Adult peer pressure.

my drink of choice...

my current drink of choice…

Im one of the few people I know who doesn’t reflect upon her youth with a wistful ahhh if only I could go back there! life was so carefree!

It isnt I didnt enjoy it (I did. Methinks perhaps too much.) Im just painfully aware how exhausting it was even if, with hindsight, I can see how *not* stressful it should have been.

(I try and remember this with parenting, too. What may seem a *tiny* problem through my 44 year old eyes really *is* a big deal to an eight year old.)

Life as an adult-ME—while fraught with responsibility—really is easier.

Growing into being unapologetically myself has freed me in ways Id never imagined possible when I was 16 and just wanted to melt into the background and fit in.

There are, however, two things we dont leave behind as we age.

Two things which no matter where Ive lived or what Ive done for work Ive found rear their ugly heads.

  • Competing with each other (We still do this? Haven’t we realized there’s room enough for us all to succeed?).
  • Adult peer pressure.

The competing with each other is a post for a different day (for me it’s as simple as there’s room enough for us all to succeed.) but the adult peer pressure piece has been on my mind during this time of holiday soirees and indulgences.

This time of eat! drink! and be merry!


Before we proceed any further I should probably share I dont drink.

I used to say I rarely drank but lately even the “rarely” hasnt transpired.

Back in the day I drank plenty.

Back in the day I drank plenty.

There’s also no reason I stopped imbibing.

I ceased when I dated a guy who didnt partake and never re-started.

The way I felt the next day (some of which I now realize may have been gluten hangover) wasnt worth it.

Ive considered adding in red wine (health benefits), but the thing is I really dont *like* the way wine tastes.  So Ive never bothered.

And I never think much about it.

Until Im at a party.  Or a book club.  Or a neighborhood get-together.  Or anywhere a group of grown-ups gather, alcohol is present & the adult peer pressure kicks in.

People either ask what Id like to drink (Id kill for a can of chemicals Diet Coke) or offer alcohol (no thanks.  got any chemicals Diet Coke?) and my declining invariably sparks questions.

You dont drink?


Is there a reason?


Just have one.  You’re no fun!!

It’s curious to me how often the phrase no fun is bandied about coupled with the implied sentiment of:

  You’re make me feel guilty.  Just have ONE drink with me!!

The more Ive experienced this the more Ive realized--given the healthiness of our Tribe–Im probably not alone in furrowing my brow at adult peer pressure.

The more Ive experienced this (with alcohol, gluten, desserts and beyond) the more it’s helped me to ponder my approach to adult peer pressure.

It really all boils down to five things:

  • I don’t offer excuses. Ive learned the hard awkward oversharing-way people hear stories and reasons as an invitation to talk me out of my NO.  Whatever your NO is–avoiding decadent treats to passing on the prolific foods–spare yourself and others rambling explanations (Ive just started Paleo and…  Im trying to lose ten pounds before my New Years vacation…) as they’re frequently heard as an invitation for debate.  Which leads me to…
  • I practice a confident NO.  Sure, be ready with your reasons behind the no if it lends you confidence (food allergies, weight loss etc), just be certain you have confidence at the ready. When I was a trainer many clients had eating plans derailed because they conveyed uncertainty in their food choices. Confidence conveys.  If you seem wishy-washy in your choices/requests others view it as an opportunity to keep pushing.
  • I remind myself it’s not about me. We’ve chatted about viewing negative people through this lens and the same approach applies here.  Sure you need to stand up to adult peer pressure with confidence—but as with youth peer pressure when others are confident in their choices they wont pressure you to join them.  People often feel group participation validates behaviors when uncertain about said behavior solo.
  • *I* don’t accidentally apply pressure. It took growing honest with myself to acknowledge *I* can be pressuring too.  Sure mine comes from a place of enthusiasm (OMGOSH! You *need* to get a pedometer!!!  You have to make a personal first aid kit!) yet theres a fine line between my wanting to share the love and becoming an unintended pressurer.
  • I seek positive peer pressure.  This has been a big one for me lately.  Ive watched the Tornado grow & flourish due in no small part to the positive peer pressure around her. Ive worked to surround myself with people I long to emulate as a form of reverse peer pressure.  (which now begs the question do they realize Im doing this?)

