Peer pressure is a common condition, especially in adolescents. If you don’t find a way to control it soon, it will make your mood heavy and stressful. Moreover, prolonged pressure also causes many bad effects, making you affected in both emotions, thoughts and behaviors.
What is peer pressure?
Peer pressure is also known as peer pressure. This condition is simply understood as influences from peers that directly or indirectly affect a person’s psychology, thoughts and behavior.
In addition, peer pressure can also be understood more broadly as when individuals are influenced by people of the same social group. Such as the same class, the same age, the same company, the same area of expertise, etc. These influences will cause a person to change attitudes, values and behaviors to conform to the standards of the group.
In fact, almost everyone will or has ever faced peer pressure. However, puberty children, adolescents and young adults are often affected to a greater extent.
In some cases, peer pressure can be a motivation for each person to put more effort into asserting and perfecting themselves. Because when in an elite group of friends, each person will easily face pressure from the strength or success of their friends. This pushes me to try harder to be like friends.
However, peer pressure can also have a lot of negative consequences. Especially when playing with bad friends, preferring to compete and enjoy more than studying and working. This condition often has a profound effect on adolescents, who have no experience and understanding of aspects of life. Therefore, it is easy to become infected with bad habits.
If you don’t know how to control it, peer pressure can weigh on you for a long time. This will lead to stress, fatigue, anxiety, pessimism, etc. Even many people feel self-deprecating and afraid to meet friends due to excessive pressure on the success of others.
Peer pressure and Gen Z
Young people of Gen Z grew up in the strong explosion of digital technology. For example, the development of the internet, social networks and mobile devices. Therefore, this has created a very clear awareness of Gen Z about the power of information, virtual experiences as well as mass communication.
Many people are wondering whether developing in the “digital age” will inadvertently put Gen Z under great pressure? In fact, experts say that peer pressure has a strong influence on Gen Z.
A personality trait that is easy to see in many Gen Z young people is the high ego. This can create additional invisible pressures. A simple example like when seeing friends bragging about their achievements on social media, Gen Z generation may be under more pressure. The reason is because the ego is high, so I am often afraid of being inferior to my friends.
These pressures can cause Gen Z to try and work harder to prove their strength and express themselves. However, too much pressure is a “double-edged sword” that causes many consequences. It causes Gen Z to fall into stress, anxiety and even lead to depression.
Types of peer pressure
Adolescents and young people often have a greater desire to fit in. Moreover, these subjects are also very sensitive to being bullied, ridiculed or ostracized. As a result, they are often eager to do what their peers or co-workers ask.
Many studies have investigated and focused on the important role peers play in influencing social behaviour. Peer pressure is divided into 2 main types including:
1. Positive peer pressure
Positive peer pressure means your friends encourage you to do positive things or push you to develop in a beneficial direction. Some examples include:
- Motivate your friends to study harder so they can get better grades
- Get a job after school, and at the same time convince friends to work together
- Save money on a big purchase and encourage friends to do the same
- Disapprove of ridicule stories
- Condemn illegal or risky behavior such as underage drinking or smoking
2. Negative peer pressure
Negative peer pressure refers to negative peer influences that cause a person to do something dangerous, causing harm to themselves or others. Some examples include:
- Convince your friends to skip school
- Motivate someone to buy an e-cigarette or smoke a cigarette
- Forcing friends to drink alcohol or try drugs
- Encourage peers to bully others
Research the causes of peer pressure
Peer pressure is a common mentality that everyone seems to have experienced. This condition can happen for many different reasons. Here are some of the most common causes:
1. Family situation
In fact, children from disadvantaged families are often more susceptible to peer pressure than children from good living situations. Because living in a difficult family makes children limited in many aspects. From clothes, food to money and learning conditions.
Meanwhile, children in puberty and teenagers often have the habit of comparing themselves to their peers. Children often show low self-esteem, shame and embarrassment when seeing their friends eat well and dress well. Many children also refuse to play and are less able to express themselves for fear of isolation.
2. Parents’ education
Parents’ education is a factor that directly affects the process of forming a child’s personality. Parents who often criticize and criticize will also create a lot of pressure for their children.
In particular, many parents have a habit of comparing their children with peers. As a child is a comparison of academic results. As adults, they compare jobs, salaries, contributions to the family or compare marriage issues.
Unhealthy parenting style can be the cause of peer pressure. Moreover, this factor also increases conflicts in the family because the children always feel that their parents are too imposing and disrespecting them.
