Peer pressure, remember that? It seems like the kind of thing that was supposed to go away once we graduated high school. Everyone warned you about it when you were a kid, but who is there to offer you their words of wisdom as they tuck you into bed now?
Now that you have left the friends you grew up with and are meeting new people in college and/or entering the workforce, how can you tell who is a good apple and a bad egg?
Peer pressure, although sometimes good, is based around the feeling of trying to fit in and please those around you. It used to be people trying to get you to skip class; steal a lipstick from the mall; or lie to your parents about where you were going. Now it can take the form of being asked to drive others home, even though you know you have had one too many drinks. Or people trying to get you to go home with someone when you just aren’t feeling it. Oh, and don’t get me started on narcotics, because adults play with drugs way more than teenagers do.
See the beautiful thing about being an adult is that, you made it! You probably have a job, so you can buy those cute clothes you see at the mall (or if you surf the internet from the comfort of your home like me). Even if you do live with your parents, it’s not like they are going to ground you if you come home too late. So much of those things you used to be pressured into doing, have run their course because you are finally “adulting“. Most of the stuff our peers tried to pressure us to do when we were younger was because we all wanted to seem more grown up. And now we are.
So now that we are grown, we expect others to show the same signs of maturity. But some people never grow up, or some people have another idea about what being grown up looks like. Pay attention to yourself and try to be the best that you can be. Don’t worry about what other people think, when it comes down to it is only your opinion that matters (you should still try to make your parents proud too, if possible).
Although you will always care what others think of you, you don’t need to alter yourself to join the “it” crowd. Unlike school, where our options of who we hung out with was rather limited, adulthood has freedoms. You’re not tethered to age and gender quite the way you were growing up.
Sadly, even I know that there is a world out there that goes beyond just the normal peer pressuring. Saying “yes” or “no” to these people can mean the difference between life and death. It’s situations like that that I wish I could be more help on. If possible it’s best to avoid any kind of group that prides themselves on illegal activities. However, I do know in this day and age that seems to be getting more difficult.
Hopefully any peer pressuring situation you might face in your adult life won’t be as high risk. Most of us have the total freedom to shoot down a request without there being any threat to our safety. The older you get, the more wisdom you gain about yourself and others. As you learn to trust in yourself and your convictions, the opinions of others will begin to matter less and less.
Don’t hang around with bad influences, find some new friends using the Hey! VINA app. Tell us in the comments below if you have experienced adult peer pressure.
(Feature image via Marie Behrens)