For me with the example above it’s easy to stay committed to my path as I’ve learned drinking isnt my friend an evening of not being true to myself/listening to my body is not worth feeling like crap less than my best the next day.

In other adult peer pressure situations it’s fairly easy to stay committed to my path as I know who I am and am confident about why I do what I do.

And you?

  • When was the last time you experienced adult peer pressure & how did you respond?




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  1. says

    Peer pressure doesn’t leave no matter the age. Very true! I’m not the biggest fan of turkey and traditional Thanksgiving meals. When people heard that I wasn’t planning on making a turkey it was like I was committing the biggest crime. But those people weren’t coming to my house so why did it matter what I was eating? I don’t get it.

  2. says

    just tell everyone you are pregnant. haha, just kidding. But in all seriousness, you MUST do what FEELS right. I like wine, red for health benefits, yes. But i always get pressured to drink more than a glass. I don’t! I know what’s RIGHT for me. Like you. Thanks for sharing this, it’s important to support each other, not pressure. xxoo

  3. Runner Girl says

    I hadn’t thought about the fact my pusher friends LOL are just wanting company in their habits.


  4. says

    Being vegan a a non drinker of soda or alcoholic beverages I’ve had my fair share of “whys?” Alas I’m laid back about it, never on the defensive, or offensive for that matter, and usually end up saying, “It’s not my thing,” and no further questions are asked. Although I must admit I so often think of myself and sing, “Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. What do ya, do ya?” 😉

  5. says

    What a great post! This is so true! I’m still trying to confidently say no to adult peer pressure, and to not add my own pressure to others. Sometimes I’m good at it, other times not so much.

  6. says

    Good post lady! I agree that as we get older the peer pressure is still there and the negative people really do stand out!

  7. says

    I teach middle school health (7th graders) and have to teach peer pressure and refusal skills. I am constantly telling them that peer pressure is really hard when they’re young – especially going through puberty – but that they will face peer pressure their entire life. I think I will probably start using this as an example, because it is sooooo true, unfortunately! It sucks that you still get pressured to drink – I drink, but I’m a vegetarian and still get “peer pressured” into eating meat. Such stupid things…

  8. says

    Great post!

    I don’t succumb to peer pressure, and never really have. Simply put, I don’t give a damn!

    I do my best not to pressure anyone into doing things they don’t want to do. I don’t want to be known as a bully.

  9. says

    I don’t drink often but do get that pressure. When offered, I just reply “no thanks!” With a big smile… No one usually argues but if they apply pressure I just reply ominously .. “I’m an angry drunk…” And people look scared and go away.

  10. Andrea says

    Great post! I’m not much of a drinker (I was in my younger days), I will enjoy beer, wine, cocktails on occassion but it has to be when I want it. I was on a work trip several years ago with my manager, my co-worker and one of our clients. At dinner one night they were all drinking and I didn’t want to. There was a lot of prressure for me to drink, especially from our client, but I didn’t want to partake. I stuck to my guns and it actually hurt my relationship with the client for a little while because he was upset I wouldn’t drink with him, but eventually the quality of my work won him over.

    It is tough sometimes to stick with what is best for you, but I’ve never regretted doing that.

  11. says

    Being 46 is awesome, if you don’t like me, you can just kiss my grits. hehe I don’t drink anymore either (well, maybe just 1x a year because I think it sounds good), I can’t deal with the way it makes me feel. not worth it. But girl, I’m on board with the diet coke . . . . (two years ago, switched to drinking mainly diet mountain dew . . . . all I need is a bag of cheetos now)

  12. says

    IT is a very interesting post & not all having to do with drinking – which I don’t either just cause I don’t like anything but the 700 calorie Hawaii drinks that don’t taste like alcohol.. well, I do like me a coffee drink with amaretto or kaluha. 😉

    I had a very tough childhood on terms of pressure & insecurities & being teased & more which funneled into adulthood like happens so many times with this stuff…

    I see a lot of pressure here in subtle ways – meaning social media. At times it takes me back to these young days & that is when I really want to walk away. Thankfully I am a lot better now that when I was younger & I have been working on the whole I am Enough stuff but sometimes it does get me down.. that is when I just have to step away for a bit & regroup… remind myself it is not about me…

  13. says

    So true! I do partake in wine, but skip the soda. My husband doesn’t drink much and for the longest time, not at all and he used to get the ‘you’re no fun’ thing all the time. So annoying.

