Positive and negative effects of peer pressure

Positive and Negative Effects of Peer Pressure

Peer pressure has been getting a bad repute of late and with good reason but the fact remains that it is the same peer pressure that plays a critical role in shaping the lives of so many teenagers and can help set them on a path to self-discovery. What’s more, peer pressure can be quite influential in shaping the life of a person, from their lifestyle to the various choices they make in life and this is why it is important that you take a closer look at peer pressure and it’s positive and negative effects so that you can better understand the same.

Positive Effects of Peer Pressure:

The fact is that peer pressure is often used in a negative context these days but that is not to imply that peer pressure is bad or negative but that it is crucial for your social development. Here are a few positive effects of peer pressure.

  • Habits: Peer pressure is critical to how you adopt manners and mannerisms; granted that it is something that your parents should teach you and chances are that you already do. But peer pressure forms a critical component of the same and you get to fine-tune your manners and mannerisms by observing all those around you.
  • Personality development: Ask any good child psychologist and they would tell you that peer pressure is a critical component as far as your personality goes. While you may already have a personality, peer pressure can help you fine tune the same; it enhances positive development and is often the key to a well-developed personality.
  • Skill development: often, a young child develops essential skills by observing all those around him and the same extends to the time spent in developing the same in school and even in college. Often students develop new skills often solely based on peer pressure so it would not be an exaggeration to claim that peer pressure is often essential to skill development.
  • Positive influence: The fact is that peer pressure can play an influential role and is more than necessary for the healthy development of any child.

Negative Aspects of Peer Pressure:

Even though it can play an influential role, the fact is that peer pressure comes with more than a few negative connotations.  It is listed below for your easy reference.

  • Bullying: With incidents of bullying being rampant in high school, it has become evident that peer pressure often forces you to do something against your will. In fact, in order not to stand out, you may be forced to participate in a bullying session with often devastating results for the victim. In fact, some of those bullied have been driven to suicide as well. It should be pointed out that peer pressure enables groups of young students to behave and act contrarily and may even encourage them to bully others, as a way to dominate them.
  • Negative habits: It is not unheard for young students to cut school and take off elsewhere. It should not come as a surprise that peer pressure is often one of the main reasons that these young students behave against the norm and often, seek a way to rebel against what they term as authority. In fact, in the US, a young teen was egged on by his compatriots to attack a 60-year-old Sikh man and while the old man was heavily inured, the incident only goes on to show you that peer pressure can lead you to pick up some negative habits.
  • Smoking, drinking and drugs: Often, peer pressure can compel you to smoke, to drink and even to do party drug. Often, you would feel compelled to do the same so that you would fit in with the crowd, and that’s on account of peer pressure. But every so often, these habits that you form can lead to bad decisions, and change your life for the worse. You may even get addicted to the substance in question and getting out the same is easier said than done.

These are some of the positive and negative aspects of peer pressure. And while peer pressure does come with a few negative effects, the fact is that they still continue to play an influential role even today. In fact, it is one of the cornerstones to personality and skill development and is more than just necessary. So, banning peer pressure may prove counterproductive as they can help and shape your lives for the better.

Alan Behrens

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