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Old 2013-09-03, 19:27   Link #1
Kirito
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Enduring and Dealing with "Peer Pressure"

It's been awhile since I've created a thread on a question or a thought I've been having. Anyways...

Ahem:

I don't know if this issue has been discussed on here or in a different context, but bear with me on this. I know that peer pressure is generally discussed in a teenage subtext, but can that be a universal thing when it comes to adults? I talk to people about it, and they tell me it's more of a teen related issue. I tried searching it up, but the teenage context seems pretty high while adults are close to or if not vague in that concept. Either I'm asking the wrong people, or my researching skills are a little weak, who knows, but there's always one or mores ways to have an question or queries answered. I know that there can be peer pressure in the work place, but I haven't really seen it happen that often from I've witnessed during my teen years.

Anyway, there's something I've been going through for months now, and I feel like I'm about to enter my "breaking point". I'm being "pressured" by a member of my family and his peers into doing something I don't feel comfortable with. My weed smoking little brother (who's a year younger than me) and his friends always keep pressuring me to smoke weed with them. No matter how many times I say no, they keep following and bugging me saying things like "Watching anime is 100x better when you smoke", "You'll never have sex if you don't do it", and "Video games alot better when you're smoking grass". I tried everything, reasoning with them, telling them off, and leaving the house to go for a walk to gather my thoughts.

Just today after coming home from work and either logging on here, watch anime, and switch to play my PS3. My brother with his friends asked me to have a toke with them I said no obviously, but when I was helping my brother position the families' plasma screen TV, his friend blew weed smoke in my face and smiled when it happened. After a few seconds of processing the situation, I seriously wanted to knock him out.

I'm not one to condone violence, but I was nearly close to leaning on it. I retreated to my room to calm myself down. I'm still upset, but does make me a coward by walking around from the situation by not saying or doing anything? My method for cooping with this is either going to a friends house, going for walks, or just locking myself in my own room.

Men or women deal with troublesome people in their own special way, but is there a time or an necessity when it's okay to snap or "break a few noses" per say? I'm cooping well, hopefully, but this is getting really annoying due to the fact my younger brother pretty much participates and engages in these acts with his own friends; his own set of peers.

I'm not doing this to moan, bitch, to get sympathy or whatever; I'm trying to address an issue and if others either a teen or an adult have been through or is currently deal with what I'm addressing.

I don't have much to say at the moment, but i will say this in regards to what I'm dealing with, "Where is aspirin when you need one?"
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Old 2013-09-03, 20:27   Link #2
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I think peer pressure exists for all age groups, but adults tend to be better at resisting it on average than teens. That revelation doesn't help you much, but I think the situation you're facing specifically is what I can comment on in depth.

Lots of people who smoke weed don't see anything but the positive aspects of it and can't understand why someone wouldn't want to try it. I know because I went through a big weed phase during my late teens up until I turned 21 (no, the reason I stopped was not because I started drinking... I don't drink or smoke at all nowadays.)

If you want, you can show them my message: I used to smoke weed all the time, didn't understand why anyone wouldn't, now I look back on it and realize how much I messed up my lungs and how it made my priorities out of whack. They're right that weed doesn't make you dumb or lazy, if anything I was in my most intellectual/academic mode when I smoked - I'd spend all day reading about science and history, etc, but I didn't have a good grasp on saving up my money properly, networking, and other career related goals. That's not the same thing as laziness (which most stoners decry as untrue); I used to and still do work out 4-5 days a week and eat healthy, etc... but what it does is it changes your perspective in a bizarre and impractical manner, at least in my opinion. You get really focused on things like how screwed up our governmental system is, how great nature is, and the like, which are ALL true and very important, but I feel like you overdo it. If that's all you care about you might as well go live in a log cabin in the woods; if you're not willing to take that step then you have to make some idealogical compromises. In my case, that meant realizing I wanted to live a prosperous life with a good income and live for a long time... which brings me to my next point.

Most people who smoke weed say that there isn't a single case of lung cancer from weed or some bogus statistic like that to justify their lack of concern healthwise. I can't speak to the science behind it, but I will say that inhaling any type of smoke will be carcinogenic and it seems like people are taking advantage of a lack of research in making these pretty absurd claims. I can completely believe and still accept that weed is safer than alcohol and cigarettes... but there are definitely still risks to your lung health. (Now, if you did someday decide to try weed for whatever reason, I think that edibles are pretty much fine from a health perspective).

