan out methodically or diplomatically to handle any sort of situation.
- They should always listen to their instincts. They are very powerful.
- They should simply reply with a ‘NO’ if they do not want to be a part.
- One can always utilize the importance of parents or mentors present in their life.
- Hesitation should never be there in seeking help from their next to kin.
- One should always try making friendship with those who both appreciates and encourages.
- It is always quality over quantity. One should try to develop self-confidence. They are then less susceptible to any sort of situation.
- One should always try to be happy, contented and firm on their decisions.
Leadership quality can help an individual to gain confidence in self and others as well. One should always try to be a leader and guide towards the right path. This is because they know their potentials of creating a huge difference. The society is bound to follow them if they have the potentials in them. Whatever may be the situation, ultimately it is the surrounding, in which they grow up, creates the difference.
“Confidence is knowing who you are and not changing it a bit because of someone’s version of reality is not your reality.”
― Shannon L. Alder
While concluding, one can think of Peer Pressure as a grey thing at times and also an awful thing to deal with. If one starts to worry or pressurized into doing those things which they do not want to, they should stand up to them. If they are scared of doing so, they should confront their parents or mentors.
From all the findings, it can be said that 55% of teenaged kids, who start doing drugs, are pressured to do so. 70% of the teenaged kids, who smokes, are pressurized to do so. Peer Pressure can be either good or bad, depending upon the situation. Almost all kids and teenagers go through the phase of Peer Pressure, at least at one stage. It is really very disappointing when someone gets notified of the fact that an individual has been influenced negatively out of Peer Pressure. It is great to carry out their own individuality and uniqueness. This is the reason for them being who they are.
Peer Pressure is a serious and grave topic to discuss and can be very deceptive and unpredicted at the same time. Drinking, smoking or doing drugs can be a ‘cool factor’ amongst today’s generation. But it takes a toll.
The exact definition of Peer Pressure can never be found, as it is a shifting one. It can have many inner meanings, likea set of populaces/associates convincing other peer/peers to do some act, for the reason that if they do not do the same, they will not be called ‘cool’ or be in their associates’ company anymore.
A new connotation could be, a peer who gets overstretched to behave in the manner in what others are behaving, thus they can be called ‘cool’.
Peer Pressure is deceptive. Being alert is always recommended and therefore should always follow one’s gut or instinct. An individual will hence climb the ladder of success!