Peer Pressure

16th June 2017


Peer Pressure – What does that congure up in your mind? Some kid at school, cohearsing you to go behind the bike shed and have a cigarette.

Who do you class as your peers? Your friends, your partner, your children, your work colleagues (Depending on their rank).

According to Wikipedia  Peer pressure (or social pressure) is direct influence on people by peers, or an individual who gets encouraged to follow their peers by changing their attitudes, values, or behaviors to conform to those of the influencing group or individual. 

Can society be classed as peers? What about Social media, the internet, Media (TV, Radio, Newspaper or Magazines.)

Are there invisible peers that pressure or constrains?

Anyone or Organisation that dictates what you should do, and puts pressure on you to do it. In my book could be classed as applying Peer pressure.

What are you being pressured to do, right now in your life?

Let’s make it simple. Who puts the most pressure on you?

What are you being pressured to do, right now in your life?

Let’s make it simple. Who puts the most pressure on you?

Your Children

Your Partner

Your Job

Your Family member/s

Your Friends

Let’s go down the list: Your children, how do they pressure you? Perhaps to buy more of what they want, have you explained why you haven’t brought what they want. Have you spent the time to engage them in what you do spend the money you have on? I understand that you may not want to burden them with the ins and outs of your financial status. But if they are old enough to put pressure on you for stuff, you can explain in words that they can understand. Saying No you can’t have it, hasn’t worked. Show them why you will not be buying that new toy, pair of trainers or jeans this week. Make a plan between the two or three of you as to how and when it may be possible to make that purchase. (Most of the time, that agreement had to be made between myself and four of my children, as it was never one child needing something at a time) Perhaps you feel that your children shouldn’t be privy to what you spend your money on. Maybe you have another way of removing the pressure your children put on you to buy things? Please let me know

What pressure does your partner impose? could it be for your time? Perhaps s/he feels you don’t spend enough time together doing things you both enjoy. Fobbing someone off with ‘I just don’t have enough hours in the day’ or ‘I’m tied’ Is not good enough. You really should explain why 24 hours in a day is just not enough for you get everything you want to do done. Explain what you do to make you tired all the time, perhaps you need to see a doctor, perhaps you really could make time but just don’t want to! That is just a thought!

Is your job pressuring you? Maybe to do more in less time. If this doesn’t bother you, fine. If you class it as pressure you must do something about it. Again you should talk to someone who may be able to lighten your load.

Friends, family. It’s about talking to the person or people who cause you to feel pressures. Being pressured isn’t a given in life, we choose to allow pressure to grow us or stunt our growth.

How can society be classed as one’s peer and puts pressure on you?

I suggested that anyone or anything that dictates what you should do and puts pressure on you to do it can be classed as peer pressure. What does society say you should do, how you should do it or be? Society states that one should go to school, maybe to college or get a job, be a good citizen and pay taxes. Get married, have a child or children at a certain age, work some more, save money for your retirement work some more, have grand children then retire. That’s the society I live in. The pressure of not living up to those standards can sometimes leave you feeling less than or left out. But there are ways in which one can ensure they hold some of that control. There are also ways to ensure one’s life style does not have an adverse impact on anyone or anything.

Fashion – One cannot help but wear the clothes available in the shops. They are available and we need to wear clothes. What we can do, is try to find out who makes those clothes (ensuring that it is not being made by children, who are made to sleep beside the machines)

Foods – We have a wide range of foods we can choose from in the Western world. Just check it’s fair trade.

Taking back the control of your life can be rejuvenating, but only if you are aware that someone or something actually has some of your control, and realising that you are being pressured into relinquishing some of it.

By conforming, one gets a sense of belonging. As a child, we wanted to feel that we were accepted. No one wanted to be seen as different or stick out. We are taught to conform from an early age. But this blog isn’t about conformity or non-conformity it is about peer pressure. There is a pressure to lead a certain type of life. Some people struggle to find their own individual path so look to groups, organisations, religions in order to help them.

Human beings have a need to belong, which is evident in Marslow hierarchy of needs (1943) and is third in line after physiological and safety needs. (See be good to yourself). In Roy Baumeisters Meaning of life (1991) Stark and Bainbridge 1985 found that socially unattached people were far more likely to join religious movements having been motivated by the desire to belong to a community (rather than by the appeal of specific doctrines, beliefs or practices) Professor Reeiss 2015 in his book ‘16 strivings for God’ Named acceptance and social contact as two of his 16 basic human desires that need to be fulfilled for people to join a religion.

 Social Media

The pressures of Social media can have us thinking that parts of our body need to look a certain way, either bigger or smaller! If one was to follow some of the trends, it would have you getting plastic surgery to look like the latest ‘in celebrity’ or at least buying the clothes and shoes they wear. There are magazines that gives you an alternative bag, shoes or clothing so you can ‘look alike’ a celebrity. The celebrity themselves try to live up to an image given to them. Hard work, all this living up to. Is it hard work or pressure?

Social media- Snapchat, Instagram Facebook and many more allow you to send and receive instant communication. The pressure here, if you are a business owner is to keep up with the times and get on all these new ways of attracting and interacting with clients and potential customers. Your life may not evolve around these types of social media but I bet you know someone whose life does. The mere fact that you are reading this shows that we need and use social media. You would have seen this blog or book advertised on a Social media site. Maybe your children use them on a daily basis, are you monitoring? A little pressure there, to get on board of the newest trends, whether you want to or not! My argument here, is being aware of the constrains that we may have imposed on our lives and using them, rather than being over taken by their presence in our lives.

