Peer pressure seems to have a bad rep. And unjustly so.
The definition given by the APA Dictionary of Psychology: the influence exerted by a peer group on its individual members to fit in with or conform to the group’s norms and expectations.
We seem to derive an understanding of the term based on stories we hear of teenagers being peer pressured to try a cigarette, or skip class, or try alcohol for the first time.
Sure, peer pressure can at times persuade you towards negative influences, particularly when you are young – however, these influences are too often exaggerated.
The positive influences of peer pressure are actually a lot more prominent than realised and tend to be left unacknowledged.
What about the positive influence of your teacher encouraging you to study hard and achieve good grades?
Or the workout buddy that scolds you for not turning up to the gym as you promised?
Despite being subtle, peer pressure motivates us every day to do things that are beneficial to us.
Peer Pressure’s Influence On Teens
The teenage years can certainly be tough – you’re figuring out who you are and what you want in life, amongst the pressures of school work and raging hormones.
Peer pressure is particularly prevalent amongst teenagers, since this is the age group that tends to most be influenced by others. This is due to the desire to be accepted or valued by your peers, or to simply just ‘fit in’ at school.
According to a publication on peer pressure by Parent Further, 90% of those surveyed said that they had been influenced by peer pressure.
Whilst the negative connotations of the term seem to surround this age group, peer pressure can be used to its advantage, especially where it has the most influence.
Reasons Why Peer Pressure Isn’t All Bad
If surrounded by constructive influences, peer pressure can lead to these positive outcomes:
- Inspires Positive Choices – When you are surrounded by influences that make positive choices, such as a friend who partakes in volunteering, or another who is dedicated to working hard at school, this in turn promotes positive expectations within yourself to replicate your peers.
- Higher self-esteem – A student being told by their teachers that they are capable of achieving A grades will start to believe their capability, and will feel more motivated in studying towards this goal. A gym-goer being assigned a workout partner will feel motivated to keep up, remain competitive and stay motivated towards their workout goals. Positive reinforcement from a group or peer setting has demonstrated to be most effective in supporting and motivating your beliefs, leading to higher self-esteem and more of a can-do attitude.
- Picking Up Healthy Habits – Friends who make healthy choices for themselves encourages you to do the same, making you healthier and happier!
- Moral Support – Positive peer pressure keeps you accountable through support and encouragement, making you more likely to achieve your goals.
Let Ceed act as your peer to promote positive influence in your life, so that you stay on track and achieve your goals!