Peer Pressure Is Always Beneficial Essay Outline

Delve Deep: The Negative and Positive Effects of Peer Pressure

We tend to get influenced by the lifestyle of our peers. Their thinking, their choices and their behavior influences us. We feel compelled to follow them. That's peer pressure. It is beneficial to a certain extent. But its negative effects are more apparent. Peer pressure can be of two types, negative and positive. The section of society which is most vulnerable to the effects of peer pressure is of teenagers. Let's try to understand the positive and negative effects of peer pressure on people.
Joe, a boy like any other. There's nothing extraordinary or different about him or his life. He has a family, he has friends. He is a part of the society all of us also are. His thinking, behavior, tastes of food, fashion and music and the decisions he takes in life are greatly influenced by those of people around him. 'What people think' is the most influential factor in the choices he makes. What matters most to him is the people around, some directly related to him, others not. But for whatsoever reason, their opinions matter.
He can never think of what only he wants. His decisions are almost always influenced by what people think of him. These people may not have anything to do with him, but for some reason their opinions matter. He thinks they are important. They are his peers, they make the group he is a part of. He claims he can think independently, but somewhere he knows he can't. He thinks peer pressure does not affect him, but somewhere he knows it's a delusion. Joe is neither happy nor sad, he is confused.
Joe's story applies to you, me and everyone around. In each of us, there is a Joe. We get influenced by our peers. Their opinions and choices affect us. We want to be independent but we cannot get rid of the group we are part of. We cannot free ourselves from our peers or their opinions and we can't do away with their pressure. It affects us all the time, directly or indirectly. Very few have the courage to resist peer pressure and be their own selves rather than being one among the lot. Very few have the courage to follow their heart and not the herd. Peer pressure does affect us, both positively and negatively. The difference between positive and negative peer pressure is that the former pushes us to do something good or restrains us from doing bad while the latter pulls us away from the good or pushes us to do the bad; and all this for the sake of peers, just because the crowd thinks it's the coolest thing to do. It's not unnatural for peer behavior to affect us, but following your peers blindly is not a wise thing to do. Let's see how peer pressure affects us.
When you do not like a particular idea or when you have no inclination towards a particular field, it is obvious that you won't like to go by it. For sure, you won't like to go that way. But it is your peer group, which may compel you on doing something you dislike. It's obvious that you won't be happy doing what you do. And you won't succeed. Succumbing to peer pressure in taking important decisions of your life can only land you in sorrow. For example, taking up a field or choosing a career just because your friends did so; without much thought to where your interest lies, can only make you unhappy.
Bad Habits are Cultivated
Peer pressure forces you to do things you are not comfortable doing. It can even lead you to adopt a certain kind of lifestyle, even if you don't really want to. You may not like partying every weekend, you may not be smoking. But peer pressure is powerful. It can turn you from an always-at-home boy/girl to a complete party animal. It can turn you from a total non-smoker to a chain-smoker. There are so many teenagers who take to drinking against their will, just because their peers force them to. In many cases, peer pressure has been the culprit in creating drug addicts. At that vulnerable age, teenagers do not understand that they are actually ruining their life by giving in to pressure from peers.
Peer pressure can lead to loss of individuality. Extreme peer pressure may lead you to follow what your peers feel right. Their pressure may compel you to go by everything they think is right. You follow them blindly; you adopt their tastes of fashion, clothing, hair, music and living at large. Peer pressure can actually lead you to lose your own taste. You feel forced to like what they like and do what they do. Peer pressure is the tendency to join the bandwagon; you lose your originality of thought and conduct. You forget the way you wanted to live. You lose your identity.
Peer pressure is not always bad. It can help you reflect on yourself. Peers may teach you good things and encourage you to follow them. You may be able to change yourself for better. Looking at what others do, can help you bring a positive change in your way of thinking. If you can pick selectively, peer pressure can push you towards something positive. For example, when a child knows that some of his friends regularly read storybooks or that they have subscribed to a library, even he feels tempted to do so. He may get into the habit of reading because of his peers. Seeing that some of your friends exercise daily, even you may take up the habit. Positive peer pressure can lead you to adopt good habits in life.
Your peers, their choices and ways of life give you a glimpse of the world outside the four walls of your house. What they think about things in life, how they perceive situations, how they react in different circumstances can actually expose you to the world around. Being part of a larger group of peers exposes you to the variety in human behavior. This makes you reflect on your behavior and know where you stand. Peer pressure can lead you to make right choices in life.
If you are fortunate enough to get a good peer group, your peers can influence the shaping of your personality in a positive way. Their perspective of life can lead you to change yours. It's not pressure every time; sometimes it's inspiration, which makes you change for good. For example, positive peer pressure can make you quit smoking or give up bad habits that you may have. Your peers can inspire you to become more optimistic or more confident. Your peers may influence you to change and make you a better human being.
When talking about the positive and negative effects of peer pressure, you can't escape discussing how peer pressure affects teenagers. It's because they are the most vulnerable and the most affected. During the teenage years, one is exposed to the world outside. There are many changes taking place at the physical and psychological level. One starts feeling he has grown up, he feels he needs to make choices, take important decisions and looking at the plethora of options available, one is confused. It's during these years that one's ideals are formed. These years shape an individual and his life. He feels independent, free and discovers a new 'himself'.
Teenagers experience both positive and negative feelings due to peer pressure. The need to fit in can leave them confused, anxious, impatient, and angry. On the other hand, the competition with peers can make them more energetic and eager to learn, as also more focused and independent.
Teenage years are the educative years of one's life. It's the phase they do their high school, go for higher education, take up degree courses. They get busy carving a career for themselves. They spend most of their time among those of their age - their friends, peers. Teenage is the most youthful period of life. At that age, they are young, enthusiastic, ready to take life head on and eager to take in every little thing life brings their way. They enjoy the company of others their age, as full of energy as they are. But this age is also the most dangerous. They are susceptible, anything can influence them and make them change, for better or worse - the line between the two blurs for a brief period. It's not the kids to blame, it's their age.
Teenagers are the most likely to fall prey to peer pressure. So, their parents and teachers should save them from succumbing to it. It's natural for a teenaged kid to feel like imitating his friends. It's natural for him to feel like smoking just because his friends do or feel like drinking because his peers do. It's not abnormal for teenaged kids to adopt all that is considered hip and cool without a second thought. They don't do it deliberately. No. They just can't distinguish between the good and the bad. They need to be taught the difference. They need to be shielded from negative peer pressure. And the solution is not in isolating them from peers. It's in teaching them to make good choices in life.
A strong support from family, an ability to differentiate between the right and the wrong and the skill to choose friends from peers is the key to greet the positive effects of peer pressure and keep the negative ones at bay.