  14. says

    Great topic, Miz!

    I don’t drink alcohol either, but for some reason it hasn’t been a big problem for me. I tend to party with people who already know I don’t drink.

    There is a more insidious form of adult peer pressure that bothers me. It’s the “I’m doing this for your good”. With that argument you can justify almost any kind of behavior.

    If I have a problem with peer pressure it’s probably the fact that I may appear very nice and pliable. People may be very surprised when I stop being accomomdative.

  15. says

    “Seeking positive peer pressure” is key! Now that I’m older and in my 40s, wiser, and have a lot of experiences behind me, I can completely understand how important it is to surround yourself with positive peers who truly want you to be healthy and succeed in life. I move fast now to remove negative or downright hurtful people out of my life, simply because it is healthier for me. I rather use the energy I can muster each day to give back to others who can equally engage in positive reinforcements. I sleep better and feel better with more calm and peace among my peers … I’m much healthier that way. I enjoyed this post and your video on dealing with negative people :)

  16. says

    I only partake once or twice a year. My reason, after saying no, and hearing the “oh..come on…just one”…i reply, I’m driving and i do not drive after a sip. I would feel guilty if anything happened……

    AND as far as your Mommy Merlot, people sometimes don’t realize the chemicals in alcohol. just sayin….

    Peer pressure…no matter what the age…is something that we cannot protect ourselves from….we can only learn to be true to our own beliefs. AWESOME post.

  17. says

    Add “why don’t you want a drink?” to the list of questions that never should be asked! What if you are pregnant and haven’t told people yet, or an alcoholic and don’t need the world to know!

    As a parent on the other side of the teen years, I am more aware of what we “teach” our kids about drinking. Is there alcohol served at every social event? Do the adults always drink when they get together? Our kids don’t miss those messages.

  18. says

    This is a great post. The “confident no.” That’s all we need to remember.

    Plus, I’m with ya on the chemicals/diet Coke LOL.

  19. says

    I do not drink alcohol! I did try it once but like you, didn’t like the taste.

    I tried to be what others wanted me to be, but I found that being me was much easier and in the grand scheme of things, it’s worked out pretty well for me!

    As it has for you!

  20. says

    the worst thing about computers is you can’t actually reach out and hug someone. I no longer drink or hardly ever and have lots of personal reasons why I’m totally ok with it, doesn’t make me any less fun.. and the room for everyone, ohh hallelujah!!

  21. says

    Oh Miz, this is where we are soul sisters. I don’t drink, I never have, but I love hanging out with my friends. And they ALL do! I never give an excuse and now we are all at the point where they say nellie is super fun, she is just high on life she really doesn’t need a drink. Adult peer pressure is real, and it can even be contagious similar to a mob mentality. Practicing no’s is super important, that way no pressure can break your resolve!

    • MIZ says

      great parallel and a sad one:

      Adult peer pressure is real, and it can even be contagious similar to a mob mentality.

  22. says

    I get this all the time with food treats at work. Somehow my dislike of most sweet things is improper and people slways try to get me to have “just one” so they feel less guilty when they eat one while I won’t. They are baffled by my refusal. I don’t eat things I don’t care for anymore just because they are there. It is amazing the levels people will go to to try and convince you to nibble with them. :) They are getting used to it…but are still confused!

  23. says

    This is such an interesting topic b/c I guess I’ve never really noticed it or felt it. But now that you mention it, I CAN think of examples! I guess the big one I get is my early bedtime. If I’m at a party or a book club, or whatever, I never stay all that late. I know I’ll be getting up early to workout and it’s just not fun to be exhausted b/c of a late night. Some people who don’t know me well might mock it, but my friends all understand, even if they jab me just a tad!

