Peer pressure. Don’t we all fall victim to it at times? “Why Does Peer Pressure Affect Teens?” was on the news one night last week and you can read it here if you’d like to. I know now after thinking about it that it is worse as a teen and young adult but I know I’ve done some pretty stupid things at the “urging” of other people plenty of times in my life.
This article states that teens need to fit in and to be liked and it’s stronger in kids. They’re also learning to navigate on their own and want to make some decisions on their own. It also states that brain development isn’t fully there until the mid 20’s.
Now peer pressure normally makes us think of bad things but it’s not always bad. There are some people who choose to follow someone who studies hard or who’s involved in sports or many other worthwhile activities. I know Jason wasn’t to thrilled with doing school work his senior year of high school but he chummed around with a girl who “encouraged” him to study because it was very important to her to achieve good grades. To this day I thank her for his graduating.
I’ve also seen this happen with adults who will take on something new if a friend or an acquaintance enjoys doing something. So and so enjoys golf so I’m gonna give it a try. So it’s not always a bad thing. It has a bad sound but it’s not always a bad thing.
Just how much does peer pressure affect you? Do you find yourself doing something you wouldn’t normally do or dumb things you do that you think later, “what the heck was I thinking?” Do you think adults are just as guilty as kids as far as this goes?
I think adult peer pressure may be called “keeping up with the Joneses.”
I, of course, am peerless, so this doesn’t concern me at all.
Seriously, I never really felt the pull of peer pressure as a child/teen/young adult. I always pretty much felt disliked no matter what I did, and the things I’d have to do to “fit in” seemed too much like bowing down to people I considered my inferiors. There were probably a few times when I made a choice based on whether I thought it would draw less ridicule than another choice, but afterwards I would be kicking myself for my momentary lapse of individuality.
Now as a more seasoned adult, I still travel to the beat of my own drum. There are few things more offensive to my ears than “you have to do X, that’s what everyone / so-and-so does.” I will adjust certain things if they are “very” important to a person I care about, but only if they also don’t compromise my basic values. Similarly, I don’t expect others to follow my example. We are all so different, it just wouldn’t make sense.
I agree ..I think the name of it changes as we become adults.
I think kids of today have it way worse than kids of my time had it.
As I child/teenager I never really caved to the overt peer pressure … for instance I didnt smoke/drink or kiss boys just because my friends did. However, I was effected by the more covert peer pressure. I just wanted to fit in and for that reason fought my mom many times about wearing hand-me-down clothes from my sisters, that were cool 5 years ago…
As I’ve gotten older I’ve definitely been affected more by “positive” peer pressure. I have friends and a significant other who make me a better person than I would otherwise be because they encourage me to work out, eat healthy, support my community, and go out and have fun. For example, my boyfriend loves to bike and goes on 15+ mile rides all the time. Before I met him I would have never dreamed of doing that…. but I do it all the time now (but only with him).. and actually enjoy it.
Ok.. I’m done rambling now 🙂 I think this is one reason I don’t comment… because I just keep going and going and going 🙂
No please, go on and on. We love that 🙂 Thanks so much for making the effort. It makes all the difference.
you fit in perfectly here! 🙂
I use to be a follower in high school,and after for awhile too.I just did what was expected of me,so I had friends to hang out with.But I have learnt that,I was not happy.No one got to see the real me.I got tired of trying to be what everyone wanted me to be.I learnt to be me.And I have learned to love me.
I tend to do my own thing & don’t think I’m overly influenced by others, that I’m aware of. Except when Dixie goes into backyard supervisor mode then I really have to do what I’m told.
I don’t think that peer pressure and taking up a hobby that a friend recommends are the same thing, though. Peer pressure, in my view anyway, is when someone is, well, pressured into doing something that they wouldn’t necessarily want to do. I agree that peer pressure can sometimes be the cause of good things – like you said, Joy, it can lead to high-schoolers studying harder or joining a sports team.
Still, I think way too many of us bow down to peer pressure. I’ve tried as hard as I can not to, in fact I’ve often gone the opposite way [which isn’t necessarily a good thing] from other people. Still, I think that every teenager and young adult experiences peer pressure to some extent.
I was never really affected by peer pressure much. I might have caused it on some people! 🙂
I agree as we get older the name changes. I have noticed in our little neighborhood if 1 person gets a new car then so do 3 or 4 others.
I don’t think I was all that receptive to peer pressure growing up. If I wanted to do or try something they were doing, then I did it, if not, I didn’t. I had the fear of God instilled in me at a young age, so I knew better than to do anything truly self-destructive when growing up. There would be plenty of time for that later.
As an adult I lead a fairly solitary life. Sure, I’ve worked with folks who I considered friends, but there was always work, so outside of doing things to get in trouble at work there wasn’t much damage that could really be done otherwise.
Outside of work I have my writing, a writing group I attend once a week, and time with my son, which includes baseball. I have neither the time nor inclination to succumb to frivilous antics of those around me.
Perhaps I’m missing out?
I’ve never really had the confidence to be a leader. I pretty much just did my own thing. I wish I would have followed the kids into the class room in high school. I just didn’t care about a whole lot. There was usually a small group of us, we just did whatever. Hung out at the creek, went to peoples houses. I didn’t start smoking until I was 16. I moved to MT and everyone smoked! What else was there to do?! A town of 500, you were bound to get bored which meant for us, we were bound to get into trouble. The style thing, I was always kinda my own person with that. I’m still that way, but have toned it down. I would never wear striped legging with a skirt now…no, now their argyle! LOL
Now…I definitely stand up for myself more. I am proud of the person I am now becoming..that is a great feeling!
Bailey has his own style, just like his dad and I. I love that he doesn’t fall into the “IT” style. He does tend to hang in the back ground a bit, he’s pretty shy and I think can be persuaded a bit. He’s pretty responsible though so, so I’m hoping he doesn’t fall into a bad crowd. Not that his dad and I would let that get too far.
I think once you are an adult for a while “peer pressure” becomes “coercion.”