A disclaimer to all of this is that it's based on my experience, maybe your brother and his friends are doing just fine priority wise, or maybe they are even worse off than I was. I've encountered people who smoke and somehow still have their career on track (seemingly, pretty rare) and I've encountered your stereotypical cheetos-eating couch potato moron stoner as well. It's all anecdotal, but make of it what you will...
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Old 2013-09-03, 20:35   Link #3
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Kinda depends on the work culture and social culture.

I only socialize with extremely small number of life-long friends, and work environment is very laid back and people mind their own business.
There's pretty much zero peer pressure in my life.

Of course that's in America, same cannot be said of a lot of asian countries.
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Old 2013-09-03, 21:24   Link #4
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My own experience isn't quite as severe, but its similar.

In my case, the issue was that I don't drink alcohol. Whenever there's a social circle where almost everybody engages in the same sort of recreational activity (be it smoking weed, or drinking beer, or virtually anything really), then those in the social circle who don't engage in that will tend to get pressured to do so. I felt that pressure both in College, and at my place of work (thought not while actually at work, but rather at social gatherings with co-workers).

This sort of thing doesn't change with age, in my experience. It's just that you're not likely to get outright bullied for it because while kids often don't fear teachers, adults do tend to fear cops. But being socially ostracized can occur at any age level.

Unfortunately, I can't think of many good answers for this sort of situation. Part of the reason why I spend a lot of time here on Anime Suki is that there's not a lot of people I socialize with in real life, and that's in large part because I don't drink. Some social circles can have non-negotiables, and from what you're saying, smoking weed may be that for your family member and his peers.

But ChainLegacy's idea is a good one, and maybe that'll work for you. I do hope so.
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Old 2013-09-03, 21:52   Link #5
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After high school and college, I have grown to realize that when I don't give a shit, I don't give a shit.

Largely because I've decided that I hardly care about people who need to pressure others for acceptance, and because I've met and hang around friends who don't need to impose such pressures on me and other people.
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Old 2013-09-03, 21:55   Link #6
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You need to have a talk with your brother. If his friends is going to be an asshole, let your brother know you're pissed with them and they need to get out of the house.

At that age, people are going to be really dickish about everything. Some people still are but most people just learn to accept their difference in lifestyle after a certain age. Personally I felt that people who continually pressure others to participate in their lifestyle are just looking for validation to their own choices.

Though if diplomacy fails, there's always more confrontative drastic measures that can be taken and there's nothing wrong about using them either. There are people who would try and push others as much as they can get away with for their own enjoyment and sometimes the only way to deal with them is to push back.

Is smoking weed legal in your country btw?
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Old 2013-09-03, 22:05   Link #7
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You need to have a talk with your brother. If his friends is going to be an asshole, let your brother know you're pissed with them and they need to get out of the house.
Is smoking weed legal in your country btw?
I second that and a quick search tells me medical cannabis is legal in Canada. Though since the OP's description of events doesn't sound medicinal, maybe there's some legal leverage against those people.
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Old 2013-09-03, 22:09   Link #8
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I think peer pressure exists for all age groups, but adults tend to be better at resisting it on average than teens.
I agree with this, but I think there's a reason for it. As you go through life and gain experience, you gain respect for yourself. Some people are seemingly born arrogant, but for the rest of us (particularly the sensitive ones and the humble ones) obtaining a controlled arrogance isn't easy.

Just by way of example, a peer of mine recently remarked that I was a bit odd, in a somewhat friendly (or so I interpret) manner. The context is that we had just met, I spoke with her for a few minutes, and then prepared to leave, even though she probably would have talked my ear off for a few hours. If this had happened to me when I was younger - basically any time in my life up until my early 20's - I probably would have been deeply embarrassed, or somehow felt hurt and judged. Where I stand now, I couldn't care less. The reasoning is simple: was this lady my wife? No? Then I don't care about what she thinks of me. ("But you're bringing it up in this forum, so it must be bothering you" - no, it happened just a few days ago, and I remembered it while trying to think of an example to share.) Of course, the key with this example is that I am married; were I single, my emotions would likely be more vulnerable to the opinions of other women.

This is also an example where the "pressure" or "abuse" is verbal, rather than anything physical. Physical abuse/pressuring is a bit different.

