When I was a kid mom said, “If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?“ Looking back, adults were just as susceptible to peer pressure as we were. Maybe more.
Celebrities give each other awards because they seek approval from their peers.
Seeking approval is part of life. You sought approval from your parents, teachers, and friends. The list expanded to bosses, colleagues, customers, and people you admire, when you got a job.
Old people aren’t exempt from peer pressure. I feel less of a need for approval today than I did when I was young but feeling respected sure feels good.
You never outgrow the influence of others in your life.
Don’t resist peer pressure; use it.
Peer pressure is:
- Pressure to conform in order to fit in.
- Passion to set yourself apart and identify with a group you admire.
- Power to expect conformity and create alignment.
2 ways to use adult peer pressure for advantage:
#1. Leverage positive pressure:
Negative pressure happens when you violate values or common sense to gain approval.
Positive pressure pulls you toward your best self. Motivation for high performance includes feeling respected by people you admire.
If leadership is influence, social pressure is part of it. When people care what you think of them you have power to influence their behavior.
The power to extend approval is the ability to define and expect conformity.
#2. Choose your friends carefully.
Welcome the ‘right’ people into your life. The people you admire show you what to want.
Perhaps you want a seat at the corporate table. How will you earn the approval of the ‘right’ people – while staying true to your values?
Ask yourself, “Will my circle of friends help me build the life I want?”
“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” Unknown
What is a healthy approach to peer pressure?
Influence – Sobering Truths and Delightful Opportunities