As a human being, you are bound to face peer pressure at various stages of your life; chances are that you may often be pressured by your friends to take part in certain activities that you may not feel comfortable with. That’s peer pressure and there are various ways of dealing with the same to ensure that you do not get trapped into making the mistake of giving into the negative peer pressure. The challenge often lies in discriminating between positive peer pressure and a negative one; positive peer pressure is when you are forced to carry out certain tasks that enable you to grow socially, and is generally more goal oriented. On the contrary, negative peer pressure often assumes the shape of unhealthy activities such as drinking, taking drugs, breaking and entering – you get the gist. Peer pressure is something that you are genetically engineered to respond to, which often plays an important role in the development of your psyche.
The impact of peer pressure varies from one person to another; but one thing is for certain though, peer pressure can play an important role and can cause you to experience a range of emotions as a result. This is why young students, who are already exposed to a high-stress environment, are more at risk of being affected negatively on account of peer pressure. Here are some of the ways in which you can be affected, as a result of negative peer pressure.
- Self-confidence: Peer pressure can affect your confidence levels; negative peer pressure can cause your confidence levels to plummet and in the process end up making you more reclusive, wary of making friends and even in trying out new ideas. It is important that you learn to recognize the difference between positive and negative peer pressure and that you take measures to avoid negative peer pressure.
- Self-esteem: Peer pressure can often lead to bullying; this can impact your self-esteem levels and make you think that you are to blame for everything that’s happening to you. Such negative peer pressure and bullying can often cause you to experience high stress and a range of emotions. Some of those who had gone through enormous strain as a result of such bullying tactics had even attempted suicide. This is why it is important that you do not let others control how you feel about yourself and that you undertake various exercises to ensure that your self-esteem does not suffer in the process.
- Poor academic scores: As a result of being subjected to all this stress on account of peer pressure, your academics are bound to be impacted. You would often find it hard to focus on the class and would just want the day to end before you can head back home safely. Given this, your academic scores are bound to be impacted and if you do not take effective measures, it can derail your career before it even begins.
- Reclusive: Being subject to negative peer pressure can make it hard for you to trust or for that matter, even communicate with others. As a result, you are bound to have little or no friends and may even prefer to spend lots of time on your own. It is only a matter of time before you become a social outcast because of all the strain of negative peer pressure.
- Destructive habits: If you do give in to some of the negative peer pressure, and try out certain substances on account of the same then chances are that you may get addicted to the same. This can result in you acting out because of the addiction and even form certain destructive behaviors which will soon impact your loved ones as well.
These are the reasons why it is important for you to recognize the differences between positive and negative peer pressure and take effective measures to counter the same. And remember, often a firm “No” can go a long way in avoiding any negative peer pressure; sure that may seem easier said than done since you would essentially be refusing your peers. But you need to make the decision based on what’s good for you and not on how it may appear to others.
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While positive peer pressure has the power to motivate you and even push you towards accomplishing your goals, you need to be careful about negative peer pressure since it has the power to derail your very career. Just keep in mind that peer pressure cannot be avoided and its something that you are going to have to deal with, effectively.