Yes. Peer pressure. You’ve probably heard those words before. Or, even if you haven’t, you’ve most likely experienced this at least more than once in your life.
Let’s face it: Peer pressure is same thing as influence – especially by other kids that are around the same age as you. It can be positive influence (positive peer pressure) or negative influence (negative peer pressure).
So, what’s the difference?
The difference between positive peer pressure and negative peer pressure is – well, one is good and the other is bad. Sometimes, though, it can also be neutral – neither good nor bad.
- Positive Influence.
So, what is positive influence? Well, positive influence (or positive peer pressure) is actually a really good thing. It’s when a friend – or even a complete stranger! – influences you to do something good or nice. Positive influence/positive peer pressure is encouraged and is always good to do.
“Recognize that every interaction you have is an opportunity to make a positive impact on others.” – Shep Hyken, Customer Service Expert, Author & Speaker
- Neutral Influence.
So, now what is neutral influence? Well, like I said earlier, neutral influence/neutral peer pressure is neither good nor bad. There isn’t really much to say about neutral peer pressure. Most of the time, neutral influence is influencing someone to actually do something like ask someone for something or even influencing someone to get something or do some kind of action. Think of a game of Truth or Dare, for example. If you say you want to do “Dare”, then the other person dares you to do something silly or crazy. It may be good; it may be bad. It may be just downright funny and crazy and neither good nor bad. The latter is neutral influence. However, be warned: Neutral influence can easily be turned into positive influence or negative influence.
“Having influence is not about elevating self, but about lifting others.” – Sheri Dew, Author, Publisher, President & Chief Executive Officer of Deseret Book Company
- Negative Influence.
Uh-oh. Now this is the real deal here. Negative influence is the main reason for this article because many are under pressure of this negative experience.
You’ve probably been negatively influenced before. We probably all have. But, you see, negative influence is, believe it or not, something you can actually avoid.
But how? You might ask. Well, that’s a good question. Let me just tell you this: You can avoid negative influence by making sure not to hang around negative people. Booker T. Washington, an American educator, author, orator and advisor to presidents of the United States, once said, “Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”
Just make sure not to hang around bad people (and to most certainly hang around good people!) and you’ll soon see that peer pressure will be not as compelling, as they’re not your friends anymore.
“Strong people don’t put others down… They lift them up.” – Michael P. Watson, British Former Professional Boxer
So, there you have it. Positive, neutral and negative influence, and how to avoid negative influence – and, of course, how to positively influence others!
Just remember that you can be an inspiration to a whole generation of people.