Peer pressure affects all age groups and is one of the main causes of stress. Until recently, peer pressure was perceived as a childhood problem — a problem adults do not need to cope with anymore. However, recent studies show that the pressure to behave or dress like others, or to enjoy the same things others do, is always present in our lives regardless of how old we are.
One of the reasons why peer pressure is so strong among children is the fear of strangers. Anyone whose speech, appearance or behavior are very different may cause anxiety among his or her peers. Children like to wear similar clothes, they tend to like the same cartoons and dislike the same types of foods because they wanted to be accepted as a part of the group. Peer pressure among children often results in a lack of tolerance and the formation of cliques, but also in a strong sense of togetherness and friendship.
Peer pressure among adults is not caused by fear of strangers, as adults tend to be more open and tolerant of superficial differences, but by the need to be perceived as a successful person. Who doesn’t want to be appreciated by their peers? Adults and teenagers do all kind of things to impress others, they may buy expensive cloths or cats, choose challenging professions or do extreme sports. The results of this behavior are both positive and negative. On the one hand, the need to succeed helps us achieve more than we thought was possible, on the other hand however, it makes us spend money on unnecessary things.
In conclusion, there are both positive and negative effects of peer pressure. The negative effects may lead to stress, while the positive ones helps us become successful as well as build strong relationships.
Personally I also have had this situation, where my friends do really judge the others that are ‘different’ than they are. Different thoughts, ways of life, and so on. Sometimes I do need to follow them just to be in their group, not absolutely agree with them. However, I still have the same point as they have. Thus, I want to still maintain a good friendship in spite of that.
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