Peer pressure is a topic we are educated on all throughout our lives. We are exposed to the term probably around the second or third grades. This is the time in our lives that we begin to see and care about how people view us. Peer pressure is when a person is pushed into doing something by the advice of their friends. They do it because they feel that if they don’t follow suit they will lose their much needed “affection.” They fail to notice that if they are being threatened with the loss of friendships, then the people aren’t really their friends. Peer pressure has negative behavioral, mental, and relationship effects.
First of all, peer pressure is one of the main causes of behavioral problems in the home or school. Peers will pressure their friends into everything from skipping homework to doing drugs and drinking. People who come from broken homes are more likely to succumb to peer pressure because of their need for approval and positive attention that they missed out on during all the arguing and troubles. This can reflect in their actions and attitudes. Peers can pressure each other into acting out in class. They can do this by creating games and challenges for each other that results in the disruption of the classroom. These problems are unavoidable for the most part but can be corrected if it is approached in the right way.
Next, peer pressure is caused by the psychological need to be accepted. This is because, from the beginning of humanity, it has been a necessity to be accepted by some group. Peer pressure can give you a false sense of security with your friends. You can feel like you are nothing if you don’t follow what they say. You can get a poor self-image when you feel like all you do is follow orders. You can become socially dependent on the opinions of your peers. You lose yourself when trying to be their definition of acceptable. When this happens we begin to hate our true selves which can result in many mental afflictions.
Above all, peer pressure almost always results in the consequence of strain in personal relationships. Your relationship with your parents can be destroyed by your actions. Your friends and family can be extremely hurt by your decisions. You can destroy your good friendships by your actions committed from a baneful one. Peer pressure can find it’s way into even the closest friends. Actually, you’re more likely to succumb to peer pressure from a friend that you have had for a while because you don’t want to damage the friendship. You also strain your relationship with yourself. You grow to hate who you are from your actions and your personality.
Peer pressure is so destructive yet so common. This is not only an issue, but it’s also a growing epidemic. When people experience peer pressure they feel exceedingly convicted with whatever decision they make. Peer pressure is something I believe everyone will face at least once in their lives. Peer pressure doesn’t just affect the person being targeted. It affects the people around them because if the actions committed are severe enough they can destroy families. This epidemic can only be stopped by keeping yourself from using it.
- Verywell Mind: The Effects of Peer Pressure
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Influence of Peer Pressure on Adolescents’ Pregaming Behavior in Alcohol Use-A Random Sample of Participants in Norway
- KidsHealth: Be a Peer Pressure “Refuser”
- VM Counselors’ Corner: The Influence of Peer Pressure
- ThoughtCo: How to Handle Negative Peer Pressure
- The New York Times Learning Network: How Do You Resist Peer Pressure?