“Hey, you! Yeah, you! Come read this post! Come on everyone is doing it. You know you want to.” Sound familiar? It should because that is the sound of peer pressure. Nobody wants to admit it but we have all been beaten up by peer pressure even as an adult. It surrounds us daily. Whether by our friends, families, coworkers, spouses, strangers and even our kids. It is a long never ending battle we all trudge through.
Peer Pressure Comes in All Types
I have learned that peer pressure comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms. It comes from all different directions and in all different ways. It could be in a hurtful way or a loving one. We all fought through it in our adolescent years and believed we would outgrow it right? Wrong! The pressure we dealt with it as young ones were just the start. It was the warm-up for the main event.
Type #1: Keeping up with the Joneses
One of the most popular of these types of peer pressures is the need to ” keep up with the Joneses.” It doesn’t matter who you are, you have dealt with this in one way or another. I know I have on more than one occasion. Whether it be making my house a certain way. Or, I acted differently than I normally would because I thought I needed to be like everyone else. I’ve had my hair done to make it seems like I wasn’t a raging hot mess and wore clothes I wasn’t comfortable in so I seemed like the other moms. I am 100% guilty on all charges. If there was a prison for peer pressure violators I would be serving a life sentence.
Type #2: Whats Trending?
We constantly feel the pressure of trying to keep up with what’s trending. For example: “clean eating” or using homemade, all natural cleaning products or hygiene products. Ads are telling us the things we are eating aren’t healthy so we feel the pressure to change the way we eat. We watch TV shows and movies so we are in the loop and follow the same Facebook and Instagram posts so we have something to talk about. Celebrities are constantly pressuring us to change our views on world matters. Its everywhere and there is no avoiding it.
I recently read an article that listed foods parents shouldn’t put in their kids’ lunchboxes. Guess what, every single thing listed I pack in my son’s lunch. The article made me feel awful. I suddenly felt pressure to start giving him healthier options. I’ll admit that feeling only lasted about 30 seconds. I came to the realization my son eating at all was more important than what someone else believes.
Okay moving on. The use of chemical-free cleaning products in your home will make it healthier than using the stuff that actually kills germs. Don’t you want to keep your family healthy? Eveyone is switching to all natural products why don’t you? Again more pressure! I have been a mother for seven years.
For those past seven, years I have cleaned my home, my dishes and my childrens toys with store bought cleaners. I have bathed them with regular kids shampoo and fed them jarred baby food. I am proud to say that this is one pressure I have never succumbed to. My boys are both happy and healthy. Neither of them has ever been hospitalized or seriously ill. I will continue to purchase my products with a smile on my face, a gleam in my eyes and a pep in my step.
Type #3: Size doesn’t matter
The biggest pressure nowadays is weight. You can be overweight or under it doesn’t matter. Overweight women (and men) feel the pressure to be slender where underweight women and men need more meat on their bones. If we aren’t as thin as the other moms we feel the pressure to exercise more.
No matter how you look at it, society determines how our bodies aren’t what they should be. I know for me its the overweight issue. Sometimes it feels as though every time I turn on the TV or get on social media I am bombarded by people telling me how to lose weight. “I can help you!” “Be a healtier you!” “If I can do it there is no excuse for you!” Okay, I get it I’m feeling the pressure. I have heard this my entire life, from friends, strangers and doctors but the worst from my very own mother. It doesn’t matter what I tell myself it is a pressure that will haunt me for the rest of my days.
Trust me, I can go on and on. Peer pressure is everywhere!
So I ask does peer pressure truly end in our teens?