Adults and peer pressure
Just because peer group pressure is most rife during our teenage years, it doesn’t mean that adults escape this phenomenon. In fact, it can be said that wherever society exists, so does the pressure to conform. And this pressure does not dissipate with age. In adulthood, pressure from peers might not be as harsh as that experienced by adolescents but it can be every bit as dangerous if not kept in check. It’s fine to adopt a hobby when you’re not really into it but your friends are, or to go out drinking with the guys every now and then because how else are you going to keep updated with what’s happening?
But when striving to fit in begins to affect you negatively, that’s when peer pressure is a problem. For instance, working several hours of overtime so you can afford a lifestyle you don’t care about, but feel you need in order to keep up with friends or family. Acting against your core values and beliefs has a negative impact on your sense of self and often leads to a kind of snowball effect, where you continue making choices based on others’ influence to the detriment of your wellbeing.
In order to strike the balance between positive and negative peer pressure, it’s imperative that you remain true to yourself. Think independently, and make decisions and choices based on your own values. Seeking advice from family and friends is normal, but you shouldn’t allow it to overshadow your own instincts.
Choosing your friends should involve connecting with people who share your values and beliefs. In this way, you surround yourself with support instead of criticism. For times when this isn’t possible, try to stay mindful about who you are and what you’re about, and practice assertiveness when it comes to defending your choices.
These are just a few ways in which you can avoid becoming a victim of negative peer pressure. If you feel you need more guidance and support in this regard, please feel free to contact us.