Invisible Pressure or constrains

Anyone doing something that isn’t the ‘norm’ often raise eyebrows.

Living your life on your terms is often frowned upon. The question I would like to pose here is, have you considered the amount of programming or peer pressure you have become accustomed to or endured? Have you considered doing or being what you want to do or be? Keeping within what is classed as legal and taking into account that we must not hurt another, what would your world look like? Finding and following your passion would allow you to live life (to a certain extent) on your terms. Making a living from what you are passionate about would free you from the constrains of a 9 – 5, the office chit chat, commuting during rush hours and the preverbal organisational ladder, to mention a few.

For some being free is a scary thought. Being able/allowed or given the ability to run their own lives can be daunting. Some people cling to religion as a way of following a tried and tested way to be. Some cling to their culture, never deviating from it’s teachings, whether it serves them any good, meaningful or productive cause. Why? Because some believe, that that is the way it has always been and that is the way it should be.

 I understand and applaud the notion of standing for something. But make sure what you stand for is something you have decided upon, and not the result of peer pressure. I do not believe that there is any place on the planet that a human being can go without being constrained by something. This could be the biological, environmental needs or the elements that all dictates to us. Baring all of the above, could you throw off the other constrains having acknowledged you are being constrained in the first place?

I live a privileged life, I have the ability to write, read and mentor. Which is my life’s  passion. I go to bed when I am tired and wake when I open my eyes. There is no alarm clocks to start my day. My constrains are still the bills and a little debt which hold me ransom to making  a living. Oh! and often the beck and call of my children, which I note is a privilege most of the time. I have off set my constrains with making a living from my passion. The pressure I feel to pay my bills is minimised.

The pressure to work for an organisation which dictates when I should arrive, when I can eat, what time I can leave, when I can have a holiday. If I am sick, how many days I can be off work before a ‘note’ from my doctor is needed (sounds like a note from my mum to saying why I can’t do P.E). Has been eliminated from my life. How’s work for you? The pressure of doing this or that at a certain age and owning this or that by a certain time, has left me. What is your next stage of life? Should you have one? If you answered the two questions above, you are still being pressured into believing that there is a stage and a time in which to complete it. There is nothing wrong with setting goals, but if the goals are dictated by outside influences then you are still being pressured. Some people will not know the difference, do you?

We live our lives within the laws of our society and understand that laws, rules and regulations are important, we know that they serve as a ‘norm’ of conduct for its citizens and residents.

They are guidelines for acceptable behaviour, and outline the consequences of law violations. We cling to culture or religion, we choose to conform to ethical and moral codes of conduct. No pressure there, you say. I ask, have you ever questioned the rules that you live by and enforce on your family? A quick look at your life may surprise you at all the peer pressure activities you engage in.

We have gathered that, one cannot get away from all constrains, even if we lived on a remote island. However if we were to take the time to look at some of the things we believe, we would see that our very beliefs have been dictated to us. This may be a scary thought.

Taking back some of that control will leave us feeling somewhat free. Our lives would evolve around us instead of around what we ‘should have done or be doing’

There will always be someone looking over our shoulders. If it’s not the tax agencies, it’s our bosses, If its not our bosses, it’s society or the government. We have enough going on, listening to our biological needs to have to listen to what society, culture and the mass media have to say. Shut some of that stuff off.

We are constrained by how to behave in every setting and every interaction we encounter, don’t add more to your lives.

We know what is deemed acceptable behaviour when in a crowded train and what is not acceptable when there are seats free. Depending on your age, we know what people will think if we still leave at home with our parents, or how people will view us if we haven’t got a girl/boyfriend. We live our lives full of pressures. Take some of them off, break the mold of your families expectations, do something different, something out of the ‘norm’ It will be something to tell the grand children (If you decide to have any children). Go for it!

Do you now look at your life differently, in regards to what you believe? Is it your own beliefs or what you are made or pressured to believe? Your family members, partner, friends and job all put pressure on you in your different roles, this may be accepted. But one needs to be aware that, as ‘HE-MAN’ from ‘The Masters of the Universe’ use to say ‘I HAVE THE POWER’ to accept or decline unwanted pressures. Deciding how to live ones’ life may be more difficult than you think, we often live our lives by the labels society and our culture puts on us. However, many choose to add religion to their lives as a way of following a tried and tested path or way to live. Declaring that one is a good Christian or any religion is a bold statement and comes with it’s expectations and pressures.

There are other pressures that are subliminal in nature, and can be hanging in our wardrobe!  We live in a society that expects us to be clothed. So we buy what is available in the shops. Here we believe we have a particular style only to be told by the media what is ‘IN’ this Spring, Summer or Winter. Some people are even pressured to look like other human beings and thrive for surgery to complete a look. As mentioned earlier, we all live by some constrains, if it’s not biological, environmental or morally it’s a organisation that governs us. We cannot get away from some pressures of being human. But where we can take back our power, we should, but first we must be aware that a ‘peer’ is pressuring us.

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Love Live holistically .