So to Clarami, what's bothering you with these young punks? Blowing smoke in your face is rude, so the outrage there is understandable. Otherwise, have you thought about why they keep hassling you? I can think of three possible reasons:

1) They like you and they want to connect with you; this is the only way that they know how.
2) You get annoyed easily, they know that this annoys you, and they find your annoyance to be amusing.
3) They think you're a huge nerd and want to help make you "cooler" by having you smoke. (They know you're into video games and anime. The jig is up )

All three scenarios can be cleared up by keeping cool and collected, displaying that you are confident and in control. What's your normal response when they ask you to smoke with them? If it isn't something like a limited "no thanks" as you go about your business, then you're probably giving them too much to work off of - either for their amusement, or to feel like they can continue to engage with you and pressure you on this topic. You don't want to do it and you don't care about it, so don't give them more attention than they deserve and don't ever feel like you have to justify yourself. You don't have to justify yourself to anyone.

As for what to do, since they're coming to your home - your place of refuge - it's perfectly acceptable to leave while they're there, in order to avoid them. The alternative would be to clash with them by asking them to leave or cease their behavior, which risks unpleasant confrontations if they don't respect your wishes and requests (of which they seem to have established a poor track record). I don't know what sort of relationship you have with your brother, but if you two get along in some capacity then you could make the request to him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Triple_R View Post
In my case, the issue was that I don't drink alcohol.
Internet high-five for not drinking alcohol! Same here. People usually get bored after a minute or two of trying to push that one on me, though, as I'm pretty adamant about desiring not to drink things that have a foul taste.
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Old 2013-09-03, 22:37   Link #9
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Foul taste?

Blaspheme, sake and wine are crucial ingredient to making good food, if it was foul tasting we'd never use it in our dishes.
(yes I know alcohol mostly evaporates while cooking. )
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Old 2013-09-04, 00:21   Link #10
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Internet high-five for not drinking alcohol! Same here. People usually get bored after a minute or two of trying to push that one on me, though, as I'm pretty adamant about desiring not to drink things that have a foul taste.
Thanks! Like yourself, I never really liked the taste of alcohol.

If there's something a person really doesn't want to do, I think it's generally best to not do that thing even if it would make you more popular. Popularity may have some value, but I don't think its as valuable as having a strong sense of self and being yourself.
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Old 2013-09-04, 01:49   Link #11
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As a fellow non-alcoholic/smoker/snus/weed person, I know these feels as well, though mainly alcohol. For the past 8 years, friends tried to make me drink or whatever and I always remained firm in my decision. Wasn't until recently it transformed into som sort of respect instead.

Trying to argue about the dangers seem mostly a lost cause though and just serves to raise annoyance levels. Your brother's low age isn't helping matters :/ Only thing i can offer is to remain firm.
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Old 2013-09-04, 11:26   Link #12
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Hmm, when faced against this kind of individuals, I always just blurt out the cold hard truth: they don't feel comfortable doing it and they want me to join them as a sign of approval from their social circle, to give a sense of false acknowledgement that they're doing something cool and fun, while they already know they're not.

The only time I truly mind is when people go out of their way to get me involved in things I don't like but are not necessarily bad (e.g. clubbing). Drowziness and headaches aside, people tend to dance in clubs, so when we head back everyone's like "and zomg Kaf was dancing!!!" as if it's the last thing on earth that I normally do, which insults my character, for it implies a way of living I do not condone...and it happens about a lot of things.

Unfortunately, my reaction to that is bailing out on most sorties to have a night out with my closest friends, which my outer social circle tends to interpret as weird and reclusive...but hey, at least I don't smoke, I rarely drink alcohol, I never drink coffee or carbonated stuff and I sure as hell ain't touching drugs, so they got nothing on me.
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Old 2013-09-04, 13:45   Link #13
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if it was me, i'll just move out to avoid all these frustration and annoying in dealing with
your little bro. and his friends.

i'll usually just be direct with them and say that i'm bother by them with their weeds. if they persist,
just tell your little bro. that you're going to move out. see what his reaction going to be.

if he thinks you're joking, then just move out. if he takes you seriously, he might reconsider
his actions are wrong and not bother you anymore with them weeds. you have to
take actions and tell them that. do not let them do what they want if you feel
very uncomfortable with it.

well, that's what i'd do. just be direct with them. and if they don't listen still, move out.
i rather not living under the same roots with fools that don't wanna listen.
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Old 2013-09-04, 15:15   Link #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clarami
I'm still upset, but does make me a coward by walking around from the situation by not saying or doing anything?
It actually makes you a badass in my book. A knock in the face would have easily been justified in that situation, as long as you hadn't broken anything. But you kept your cool, which is always the best way of saying, that this infantile sh*t is beneath you. Most people on the other side of the fence don't get it at first or at all, but who cares?

