Issues with Peer & Societal Pressure
The term peer pressure is most often heard in high school amongst teenagers and is frequently used to describe how a teenager’s behavior might be influenced by wanting to belong to a group of peers. Wanting to be more like your friends and accepted into a group is very normal and peer pressure is a very common occurrence especially in schools.
Not all peer pressure is negative as some can be positive experiences. An example would be if a teenager is afraid of social interactions but due to the desire of wanting to fit in, he / she learns to be more outspoken, assertive and outgoing.
However, peer pressure can lead to negative experiences when influences are unhealthy. Managing peer pressure can be difficult especially when your values and beliefs clash with those around you. Peer pressure does not only happen to teenagers but it can also happen to young adults and adults among their own friends and in a workplace situation. In such environments, it is likely that you will meet others that have different beliefs, behaviors, values and attitudes. Sometimes, you may know where you stand in your opinions and at other times you may not. This may lead to confusion, pressure, guilt and mixed emotions which may result in you acting against your own judgement. Sometimes in a workplace, individuals may face workplace politics and this adds to the pressure of wanting to be socially desired.
At other times, individuals may feel pressure from family or the society they live in. This sort of pressure may lead to thoughts such as “Everyone else is getting married but I am not, therefore I will be left behind”; “Everyone has gotten their dream job but I am stuck in a job where I am miserable and I feel miserable that I am not achieving”. This then leads to issues with self-esteem, self-worth and other negative thoughts.
Humans are social creatures and we all want to fit in. The feeling that you have to do something in order to be accepted, respected or to simply belong, can be really rough. And if this is something you are struggling with, you’re not alone so do reach out and get a helping hand.