  24. says

    I don’t drink, out of choice. I say no with confidence because I know I don’t want to. I stand by my answer with confidence no matter the ‘pressure’, event or function :)

  25. says

    i LOVE how that picture of you with the St. Pauli Girl keeps popping up…
    i used to drink, too, but haven’t for nearly 6 years. I love(d) me a good, dark beer or a hearty red wine (shiraaaaazzzzz)…but no more. The further I go along my journey the more I think…why?
    the longer i work in the health care arena, the LESS tolerant I have become of intoxicated people, which makes me a HOOT to be around at a party.
    according to some stats (, 60% of Americans are on anti-depressants. that’s nearly 1 in three. look to your left, look to your right. if you aren’t on them, statistically BOTH of those people are. now add alcohol to that chemical storm…good times.
    sorry, didn’t mean to rant here…

    i agree that there are elements of peer pressure among adults, too. i TRY to surround myself with positive infulences (hello, Tribe!), so most of the pressure i encounter is of the positive kind (more BURPEES! ahahaha).

    Thanks, Miz!

  26. Ida says

    I need to practice the firm no for this season.
    I really want to lose 20 pounds over Christmas and I know I can if I don’t cave to peer pressure.

  27. says

    I am pretty steadfast in my believe system and my believe system makes me strong, energetic and happy. Part of my believe system is to surround myself be like minded people, or people who can respect my way of life and decisions I make. If I am around someone who try to influence me to do something he/she wants me to do that I don’t do, like drink alcohol or eat meat I just explain in detail that taking those actions don’t make me stronger and if they want to take those actions but please don’t try to influence me to do something that would be bad for me.

  28. says

    Well said. That was a great article and I very much so enjoyed your writing skills! As I read this I relived pieces of my past and present. Peer pressure is very much so one that will never cease to exist. I know for me it is not the pressure from others but that of myself as I give into eating excessively or things I tell myself not to eat so that I may live a healthier lifestyle and is something I started working on to make a life change.

    Be true to yourself!

  29. says

    this is a really great post! I think its unfortunate that peer pressure wont ever go away. It used to make me feel bad about myself but I have learned that giving in only makes me feel worse. No matter how hard ppl may plead I stay true to myself and my decision, unless I genuinely want to do as the other person is asking me to do.

  30. says

    Peer pressure got me to sign up for my first triathlon (which was great!) but also kept me woefully unprepared (you don’t need to *train* for a sprint!) Also related to lack of confidence. I learned my lesson, but am glad I did succumb to that initial pressure.

  31. says

    Really, people ask you why you don’t drink? That seems SO clueless and intrusive!

    I’m lucky in having friends who have really good boundaries about respecting others’ choices, which is a good thing since some of my choices are so weird!

  32. says

    I gave up drink (for the most part) when I hit 30 as I was working on a serious fitness regime. I don’t even go out with the lads any more because it’s virtually impossible NOT to drink. I get asked all of the above and more, and then I get ribbed for being fit and looking after myself. Can’t win!

  33. Azusmom says

    Peer pressure is especially prevalent in this day and age. Thanks to the internet, we feel free to say things to people we would never say in person. Look at the comments section on just about any post, anywhere, and there will usually be at least one person trying to drag the poster down. (Luckily, no one here seems to be doing that. :) )
    We’re also bombarded by “experts” these days. In magazines, books on TV, on the radio, even on billboards. There’s always someone willing to tell us what we’re doing “wrong.” It takes courage to stand our ground. For myself, I’ve had to stop buying magazines and turn off the TV. I have to take everything in with the proverbial grain of salt, and not feel like I have to be perfect.

  34. says

    I’ve actually tried to pressure people into gnawing on dessert many time. But when I realized the error of my ways, I quit it.

    (clarification: I myself didn’t quit desserts, I just stopped forcing people to eat them)

  35. says

    First of all: HOLY COW! I never would have recognized that picture as you.

    Second of all: I rarely feel pressured to do anything….maybe because I know my own mind (very well) and don’t care to notice the pressure. I be who and how I be.

