In my school, there was a perfect girl who was beautiful, intelligent and kind. She was the most desirable by boys of and teachers always listened to her. I constantly tried to be like her in my middle school years. I tried to look like her or talk like her, sometimes I watched movies that I heard her talking about and read novels what she had recommended. But no matter how hard I tried I just cannot be like her.
In fact, the more I tried to be like her, the more fool I made of myself. Only later I realized what mistake I was committing. How wrong it was of me to want to be like her. Because she might be perfect for the world but I am perfect the way I should be.
Meaning of peer pressure
The term ‘peer pressure’ means the influence of people of your age group over your life. Your friends or classmates play a very significant role in your life. They are those people with whom we have our most of interaction. And according to the usual mindset, we all try to conform so that we are fully accepted in our environment.
Peer pressure begins when we begin to mull over the things other people would notice. Like our appearance, our academics or our behavior. We try to fit in by establishing a common notion that everyone follows and if we find any exception, we think that he/she is abnormal since they are different.
Peer pressure has both positive and negative impact on our mind but mostly it is associated with the negative influence that affects a person.
The positive influence of peer pressure
While peer pressure usually leads to negative feelings but it a positive side too. If your peer group is nice then they will stop you from doing any harmful activity. Also, healthy competition in academics can help you to score better in exams.
The negative influence of peer pressure
1.Taking up bad habits from your peers. For example, if your peer group likes to drink alcohol or taking drugs you also become attracted towards such bad habits.
2. Eating disorders. girls usually are more prone to this. when they see all their friends are slim or tall, they try to diet or eat medicines to achieve such kind of a body. even boys want to develop muscles and height so they opt for steroids sometimes. the medicines they take could harm body for whole life and can lead to diseases like anorexia and malnutrition.
3.Depression. when you are not in content with your own self, depression is bound to happen. Suppose a peer group of 4 has a popular dancer, singer, sports player and an average person. While all his peers are always in limelight due to their talent, he feels he is good for nothing. But the truth is he has not discovered what his hidden talent is. This makes him stressed, hurt and has low self-esteem.
What to do
If you are the one that feels pressurized by such thing or your family member behaves in such a manner, there are ways you could shield yourself from such influence.
1. Give your family more time: friends influence our behavior and thinking a lot but it is the family that first influenced our thoughts. During academic years, we become closer to friends and spend less time with family. But having them as pillars of emotional support will help us to understand ourselves.
2. Do stuff that you love not what your friends love: popularity gets diminished easily. So, don’t do anything just to be cool. Only if you really want to do something, then take part. If your friends understand you then they would not judge you or make you feel inferior.
3. Stay away from ‘bad company’: if you have friends that are encouraging you to try drugs or alcohol, separate yourself from such people. In no way these substances are helpful. In fact, substance abuse will create so many problems for you, be it physically, emotionally or socially. Learn to say no at such situations and it’s better to stay away from peers having these habits too. You can land in a trouble along with them anytime.
4. Self – love: it is very important to remember that- you come first, no matter what kind of situation you are. So, don’t let anyone else make you feel otherwise. Perfection is not real. Body shapes, talents, these things change a lot but a good heart is what matters the most. Individuality is more special than all of these traits. So, love yourself. The most importantly emotional support is actually your own.