- Published: September 3, 2022
- Updated: September 3, 2022
- Language: English
- Downloads: 47
Many of people’s opinions, habits, interests, lifestyles, aspirations, and behavior in general are significantly shaped or affected by unwritten social rules and conventions whose observance determines whether they are generally regarded as normal or not.
This social phenomenon is called social pressure which, to a lesser or greater extent, forces individuals to do their best to be like the rest of society, or normal. Social pressure affects individuals from the early stages of their lives. For example, schoolchildren are often influenced by their peer groups to conform to particular beliefs and behavior shared by most of its members. They usually conform in order to avoid rejection or criticism and follow the lifestyles or become interested in things that are considered normal by their peers.
When children become adults, social pressure imposes on them new lifestyles, values, aspirations, interests, etc as well. Individuals are preoccupied with their own success which they compare to that of others, and with their own happiness compared to that enjoyed by others. They may cause serious pain or destruction to their own bodies in an attempt to make it appear more normal. They spend many years to achieve something that others have already achieved, regardless of whether they like or need it at all. By doing this, they try to be liked by others and appear normal to them (Wolfe).
Social pressure also affects the way people raise their children and what lessons they teach to them. Many parents, for example, do not dare to criticize or punish their children for mischief because it might be considered as an extreme exaggeration by their friends and make them appear too severe, which is not normal (Billington-Wade). Social pressure is pervasive and affects every aspect of our life. By conforming to its requirements, individuals often pursue goals that they can never achieve, particularly when it comes to acquiring more material goods. It is extremely disturbing how much social pressure can sometimes govern our lives making many of us unhappy and dissatisfied with life.
By succumbing to social pressure, people lose their own identities, uniqueness, and, instead of enjoying life as it is, begin mimicking others and their lifestyles (Wolfe).