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Peer Pressure Definition: What Does It Mean to Be Under Pressure?

The peer pressure definition isn’t as distinct as you might assume it to be.  There are many ways that pressure can be placed on you.  Whether directly from another friend, the media, or even sometimes yourself, pressure can easily arise and go unnoticed. In order to overcome peer pressure, it is important to understand what it looks like.

Peer Pressure Definition

Let’s first look at the peer pressure definition. Peer pressure is defined as, a “social pressure by members of one’s peer group to take a certain action, adopt certain values, or otherwise conform in order to be accepted.”  The key portion of this definition lies in the last word: acceptance.  You may feel the excessive desire to gain acceptance from others and become overwhelmed by going to any lengths to get there, even if it means going against your own morals or beliefs.  A sense of self is lost because the idea that you have to be a certain way instead of being yourself is ingrained in your mind.

Pressure To Be Perfect

It may be safe to assume that at some point or other, every person has been under the pressure to be conceived as perfect.  But what is perfect?  Though there are many ways to define the word, perfection can best be described as the absolute lack of flaws.  All human beings have flaws, defects, faults… however you choose to word it, no one person exists without it.  Therefore, perfection is doubtlessly unattainable.  So why is it presumably human nature to gravitate towards this path of perfection?  The answer to this goes back to what the peer pressure definition was in the first place – acceptance.  People want to be accepted by society, peers, and anyone who can validate them.  However, when you are willing to set aside your own happiness in order to please others, you may be willing to do things that could actually cause you harm. The obsession to be perfect is not only unrealistic, but it is unhealthy as well.

Media Portrays Ideal Image

The media is known for promoting glamorously edited photographs of idols to the public that virtually not even stars themselves actually look like.  However, most people don’t realize this and slip under the impression that they must look as slim, toned, muscularly fit, well-dressed, or put together as the stars in order to be desirable.  Another misconception is that this only affects young girls or women in general, but the truth is that boys and men are also likely to be pressured by society to look a certain way.  Men and women are even placed under pressure to fulfill traditional societal roles, like being the stereotypical “good housewife” or being the “man of the house,” which indicates that the husband make the greater income to support the family.  It all falls under the category of the peer pressure definition.

Drug Abuse from Peer Pressure

Although it can happen at any age, most people are aware of the correlation between young age groups experimenting with drugs because of the peer pressure involved.  This may not look like the traditional type of pressuring where kids are taught that its definition is being ridiculed so you end up trying the drug to appear more lenient and likeable.  Sometimes the peer pressure is not realized because it comes from your friends who may not even be suggesting drug use, but you are around them when they are using, or you are aware that they are using on their own time. And so you decide to dabble with the drugs yourself despite never having wanted to before.


Now that we understand what the peer pressure definition is, what is the answer to overcome this kind of pressure?  The best way to correct the defect of slipping into peer pressure would be to revert to doing the opposite and sticking to your own beliefs.  Embracing individuality and being authentic with others will help you be proud of the person you are, instead of shamed into straying away from it and converting into something or someone you are not.  Awareness is key to this, because you will need to tune into your surroundings and pick up on the moments that people, media outlets, or society as a whole may be pressuring you into something you normally wouldn’t be inclined toward.  Stand up and be somebody – be you.

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