3. Demand is increasing day by day
Human needs are increasing day by day. In previous generations, the simple need was to live in a happy family, have a stable job, but now, people need a lot of other needs. For example, having fame, interest, admiration or early success.
In this day and age, society is constantly developing. Currently, there are many young people who are learning, promoting their abilities and succeeding very early. The increasing number of excellent individuals in society forces the requirements for skills and qualifications to also increase.
In particular, when seeing outstanding individuals being cared for and admired, each person himself forms the same need. In some cases, this has a positive effect on the growing society. However, in many people this can add to the pressure.
4. The explosion of social networks
The explosion of social networks is also a common cause of increased peer pressure. The advent of social networks will make comparing yourself to others more frequent.
Nowadays, people have a habit of sharing their personal life on social networks. When we see friends sharing great achievements such as buying a house, buying a car, going abroad to study, increasing salary, etc., it is very difficult to avoid pressure.
5. Personality Traits
Surveys show that Peer Pressure is more common in people with low self-esteem. Because of their lack of confidence, they have no confidence in themselves. When starting a new plan or project, they always assume that they will fail. In addition, low self-esteem will also form psychological stress, pessimism before success from friends.
In children, low self-esteem will make it difficult for children to stand out despite having good academic results. Children with low self-esteem are often attracted to friends with personality, even spoiled. Because children think that these friends always have confidence and stand out. If the family is not properly educated, children are very susceptible to bad habits because they always want to become more confident.
6. Frequent failure
People who frequently experience setbacks in life are prone to peer pressure. Repeated failures make them psychologically lacking in confidence. At the same time feel useless and inferior to the success of friends.
Asians often emphasize the interdependence between people and the importance of the collective. In contrast, individualism (high self-worth) is common in Western countries.
Research shows that people raised in a culture that values collectivism are more likely to form social comparisons than those raised in individualism.
In fact, the hierarchical hierarchy, being compared with others, and competing for scores are clearly reflected in the collective culture. This explains why peer pressure is more common in Eastern countries, including Vietnam.
Signs of falling under peer pressure
Peer pressure may or may not be obvious. If you have children in puberty or teenagers, you should spend more time paying attention to them. Identifying the signs that your child is facing peer pressure will help you better support your child.
Some signs that a person may be experiencing peer pressure include:
- Avoiding school and other social situations
- Changes in behavior
- Expressing inappropriate emotions
- Mood swings in a bad way
- Forming social comparisons
- Difficulty sleeping
- Try on a new hairstyle or clothes
Many signs of peer pressure can also be indicative of other problems. Such as being bullied or worried about mental health conditions. Any changes in mood and behavior are worth noting.
The effects of peer pressure
As mentioned, peer pressure often affects minors more. As your child grows older, peers will play a larger role in their lives. Friends can influence everything from music habits to how you dress or talk.
Peer pressure is not always deviant. In fact, it can have both positive and negative effects. As follows:
1. Benefit from peer pressure
Some of the positive effects of peer pressure include:
- Tip: Friends can be a great support when kids try new things, explore new ideas, or need someone to help them through difficult problems.
- Encouragement: Peers can push each other to do new and beneficial things. Like trying out for the soccer team or playing games at school.
- Friendship and support: Friends can be stressful, but good friends accept you for who you are and help boost your self-esteem.
- Set a good example: Peers can help each other become better people. Good friends will be scowling and annoyed at negative behavior and always encourage positive ones.
2. Bad effects from peer pressure
Besides the positive effects, peer pressure can cause negative effects. Some adverse effects include:
- Anxiety and depression: Being around people your age puts pressure on you makes you uncomfortable doing things. Furthermore, it increases the risk of anxiety and depression.
- Arguing or creating distance with family and friends: Pressure from friends tends to make a person feel bad about themselves. This makes you want to withdraw and withdraw from family and friends.
- Distractions in study: Pressure from friends will sometimes cause you to shift your focus away from your priorities to studying. Because at this point, you may be engaging in things you wouldn’t normally do or be distracted by thoughts of peer pressure.
- Pressure to perform risky behavior: Friends can pressure each other to commit bad behaviors. Examples include drinking, smoking, trying drugs, racing or engaging in sexual activity too early.
- Self-esteem issues and low self-esteem: Constantly feeling pressured by your friends’ successes and strengths will make you feel bad about yourself. This can lead to low self-esteem and low self-esteem.
- Sudden change in behavior: Trying to conform to the standards of friends or colleagues causes you to begin to engage in behaviors that are not like your own.
