A woman approaching and forcing someone to do something.

Think peer pressure disappears in adulthood? Well, think again!

Peer pressure in adulthood can creep in unnoticed. It has the ability to alter your:

  • behavior — risking your health following a popular dieting/bodybuilding regimen

  • personality — buying an expensive car just like your friend has

  • beliefs — you'll never catch the virus

  • core values wasting away hard-earned money on unnecessary stuff

Being aware of the different ways it shows up will help you recognize it and make better decisions.

Positive And Negative Peer Pressure

Positive Peer Pressure being influenced to make choices that better yourself. It can encourage you to stop biting your nails, stop swearing, or stop smoking.

A person angry and saying that's not the right way to talk.

Negative Peer Pressure — being pressured to do something that goes beyond your moral beliefs or against your core values. It can lead you to adopt a lifestyle beyond your means or change the way you think.

An individual telling another that they have the ability to change the way others think.

Spoken And Unspoken Peer Pressure

Spoken Peer Pressure — when you're asked, directed, or persuaded to engage in a certain kind of behavior, like being asked to dress in a certain way to be accepted within a sorority or fraternity.

An individual showing the right way to dress up.

Unspoken Peer Pressure — when you're exposed to the actions of your peers and choose to follow along. Drinking alcohol to conform to belong to a group is an example of unspoken peer pressure.

A woman drinking a comically oversized glass of wine.

Direct And Indirect Peer Pressure

Direct Peer Pressure — being put in a position to make on-the-spot decisions. Direct peer pressure is normally behavior-centric, like having alcohol forced on you when you're known not to drink.

An individual handing over 2 cans of drinks to someone.

Indirect Peer Pressure indirect peer pressure is subtle but can still be toxic. Maybe you overhear some gossip about another person, and your behavior toward them changes based on the gossip alone.

A lady putting her fingers on lips and saying

Check Your Knowledge

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Mary is a hard-working individual who lives alone. She doesn't make a lot of money and has bills to pay off.

Recently, she's been thinking of getting a pet after her mom keeps suggesting it. Why not? She rationalizes it by thinking she'd love all the attention showered on her from friends and strangers because of her pet. Don't all celebrities have a pet?


What kind of peer pressure is Mary experiencing?

Take Action

You might be a victim of peer pressure if you're:

  • adopting values, beliefs, goals, or hobbies based on others' beliefs

  • changing yourself just to fit in with the group of people you want to hang out with

  • surrounded by people who don't appreciate your lifestyle or choices

  • criticized constantly by others

If you feel you're being peer pressured in your relationships, it may be time to evaluate and move away from those relationships.

A woman protecting her child and pushing a man away saying - Just stay away.


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