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Negative and Positive Effects of Peer Pressure
 

Negative and Positive Effects of Peer Pressure

starlet ,  05-Apr-10
Peer pressure is the phenomenon wherein we tend to get influenced by the lifestyles and the ways of thinking of our peers. Peer pressure can prove beneficial but it is most often observed to have negative effects on society. What is negative peer pressure? What is positive peer pressure? How do does it affect the teenagers?

The thoughts, behavior and tastes of fashion, music, television and other walks of life of the masses are often seen having a deep impact on the living of the society. We tend to get influenced by the lifestyles of our peer group. The changing ways of life of our peers often force us to change our ways of looking at life and leading it. It’s a human tendency to do what the crowd does. Few have the courage to resist the peer pressure and be their own selves rather than being one among the lot. Peer pressure is bound to affect most of us, both, positively and negatively. The distinction between positive and negative peer pressure lies in a thoughtful analysis of the views of the masses. Following your peers blindly leaves a negative impact on your life while an analytical approach of looking at peer behavior can act positively. Let us look at the positive and negative effects of peer pressure.

Negative Effects of Peer Pressure

When you do not like a particular idea or when you have no inclination towards a particular field, it is obvious that you won't like to go by it. For sure, you won't like to go that way. But it is you peer group, which may compel you on doing something you hate. In such cases, there are chances that you won't do well in those things. Things you do not enjoy doing cannot fetch you success. You cannot emerge successful in something you have never liked doing. So, it is important that you do not lose happiness of your life by succumbing to peer pressure.

Many a time, it so happens, that we are forced to lead a certain kind of lifestyle due to peer pressure. You may not like partying on every weekend, you may not like night outs with friends, you may hate drinking or smoking, but peer pressure may make you do all that you had never wished to. There are many teenagers who experience great pressure from their peer group that forces them to take to drinking. You may take to something as grave as drug use, and that too, only because of peer pressure. In such cases, being overly pressurized by you peers can be detrimental to your living. Some teenagers literally spoil their lives by giving in to peer pressure.

Peer pressure can lead to a loss of individuality. Extreme peer pressure may lead you to follow what your peers feel right. Their pressure may compel you to go by everything they think right. You tend to blindly imitate the masses; you adopt their tastes of fashion, clothing, hair, music and general living. Peer pressure can actually lead you to lose you tastes of life and force yourself to begin liking what they like. Peer pressure is the human tendency to join the bandwagon, in which, the person loses his/her original way of looking at life.

Positive Effects of Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is not always bad. It can help you analyze yourself and contemplate on your ways of life. Some of the practices that the masses follow may actually teach you the way of living. You may be able to change yourself for the better. Looking at what others do, can help you bring about a positive change in your way of thinking. If you can pick selectively, peer pressure can actually result in a positive change in your way of life.

Knowing what the masses follow exposes you to the world outside your home. You understand the things going on around you. You are exposed to a wide variety in human behavior. Exposure to peer pressure gives you an opportunity to think about their tastes and their outlooks towards life. It gives you a chance to choose the best from what the masses do.

If you are fortunate to get a good peer group, your peers can play a vital role in the shaping of your personality. Their way of looking at life may influence you to change for betterment. Some of your peers are your close friends, who do not pressurize you to do things but rather inspire you to change yourself. Your peer group may actually persuade you to bring about a constructive change in your personality. Peer pressure can lead you to make the right choices in life.

Teenage Peer Pressure

Teenage is that phase of life when you are exposed to the world outside. These are the years when you spend most of your time with your friends. Teenage is the phase of beginning to become independent in life; the years of forming your ideals and principles, the years that shape your personality and the years that introduce you to your own self. Adolescents often spend most of their daily time with friends and owing to this vulnerable age, they tend to imitate their friends. The people around you are bound to influence you. However, the effect of the influences of the masses is greater during your teen years. Parents have a vital role to play during this phase of a person's life. Parents and teachers need to be careful while dealing with teenagers, as they are most susceptible to succumb to peer pressure during these years of their life. Teenage individuals need to be taught to distinguish between the good and the bad, the right and the wrong and should be taught to be thoughtful in life.

A strong support from family, an ability to differentiate between the positive and the negative and a skill to choose friends from the peers - this three-pronged strategy is the best way to keep away from negative peer pressure.
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