How Far Can Peer Pressure Go?

 

I’ve never been the type of person who had a lot of friends. It was a personal choice. Very rarely was it ever legitimately pleasant hanging out with anyone for me. It had nothing to do with the people themselves. It was more because I was too concerned with how they saw me. Did they think I was weird? Or that I was boring or naïve or stupid? Did they accept the way that I dressed or the music that I preferred? What about my thoughts and opinions? What would have happened if they didn’t agree with me?

It was always too much to handle, even if I might have made a more deal out of it than it actually was. Even so, there is a logical reason why people befriend certain people. It’s because they have a lot in common.

You might hear an occasional uplifting story about a lion raising a baby antelope, but those opposing relationships usually don’t last very long in the real world.

Most people don’t even have to think about it. Befriending others and maintaining those relationships is like breathing. But, what if something derails the relationship? What if you think you’re friends with someone and they don’t feel the same way about you? Will you be pressured to do whatever it takes to get their approval, to create a new relationship?

As a child or a teenager, you might feel like you have to. It seems like nothing else is as important as finding a group of people who will help you make the time go faster and having fun while it does. But, the time actually does fly and before you know it, you’re thirty years old and going to your friends’ weddings, witnessing the birth of their children, and going to their children’s birthday parties with your own children.

Now here comes the question: Is this growing up or a continuation of peer pressure?

Eventually, friendships fade. People grow apart as they try to create their own lives, or so we thought.

Why did you have children in the first place, was it really because you wanted them? That you wanted to expand the bloodline and make a love child? Or was it because all of your friends were having them and you didn’t want to feel left out? You wanted your kids to grow up together so you could still be with the friends that you grew up with.

It’s admirable that friendship means so much to people that they’re willing to sacrifice their personal happiness just to stay in the loop and to keep connections, but don’t have children just because your friends are doing it. This isn’t high school.

 

Rebecca Szabo

Rebecca Szabo graduated from Valparaiso University with a Bachelor's degree in Creative Writing. Her main goal is to write science fiction and contemporary fiction novels. In her free time, she likes to read multiple genres, including science fiction, the classics, and young adult fiction.

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