When you have a group of people or friends belonging to your age-group, you tend to relate to their interests. You begin to adopt some of the things they do. Whether it is good or bad. You begin to think like them and start giving them higher priority instead of focusing on yourself. Peer pressure starts to kick in. Sometimes people do not notice it.
Dealing with peer pressure can be difficult at times, especially when you are surrounded by negative people. Though, it can be positive as well. The difference between Negative peer pressure and Positive peer pressure is the outcome. Negative peer pressure is the one that leads people to make bad decisions because they want to please their peers. These people usually get involved in drugs, alcohol and crime. They tend to keep bad company.
Mostly teenagers fall under the trap of peer pressure because they want to fit in certain groups. They end up mixing with the wrong crowd, trying to impress their peers or proving a point. Old people can also be victims of negative peer pressure. For example, a person who drinks alcohol can offer the one who doesn’t drink alcohol and start inviting them to clubs. It can lead to depression and low self-esteem. People are told how to carry themselves. They are told how and what to wear so they can “fit in” the group and look “cool”.
Some are drug addicts today because they were pressurised by bad friends and it is now hard to quit. Imagine a grown woman or man with wrinkled skin left with tattoos, because of peer pressure!
Bad peer pressure can be resisted. There is nothing that beats a “No thanks” when you are offered something that you do not like. Say NO like you mean it. It’s better to be safe than sorry anyway. Avoid hanging out with the wrong crowd. Choose friends wisely, always seek for a second opinion and seek help if necessary. Avoid places where pressure is dominating.
Positive peer pressure inspires a person to be the better vision of themselves. It can encourage a person to be at their best behaviour. Grow mentally and spiritually. It Inspires a person to lead a positive and healthier lifestyle. For example, at school or work, when you are mixed with the correct group of friends that are doing good, it is easy to adopt the good behaviour.
Another example can be a group of friends showing you how can you manage your finances. The company you keep is the one that inspires you to do more. Peer pressure can only build or destroy a person’s life. It is up to a person to make the right decision.
BY: ZANELE MAGAGULA
PICTURES BY GOOGLE.