Peer pressure. We all know it. We all know what it can lead to. Yet still, sometimes, we succumb to it. Why?
In honor of all the kiddos out there going back to school, this one’s for you!
I remember back in grade school, I was at a sleep over. At this sleep over, I had my favorite stuffed animal, Bob the bunny, with me. Well, me and Bob, we were inseparable…unless that is, someone took Bob the bunny. And someone took Bob the Bunny. They took him and through circumstances that I can’t recall, I found myself on the second story of a barn. Yep, a barn! At a sleepover! Where my favorite stuffed animal, Bob the bunny, was being held hostage. Now, here is where the story gets fuzzy….but I got in my head that the only way I was ever going to see Bob was to jump off this barn. I can’t remember if the kids who took Bob told me so, or if I just believed it, but that’s what happened. I jumped. Landed flat on my back. Scared my mom half to death. Ended up, walking away with a sore back and that’s it….oh, and Bob too.
Anyway, there’s a glimpse. It may not have been DIRECT peer pressure, but it was still there in a ghostly form. I could have tried to walk out the door….or I could have looked for another way out….or I could have called to help (heck, my mom was still on the property). But no, I jumped. I jumped because that was the way I was going to get Bob back from my “peers.”
How many times have you “jumped”? I know you have…and I want you to know there is no shame in that. As is the theme around here, the past is the past. Don’t regret it too much or dwell on it, just recognize it. Recognized the times you’ve fallen for peer pressure. Try to find out why you did. What was the result?
Today, as an adult, peer pressure is still around me. But I feel that I have a clear enough head to look at my situation and determine if “what everyone else is doing” will benefit me, in the short-term or long. If it does, then I consider it more deeply. In the end, only do something “everyone else is doing” if you can find it reasonable for yourself.
Gut check time. You’re faced with peer pressure. Answer these few questions: 1) Does it improve your station for the long-term? 2) Does it achieve a short-term goal? 3) Is it legal? 4) Who’s asking you to do it and why are they important to you?
If #3 is a NO, then there’s your answer. The other three questions have to be weighed by yourself and be true to yourself when answering them. The impact must be significant. Don’t sell yourself out simply for the sake of others. Sell yourself out…to yourself. You come first.
I mean really…if everyone was jumping off a barn, would you?