You’ve probably experienced peer pressure. Peer pressure is a normal, everyday thing that everybody encounters. Peer pressure is the pressure people put on you to do something or follow a trend to get accepted by society. However, sometimes the peer pressure put upon you can cause you to do risky things like drinking alcohol, using drugs, smoking, shoplifting, cut classes, or having sex.
Other than the damaging habits influenced by peer pressure, sometimes it can also cause anxiety disorder inside teens.
According to an article by CalmClinic, “Peer and social pressures to look or behave a certain way or do certain things cause stress by making the adolescents feel as though they have no choice and are trapped by social expectations. That they have to change who they really are, and/or that they are abnormal and somehow lesser if they don’t give in to the pressure they are subjected to” (Find Out About). This section in the article shows that how community influences teens can affect their mental health.
There are many forms of peer pressure in the world, associated with humans. The most common type of peer pressure would be the unspoken pressure . This pressure is the tension you feel when you step into a room of people. The feeling that someone is looking at you, or talking in whispers behind you.
You experienced this before right ? The sweaty palms, the cold sweat, that jittery feeling. That is the unspoken pressure (SafeTeens).
However, there are other forms that could influence you in worse ways compared to just making you nervous like the first form. Things like insulting a person until they eventually do something, or using a type of relationship/ friendship to pressure someone to do something (SafeTeens). These types don’t just put pressure on you, types of pressure like this could also cause you to be emotionally or mentally hurt.
Then there’s the last type of peer pressure : Reasoning. This is when a biased version of a comparison happens. This is when you weigh the pros and con before doing something stupid, to consider if you're going to do that stupid act or not. Before doing something stupid, of course. These reasoning pressure tend to happen when friends try to get you to do something. I had a small scale situation with the reasoning pressure too.
During lunch, a boy stood up and went over to the part of the table I was sitting at. He set a Yakult bottle down on the table and told me it was a gift. However, the only twist was that I had to drink it without using my hands. So, immediately I knew that he was going to take this action and turn it against me in the form of a prank or a joke. After giving it some thought, I picked the bottle up. Opened it. And, drank it casually. The boy stared me down for around 10 seconds….Before saying that if I finished the bottle using my hands, I had to pay him an amount of cash because he bought the bottle of milk, and I was drinking it. Hearing him say that, the other boys sitting near me began to advise things like, “Don’t worry, it’s nothing. He just wanted to see if you could do it.”
Did he ? Did he really ?
As the voices around me got louder, I thought that maybe it wouldn’t hurt to just do the thing and end the whole situation already. Besides there’s only a tiny bit of the drink left and I wouldn’t have to pay any money. I got laughed at afterwards (obviously) because the boy who gave me the drink made a joke during lunch.
The reason I did this other than logical analysis ?
I really can’t decide between the fear of people talking and remembering my action for generations and generations to come, and losing people who I call friends during my current teenage years.
Nevertheless, there are good influences caused by peer pressure like your peers can encourage you to practice sport and try you best at it, or your peers can help you with your studies to help you get better grade. Your friends can also support you when you’re down, and help you stay positive (Peer). Though, these benefits for a person could only be applied if you are surrounded with good peers that can help you with your problems, and ignore all the peer pressure around you and say no.
However, a section from ‘Peer pressure : The Effect on Teenagers’ states, “The more time teenagers spend with their peers, the more they trust them. If a teenager trusts a friend, they will most likely follow that friend's examples. The majority of teenagers are insecure. Because of this, they follow their peers and perform actions they aren't comfortable with”. They continue to explain the topic, “Many teenagers want to feel accepted by their peers, so they do certain things to try and fit in with everyone else. Teenagers think that by following what their friends do, like smoking or drinking alcohol, they will seem ‘cool' or they fear that they'll look clueless or completely out of it if they don't (Jenuhh0).” This shows saying no to a negative option is an option, but the risk that comes with saying no is too high.
The choice is clearly in your hands. You can say no, rejecting all the negative factors that comes with peer pressure. Peer pressure can cause anxiety, and a variety of serious problem for our age. Peer pressure is a harmful force, and to make matters worse the forms that it spreads by is so ordinary, you don’t even know when you’re under peer pressure.
Honestly, if you know you are hanging out with friends who are starting to drag you into the mess they’re in, go find new friends. Say no to your old friends. Yes, it is scary. Yes, it is hard. For a better present and future. For a better physical and mental health. Finding better people to hang out with is a good choice to make.