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PEER PRESSURE: IT’S YOUR CHOICE; CHOOSE WISELY

Who are your ‘Peers’?


When you were a child, your parents choose your mates and friends by admitting you to a kinder garden or in schools according to their mode of likability. They allow you to meet only those who they want. They choose your friends group, your society and your status. Now you become mature enough to decide who you want to be friends with and in which society you spend your time. Your friends and your status are your peers. They are the people of you age who have similar lifestyles and interest like yours.


Every day, you and your friends talk to each other, share thoughts and ideas, and you guys influence each other’s choices and decisions. You get influenced by your peers because they admire you and what you do and that’s why your peers play a vital role in your lifestyle as well. But you probably hear about the term peer pressure rather than the positive influence of peers. Then what is peer pressure? Is peer pressure have a bad influence on your personality? So let's dive into this article to get to know more about peer pressure.


What does it mean to have ‘peer pressure’?


Peer pressure simply means the influence that peers can have on each other. In other words, we can say that if someone is pressuring you to do something that you don’t want to do or be involved in, that’s called peer pressure. Peers can be anyone such as anyone of a similar age, people who are of the same status, or who have the same social status. Peer pressure is commonly considered as a negative side but in reality, it's not always a bad side. learning how to interact and socialize with other people is a positive part of peer pressure.


Signs of peer pressure


Peer pressure can range from delicate to apparent, which means that it can be easier to spot. However, children suffering from peer pressure might experience the following symptoms:


• Mood swings, fearfulness, or feeling of hopelessness


• Waking too early, or falling asleep


• Eating disorder or overeating


• Avoid social meetings


• Aggression, anxiety, or depression


• Trying out new things related to physical appearance


• Being image-conscious


• Avoid getting involved in sports or any kind of physical activity


• Low self-esteem


• Don’t express emotions or lack of communication skills


Causes for peer pressure


Peer pressure is a social pressure that affects the behavioural changes, attitudes, or values of an individual. Therefore, it is necessary for us to understand this along with the causes. Following are the causes of peer pressure that are mostly noticed in an individual:


1. Social acceptance: Social acceptance is the primary cause of peer pressure in our society. Children who are disliked by their peers and excluded from participation in the peer group are most likely to developed peer pressure. All these sociometric categories like popularity, rejection and average status lead to peer pressure in children.


2. Weak personality: A good personality plays a vital role in every area of your life. A person with a good personality always attracts everyone’s attention vice versa goes with the lack of a good personality. And that’s the reason an individual with a lack of stable personality experiences a lot of peer pressure. The weaker the personality, the easier it is to be the chances of peer pressure.


3. Hormonal changes: As we grew we all experience hormonal changes in our body and that’s completely normal. But for teenagers, there might be some hormonal issues that are quite complex and as result, it causes peer pressure to them. Thus, this makes teenagers susceptible since their hormones weaken their ability to judge some actions.


4. Mental disorder: The fact that peer pressure makes a person feel more anxious and uncomfortable, therefore mental health issues are a powerful reason for the development of peer pressure. Mental disorders like anxiety, stress, and depression are most likely to be noticed with a person going through peer pressure.


5. Bullying: Bullying plays a significant role in the context of peer pressure. As humans, we generally experience bullying somehow somewhere but in order to get out of this context, people generally join bullying groups. As a result, the members of these groups get peer pressure to commit certain crimes.


Solutions to deal with peer pressure


In order to lessen the effects of peer pressure in our society it is very important for us to educate our children and help them by performing the following steps given below:


• Spend time with them and share your own experiences and ways you’ve handled them to boost their self-confidence.


• Always try to have good communication to let them know you are there if they need any help.


• Engage them in physical activities like performing yoga, doing exercise, playing games, and practising meditation to calm their mind and body.


• Pay close attention to their behavioural changes and figure out what’s going on according to the condition.


• Support them to find their passion and be their helping hands by showing their interest. 


Peer isn’t always bad


As you have heard about peer pressure more than the positive aspects of the peer groups. As we studied more about the pressure we experience by our peers in this article but let me introduce you to the benefits of belonging to a peer group that you might not hear a lot about it. Peers have a positive influence and play a vital role in our lives. They are the people who are close to you like your friends with whom you can share your thoughts and experiences. Having peers who are dedicated to their studies, develop new skills, stimulate an interest in reading books, and doing their best in a particular field always influence you to do something growth building. 


Also, your peer group gives you opportunities to socialize and try out new social skills like taking part in debates, involving in social events, and contributing to social ideas. Peers often give you good advice regarding your personal or family issues. They help you to make different choices and decisions that will surely help you in the future. Therefore, positive peer pressure always makes you feel good and directs you to something positive in your life.


Conclusion


In conclusion, peer pressure is a grey thing; it is the combination of positive peer pressure and negative peer pressure. Positive peer pressure always leads you to become a better peer, and it’s a valuable part of socializing and growing in your respective lifestyle. While if you are struggling with negative peer pressure, then you must talk to your parents or with another trusted peer. As Oprah Winfrey said, “Only surround yourself with people who will lift you higher”.


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