This is a guest post by Paula J. If you'd like to guest post on this blog, click here.
We all know about peer pressure. It is about being influenced by the people around us and some say that if you can be influenced by peer pressure, then you may not be a strong personality at all. But is this really true?
Peer pressure has nothing to do with the strength of one’s personality but is more about conforming with the people around us in order to get along. We think that peer pressure doesn’t influence the major decisions in our lives, but instead, only influences things like our choice in music or fashion, the types of television programs we watch, and whether we smoke or drink. But is this really true?
At college, as we struggle to identify who we are and who we will become, being influenced by the people around us is natural. There are very few of us who can withstand peer pressure because it is not an obvious pressure at all, in most instances. It is a gentle and regular persuasion to which we sometimes succumb.
What is important to realize is that peer pressure can define the decisions that we make without us even realizing it. After all, if we think back in our lives, weren’t we influenced by the likes and dislikes of our best friends or people that we respected?
Positive vs. Negative Peer Pressure
There are different types of peer pressure, both negative and positive. Negative peer pressure is about doing something that you may not agree with but because it is acceptable behavior for the people around you, it becomes acceptable to you as well. A lot of these negative peer pressure decisions that we make can often be defining decisions.
Picking up smoking as a habit, becoming involved in regular drinking sessions, our attitudes on sex and even drugs are inevitably influenced by the people around us, consciously or unconsciously. This type of peer pressure can result in us making defining decisions that will affect our lives either immediately or in the future. The reality is that peer pressure in such situations is about you fitting in, and ultimately, losing your individuality.
The good news is that once you realize the negative impact that peer pressure has on your life, you can choose to change the direction you are heading in. Take a step back and look at the people around you. If you were not a part of this group, what would you think of them?
Peer pressure is about being influenced by one’s peers meaning the people around you. If you don’t like what you see, and you are not comfortable with the people around you, change them and it will change you.
Pick and choose your friends, and this is not about how wealthy they are or what cars they drive. It is about who they are and what kind of influence they can be. Ever heard the phrase “birds of a feather flock together”? Well then, choose wisely.
Surrounding yourself with a good peer group can help influence how you look at life and how you do things. Making this choice may become a defining decision for you and for your future, both personally and professionally.
This guest article was written by Paula J. who is an experienced writer contributing to various educational websites, including www.solidessay.com, which is a college paper writing service based in the US.