Good and bad peer pressure

Defining Peer Pressure: Good & Bad

Posted in: Decision Making

Peer pressure can be a positive thing when someone your age tries to get you to do something that is good for you. While you may feel pressured into the situation, this pressure is simply a form of encouragement to make yourself a better you. Positive peer pressure could look like this:

  • Your friend encourages you to tryout for a sports team even though you’ve been scared to do so in the past
  • You encourage people to join your recycling club to help keep your school Earth-friendly
  • You encourage your long-time friend to invite the new kid in school to his birthday party so that he won’t feel left out

These situations are morally and legally okay. In fact, they’re extremely positive for not only the people feeling the pressure, but also others.

Peer pressure can be a negative thing when someone your age tries to get you to do something that is bad for you, or goes against your values. Sometimes negative peer pressure is hard to identify, which is why it’s very important to think about what’s being asked of you before following the crowd. Negative peer pressure could look like this:

  • Your friend wants to drink alcohol at a party this weekend and she knows your parents have plenty of beer in your house. She asks you to take a few without them knowing.
  • A group of your classmates know you aced a test that they have to take in a few periods. They ask you to send them pictures of the answers.
  • Your friends ask you to share the mean rumor you’ve heard going around about someone you know.

These situations are either morally or legally unacceptable and can cause harm to yourself or others.

No matter what the situation, you should always take some time to think about your decision. Ask yourself what is it that they want me to do? What will happen if I do it? Is that good for me? Is that good for others? What are my options? In the end, you are in charge of your actions and the decisions you make, so make them positive!