    I WILL say that I’m usually the one applying the pressure…”You KNOW you want to get up to run with me at 4:30am…think of what a badass you’ll be!” Or…”Just one more hill. Your butt will curse you–I mean–thank you.” I think to think of my pressure as encouragement.

    If you were to run with me, I’d totally reward you with Diet Coke. 😉

  36. says

    My MIL is a source of adult peer pressure, but it’s totally innocent. When she visits she brings HER way of eating and HER way of doing things, and then it becomes “Try this. It’s much better than that kind,” or “Why don’t you do it this way?” It’s totally innocent, but like you said, it shakes my confidence in what I’ve been doing, what I’ve been perfectly happy with.

  37. says

    I’ve been experiencing less and less adult peer pressure as my circle of friends and acquaintances continue to learn how I tick as a person. I always volunteer to be the designated driver at parties (built in excuse right there that no one will argue with) and now when I do enjoy a glass of wine (or two) it comes as somewhat of a shock to people because people think I don’t drink. The same is true for sweets at the office. My co-workers know I bring my own snack and have even stopped offering, now the same thing is happening where if I do choose to enjoy something it kind of turns into a big deal. Like you said though, I’ve been confident in my choices and now my behaviour is expected and respected :)

  38. says

    I get soooo irritated when people try to push drinking on others. It just doesn’t make sense to me – why does it matter to you whether or not I’m drinking? I don’t tell people to drink and I don’t tell people not to drink. I was actually really surprised, on Saturday night I went to a party to see a bunch of friends from Law School that I hadn’t seen in months but didn’t feel like drinking. I didn’t have a single drink the entire night and no one commented. I got a couple people who offered me a beer but no one questioned me when I said no thanks. It definitely taught me that you don’t have to drink, or even just hold one in your hand, to fit in at the party!

  39. says

    It’s so interesting to think how much peer pressure still exists but it’s almost like we don’t acknowledge it because its something from our youth. Which makes it even more dangerous, because we don’t see it for what it truly is – causing personal doubts, questions, and doing things that don’t feel true to who we are. I do like that you mentioned a positive peer pressure that we can seek out, though. At the end of the day what matters is if we surrounded ourselves with people and made choices that felt honoring to who we are as an individual. Great post, Carla!

  40. says

    I do drink (I love me some wine and beer and gin and vodka and…), but I can’t imagine if I offered someone a drink and they asked for DC (which I absolutely have in my house) or something else going down the 20 questions path of WHY that person doesn’t want a beer. Either (a) I know them well enough to know why or (b) I don’t, and it’s none of my business. (If a close friend who WAS a drinker declined an alcoholic beverage, though, you bet your britches I’d be quizzing them “ooooh are you pregnant?” style.)

  41. says

    I love the simplicity of your reasons, but having said that, I don’t think I ever needed to know. I’ve often said so many of the (first-world) problems in our society could be solved by people minding their own business.

    I have a friend who doesn’t drink, and I asked him about it years before – I knew it wasn’t for religious or pure health reasons. He was from a small rural community and had watched alcohol destroy many lives and wanted no part of it. The answer bummed me out and really put a damper on the party we were at… I’d have been better off not asking… a lesson to others.

  42. Janis says

    Peer pressure is one of those things that makes me feel like Jane Goodall watching an alien species.

    “Want some?”

    “No that’s okay, thanks.”

    “Why not?”

    “Just don’t, thanks.”

    “Sure you do!”

    Silently to myself: I think this individual thinks I’m supposed to care what they think of my lack of desire for this brownie/glass of wine/whatever. Why would they think that? Is this some sort of social bonding thing done by this species? Why don’t they just fluff up their feathers and do a silly dance or something?

  43. says

    I think I’m the (lucky) dark horse here because I haven’t been pressured to do anything in ages. People just assume I’m training for something and leave me alone. I’ve never been a drinker. If I’m eating well it’s assumed I’m training. If I’m gorging, it’s assumed I’m carbing. Haha! Early to bed=race. Its all good. Haha!

