Is peer pressure real?
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Peer pressure is a real phenomenon, that’s obvious. The urge to follow what our friends or peers are doing, even if we’re not totally comfortable with it, is something we’ve all felt at some point in our lives.
Despite its widespread use, there are still many disagreements about whether peer pressure is a real phenomenon. Some claim it’s just the result of our own personal decisions and choices, while others insist it’s a very genuine societal force that has the power to affect our behavior. On the one hand, psychological research has shown that individuals are more likely to follow their group’s social norms in order to fit in. However, some experts argue that additional variables, such as a desire to appease superiors or fear of rejection, could also explain conformist behavior.
So what is the truth? Is peer pressure a reality or is it just something we make up in our own mind?
It turns out that there is actually a lot of scientific evidence to support the existence of peer pressure. Studies have shown that people are more likely to comply with the behavior of those around them, even if that behavior is harmful or risky.
Dr. Chandni Tugnait is a Physician (Alternative Medicine), Psychotherapist, Life Coach, Business Coach, NLP Expert, Healer, Founder & Director – Gateway of Healing shares some examples of how peer pressure can impact an individual:
It can make you do things you wouldn’t normally do
You may find yourself acting in ways you normally wouldn’t when under peer pressure. Whether it’s trying a new drug or vandalizing property, it could fall into this category. Of course, not all peer pressure is harmful. You may be pressured to do a good deed, such as studying for an exam or giving back to the community. Either way, peer pressure can have a significant effect on your behavior as well as your life decisions.
It can make you change your appearance
Your appearance may change due to peer pressure. You might feel pressure to dress a specific way or do your hair a certain way, for example. You might even go so far as to get a piercing or a tattoo. Changing your look is not inherently immoral, I repeat. However, it is crucial to act appropriately and not out of a sense of obligation to meet someone else’s expectations.
It can make you change your mind
Peer pressure often causes you to change your thoughts and beliefs. For example, you may be under pressure from your peers to start endorsing a certain sports team or to adopt the political philosophies of your friends. Of all of them, it is quite typical for people to develop new perspectives as they grow older. However, it might be worth reassessing your motivations if you find that you frequently change your beliefs to conform to those of your peers.
It can make you take risks
Sometimes peer pressure can cause people to engage in unhealthy behaviors or take undue risks. For example, you may be pressured to drive dangerously or engage in risky sexual behavior. It is crucial to understand the risks involved before engaging in these kinds of activities, as they can certainly have major repercussions.
It can make you feel bad about yourself
Finally, it’s important to remember that peer pressure sometimes has a detrimental effect on your self-esteem. It can cause feelings of uncertainty and low self-esteem if you continually compare yourself to your friends and feel like you’re falling behind. Worse, it can cause long-term relationship damage and anxiety or worry.
So the next time you feel pressured to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, keep in mind that it’s probably not just in your brain, because peer pressure is a real thing. and may affect your behavior. Choose carefully!
(Dr. Chandni Tugnait, MD (Alternative Medicine), Psychotherapist)