The Anxieties of Peer Pressure
Have you ever felt the need to conform just to be with the “in” crowd? How about feeling an overwhelming desire to belong to a group that you’ll do anything they tell you just to be accepted? Have you ever been forced to prove yourself worthy of getting into a group? You may be under peer pressure.Peer pressure has been described as the pressure exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change their attitude, behavior and/or morals. It can be as little as dressing the same way as the rest of the group or hanging out at the same places, to forcing you to drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes, or worse, break laws. Peer pressure may come from people who wouldn’t associate with you except for times when they need you, as well as from your closest friends.As one grows older, people are faced with situations that require a decision. Some people have a clear idea of what choices they should take. However, there are some who remain undecided. During the teenage years, a part of the brain is being developed. This is the part that is specifically for thought process and judgment. This is the time when kids start developing their own ideas and ideals. Having someone asserting their personal ideals may affect a person’s decision-making ability. It’s difficult enough to make decisions on your own, let alone to have people pressuring you to do things their way.Being subjected to this kind of pressure causes anxiety to everybody, kids and adults alike. It produces a paranoid feeling that they should keep pleasing other people just to belong. These people might show signs of negativism, lying or excessive shyness. They would start second-guessing themselves, thinking that they’re not good enough to be in the group. They would also start lying about where they’ve been, who they were with, or what they’ve been doing; they can also develop a very low self-esteem, making them extremely shy and distant.However, not all peer pressure is negative. Good peer pressure is when you are pushed to do something good that you didn’t have the courage to do or have never crossed your mind. Positive peer pressure may result to close friendships. This is where one meets people who are positive role models, receive good feedbacks and sound advices, practice clean socializing skills, gain new learning experiences, and get encouragement and support. All of these would come from true friends that know you and have only your best interest at heart.If you feel the need to conform just to be part of the “in” crowd, ask yourself “Do I really want to do it, or am I just going to do it because everybody else is doing it? Or just because they’re telling me to do it?” Not everything people say or do is right. The key is to understand one’s self better to know if this is what you really want or if you’re ready. Friends will always be there to give you a piece of their mind and give you a little push to whatever direction. Responding to peer pressure is a natural thing, but knowing who to listen to is the biggest decision to make.
The Anxieties of Peer Pressure
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