  44. says

    Maybe it’s my naturally gray hair, but most people don’t hassle me much about these things. If i say, thanks, i’m having water because i’m driving home, they generally leave me be after that. Also, i preface my food choices with, “the weirdo vegetarian will have…” and i laugh, and they do, too, and they don’t pressure me to do anything else.

  45. says

    What a great post!! I’ve always wondered the same thing – why do people feel the need to try and guilt or tease or force someone to do something after they’ve already said no.
    I do like wine (and cocktails!!) but I rarely eat dessert. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had it practically forced on me after saying “no thanks.” I just leave it. When I truly want a sweet treat I will have it but usually at the end of a meal I’m comfortable and don’t feel the need to stuff myself.
    I’ve tried to pass the “NO” when you mean it and stick to it thing to my boys – maybe they will learn it at an earlier age since clearly it is something that we will deal with at every age!

  46. says

    Great points and so true. Even though I do drink wine (but no soda)-when I have restrained from having a drink I have definitely gotten the “are you sure?” and the repeated questions as if I will change my mind. Same thing with food or snacks.

  47. says

    I never thought of it like that – “adult peer pressure” but it does happen. In school, peer pressure was easy for me to ignore. I really didn’t care who thought what of me. Now, it is a little different. However, now it seems mostly food related. As in people say “oh it’s Chrismtas – indulge a little” or “you’re skinny enough, have another cookie” or “do you even eat?”. At first I was worried I would hurt someone’s feelings – but then I realized they didn’t seem to be worried about mine. So now I just offer a “no thank you” and leave it at that.

  48. says

    I think adult peer pressure is FAR more sophisticated that the pressure we received as kids. Adults, in their constant need to be good enough, often play in others insecurities to feel better. I love your thought process of not explaining or over explaining from the go, but rather presenting a confident front. I tend to babble and over explain until I question myself and end up confused or caving because it’s simpler than sticking to my guns! I guess it’s something I need to continue to work on! This whole work in progress thing gets me every time!!

  49. says

    It IS funny how much people care about certain things–like drinking or why I don’t want dessert or if I’m having an epidural. WHY do you care so much?! I’m normally vague and change the subject.

  50. says

    I don’t drink, never have (not even one sip) … living here in “Mormon” Utah it actually comes up so very rarely. It isn’t even religious for me, I just don’t like the stuff! I’m really picky with food too (I don’t eat pizza, hamburger, apple pie) and there have been some awkward times, but I’ve lived with my finicky eating habits all my life. At times I’ll get teased about it, but it’s just not something I can change, no one can make me eat/drink something I don’t want.

  51. says

    Aaaah. I used to be one to try and peer pressure others. But I don’t anymore, because I totally get the not wanting to partake in ‘festivities’. I do still drink but no where near as often as I used to.

  52. says

    This is a great post and couldn’t come at a better time for me. I’ve been reflecting on my highs and lows of this year. One of the things I’ve been more comfortable with is saying no. Usually I take on too many things and commitments that my personal goals are pushed to the bottom of the list. I’ve learned that in order for me to achieve REAL changes in my own life, I have to make my priorities a PRIORITY.

  53. says

    I don’t drink much, so I understand what you mean about the “just have one” line. Usually, when I’m not drinking while we’re out, I’m the DD, so “just one” could lead to just one night in jail for driving while under the influence.

    I know they’re trying to be nice, but.. come on.

  54. says

    great post! i try and remember a lot of the topics you covered here and NOT peer pressure other people for these very reasons. itz definitely annoying to hear comments when making choices of any kind. “of course you don’t want cake!” (yeah, because i just ate 4 cookies lol) we all need to be a little kinder… seriously and jokingly!

  55. says

    I find that within my friends group, there is a lot of peer pressure to drink.
    Now, I just turned 21 last week, soooo my opinion might be a little biased. However, that being said, when I was a freshman (and maybe younger haha) I would drink like a fish and not have a care in the world. For me, I never experienced any negative consequences except for an extra five pounds of fat.
    Therefore, my sophomore year I quit drinking, and boy oh boy did that weight fall right off haha!!!
    From then on I would consider myself an occasional drinker of mostly wine. But last week, with a lot of peer pressure, I was coaxed into drinking LOTS of drinks that I normally don’t. This happened not one, but two nights last week, and come Saturday morning I felt like I had been hit by a train.