Honestly, just tell them to stop bothering you. Be very strict, serious and decisive about it. Don't necessarily raise your voice, but definitely tighten your eyebrows a bit, I'm sure you know what I mean. If you don't want to do it, they should leave you alone after a few teases. And if they don't, well I can't say f' them, because it's your brother we're talking about, but seriously, don't hang around with them, avoid it. They might call you names or throw popular terms for female genitalia at you, but they'll get the message eventually. And since one of them is your brother, he should understand it sooner or later. Just be tough enough to go through a bit of a rough period.

That said, if you don't feel like that's the route you want to take, you might want to try it once or twice and just tell them afterwards that you don't like it. I want to make it perfectly clear that I don't support smoking weed in any way. But honestly, it's not addicting at all, it barely has any effect as long as you don't take a truckload of it and a couple of inhales won't do you any harm. Actually, I don't understand the point of it or how people can pay money for that stuff. Yeah, you get a tiny bit dizzy, but that's it and the taste is horrible. I can totally understand if trying it would betray your principles, though. Definitely don't buy into peer pressure indefinetely; I think it's actually a very real problem even among adults, and I'm seriously convinced that you shouldn't smoke anything on even a semi regular basis. But if you know or think that you can shut them up by taking a couple of inhales once, doing that isn't the worst thing. Like I said, it does nothing to you and you won't become an addict by doing so. I'd still highly suggest just ignoring them as the prefered solution.
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Old 2013-09-04, 17:45   Link #15
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Peer pressure sucks, but it's also one of those inevitable things like socioeconomic inequality that has no cure. The best way to deal with it is to pretend to fit in enough that when you do have a weird habit, it'll be seen as a "unique trait" and not a perversion. Also, the only way to get friends is to cater to their sensibilities somewhat. Only then can you open up to them and become an "individual".

Also, don't smoke weed. It's lame.
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Old 2013-09-04, 18:53   Link #16
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I don't object to weed at all; I see nothing wrong with it.

However, I will say it is utterly irresponsible of them to try to make you to do it, because like anything of the nature there are risks involved, and the thing is that if something bad does happen, they're not going to take the consequences for you. If you get hurt or get in trouble, they don't feel the pain. And it's clear they don't give a fuck about any consequences, because it's not them. In some cases, not even themselves, so why the fuck would you care about trash like that? You certainly don't have to stand them up or any bullshit, but at the same time you sure as hell aren't obligated to do shit with them either. You have to realize that in a few years, these people will most likely mean jack shit anyways. Think about it like this. If you were to get in trouble, would they help you? Or would they do shit for you? Nuff said.

It's just like drinking too. Sure, everyone goes on about how badass they are for taking more shots than the next person, but it's very easy to get in trouble, and then it's not funny anymore.

Sorry, I've seen these things turn out badly too much. Let them fuck themselves over and don't follow them either.


Tl;DR Look out for yourself, because some people clearly won't.
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Old 2013-09-04, 21:06   Link #17
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You have to realize that in a few years, these people will most likely mean jack shit anyways. Think about it like this. If you were to get in trouble, would they help you? Or would they do shit for you? Nuff said.
It's not quite that easy.

Like TripleR and Ledgem, I don't drink any alcohol. Some people will make a sport out of getting you to drink, and it gets worse when they've already drunk a bit. I once was faced with the choice of drinking a beer or having it poured over my head. I refused to drink it, and it got poured over my head. The guy who poured it over my head? I'm pretty sure, out of the group, I could have relied on him the most. I think that was sort of a test how serious I was. I didn't even get angry. I did go home, after that, though; I won't sit around with beer in my hair.

Sometimes people who'll stick with you have annoying side habits. That's the way the world works.

I'm not saying that's the case with Clarami's brother's friends. How can I? I don't know them. One problem is, though, when you're "under the influence" different things seem funny. I can easily imagine that Clarimi walking away would be a "cute" reaction. I'm not sure violence would have made a difference. From my experience around people on weed (very limited), the guy you'd sock would just complain that it hurts while his friends would stand around giggling, and nothing would change, except that you've just hit someone, which is not something most people like to do, especially if it ends up being pointless anyway.

If you're the one person who doesn't do X, many people will try to get you do X. Most of them only once. They don't see the problem: you can say no. The problem is you don't just say no once; there are many, many people who'll try that. And it's tiring to be only one to always say "no". They may even call you a spoil sport, or treat you like one. It never lasts, but you get used to it, and develop some sort of allergy to being asked to drink. So eventually, you get a lower frustration threshold, and you blow up over some triviality, and you know it's a triviality, but you can't help it. And then everyone wonders what's wrong with you.

