Though it cannot be seen with our naked eyes but we certainly can feel it around us. Every time we step out of the house, when we are going to school, college or maybe in university, every time we login to our social media or even when we are watching TV it is there and it is always making an impact on us, consciously or unconsciously. All teenagers and even adults can get affected by it at some point of their life. That intangible ticking clock above our heads that is constantly reminding us that we lack something that another person of our age has is called peer pressure. It is very hard for some people to take this pressure in their day to day life. They may sometimes take drastic measures to be accepted in the group and that often affects their mental health. Peer pressure is the cause of many mental illnesses like anxiety,depression and nervous breakdown.
Peer pressure can impact anyone but the teens get affected by it the most. Understanding and recognising the type of peer pressure we or an acquaintance is going through can help us to understand how friends can influence decisions.
When a friend or a close one negatively influences each other it is called the negative peer pressure, for example trying to talk someone into doing drugs, cigarettes, alcohol or just simply forcing someone into something they don’t want to do. Negative peer pressure does not always have to be direct. It can also cause by just seeing or hearing things from people around us or even from social media. But direct peer pressure is more powerful as it is much more difficult to resist. It exists even in the corporate world where there are all adults but they still engage themselves into unhealthy competitions. Indirect peer pressure may not be as strong but it can also greatly influence the decision a person makes. We will often see people telling that they will do a certain thing because one of their friends are doing it. They take it as an example that if people of their age can do it , then why can’t they.
Nowadays social media hugely impact a person’s life as this is the only way they are being exposed to the world. They see models, actresses and other social media influencers doing a certain thing and normalises something which probably should not be normalised. For example, if a girl sees a picture of a peer who visits restaurants quite often and post pictures of their food she might also try to do the same regardless of her situation just to be in the circle. This situation is also very common in boys. We may have seen a timid young boy who was only into studies but suddenly transforms himself and becomes one of the boys from the group who once used to bully him. He grows up thinking that bullying or being a hooligan will make him a part of the superior team. He then ends up doing the things he once hated. So why exactly people do or say things by being influenced? This can be seen especially among the people who are afraid of being ridiculed and losing his/her friend(s).
There can be people in our lives who will put certain conditions that they will only stay if we obey what they ask us to do or there can be times when we might feel the need of doing something only because we have seen a peer doing it. That is the moment we have to ask ourselves is it something that we really want to do or we are doing it only because of peer pressure. If it is something which we know will do bad to ourselves or the society that is the moment we have to trust our conscience and cut those people out of our lives. We have to know that the attachment we have or try to built with a certain person can never be one sided and imposing any sort of peer pressure on anyone can never built an honest relationship.
Peer pressure does not always have to be negative. We all have those friends who inspire us to do good or we see them doing good in their lives and hope one day we will be like them as well. So we should think and judge people before we choose someone to be our friend. As the famous quote says,“choose your friends wisely,they will make or break you.” Peer pressure if it is a positive one can inspire us to be a better person. Instead of trying to please someone or just trying to fit into a group we should respect our individuality and let people accept us just the way we are