We have all heard about peer pressure, however for some unknown reason we seem to ignore it, and at worst deny it. It is indeed quite uncomfortable to imagine or admit that someone else is directly influencing our behavior, but It doesn’t always have to be this way. We could actually find this phenomenon quite helpful
Think about this for a minute, if bad friends influence us negatively, that means good ones would actually influence us positively, but of course, our friends are not bad. So what is the deal? Take for example a boy who desires to learn how to perform a cat wheel, this boy won’t accomplish that desire by walking with book worms, he has to actually associate with the playful.
This begs the question, which friends are good and which are bad? The answer is quite simple, find out what is good and bad and you get your answer. But the definition of good or bad is based on the individuals’ point of view,
But, we cannot simply base things on individuals’ point of view. This is because if everyone is permitted to do as they please the world would literally fall apart or at best, we would keep making silly mistakes over and over again
That being said, it is important to note that when people point out to you that an association (a friend or friends) is bad, they are not saying that the individual is the devil, but rather they are saying that the individual would not aid you in achieving your goals or the goals which have been proven to be helpful.
HOW PEER PRESSURE WORKS
In psychology, there is a phenomenon known as the crab effect. If you were to put a number of crabs in a bowl, you would discover that any crab that makes an attempt to climb out of the bowl would be dragged down by its fellow crabs.
In human society, this is particularly true. For a start, consider football lovers, the die-hard fans and you would notice that no matter how brutal the defeat was the fans would always remain fans, they may get angry or sad, but they would still remain fans, fully supporting their teams and doing what fans do best (buying jerseys and cheering the players).
At first, you may not notice this effect, but if you look closer, you would discover that hardly does any fan switch clubs. This is because our minds have been designed to look at what others are doing and then imitate them (a phenomenon is known as social proof). With all the other fans still cheering and showing support for the club the individual is forced (although unconsciously) to continue supporting the club, no matter how terrible the team plays
Bringing It back to our daily lives , the principles are same, when we see our friends doing something (whether socially constructive or destructive) we are indirectly forced to act accordingly , and when we try to deviate or go contrary those friends would most likely want us to join them and would say different things to convince us to comply or at worst attack us with words, silent treatments, and resentments, just like the crabs in the bowl, pulling us back
This effect can be noticed in both good and bad associations, it influences every human association. And like I pointed out earlier, the only reason you should give this consideration is because if you keep walking with friends that influence you negatively (that is, that don’t support your goal or a Proven goal), you would find it hard to excel and would most likely end up making lots of mistakes or at worst abandon your goals altogether
THE WAY OUT OF NEGATIVE PEER PRESSURES
The best tool here is the knowledge of what’s going on. Armed with this information, your eyes are literally open to the realness of this effect, relationships are what they are – relationships. Although it might be difficult, it is important to identify the negative ones and end them ASAP
This, however, isn’t always easy, but there is a hack.
Like stated earlier, the effect works both ways, good and bad, that’s to say, the best way to quite a toxic relationship is to find a healthy one (I term this technique Ganging up)
Its like switching teams, the new club would gladly welcome you, and make you feel at home, you just have to dare to leave the wrong team first.
You can also check out this article on how to make friends easily
Here is the link to explain what some of the terms I used in this article mean
Peer Pressure https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_pressure
Crab Effect https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crab_mentality
Social proof https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_proof