PEER PRESSURE

There is an ice-cream store at the corner. Its mid-afternoon and the owner anxiously looks at the clock.

He is waiting for the gang of school kids who will come and buy all his stock. Even though some of them are getting overweight, they will come. He is sure that he will not be disappointed, because he’s got an infallible sales plan. Its called peer pressure ! And its quite condign that many of these kids turn irreversibly obese !

A child sees another child carrying a balloon and immediately makes the same demand of his parents. A preteen importunes his dad for a fancy bike like his friend rides. This is all nascent peer pressure in human beings. This snowballs and develops gradually with age. And in case of several people this habit continues till old age.

The change that “peer pressure” goes through is in the kind of things one aspires for. During childhood kids covet chocolates and toys that their friends possess. In the teens if the outspoken types like certain type of music, movies, gadgets, clothes or, books, the rest of the herd also follows.

If they don’t follow, they may be branded renegades and ostracized.

In the twilight of life a man may seek comfort and support of his grown up children and the pleasure of watching his grandchildren play. However his hapless coevals who don’t have this opportunity may feel miserable by constant comparison.

However, it’s always the “teenager” who comes to mind whenever this word is spoken. Peer pressure is one thing that all teens have in common.

Common negative activities associated with peer pressure are drugs, sex, truancy, delinquency, and theft.

Listening to country music when your classmates are tuned to hip-hop may be sacrilegious. You can’t escape the mob mentality; it is ubiquitous. Mob-mentality is also true in case of students pursuing higher studies. For instance now days even a science graduate pursues on MBA.

No matter what your personality type be, how aloof you may be or how together you feel, sooner or later you will have to face peer pressure. In study after study, peer pressure is associated (in adolescents of all ethnic and racial backgrounds) with at-risk behaviors such as cigarette smoking, truancy, drug use, fighting, shoplifting, and daredevil stunts.

Nine-year-old Sarah wore a new shirt to school once then repudiated it because her friends made fun of it. Jeff, at sixteen, works out three hours a day, since he begrudges his friend’s “perfect” body. When one of his friends at the gym offers him some anabolic steroids, he accepts, though he knows it’s insalubrious in the long run. Equally amenable to peer pressure is the girl who develops anorexia or another eating disorder in an effort to have the “perfect” female body.

Meanwhile, Jeff’s forty-year-old father just took out a loan he couldn’t afford to buy a new BMW because most of his neighbors drive luxury cars, and he didn’t want them to think he is too indigent to afford it. No one is imperviable to peer-pressure.

When ugly situations arise and peer pressure kicks in to high gear it is very easy to get caught up in the moment and forget that you will have to live with the choices you make. If you give in and do something that is contrary to your character or core value system it will cause you distress later and you will be contrite about it one day.

When peer pressure rears its despicable head, try to focus on how you feel about what is happening rather than get dithery, caught up in the crowd. Always stand up for what you think is right.

Some people may not like it when you go against the group but doing the right thing is rewarding. Peer pressure only works if you let it. If you refuse to let it browbeat you, it loses its power. The secret is to be assertive without becoming preachy or sanctimonious. Stand your ground but refrain from standing on a pulpit.

Always remember , the ice-cream store ; you don’t have to buy from peer pressure disguised as a super salesman.

 

Amenable

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; disposed or willing to comply; liable to answer to a higher authority; open to being acted upon in a certain way; readily reacting to suggestions and influences

Synonyms : conformable

Anorexia

Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; a prolonged disorder of eating due to loss of appetite

Synonyms : eating disorder

Anabolic

Contextual Meaning(s): Adjective; characterized by, or promoting constructive metabolism e.g. some athletes take anabolic steroids to increase muscle size temporarily

Synonyms : energy-storing

Begrudges

Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; envies or be jealous of

Synonyms : envies

Browbeat

Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; discourage or frighten with threats or a domineering manner; intimidate; be bossy towards

Synonyms : bullyrag, hector

Burgeons

Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; Swells or grows in size or effect.

Synonyms : evolves

Coevals

Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; all the people living at the same time or of approximately the same age

Synonyms : contemporaries

Condign

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; fitting or appropriate and deserved; used especially of punishment.

Synonyms : deserving, merited

Contrite

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; feeling regret for a fault or offence; feeling or expressing pain or sorrow for sins or offenses

Synonyms : remorseful

Covet

Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; wish, long, or crave for (something, especially the property of another person)

Synonyms : envy

Delinquency

Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; an antisocial misdeed in violation of the law by a minor; a tendency to be negligent and uncaring;

Other Meaning(s) : nonpayment of a debt when due

Synonyms : dereliction

Despicable

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; morally reprehensible

Synonyms : detestable

Dithery

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; characterized by lack of decision and firmness.

Synonyms : indecisive

Disguised

Contextual meaning(s): Verb; to change the appearance or guise of so as to conceal identity or mislead, as means of deceptive garb

Synonyms : misled, masked, veiled, hidden

Impervious

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; not admitting of passage or capable of being affected

Synonyms : imperviable

Importunes

Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; Pleads or requests earnestly

Synonyms : beseeches

 

Indigent

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; poor enough to need help from others

Synonyms : impoverished, necessitous

Infallible

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; incapable of failure or error.

Synonyms : unerring, foolproof

Insalubrious

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; detrimental to health

Synonyms : unhealthful, unhealthy

Imperviable

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; not admitting of passage or capable of being affected; “ a material impervious to water” ; “ someone impervious to argument”

Synonyms : impervious

Nascent

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; being born or beginning

Synonyms : incipient

Ostracized

Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; removed from society due to some misconduct.

Synonyms : excommunicate

Obese

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; excessively fat

Synonyms : corpulent, rotund

Pulpit

Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; a platform raised above the surrounding level to give prominence to the person on it

Synonyms : dais, podium, rostrum

Renegades

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; outlaws or deserters.

Synonyms : deserters, apostates.

Repudiated

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; thing any denied or disowned

Synonyms : disowned

Sacrilegious

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; grossly irreverent toward what is held to be sacred

Synonyms : profane

Sanctimonious

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; excessively or hypocritically pious

Synonyms : pietistic, pharisaic, self-righteous

Snowballs

Contextual Meaning(s) : Verb; increase or accumulate at a rapidly accelerating rate

Other Meaning(s) : Noun; snow pressed into a ball for throwing (playfully); ball of crushed ice with fruit syrup; ball of ice cream covered with coconut and usually chocolate sauce; plant having heads of fragrant white trumpet-shaped flowers; grows in sandy arid regions

Synonyms : expand

Truancy

Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; failure to attend (especially school)

Synonyms : hooky

Twilight

Contextual Meaning(s) : Noun; old age

Other Meaning(s) : adjective lighted by or as if by twilight; noun the diffused light from the sky when the sun is below the horizon but its rays are refracted by the atmosphere of the earth; a condition of decline following successes; the time of day immediately following sunset

Synonyms : dusk, nightfall

Ubiquitous

Contextual Meaning(s) : Adjective; being present everywhere at once

Synonyms : omnipresent

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