Peer Pressure Is Not Okay

11 10 2008

Neither is letting yourself being persuaded into things.

Okay, let me explain; last night we were playing shot games in the kitchen (I was feeling full of cold so was only doing shots of lemon squash) when a couple of guys turned up; one from one of the flat’s upstairs and his friend. After playing more games and being generally silly, they decided they wanted to go to town, and managed to persuade the three other girls to go. I was left in the kitchen with one of the guys and he tried to persuade me to go. I kept saying no, and he kept asking, then one of the girls joined in and I thought, “oh, what the hell, go on then”. We were rushed out of the flat, me having no money or I.D., then got a taxi into town.

When we reached the club, I said that I had no I.D. and we found that I wasn’t going to be let in without it. So, instead of just waiting with me for the bus, or giving me money for a taxi, they cornered a police man in a squad car and asked him if he could take me back. For reasoning beyond me, he actually said he’d call someone else and ask them to come down. I was pretty sure he wasn’t going to return, and tried to suggest other ways of getting myself back, when a couple of police officer’s appeared walking down the road. One of the guys stopped them and told him of the situation, that I wanted to go back, get my I.D. then come back to the club. At this point, I pointed out that I just wanted to go home. The police officer said that they couldn’t be used as a taxi service, at which point I said that I knew that, I didn’t want to inconvienence anyone, I just wanted to get back. The police officer kept trying to reitterate the point despite the fact that I’d said I didn’t want inconvience them, and to be honest, I was getting pretty upset by this point. Luckily, the other police officer asked if I could come to one side with him for a moment. I obliged, then burst into tears (wonderful timing there). We got everything straightened out, they had done this without me asking them and it had got beyond my control. He asked what I wanted to do about it, and in the end, he went over and reasoned with them about everything, making sure that they understood I just wanted to get in a taxi and go home. He also helped me to calm down by talking to me about University, and if I ever were to see him again, I’d thank him yet again for his help. I’m glad someone was thinking calmly and rationally.

In the end, they all said that they hoped I was all right, we sorted out money for a taxi, and the police officer helped me find one, and talked to the driver about what to do if I came up short etc.

I got back in one piece, although I was still crying pretty much all the way back, then when I got in my room, I collapsed on my bed and cried for the next half an hour. At that point, I was frustrated with myself for letting things get out of control and I felt like a victim of the situation, which is a feeling I’ve grown accustomed to disliking very much.

Once I calmed down, I got changed into my pyjamas, put my MP3 player on and tried to get to sleep.

But that was not to be.

First of all, I struggled to get to sleep anyway because I was still distressed. I think I must have dozed off briefly, then they all came piling back into the flat, and commenced being noisy well into the early morning. Finally, they went quiet at half 5, then I got to sleep at 6.

Needless to say, I woke up at 9am feeling quite crappy. My eyes were swollen, my cold had become worse and I was supposed to be seeing my Dad and sister in an hour. (I had a good day with them, by the way, which I really needed. And I also received a lot of hugs, which I also needed.)

The main lesson I’ve learned is that even if I’m feeling ill or weak, I should not give into people if I don’t want to do it. I should also learn to say no more forcefully and/or walk away once I’ve said no.

I also wish people would learn that when someone says no, that means no. What they are doing, I class as peer pressure; it’s not fair on the person being pressured to do something, and it usually doesn’t end well.

Okay, I think I’m done now.

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2 responses

21 10 2008
Andy

You are very fortunate to be the kind of person you are, it is not every one who can realize that they have been coerced in to doing something they did not want to do and find a way of getting out of the situation. I discuss similar issues of peer pressure on my blog “http://etto-pressurepoints.blogspot.com”. I particularly focus on being pressured in to doing drugs and excessive drinking in the University context. A lot of university students are not as grounded to say no or to realize their mistake and get out, they are pressured in to a life that they would never live otherwise. And once one starts drugs there exists a possibility of addiction or even death. The fact that you acknowledged to how this pressure you faced did not only affect that particular night shows that peer pressure no matter the degree can disrupt one’s life and can be very detrimental if we look at it from an academic point of view or any other aspect of life for that matter. I applaud you for sharing your experience and you advice at the end, people should indeed learn to say no and stick to their answerer, it could say them a lot of stress of even save their life.

22 10 2008
rsthomas90

Wow, Andy, thank you.

I agree with everything you said there.

I think a lot of a person’s character comes from their life experiences and how they are brought up. If people aren’t brought up to be independent and to be able to stand up for themselves and their beliefs, then that can lead to them being pressured into things they wouldn’t normally do.

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