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Peer Pressure

Hello, my dear friends! I’m going to cut straight to the chase here.

As I’m sure you realize, many things have an influence on what makes an individual who they are. A vast majority of them are listed above. I’d like for you to take notice that the biggest words in that picture are the words “peer pressure”.

I don’t know who it was that came up with this photo, nor what was their thinking while they pieced it together, but, coincidence or not, this is symbolic.

I am all about symbolism. I love certain thoughts and ideals that are carried by some symbols. Here the symbol is one I am not fond of. This shows that peer pressure is one of the most dominant figures of what makes people decide who they will be.

Now, as I say, every story is always different, even so, this is a huge issue.

1. Who does this affect?
Actually, everyone. This is not just exclusively the issue of teens and preteens. I have both seen and heard of peer pressure involving people well into their adult years. Clearly, this also means that not only are teens pressuring other teens to do wrong, but adults are doing this as well. Even children can participate in peer pressure.

2. What is peer pressure?
Peer pressure is the age old story of people trying to get other people to be what they want them to be. This is common among “friends”. I put friends in quotes because, frankly, if someone is resistant to the way you are and makes it a goal to negatively influence you for their own personal reason, they are not a friend. Friendship is choosing to stand by someone, even if you don’t stand behind what they do. You don’t have to agree with every friend of yours on every subject, but you aren’t going to scorn them mercilessly if they don’t bend to your views. Peer pressure isn’t limited to those who are your friends. It can happen with anyone. Coworkers can pressure other coworkers into misconduct at work or even something in their personal life. Peer pressure is not an encouraging thing, even if it is made to sound like it. There is a huge difference between a friend trying to get you to make a good choice that they believe will benefit you (for example’s sake: going to the gym and working out), and a “friend” trying to get you to do something harmful to you and/or others (such as drugs, drinking, stealing, etc.).

3. Where does this occur?
Goodness gracious, this can be found nearly everywhere. Prominent in schools, but later on in life, you don’t necessarily escape that in your workplace, because sometimes, as I said, it’s there too. Anytime you’re with a group of people (especially around your age) there is chance for peer pressure. There’s even chance for peer pressure when you’re alone on your couch. How so? Think about the screen you’re looking at right now. Peer pressure can also be on the internet, or through texting. Where there are people, pressure can lie in wait.

4. When does peer pressure take place?
Most often, when someone stands out in one way or another. They might say no to smoking when offered, or no to bullying someone, or they may dress differently, or may not go out partying, or maybe they don’t want to get drunk. I could go on. People will always try to get you to do what they want when your best interests are not at heart for them. Society tries to mold us. Sales marketing even uses techniques similar to peer pressure. Society tells us to fit in by using these phrases, or wearing these clothes, or watch this show, or read this book. And then, for marketing, take commercials. Believe it or not, they pull the whole “everyone else is doing it” card, too. Look for it! You’ll see it. But it will probably sound something like “buy this because these people did”.

5. Why do people give in?
We live in a day and age where individuals care far more about what others think about them (and more often, people who shouldn’t matter to us), than what they think about themselves. We need to realize that caving in to negative peer pressure does not better anyone. It encourages the ones who pressure others to keep doing it, and pushes the individual who caved further and further away from having a hold on a mind of their own. Every time you say “yes”, it will get increasingly harder to say “no”. If you spend your time making yourself into someone you’re not just to fit in, you lose sight of who you are. I know because I have done it before. It got to the point where I didn’t even know what I liked anymore! It took me a long time to break the mold I let others form for me. I was blessed to open back up to learn more about what being an individual truly means.

If we were meant to be all like each other, making all the same choices, doing what everyone else is doing, we wouldn’t all have different stories. Since we are blessed to be different, why do we try so hard not to be?

I remind you, real friends, those who truly care about you and respect you as a person, will understand if you say “no” to things. Understanding why and being understanding are two separate matters. We may not always understand why people do what they do, but we can still be understanding.

Also, watch yourself. Make sure you’re not pressuring anyone else negatively. Practice being understanding, even in the little things. If your friend really doesn’t want to go see that movie, don’t make them go see the movie. C’mon. It’s that simple.

Peer pressure may not seem like a big deal to you, but it can start with something like that movie, and end with something detrimental like getting in the car with a drunk driver and dying a horrific death. An extreme example? Yes. But these things happen.

Be careful about who influences you and how they do this, and thoughtful about who and how you influence.

Thank you so much for joining me again, and I hope you have a wonderful day, wherever you are! If you haven’t already, don’t forget to subscribe!!!

“Talk” soon 🙂

in adults, advice, be yourself, change, choices, conforming, consideration, difference, friends, friendship, individuals, influence, kids, peer pressure, real friends, respect, symbolic, teenagers, teens, thoughts