- Dissatisfaction with your appearance: If your peers focus solely on your appearance, you may feel dissatisfied with your own appearance. At the same time always want to change the appearance to be more suitable.
How to overcome peer pressure
Peer pressure does not always promote benefits. Especially in cases of excessive pressure, it can cause you to beat yourself up and go astray. In addition, it also leads to pessimism, stress and many other psychological problems.
You need to know how to overcome peer pressure to avoid bad influences from happening. Here are some solutions for you:
1. Strive to improve yourself
It is not easy to turn pressure into motivation, but you must always work towards this goal. You need to know that, each person will have a completely different ability and starting point. However, what you can do is always work hard every day to be the best version of yourself.
When you are still in school, try to study hard and passionately. This will give you a solid baggage before entering life. In addition, you need to hone yourself some necessary soft skills. Such as communication skills, presentation skills, teamwork skills, informatics, foreign languages, etc.
Even if you have a job, never stop trying. Always complete the assigned work and add the necessary skills and knowledge to develop more. Working hard is the best way to success. Be confident in expressing yourself and refrain from caring about the glory of others.
2. Choose positive friends
When facing peer pressure, you should choose to play with friends who do not pressure you in study or work. Friends should accept you for who you are without wanting to change you for the worse.
Negative friends always make bad decisions. And you yourself will be more likely to make the same decisions as them. As for positive friends, on the contrary, they always try to do everything well and want you to get better and better.
Choose your friends because you like them and they like you for who you are. You can try meeting people who share the same interests as you. For example, if you see someone reading a book you like, you can talk to them about the book and get to know them.
3. Don’t compare yourself to anyone
Comparing yourself to others is a bad habit that causes or worsens peer pressure. Therefore, in order to overcome this situation soon, you need to stop comparing yourself to anyone.
You need to know that the success or ability of many people does not depend entirely on effort. Genetic factors or luck are also part of it. Not comparing yourself to others will help you feel more comfortable.
Particularly for parents, it is absolutely necessary not to compare their children with peers. This is very easy to make children hurt and suffer a lot of pressure.
4. Define your own goals
Many young people tend to set their own goals in the same way as their peers. Because they believe that this is the only way to success.
However, you need to understand that everyone’s strengths and preferences are different. Therefore, following other people’s goals does not guarantee you will get the same results as them. It even increases the risk of failure.
When you are under peer pressure, you should reevaluate yourself. At the same time, identify a suitable personal goal and then try your best with it instead of following the path of others.
As for minors, parents should accompany their children to help them orient their children towards specific goals that are more suitable to their strengths and abilities. Absolutely do not force children to follow the wishes of the family.
5. Dealing with peer pressure
When you are under peer pressure, your mood, habits, and behavior can all be altered. Moreover, the case of prolonged pressure that cannot be overcome will cause a lot of negative effects.
Some solutions to help you deal with the effects of peer pressure include:
- Journaling: This is a simple way to deal with negative emotions caused by peer pressure. Journaling will help you sort through your emotions, reflect on problems, and release stress.
- Choose a different group of friends: Think of the benefits and the negatives from your friends. If you feel like they’re putting more pressure on you than you’d like, then look for new friends. You can strengthen your positive social connections by volunteering or taking gifted classes.
- Make time for healthy activity: Another way to overcome peer pressure is to spend time doing activities you really enjoy. This helps you to regulate your mood and possibly meet other people with similar interests.
6. Share with relatives and friends
Peer pressure often causes you to experience many negative emotions. Typical are depression, sadness, despair, and fatigue. If you do not know how to share but keep it in your heart, things will only get worse. You will be at high risk of facing psychological and mental illnesses.
Therefore, you should actively express your thoughts and feelings to people you really trust, be it friends or relatives. This will make your mood more pleasant, comfortable and light.
In addition, in many cases, friends and family can also give you helpful advice if you are uncertain about your future goals. The habit of sharing is always considered an effective way to help a person improve mood and relieve stress.
7. Psychological consultation
If peer pressure affects your life too much, you should be careful. If it is difficult to share with relatives or friends, you can seek psychological counseling.
Experts will always be ready to listen, share and empathize with you. They will help you objectively evaluate yourself as well as problems in life. Moreover, it also helps you regulate negative emotions and lead a healthy lifestyle. At the same time motivating you to be motivated to improve yourself better.
Peer pressure can become a big problem if you don’t know how to control it. It’s best to play with multiple groups of friends instead of just a single group of friends. If the pressure is too great to affect your life, seek the help of a psychologist.