It is often said that “knowing yourself is the greatest strength one can bear” but not many people live by that line. Peers are the ones who encourage an individual to change their attitudes, mindset, behaviors, or habits to conform to those of the influencing group of people. And the pressure, the stress that is received by that individual just to impress and follow the rules of peers is ‘Peer Pressure’. It is, with no doubt, harmful for that individual in many ways. Mostly, cases of ‘peer pressure’ take place in schools. This is just one side of the story. “There are two sides of a coin”, just like that ‘peer pressure’ also has positive effects. The effects of peer pressure completely depend on the influential group the peers belong to.
Listing down both positive and negative effects of peer pressure:
Positive Effects of Peer Pressure:
Positive Peer Pressure means when an individual’s peers encourage them to do something positive or help the individual in personal growth.
- A sense of Belonging –
If your peers are helping you with your studies, pushing you harder to do better at some important task, and motivating you, it helps you to create a sense of belonging with your peers. It is always good to have people who support you and who are there for you in difficult times.
- Advice and Encouragement –
Friends can be great supporters. If you are going through stress or are confused over a decision, peers can help you decide with the help of their advice and opinion. Peers will also encourage you to try out new things, learn new hobbies and skills, etc. One of the best effects is that they will get you out of your comfort zone, eventually leading to personal growth.
- Enhanced self-confidence –
Positive peer pressure helps one self-esteem. Because the peers will always try to bring out the best of each other and challenge themselves, the self-confidence boost happens because you will realize your strength from all the experience you get and also because of all the support from your peers.
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- Reinforcement of Positive habits and attitude –
It is a fact that your friends have a bigger influence on you than anyone else, especially during school days. Having peers who inspire you to learn new things that would help you in the future, who support you can help in the reinforcement of a positive mindset to look at life. Peers who have the same goals as you help you to build positive habits and attitudes.
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Negative Effects of Peer Pressure:
- A dip in self-esteem –
Negative peer pressure is known to affect most of the kids than positive peer pressure does. A normally confident child can start to be insecure about themselves and start self-doubting because of negative peer pressure around them. The lower self-esteem and lack of confidence in their skills might impact the child’s well-being.
- Bad impact on Grades –
Even if a student is fully capable of gaining a good score in academics, he or she can still choose to not study because peers are making studying look ‘uncool’. Teenagers want to belong to a peer group and sometimes, they try to fit in with the wrong one. Under peer pressure like trying to be like other members or not wanting to get bullied for getting good marks from those peers can lead to a very bad impact on the grades of that student.
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- Can Adapt to Harmful Habits –
Peer pressure can cause loss of individuality. It can make a teen adapt to habits they never would have if peers weren’t a part of their life. Drinking, smoking, drugs, and such dangerous habits are something can get addicted to because of peer pressure. At this point, long-term consequences do not matter to them as long as they feel accepted by their peers.
- Self-harm or Suicidal Thoughts –
With all the peer pressure and need to ‘fit in’ with the rest of the peers, it is impossible for any teen to feel confident about themselves without constantly fighting battles with others’ opinions about them. One of the main negative effects of peer pressure is that it might lead a teen into depression, make them anxious, and detached from their family and friends. This loneliness that occurs because of peer pressure might push a teen to attempt self-harm or even suicide.
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Personality Development Classes and Peer Pressure:
Personality development for kids plays a very important role in not letting any student get affected by negative peer pressure. It is very easy to intimate other peers and tries to get hold of bad habits just so you become a part of peers. But with the help of personality development, you realize your abilities and strength, your worth. Personality development enhances your mental strength and makes you physically and mentally strong. It makes you believe in yourself, leading to pushing such negative peer pressure away from you and only looking at good things.
Given the above were effects of peer pressure everyone in their life experience at least once. It is not only important to not let them affect you but it is also important to learn from them and move on with your life.