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