Peer Pressure: What Is It?

When most people hear of peer pressure, they assume that it’s mainly negative. However, there’s a bit more nuance to it than you may believe. As such, it’s good to know what exactly it looks like, and when it can be good or bad…

Peer Pressure: Prevalent Examples

Understand the term

Usually, peer pressure refers to when others pressure another person into doing something. Most commonly, this tends to be alcohol or drug usage, especially among kids and teens. They may call the person a “baby” or state that they won’t be cool unless they drink or take drugs. There are some cases when peer pressure can be positive outside of these situations. For instance, it could be that a kid or teen wants to join a club or play a sport but lacks the confidence to do so. Their friends can then encourage them to do so with some positive reinforcement. In this case, the person’s peers are helping them to do something which will positively benefit them.

Countering the pressure

It can be tough for a kid or teen to deal with peer pressure. They may feel stressed and worry that if they don’t do what they’re told, they’ll lose their friends. However, this pressure alone isn’t the only thing which can cause them to drink or use drugs. Their home environment plays a big role as well. Therefore, it’s helpful to create a supportive and positive home for them. Being a good role model will encourage them to make the right decisions should they have to deal with this kind of pressure. Plus, you should take time to talk to them about peer pressure and what they should do. If they better understand the negatives, they’ll be more likely to walk away.

Adult pressure

It’s important to note that peer pressure doesn’t just happen to kids and teens. It also happens with adults. Usually, the reasoning tends to be the same. The adult being pressured doesn’t want to look “uncool” or like they don’t fit in and will do whatever the others are pressuring them to do. For adults, this kind of pressure can be harder to spot. For instance, if you already drink, then you won’t be pressured like a kid or teen would. Instead, your friends might try to have you drink way more than you usually do. While it may be a bit different, the consequences can still be just as bad.