Good morning
Respected judges and dear friends,

I greatly appreciate the opportunity given to me to debate on the subject of peer pressure. I am against the statement that peer pressure is more beneficial than harmful. My position is that peer pressure is definitely more harmful than it is beneficial and I would love to present some compelling statistics that lend credence to my position.

But first, what is peer pressure? By definition, it is pressure from one’s peers to behave in a manner similar or acceptable to them. By definition, it doesn’t have any positive or negative connotations associated with it.

While peer pressure comes in all stages of life, it is most common in adolescents so allow me to focus my attention on this particular group. Teenagers are highly conscious about their images and are constantly worried about what others think of them and whether they fit in with their counterparts. They feel pressured to dress and behave in a certain way just so they could get accepted in their circles. They feel rushed into decisions that they are not ready to make just so they could look “cool”.

Peer pressure could be very harmful in that it could compel the uninformed to make bad decisions that could impact their careers and lives forever. Peer pressure could result in a person having a low self-esteem because they were too busy following others instead of developing an identity for themselves and working on originality. Peer pressure could result in people cultivating bad habits such as smoking, drinking and doing drugs that are very difficult, if not impossible, to break afterwards.

According to the website, a study made by American Lung Association shows that 3.2 million of American teens smoke. Out of this 3.2 million, 25% of them are aged 17 and 18 years old and that they smoke on a daily basis. The consumption is more prevalent than before as a result of their desire to fit in the group. According to the same website, the Kaiser Foundation shows that almost 50% of teenagers on adolescent stage between 12
years old to 18 years old compelled into sex. Based on a report from Adolescent Substance Abuse Knowledge Base 32.2% teens try their first drink before the age of 13.

As is evident, the negative effects of peer pressure are startling and unfortunately the number of adolescents being coerced into doing things against their will is growing year over year as confirmed by various surveys whose results are freely available all over the web for any rational person to analyze and fathom the severity of the situation.

In conclusion, it is my fervent hope that teachers and parents become aware of the situation and advise the students about the ill effects of peer pressure. I would like to see parents and teachers take a more active part in the students’ lives and reward them for good behavior. I believe that the influence of parents and teachers on adolescents would be far more positive as compared to the influence of peers due to the experience and wisdom that parents and teachers bring to the table.

Thank you!

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