Peer Pressure: Why it should be addressed?

Peer Pressure

In this era of social media, there has been constant pressure among all demographics to be influenced by their peers. While the influence of peer groups is common in all age groups, it has a significant impact on teenagers.

If we look at the statistics of peer pressure in the Indian context, the facts are really scary. Many studies say that Indian teenagers indulge in sexual activities and substance consumption due to the influence of their peer group.

In this blog, let’s try to get a deeper understanding of peer pressure by keeping the Indian context in mind.

Peer Pressure: Western VS Indian Perspectives

In India, parents also contribute to the peer pressure experienced by teenagers. For example, if a neighbor’s child grabs an engineering seat in a reputed university, some Indian parents expect their child to achieve the same. This will lead to a lot of stress and anxiety, especially during their board exam preparation. 

On the other hand, in Western countries, peer pressure on teenagers is not significantly associated with their academic performance. Instead, they get influenced by the lifestyle of their peers and try to live a similar life which can have both positive and negative impacts. 

But, if we look at the changing trends, Indian teenagers also started to experience a similar kind of peer pressure as the teenagers in Western countries. This is alarming and if you are a parent of a teenager, you should definitely be cautious regarding the peer group of your child.

Types of Peer Pressure

Positive Peer Pressure

This kind of peer pressure helps you grow as a person. Any influence that motivates you to take action that produces positive results for yourself can be considered positive peer pressure.

Eg: 

  • A friend pressuring you to join the sports club/ music class.
  • You getting motivated to study hard by looking at the hard work of your friends.

Negative Peer Pressure

Negative Peer Pressure, as the name suggests, will have long-term negative consequences eventhough it gives some short-term satisfaction, especially if you are a teenager. 

Eg: 

  • Consuming alcohol due to the pressure of your peer group. 
  • Skipping the classes as your friend glorifies it as an act of boldness.

Direct Peer Pressure

If one member of your peer group tries to directly influence you to take a certain action, then it can be considered as direct peer pressure which can be both positive and negative. 

Eg:

  • Getting forced to smoke by a friend. Otherwise, he bullies you. 
  • A friend personally helping you tackle your weak academic areas.

Indirect Peer Pressure

If you get influenced by a person or a group eventhough they don’t intentionally influence your behavior, then it can be considered as indirect peer pressure. 

Eg: 

  • A teenager getting influenced by fashion trends. 
  • An Indian teenager thinking alcohol consumption is normal by watching Western TV shows. 

Examples of Peer Pressure

Common examples of peer pressure in Class 10 include both positive and negative aspects of peer pressure. This is the time when students are mostly influenced due to peer pressure. Let’s have a look at some examples that are relevant to both 10th-grade students and other age groups. 

  • Parents comparing their children to score big like a student in their peer group. 
  • Teenagers getting influenced by their friends to consume alcohol. 
  • Teens getting influenced by the trends in social media to dress in a certain way. 
  • Influence of classmates to cheat in exams. 
  • Bullying others due to the toxic motivation by the peer group. 
  • Pressure to have sex in the teenage. 
  • Feeling desperate to overspend on unnecessary things. 
  • Glorifying actions like risky behaviors, breaking rules, and labeling them as cool stuff.

Consequences of Peer Pressure

Consequences of peer pressure can either do harm or help people excel in their lives. It largely depends on the conscience in reacting to the external happenings. Let’s check out both the negative and positive consequences of peer pressure. 

The negative effects of peer pressure may lead teenagers to get involved in risky behaviors, disrespecting elders, substance consumption, skipping classes, bullying others, etc.

Pro Tips to Deal with Peer Pressure

While dealing with peer pressure, it’s important to address the core reason behind a certain behavior instead of working it out on a surface level. The approach should be different for different age groups. Let’s have a look at them in detail.

Dealing with Peer Pressure as a Student

  • Set long-term academic goals and stay committed to achieving them. 
  • Hang out with positive people with a growth mindset. 
  • Don’t hesitate to complain to your parents about friends who are forcing you into toxic habits. 
  • Don’t get influenced by the manipulative nature of social media. 
  • Be very wise and choose your friends with utmost diligence. 

Dealing with Peer Pressure as a Parent

  • Act as a role model to your child. 
  • Make yourself approachable to your child. 
  • Never ever compare your child with their peers. 
  • Monitor their behavior both in offline and online interactions. 
  • Help your child develop their own identity. 

Conclusion

Peer pressure can lead to serious consequences, especially in the case of teenagers. The negative effects of peer pressure like bullying, alcohol consumption, skipping classes, etc can be minimized or eliminated by understanding the core reason behind a certain behavior. Either a teenager or someone in their mid-twenties can be a victim of this peer pressure if they don’t address it with a conscience.

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