Peer pressure is exerted our entire life, so to some extend we are all used to it. Some times it’s more acute than others, and it can take various forms.
When I looked for a picture to illustrate this blog post, pretty much all images were in this direction, where one is separated from the group, pushed away, talked behind his back, because he (or she) disturbs the group mindset.
That is not necessarily a bad thing, for either party, although it certainly can be a painful experience at the time for the one excluded. They can go separate ways in life, with different objectives, and that’s usually the case. The one excluded usually finds a new group where his or she fits in.
But there are other types of peer pressure. Let’s see.
A silent one that you might feel on occasions. Let’s say you meet a colleague from school, a buddy in the old days. You both started pretty much at the same level, but now he has a much better job or his family life looks perfect and yours isn’t… Your mind might be working overtime and such thoughts will enforce or reinforce your belief you’re not good enough. And this is the worse thing you can do, because comparing two people’s paths in life is never a good idea. Just be happy for the guy and stop making comparisons!
Another type of peer pressure: Friends expecting that you give them a portion of your time for social interactions. This can be good or bad for you. You know the adage: tell me who your closest 5 friends are and I’ll tell you who you are? Your closest friends can exert a good or a bad influence on you, that’s for sure. If you feel empowered by a relationship, wanting to thrive to level up, that’s a positive influence, but beer buddies who waste the entire day may not be the best choice of crowd to be around if you want to get better.
Here’s the third example. The third kind of peer pressure comes from those who give you advice. And there are two of them also: those thinking at your own good and those giving you bad advice while posing as friends.
If you are a determined individual and already made your mind, the advice would probably not make any difference. If you are weighing alternatives and are undecided, this advice becomes relevant to the final choice. If you base your decisions on what your friends say instead of making your own mind (you should never do that!), then the quality of such an advice is crucial to your future. That’s one more reason why you should pick your friends carefully.
We are social beings, so peer pressure is important to us, even if we think we can ignore it. The pressure of your peers can pull you back or push you forward. It’s up to you to have around the peers who push you forward.