Peer pressure, the taint of all humanity. Has it kept humanity together sometimes? Yes, if you remove the taint then all your s*** comes out. Doesn’t mean it’s still not the taint, and reeks of it. You can’t get rid of your taint, but you can’t let it rule you.
An insidious force that once had evolutionary value, peer pressure will make people say, do or think like everyone else, so they stay safe in the group. There have been several scary but fascinating experiments that study this, i.e. the Milgram and Asch experiments. In which participants were essentially convinced to go along with the group, or whoever was in charge, because that’s where the power and influence was.
Not to say that this can’t be used for good. If you conducted a survey of 100 people and asked if you should try meth, and all 100 say no, so you don’t, those people just saved your life. Or if you asked your family if it was a good idea to have an affair and break up your family, and your family said no, giving you a never ending supply of arguments against such a course of action, your life would be saved, again, probably. Cheating is stupid.
However, due to human nature, peer pressure has more cons. You are easily manipulated into doing or going along with something you disagree with, or aren’t all on board with. Just to stay like, people use you for their own gain, you lose all individuality, you become resentful, people walk all over you, lose respect for you, your backbone is ripped out and trampled on in the street. Just so you don’t die alone and unloved, hopefully. Peer pressure doesn’t give a s*** and is the most disrespectful force in the universe. If somebody really respects you, they will know that you can’t always say yes and cater to them all the time.
Which is why it’s okay to say no, it’s hard but do you want to lose your backbone? No, you should be saying no. You will learn how. Here is a real life example below.
Pissy Jenny: Leggings count as pants, don’t they Mary Sue?
Mary Sue: No they don’t, they’re called leggings, not pants. Plus they’re not always modest.
Pissy Jenny: Well if you were my friend, who cared, you would-
Now is the time to strike back, you are under fire! This is a classic tactic. Mary Sue should restate her opinion, say it’s just her opinion, without being defensive, and that Pissy Jenny her will just have to agree to disagree. And this has nothing to do with their friendship, it’s quite an overreaction. Easy right? No, no it’s not for some reason people keep talking for no good reason.
Mary Sue: It’s just my opinion, we’ll agree to disagree and not overreact or let this affect our friendship. We can respect-
Pissy Jenny: You have betrayed me by not going along with what I say Mary Sue.
Everyone says it differently, but basically, it’s not that creative. They have teeny, tiny, fetus brains and the emotional maturity of one generally, when apparently so gravely besmirched. Now you may be tempted to explain that they’re being a vapid twat and a pussy a**, but don’t. Even though you’re technically not lying. Especially if they need a crew to back them up, better known as back up pussy a***s. You have to dig in your heels and defend yourself. If you have a green lantern ring floating your way it helps. They also might mention an imagined consequence if they’re being extra vapid today.
Mary Sue: I am going to try and be diplomatic walk away, and simply admonish you for your pissy attitude Pissy Jenny.
Pissy Jenny: Are you scared of me? You know I’m right. You will also be losing a friend in me.
Yeah, the script doesn’t, they also might say you’re being racist, or they’re being oppressed, when they are quite obviously not, usually. They’re just being little C-words who are going to die alone if they keep this up. You must stay firm, unlike the ground that they think they’re standing on. Be the actual grown up.
Mary Sue: I don’t know where this is coming from Pissy Jenny. You’re just screaming in my face and not letting me speak at all. I don’t need to be or want to be friends with someone named “Pissy”. Especially given this unbecoming, abhorrent conduct.
Pissy Jenny: Fine, don’t be my friend.
Mary Sue: Your pride is going to ruin you.
Pissy Jenny: Interjection, I dislike you because I begrudgingly respect you now.
Does this ever always work? No, humans. Stupid, stupid, proud humans. What options do you have now? You can walk away, draw a line, set a firm no bulls*** boundary. This is healthy and mature. Or, you could strike back with similar tactics if you are just getting too old for this s***t.
Mary Sue: You are losing a friend too, I tried to be reasonable and grown up with you, my former friend, but I’m not friends with petulant children. I can go find better, more mature friends, while you just sit here and cry, because I dislike you and you are weak.
Pissy Jenny: You think I’m immature and weak? That’s not right! As in, you totally are right, I will do whatever to remedy this situation and mend our friendship.
Mary Sue: That last part was supposed to be in parentheses, but good job on the self-awareness Pissy Jenny, I am slowly but surely regaining respect for you.
Pissy Jenny: We were arguing about pants.
Mary Sue: Good thing you didn’t bring back up, because I would have utterly destroyed them or converted them to my side. And would have taken sick joy in elaborating on it.
Pissy Jenny: How out of character for you, she should write us into her blogs more often. So she remembers our characters.
Mary Sue: Didn’t you die many blogs ago?
Pissy Jenny: Where is Steve?
Peer pressure, give me $5 each and I will tell you how to handle the back-up, is an overwhelming, evil, vile force, but it can be overcome. You don’t have to let your taint rule you. Especially if you don’t physically have one. Just stand firm and watch, or let, the groupthink weaken and wither away. No matter how big and bad a group may look, they can’t all be thinking or agreeing on the exact same things. Divisions will show up eventually. Then you can take joy on your victory. It may just be a battle, but for once, peer pressure lost today.