All of us have experienced peer pressure at some point in our lives. Here’s decoding the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of peer pressure.
Right from school to college, we spend a considerable amount of time every day with our friends. Thus, it’s only natural that we pick up certain habits and thoughts which belong to them. But when we feel compelled to be just like them or adopt their lifestyle, it most definitely is peer pressure.
Peer pressure is a circumstance wherein we tend to get carried along with our peers and get influenced by their lifestyles, habits and even their thought-processes.
To identify if you are succumbing to peer pressure, ask yourself just one question – “Am I doing this because I want to do it or because everyone around me is doing it?”
Adolescence is a tricky age to be in. We get fascinated by anything and everything. We learn and unlearn every day. This is the very age when we get more influenced by our peers than by our parents. Consequently, we end up doing a lot of things to ‘fit in’ and be ‘cool’.
One of the worst things that peer pressure can lead one into is the loss of identity very early in life. One starts disregarding himself/herself for not being like others and constantly try to be one among the lot. If not found acceptable to one’s peers, a person starts dismantling parts of themselves every day and rebuilds to get validated.
Adopting the thought-processes of your peers without scrutinizing them can puncture your ability to think and reason. One might end up becoming an individual with no original ideas and thinking. It’s very close to having a mob-mentality where the actions and thoughts of people around you become your own. Thus, it’s pertinent to make sure that you don’t lose your inherent personality while engaging with your peers on a daily basis.
Adoption of habits is one of the most common forms of peer pressure that exists around us. Willingly or unwillingly, we fall into this trap of adopting the habits of our friends. Many a times, we tend to start living the lifestyles of our peers. More than half of the young people start smoking or drinking merely out of peer pressure. The phrase, “Don’t be a chicken, everyone’s doing it” is enough to compel one into doing a certain thing.
The above mentioned aspects can be attributed to negative peer pressure.
While the term peer pressure is always taken in a negative connotation, it’s not really the case. While it may lead you into making destructive and unhealthy choices in life, it can at the same time also push you towards self-betterment.
One of the best things that peer pressure can do to you is that it makes you sit back and evaluate yourself. It’s undeniable that we all have the scope to grow and learn. Constantly being around people with conflicting opinions and personalities will make you challenge the personality and thought-process you’ve been carrying hitherto then.
It also makes you look beyond yourself and accept those conflicting personalities. Selectively and carefully analyzing them will help you bring positive aspects into yourself and make you grow as a person. Having a sound group of friends who push you to do better every day is like finding a gold mine. They will help you experience positive peer pressure. Thus, be careful of the company you choose to hang out with.
The most important thing to realize while experiencing peer pressure is that it is more internal than external. Mastering our minds to comprehend right from wrongs can make you go a long run into not succumbing to negative peer pressure. Also, doing away with the rigidity of one’s personality and thinking and considering the opinions and constructive habits of those around will help you extract the positive out of your peers.
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