    People say that I used to be more fun when I was younger, but I think that acting like a complete fool in public is ridiculous. I’m very much over that point in my life, but still feel the pressure.
    Alcohol makes me feel very sluggish and not the best version of myself, so I would rather just not drink or stick to an occasional glass of wine which I can actually enjoy.

    I say kudos to you for not drinking still and valuing your health and happiness over other pressure from other adults! They might not understand, but that is their issue, not yours because in the end you know you better than anybody else!

  56. says

    This is a great post and I can relate both as a receiver and (eek) applier of peer pressure. I’ll start with applying – I am totally the one who tries to convince someone to have a drink so I don’t “feel bad”. It’s a habit I need to work on breaking! A lot of it comes from me comparing myself to those around me. I’ve gotten better at accepting that if I want a glass of wine with dinner that’s ok and if my friend doesn’t then that doesn’t mean it’s bad that I want one. I shouldn’t bug him or her to get one too.
    And I definitely get the receiving end peer pressure when it comes to food, and also to making plans on weeknights. Friends sometime seem offended that I won’t come out to trivia with them on a Tuesday. Well sorry but it starts at 9 and it’s not my problem that my not going and electing to get more sleep instead makes you realize you probably would be better off not going too. My co-workers always make comments when I don’t eat birthday cakes or the heavy catered lunch they bring in each Friday. I think that my salad lunch diligence sometimes makes them feel bad. I try never to put it across that way – I try to make it about me and say “for me, a salad gives me more energy throughout the day”. That way if they want to have their pizza, they can – I’m not judging them for it.

  57. says

    I’m only 21 but i can already relate to this so much. Up until my 21st birthday, I didn’t drink at all. I had never taken a sip of alcohol. I tried about 3 sips on my birthday to shut my friends up and since then I’ve probably had about 5-6 drinks in the past 8 months. Most of my friends are pretty understanding, but I do feel the peer pressure often. People judge me more for not drinking than I would ever dream of judging them FOR drinking. It’s frustrating but reading this made me realize i”m not alone. I’m confident in my decision to not drink. I don’t like it and that’s fine. It’s my choice, nobody else’s. I know how to have fun without alcohol and if other people can’t see that, then they aren’t worth my time.

  58. says

    Peer Pressure never goes away it now just comes in different forms. From Food to other events. Sometimes though it’s great I was pressured into my first warrior dash and now I’m SO HAPPY I did it. But I’ve recently given up drinking as well and people seem to struggle understanding that one. I am JUST as much fun without alcohol I promise :)

  59. says

    Peer pressure is such a strange thing, isn’t it. I feel like those of us who have never really fit in probably deal with it best because we just don’t care if someone thinks we’re weird. If that’s already established (being weird) then it’s no biggy if someone calls us out for that.
    While I like to make others feel comfortable, I almost never do things that I hadn’t planned on just to make someone else feel ok with who they are or what they’re doing. Of course, sometimes there are moments where I change my mind or discover that what they would like me to join in on really isn’t anything that goes against my principals.
    Maybe I deal with peer pressure ok because I value my freedom of choice that I have as an adult so much. Having no freedom while you’re a kid is not something I would recommend, and yet it sure made me value it as an adult.

  60. says

    People tend to think I’m “depriving” myself if I don’t partake in super fatty foods (like nachos) or decadent desserts (chocolate lava cake) but I truly just don’t like that stuff and I never have. I always get that look like “oh you’re too into fitness to eat this stuff” and it’s so NOT the reason.
    Great points made here.

  61. says

    Wow, I am just, so wow…thank you for this! It’s funny, because I too am generally the strong, confident no, with no excuses, and that somehow makes me feel like the guilty one! Ugh, tired of that! I think adult peer pressure is rampant and totally unnecessary; we need to stop doing this to each other! Thank you for starting the conversation :-)

  62. says

    Isnt it a shame this is even an issue! I think you’re approach is spot on, confident no with no excuse offered and the realization it is more about them.