Can Peer Pressure Be Positive?
Peer pressure is a feeling that you must do the same actions as your peers so you can be like them and so they can like you. There are 2 sides of peer pressure: a negative and a positive one. Nowadays temptation and pressure received from close friends is very common. Studies have shown that peer pressure leads to risky impulsive decisions, and teenagers are still learning impulse control so it’s difficult to avoid those large temptations that are inflicted on you.
Peer pressure is widespread and it comes in many ways and forms. Negative peer pressure can lead to harmful situations with yourself and with others, for instance say it’s a Thursday night and you go over to a friends house for a party, and in all the chaos, all your friends are having a good time and drinking, which is something you are not sure of yet, and don’t feel like doing, your friend comes up to you and tempts you to drink, telling you to loosen up and have fun multiple times trying to convince you. do you take that drink ?
You 100% should not take that drink. There is nothing wrong with that whatsoever as you should always set limits for yourself. Sometimes noticing this type of peer pressure may be hard because you don’t want to assume the worst of your friends but you should never be pressured into something you are not okay with or not ready for. Temptation is one of the worst forms of manipulation especially when it leads to inadequate decision making.
Another form is positive peer pressure which is acutely beneficial and inspiring. For example when a student decides to join a volunteer group because he saw his friends having a good time in it, or when a friends tells you to finish your work and chores before going out with them just like they did, these positive influences are the ones you should be looking for. They can be life-changing so find those friends that support you in the good and stop you from doing harm. Peers are such a big aspect of your life, and surrounding yourself with exceptional peers and friends that always look out for you does wonders to your social life and your mental health.
In all situations know yourself and trust yourself always! Never forget the limits you set upon yourself because those limits will lead you down the right path.
Haya Barbar, Abu Dhabi International School (AIS), Grade 11