Mon. Jun 17th, 2024

Our friends, colleagues, and peers create our external environment, influencing our personalities and behaviors with theirs. We learn new practices, behaviors, and activities by observing and, at times, joining our friends in new experiences. Life is a continual and never-ending learning experience. Our friends and peers play instrumental roles in this learning process. 

Friends and colleagues who encourage us to adopt healthy habits, mindful behaviors, and constructive hobbies facilitate personal growth and improvement. Such friends help us become the best versions of ourselves by pointing out habits that harm us and encouraging healthy patterns. However, not all friends encourage healthy habits and changes.

Some pressurize us to engage in activities that harm us or make us uncomfortable. The world is filled with bullies who pressure people into submission, and we’re all familiar with the impact of bullying. Keep reading to explore how peer pressure impacts our mental wellbeing. 

  1. Pressuring Unhealthy Habits 

Substance use and peer pressure are directly linked, and many adolescents and teenagers venture into drug dependence due to bullying. Friends and peers who think consuming illicit drugs and substances are “cool” try to pressure others into substance use. While adults can comfortably and confidently decline, adolescents and teenagers are extremely vulnerable to peer pressure. 

It’s natural for most children and teenagers to want to gain admission into groups that enjoy popularity in high school. Unfortunately, many of these popular peers promote and peddle drugs and pressurize impressionable youth into substance use. There are reports of drug peddlers and criminals befriending popular high school students to use their peer influence to facilitate their trade. 

Parents don’t understand what to expect from school administration and rehabilitation facilities when teenagers begin using and fall into addictive patterns. Nonetheless, they must ensure that their child gets immediate professional help and treatments. Moreover, parents need to monitor their children’s social circles and maintain a friendly rapport so teenagers can share such issues. Even adults can succumb to mounting pressure from their peers, forcing them to take a hit or drink excessively. 

We’re all vulnerable to peers who pressurize us to develop bad habits like substance use, alcohol consumption, and smoking. It’s crucial to build awareness around risky habits and discourage friendships that lead to risky behaviors. Dining room conversations and candid discussions between adults and teenagers are instrumental in raising awareness around peer pressure. 

  1. Low Self-Esteem & Confidence 

Peer pressure reflects the pressure mounted by friends and people who encourage us to engage in risky behaviors. But this term doesn’t reflect the ridicule and bullying that accompanies peer pressure. Making some uncomfortable entails a series of emotional triggers that induce stress, discomfort, and anxiety. When we’re forced into doing something we don’t want to do, we feel increasingly uneasy and uncomfortable. 

The act of being pushed into something we don’t want to undertake lowers our self-esteem and shatters our confidence. As humans, we have complete cognitive and physical control over our actions. Mindless obedience is not a natural trait, but we lose this control when compelled or pressured to do something. And losing control over our actions and behaviors makes us feel incapable and unconfident. 

In severe cases of peer pressure, many people suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts because of their dipping self-esteem. They experience internal rage and mounting anger but cannot express it in the face of mounting peer pressure. And this internal rage encourages them to engage in self-harm to express their anger and hostility. This mindset leads to numerous other mental concerns that we will discuss below. 

  1. Depression & Anxiety 

Peer pressure turns a healthy and productive space into a toxic and unhealthy environment. This environmental shift can happen anywhere bullies exist, be it the workplace or a school. Nothing is worse than constantly watching over your back and limiting social contact to avoid your bully. Millions of teenagers and adults eat their lunches in the bathroom and avoid socializing to escape the trauma of peer pressure. 

It’s natural for people to avoid being seen to prevent being pressured into doing something they don’t want to do. In most cases, bullies see peer pressure as a means of enjoyment to ridicule and make fun of vulnerable and sensitive people. At times, they want to corrupt innocent people who, in their eyes, aren’t enjoying life as they do.  

But the act of pressurizing and forcing someone to do something they don’t want to is debilitating and disempowering. Peer pressure strips us of our power, rendering us powerless and vulnerable to depression. First, we develop social anxiety, which encourages us to isolate ourselves, setting the stage for depression

  1. Dipping Productivity & Motivation Levels 

Have you noticed how teenagers avoid school after intense bullying and peer pressure episodes? Likewise, adults start experiencing dramatic dips in their productivity levels and look for excuses to avoid work. Many professionals start hunting for other work opportunities to escape the trauma of a bully or peer pressure. 

The negative impacts of peer pressure are visible in decreasing productivity and motivation levels. Teenagers and children show these adverse impacts in poor academic performance, absence from classes, and skipping school. And adults experience reductions in their daily productivity and loss of motivation to work. 

It’s possible to dislike something you were intensely passionate about simply because of peers who pressure you into submission. 

Final Thoughts

It’s crucial to raise awareness at home and within our communities and join hands to fight against peer pressure and bullying. We cannot allow bullies to pressure us into submission and dismantle our confidence, disempowering us by ripping us of our self-esteem. 

Setting boundaries and channeling your power are essential when dealing with peer pressure. It’s also essential to create a social tribe of healthy and supportive friends to put up a strong defense against bullies.  

By admin