Peer Pressure


Peer pressure is a phenomenon due to which people tend to change their behavior and attitudes under the influence of others. The key reason that leads to this behavior is the human desire of being liked by people and wanting to be included in groups. Let’s be frank: no one enjoys being left out of a group, or not being included in conversations; yes, exceptions are always there and you may say that introverted people are those exceptions-but that’s a separate topic, so let’s not go there today.
Whenever anyone of us hears the term ‘Peer Pressure’, the first thing that strikes our minds is the example of a boy/girl being influenced by his/her friends to indulge in wrong activities (against the individual’s moral values) like smoking, drinking etc. However, peer pressure need not be always about such extreme things. It can be about much more regular and common things. For example, if my friends plan a get-together and I don’t want to attend it simply because I feel it will impact my academic routine, but after some convincing from my friends, I agree with them and go to the party, this is nothing but a classic case of peer pressure in a much more ordinary circumstance.
Like there are two sides to every coin, peer pressure also has both positive and negative effects. The dominating effects are undoubtedly negative, but we shall discuss both here.
Whenever we remain true to our decisions and moral values, we develop a strong will power and instill a sense of confidence within ourselves. Sadly, peer pressure does the exact opposite with us. It weakens our decision-making ability and makes us under-confident. To provide an analogy, peer pressure can be compared to that person in our lives who always doubts us and considers us incompetent and by repeatedly doing so, he/she subconsciously weakens us and tries to disable our sense of independent thinking. Peer pressure poses the risk of adopting dangerous habits like smoking, drinking etc. that could impact our health and overall quality of life ; it can also affect our goals and aspirations and divert our attention away from them. Hence, the negative effects peer pressure brings with itself are strong and can easily trouble a person immensely if he/she isn’t aware of who they truly are as a person.