It does get better as you age, though. Probably because your peers are older, too, and they've got more experience with "people who don't drink". Not sure that goes for weed, too, because that's more of a sub-culture thing; so it's really more like joining a club without meeting the requirements. It's more in-group/out-group stuff than pure peer pressure. The few weed smokers I knew, though, would offer a joint, and if you didn't take it, they didn't care. It felt more like they didn't want to exclude you, so they went through the motions, even though they knew you'd refuse. Different from the alcohol stuff, where they'd look at you like some exotic zoo animal.

Best thing I can say about peer pressure is "grin and bear it". I've been isolating myself, and I have a hard time getting "back in". (Mind: nobody excluded me; I just stopped going out, because those things were too annoying. Easy way out, so to speak.)

So, yeah, I've got experience, but no solutions, and no advice.
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Old 2013-09-04, 22:05   Link #18
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Originally Posted by Dawnstorm View Post
It's not quite that easy.

Like TripleR and Ledgem, I don't drink any alcohol. Some people will make a sport out of getting you to drink, and it gets worse when they've already drunk a bit. I once was faced with the choice of drinking a beer or having it poured over my head. I refused to drink it, and it got poured over my head. The guy who poured it over my head? I'm pretty sure, out of the group, I could have relied on him the most. I think that was sort of a test how serious I was. I didn't even get angry. I did go home, after that, though; I won't sit around with beer in my hair.

Sometimes people who'll stick with you have annoying side habits. That's the way the world works.
I'm aware of this. But I don't know man, if they don't know when to stop, I don't consider them my friends.

Of course, I've tossed drinks at people and kicked people out of my house, so maybe I'm not the best person to ask. I do drink though.

I suppose that area when you reach drinking age is quite a vulnerable timing window. You lack the advantage of being a minor where you can freely assault people as long as you play the victim, and so you're sort off forced to act like an adult in front of people who don't share the same things. It does suck.

I'm not completely serious. Sorta...!
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Old 2013-09-04, 22:07   Link #19
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Originally Posted by Archon_Wing View Post
However, I will say it is utterly irresponsible of them to try to make you to do it, because like anything of the nature there are risks involved, and the thing is that if something bad does happen, they're not going to take the consequences for you. If you get hurt or get in trouble, they don't feel the pain. And it's clear they don't give a fuck about any consequences, because it's not them. In some cases, not even themselves, so why the fuck would you care about trash like that? You certainly don't have to stand them up or any bullshit, but at the same time you sure as hell aren't obligated to do shit with them either. You have to realize that in a few years, these people will most likely mean jack shit anyways. Think about it like this. If you were to get in trouble, would they help you? Or would they do shit for you? Nuff said.
Peer pressure is one of the oldest methods of ensuring compliance in a group. It is also, to me, one of the dumbest. To quote Louie CK, there seems to be a culture here where, as soon as someone says "her you can do this.." people are like "I'M GONNA DO IT!" without thinking, hey, maybe I shouldn't.

If you want to smoke weed, fine. to each his own. But you shouldn't be pressured to do things you don't want to do. And the dumber or more risky the action is, the LESS you should do it. I've avoided a great many pitfalls simply because I've watched other people get proverbially playing with matches, and proverbially get burned by the resulting fire, and made a mental note: Don't do that shit!

And yes, Archon is right. Do these people really care about what happens to you? Why should you care about the opinions of others, if they don't care about your well being? And even if they did, it still doesn't mean you have to follow whatever they think is cool or fun. I have friends who love to go parachuting. But to me, jumping out of a perfectly good airplane thousand of feet in the sky is both not logical, and not fun. Therefore, I refuse to do it, no matter how much they swear by it.

TL;DR Do something because YOU want to do it, not because others want you to do it for their own amusement.
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Old 2013-09-04, 22:15   Link #20
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Originally Posted by Clarami View Post

Anyway, there's something I've been going through for months now, and I feel like I'm about to enter my "breaking point". I'm being "pressured" by a member of my family and his peers into doing something I don't feel comfortable with. My weed smoking little brother (who's a year younger than me) and his friends always keep pressuring me to smoke weed with them. No matter how many times I say no, they keep following and bugging me saying things like "Watching anime is 100x better when you smoke", "You'll never have sex if you don't do it", and "Video games alot better when you're smoking grass". I tried everything, reasoning with them, telling them off, and leaving the house to go for a walk to gather my thoughts.
Listen to them. Listening to them doesn't mean you have to follow them. You have a life of your own. Think what is best for you. People likes to influence. Just make a stand on what you believe.
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