Social pressure or peer pressure is something to which we are all exposed and influenced at some point in our lives, but it is crucial to understand what it is in order to avoid it at the appropriate times. Colleagues are people who are part of the same social group And when they exert pressure on us it means that they can influence us to do something that we don’t really want to do, but that by following “the group”, we do.
Peer pressure doesn’t have to always be negative, but it can influence behavior. This term of “social pressure” or group is used mainly to talk about behaviors that are not considered socially acceptable or desirable, such as drug use in young people . This term is not used to describe desirable behaviors.
Is social pressure bad?
The term social pressure is normally used to describe a negative influence towards a partner or group of colleagues, and refers to how a young person with previous good behavior develops problematic behaviors, especially related to alcohol or drug use .
The reality is that the influence that one person can exert on another can be positive or negative, so it could also be applied to desirable behaviors and not only to undesirable ones. For example, social pressure in adolescents can make a young person become more and better involved in sports, leading to a healthier life and being a positive role model.
Social pressure in adolescence
Social pressure can have more influence in adolescence, so it is common for parents to worry a lot about this, especially in potentially dangerous activities such as addictions , substance use, sexual behavior, poor diet, shopping and expenses or even criminal activities.
In contrast, parents do not worry about the pressure they can put on their children and that they are positive, although it is very important to consider behaviors that are healthy social .
Parental influence is stronger
It is worth noting that parental influence is much stronger than social pressure, at any age. Parents have a greater influence on whether or not their children develop addictive behaviors, for example. For this reason, instead of worrying so much about your children’s friendships , it is better to focus on what their behaviors are within the home.
Good emotional regulation and good behavior at home will be essential for children to learn good ways to solve problems and understand the uncomfortable feelings they may have in various situations. This is much more effective than trying to escape addictive behaviors to “run away” from those uncomfortable feelings .
Peer pressure can increase risk
Social pressure, especially in young people, can increase the risk of harm or dangerous behaviors such as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, having an overdose, sexually transmitted diseases, etc. Although risk taking is a normal part of life, especially in adolescence, parents need to balance that pressure by setting appropriate limits, providing information, and emotional support.
As teens grow into adults, these limits will help them establish their own internal rules to avoid these risky behaviors in their lives.
It not only affects children
As you have been able to glimpse between these lines, social pressure does not only affect children and adolescents. In these early stages of life, boys and girls are establishing their personality, their values, and are learning that behavior has consequences. But they also want to be accepted socially and that is why they engage in risky behaviors to be accepted.
On the other hand, adults can also be vulnerable to social pressure. There are adults who drink or smoke to be accepted for their social life. It is necessary to be aware of all this to choose the influence that we allow in our lives and to be able to have healthy experiences in life.